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This page is part of FAQ Portage tools overview.



What is Gentoolkit?

Gentoo is a unique distribution and presents some complexities that simply don't exist for other distributions. As Gentoo developers and contributors discovered some of these complexities, they also wrote tools to help users and administrators work around them. Many of these tools have been contributed to the Gentoo project and are included in the package app-portage/gentoolkit.

Note: There are two versions of gentoolkit: app-portage/gentoolkit and app-portage/gentoolkit-dev. While the former contains administration scripts, the latter contains scripts specific to help development on Gentoo. If you are a developer, you can have your scripts included into gentoolkit-dev by contacting the Gentoolkit maintainer. The packages are not conflicting. You can have installed both at the same time. This document discusses gentoolkit only though.

Gentoolkit contains a whole bunch of useful tools to help you manage your packages and keep track of what is going on in your system. Most users -- particularly those who update systems often -- will benefit from having gentoolkit installed.


Any documentation that a program might have (other than man pages) is stored in /usr/doc/gentoolkit-[version]/[program-name]/.


Just as with any Gentoo package, installation is just a simple emerge.

# emerge gentoolkit
Note: Many of the tools in the gentoolkit package reveal important information about your system. Therefore, some of the programs may only be executed (or only function properly) if run by a user with root permission.


equery is a tool that supports some features of epm (and the deprecated qpkg) together with its own set of features that make it really useful. equery --help gives you the full set of options. equery will eventually replace etcat in a future release of gentoolkit.

Note: Not all features listed by equery --help have been implemented yet. Those that have not been are mentioned clearly. You will also see that every command has a short option, e.g. b instead of belongs.

Note: Be aware that equery currently changes the format of the output if it is sent through a pipe. The piped format is intended to be easier to parse by tools, but has turned out to be less popular and will probably change in the future. If you write scripts that employ equery, you should be aware of this.

Finding the Package That a File Came From

equery provides the functionality of finding the package that a file came from, using belongs (or just b) parameter.

Code: Finding the ebuild that installed a given file
# equery belongs /usr/bin/xmms
[ Searching for file(s) /usr/bin/xmms in *... ]
media-sound/xmms-1.2.10-r9 (/usr/bin/xmms)

By using the -f option, you may search for packages with files matching any regular expression. The -e option is useful for terminating your search immediately when a match is found.

Verifying Package Integrity

Sometimes it is useful to check a package's integrity. equery can verify md5 sums as well as timestamps to indicate when a package might have been corrupted, replaced, or removed.

Code: OK package integrity
# equery check gentoolkit
[ Checking app-portage/gentoolkit-0.2.0 ]
 * 54 out of 54 files good
Note: Configuration files that have been changed after installation may be reported as "not good".


equery is able to list all direct dependencies matching a package. The function we should use to do this is depends and it's as easy as:

Code: Looking for packages depending on pygtk
# equery depends pygtk
[ Searching for packages depending on pygtk... ]

equery is capable of giving us a dependency graph for a specified package. The dependency graph gives a listing of all the packages that have direct or indirect dependencies on the package in question.

Code: Dependency Graph for cdrtools
# equery depgraph cdrtools
Displaying dependencies for app-cdr/cdrtools-2.01_alpha37
`-- app-cdr/cdrtools-2.01_alpha37
 `-- sys-libs/glibc- (virtual/libc)
  `-- sys-kernel/linux-headers-2.4.22 (virtual/os-headers)
   `-- sys-apps/baselayout-1.10.4
    `-- sys-apps/sysvinit-2.85-r1
     `-- sys-apps/gawk-3.1.3-r1
      `-- sys-apps/util-linux-2.12-r4
          `-- sys-apps/sed-4.0.9
        `-- sys-libs/ncurses-5.4-r4
            `-- sys-apps/pam-login-3.14
            `-- sys-libs/pam-0.77-r1
                 `-- sys-libs/cracklib-2.7-r10
               `-- sys-apps/miscfiles-1.3-r1
              `-- app-arch/gzip-1.3.5-r1
              `-- sys-apps/portage-2.0.50-r10

For example, while glibc is a direct dependency for cdrtools, linux-headers are an indirect dependency. Note that the output also includes information about virtual packages. In the example above, cdrtools is actually written to require virtual/libc, not sys-libs/glibc, but on the given system in the example sys-libs/glibc provides virtual/libc.

Listing Files belonging to an Ebuild

equery can list the files that belong to an installed ebuild. If you don't know the files that gentoolkit has installed on the system, use equery to show them:

Code: Listing files
# equery files gentoolkit
[ Searching for packages matching gentoolkit... ]
* Contents of app-portage/gentoolkit-0.2.0:


The command files of equery provide some options to modify the output. You can look them all up in the equery man page.

Looking for packages that use a specific USE flag

If you want to find which packages on your system make use of a specific USE flag, you want equery's hasuse feature:

Code: Searching packages which use mozilla USE flag
# equery hasuse mozilla
[ Searching for USE flag mozilla in all categories among: ]
 * installed packages
[I--] [  ] dev-java/blackdown-jre- (1.4.2)
[I--] [  ] mail-client/evolution-2.0.2 (2.0)

Listing Packages

equery has a powerful feature to list packages belonging to your system, portage or even an overlay. Let's try this:

Code: Listing packages with equery
# equery list gentoolkit
[ Searching for package 'gentoolkit' in all categories among: ]
 * installed packages
[I--] [  ] app-portage/gentoolkit-0.2.0 (0)

The standard query will search our installed packages for the name given. If found, the following info will be displayed:

Another example, this time we are going to use the local options in order to look for packages in our portage tree and overlay.

Code: Using local options with equery
# equery list -p -o vim
[ Searching for package 'vim' in all categories among: ]
 * installed packages
[I--] [  ] app-editors/vim-6.3-r4 (0)
 * Portage tree (/usr/portage)
[-P-] [M~] app-editors/vim-7.0_alpha20050126 (0)
[-P-] [M~] app-editors/vim-7.0_alpha20050201 (0)
[-P-] [  ] app-editors/vim-6.3-r2 (0)
[-P-] [M~] app-editors/vim-7.0_alpha20050122 (0)
[-P-] [M~] app-editors/vim-core-7.0_alpha20050126 (0)
[-P-] [  ] app-editors/vim-core-6.3-r3 (0)
[-P-] [M~] app-editors/vim-core-7.0_alpha20050122 (0)
[-P-] [M~] app-editors/vim-core-7.0_alpha20050201 (0)
[-P-] [  ] app-editors/vim-core-6.3-r4 (0)
 * overlay tree (/opt/ebuilds)

Calculate package sizes

Ever been curious to find out how much space a specific package is occupying? Since a package could have its files over a number of directories, the usual du -hc might not give you the correct figure. Do not worry, equery solves that problem!

Code: Package Size
# equery size openoffice-bin
* app-office/openoffice-bin-1.1.2
     Total Files : 2908
     Total Size  : 223353.31 KiB

As you can see, equery prints the total space used in kilobytes and also lists the total number of files the package has.

Package-wise list of USE Flags

equery can be used to give us information about what USE flags are being used by a specific package. It also tells us what our current USE flags are for a package and also what USE flags are available for the package.

Code: Set and Unset USE Flags
# equery uses ethereal
[ Colour Code : set unset ]
[ Legend    : (U) Col 1 - Current USE flags        ]
[           : (I) Col 2 - Installed With USE flags ]

 U I [ Found these USE variables in : net-analyzer/ethereal-0.10.6 ]
 - - adns  : Adds support for the adns DNS client library
 + + gtk   : Adds support for x11-libs/gtk+ (The GIMP Toolkit)
 - - ipv6  : Adds support for IP version 6
 - - snmp  : Adds support for the Simple Network Management Protocol if available
 + + ssl   : Adds support for Secure Socket Layer connections
 + + gtk2  : Use gtk+-2.0.0 over gtk+-1.2 in cases where a program supports both.
 - - debug : Tells configure and the makefiles to build for debugging. Effects vary across packages,
             but generally it will at least add -g to CFLAGS. Remember to set FEATURES=nostrip too

As you can see, I installed ethereal with only the gtk, ssl and gtk2 flags set, but the other USE flags for ethereal are adns, ipv6, snmp and debug.

For more information on USE flags, please refer to the USE Flags chapter of the Gentoo Handbook.

Where's the ebuild?

We can also find out which ebuild is being used for a specific package using equery. This is done by using the equery which command which displays the full path to the ebuild.

Code: Displaying the ebuild path
# equery which cdrtools


Warning: euse is currently broken as it does not support cascading profiles well.

euse is a tool to see, set and unset USE flags at various places. For more information on USE flags, please refer to the USE Flags. Please see euse -h for complete help and all options.

Viewing, setting and unsetting USE Flags

The euse -a command reads the current active USE flags and displays them.

There are 5 "columns" that euse uses to show whether a flag is set/unset and where all the flag has been set. The columns are as follows: +/-, set in the Environment, set in make.Conf, set in make.Defaults, and set in make.Globals. The output looks like [+ECDG].

Code: Viewing all active USE flags
#  euse -a
X                   [+ CD ]
aalib               [+    ]
acpi                [+ C  ]
alsa                [+ C  ]
xosd                [+ C  ]
xv                  [+ CD ]
xvid                [+ C  ]
zlib                [+ CD ]

Similarly you can use the euse -a -g to only view active global USE flags. euse -a -l does the same for active local USE flags, -g and -l are suboptions for euse and need an option before them (like -a) to function correctly.

Code: Viewing active local USE flags
# euse -a -l
bitmap-fonts        [+  D ]
font-server         [+  D ]
fortran             [+  D ]
gimpprint           [+ C  ]
imlib2              [+    ]
md5sum              [+ C  ]
mpeg4               [+ C  ]
nvidia              [+ C  ]
offensive           [+    ]
truetype            [+ CD ]
truetype-fonts      [+  D ]
type1-fonts         [+  D ]

We can also use euse to set or unset use flags. The commands used for this are euse -E flagname (enable a flag) and euse -D flagname (disable a flag).

Warning: Do not use the euse -E or euse -D commands by themselves (without a flag). It will set/unset ALL USE flags in /etc/make.conf. Although a backup is kept at /etc/make.conf.euse_backup, please be careful while using euse -E or euse -D.
Code: Setting and Unsetting USE flags
(Enabling a USE Flag)
#  euse -E 3dfx
/etc/make.conf was modified, a backup copy has been placed at /etc/make.conf.euse_backup

(/etc/make.conf after the command)
USE="alsa acpi apache2 -arts cups cdr crypt cscope -doc ethereal fbcon gd \
     gif gimpprint gnome gpm gstreamer gtk2 gtkhtml imlib imlib2 \
     innodb -java javascript jpeg libg++ libwww mad mbox md5sum \
     mikmod mmx motif mozilla mpeg mpeg4 mysql ncurses nvidia \
     oggvorbis odbc offensive opengl pam pdflib perl png python \
     quicktime readline sdl spell sse ssl svga tcltk tiff truetype usb \
     vanilla X xml2 xmms xosd xv xvid x86 zlib 3dfx"

(Disabling the USE Flag)
#  euse -D 3dfx
/etc/make.conf was modified, a backup copy has been placed at /etc/make.conf.euse_backup

(/etc/make.conf after the command)
USE="alsa acpi apache2 -arts cups cdr crypt cscope -doc ethereal fbcon gd \
     gif gimpprint gnome gpm gstreamer gtk2 gtkhtml imlib imlib2 \
     innodb -java javascript jpeg libg++ libwww mad mbox md5sum \
     mikmod mmx motif mozilla mpeg mpeg4 mysql ncurses nvidia \
     oggvorbis odbc offensive opengl pam pdflib perl png python \
     quicktime readline sdl spell sse ssl svga tcltk tiff truetype usb \
     vanilla X xml2 xmms xosd xv xvid x86 zlib -3dfx"
Note: euse does not physically remove the flag from make.conf. It just adds a - (minus) before the flag to unset it. You can use euse -P flagname to remove it from make.conf

Other tools


This tool is Gentoo's Reverse Dependency rebuilder. It will scan your installed ebuilds to find packages that have become broken as a result of an upgrade of a package they depend on. It can emerge those packages for you but it can also happen that a given package does not work anymore with the currently installed dependencies, in which case you should upgrade the broken package to a more recent version. revdep-rebuild will pass flags to emerge which lets you use the --pretend flag to see what is going to be emerged again before you go any further.

Code: Running revdep-rebuild in pretend mode
# revdep-rebuild -p

Checking reverse dependencies...
Packages containing binaries and libraries broken by any package update,
will be recompiled.

Collecting system binaries and libraries... done.

Collecting complete LD_LIBRARY_PATH... done.

Checking dynamic linking consistency...
  broken /usr/lib/ao/plugins-2/ (requires
  broken /usr/lib/kde3/ (requires
  broken /usr/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.8/i686-linux/ (requires
  broken /usr/lib/xine/plugins/1.0.0/ (requires
  broken /usr/lib/perl5/vendor_perl/5.8.0/i686-linux/auto/SDL_perl/ (requires
  broken /usr/lib/ (requires
  broken /usr/bin/k3b (requires
  broken /usr/bin/lua (requires
  broken /usr/bin/lyx (requires
  broken /usr/bin/luac (requires
  broken /usr/bin/avidemux2 (requires
  broken /usr/bin/pptout (requires
  broken /usr/bin/xml2ps (requires

Assigning files to ebuilds... done.

Evaluating package order... done.

All prepared. Starting rebuild...
emerge --oneshot --nodeps -p =app-cdr/k3b-0.11.14 =app-office/koffice-1.3.2 =app-office/lyx-1.3.4 \
       =app-office/passepartout-0.2 =dev-lang/lua-5.0.2 =dev-ruby/fxruby-1.0.29 =media-libs/libao-0.8.5 \
       =media-libs/xine-lib-1_rc5-r3 =media-video/avidemux-2.0.26 =net-libs/loudmouth-0.16 

These are the packages that I would merge, in order:

Calculating dependencies ...done!
[ebuild   R   ] app-cdr/k3b-0.11.14  
[ebuild   R   ] app-office/koffice-1.3.2  
[ebuild   R   ] app-office/lyx-1.3.4  
[ebuild   R   ] app-office/passepartout-0.2  
[ebuild   R   ] dev-lang/lua-5.0.2  
[ebuild   R   ] dev-ruby/fxruby-1.0.29  
[ebuild   R   ] media-libs/libao-0.8.5  
[ebuild   R   ] media-libs/xine-lib-1_rc5-r3  
[ebuild   R   ] media-video/avidemux-2.0.26  
[ebuild   R   ] net-libs/loudmouth-0.16  

If you need to rebuild some packages, you run revdep-rebuild without the -p flag, the listed packages will be emerged again.

Tip: To save some time, you can also copy&paste the emerge command that revdep-rebuild spit out.

Note: revdep-rebuild does not always run as smoothly as it is supposed to. Depending on age and/or state of your system and brokenness, it may happen that not all issues are solved with a single run of revdep-rebuild. Therefor it is recommended to make another (pretending) run of revdep-rebuild to verify that everything is clean.


glsa-check is mainly a test tool that keeps track of the various GLSA's (Gentoo Linux Security Advisory) and will eventually be integrated into emerge and equery. See GLSA.


Most from here - Copyright 2001-2006 Gentoo Foundation, Inc Under the Creative Commons - Attribution / Share Alike license


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Last modified: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 10:09:00 +0000 Hits: 28,476