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Emerge is the primary portage tool for package management. It allows you to install and remove packages as well as perform various other related tasks.


emerge -uavDN world

Simply doing emerge world will most likely not have the desired result when attempting to upgrade your system. Often a better way to do this is by using emerge -uavDN world. Here is an explanation of the extra switches and what they do:

Checking for broken packages

Did you break anything during the upgrade? Use "revdep-rebuild" to find out.


This is highly recommended after any package update if said package has dependencies.

Using Genlop

Genlop is a tool that parses log files. Genlop can be used to find out how long your emerge world will take. A basic command to do this would be emerge -p world | genlop -p but you can add any number of portage switches from above to your emerge command.

Special Cases

There may be several cases where the above does not upgrade what you want. The main case is when you are using CVS packages like Enlightenment DR17. Note that this should be the exception, not the rule. You should avoid using CVS unless you are willing to accept the consequences that they may bring.

The reason this does not upgrade CVS packages is because the packages do not change versions (they stay at 9999 usually). Also this means that the dependencies cannot be checked in the proper way either. This is probably just as well anyways. CVS packages should be handled separately. Something like emerge -av cvs_packages should do the trick.


See also

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Last modified: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 08:00:00 +0000 Hits: 10,220