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This article explains how to use a portage BINHOST to reduce compile times. If you would like to host your own server please see the BINHOST Setup HOWTO.

The portage BINHOST system is a valuable utility for deployment of Gentoo in a multi-system environment. Clearly this is not the only area where a BINHOST is useful, in fact it may be used quite effectively by a normal user who does not want to take advantage of the portage compilation options.

Some of the key factors drawing users to Gentoo include
  • Simplicity and utility of portage.
  • Extremely helpful and active community.
  • Large amounts of documentation.
These are offset by several factors
  • Long Gentoo installation process. (It may take days to compile a full desktop environment.)
  • Poor default Gentoo performance options.
These concerns may be partly alleviated by making use of public Gentoo binary package hosts. Compilation time is clearly reduced if not removed, meanwhile package optimization can be done by the more experienced users hosting the server. If you know of or host a public BINHOST server, please feel free to add it to the list below.

Using public BINHOST servers

To make use of a BINHOST you must configure the remote host from which to retrieve as well as the location in which to save these packages.

Add or replace the required configuration directives in make.conf:

File: /etc/make.conf

To archive packages to $PKGDIR:

Code: Shell
emerge --getbinpkg --fetchonly ${PACKAGE}
# or
emerge --getbinpkgonly --fetchonly ${PACKAGE}Note

To install the packages from $PKGDIR:

Code: Shell
emerge --usepkg ${PACKAGE}
# or
emerge --usepkgonly ${PACKAGE}Note

To install and archive packages in PKGDIR:

Code: Shell
emerge --getbinpkg --usepkg ${PACKAGE}
# or
emerge --getbinpkgonly --usepkgonly ${PACKAGE}Note
Note: The options with the word only, and the associated shorthand, will fail if the desired package is not available from the BINHOST. In other words, portage will refuse to compile any source packages.


Apache on Debian Woody may cause problems with PORTAGE_BINHOST (python's HTMLParser throws an exception).
-jason pepas
The Debian Woody issue appears to be caused by a comma in the META tag (inserted by the mod_autoindex Apache module). I'm sure you could recompile the module after omitting the comma, or live dangerously and just hexedit it out of /usr/lib/apache/1.3/
- madsara
Apparently, if emerge locates a binary pkg of the right version-release, it will install it, regardless of your use flag. So, it seems that the use flags are heeded at build time but not at install time. See the discussion at . I imagine this can mess things up quite well, unless you adjust your use flags to match those of the pkgs in the BINHOST repository - Originally by harpette
I only got this working, when I am using ftp instead of http/s.

Also see

List of public BINHOST servers

Feel free to add your server to this list. If a server has been offline or unreachable for a significant amount of time please label it as DOWN. Servers that are now offline or are unreachable are archived for historic purposes. If any of them return please remove the DOWN label.

Security Warning

The following links are not pointing to official Gentoo binhosts. Gentoo does not provide public binhosts at all. Usage of binary packages provided by the listed binhosts may present security issues.


Below is a list of BINHOSTs for x86 compatible systems.




Pentium 3

Pentium 4

Pentium 4m

Athlon MP

Athlon XP




VIA C7 - Server

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Last modified: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 06:15:00 +0000 Hits: 41,874