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Gentoo Linux updater

Project description

Gentoo Updater

gentoo-update is a tool that automates updates on Gentoo Linux. By default it only installs security updates from GLSA, but it can also be used to update all packages on the system, i.e. @world.

This project originates from 2023 Google Summer of Code, more about it can be found in the blog post and Gentoo Forums.

gentoo_update has 3 main modules - updater, parser and notifier. Updater runs the update script and creates a log file. Parser reads the log file and composes a post-upgrade report which notifier then sends via email, IRC bot or mobile app.


  • updater:
    • update security patches from GLSA by default, and optionally update @world
    • insert additional flags to @world update
    • do not start the update if available disk space is lower than a certain threshold
    • show list of packages before the update
  • parser:
    • show update status (success/failure) in the report
    • show package info after successful update: ebuilds, blocks, uninstalls etc.
    • detect different errors during an update
      • blocked Packages
      • USE flag conflicts
      • issues with Licenses
      • network issues during an update
      • OOM during an update
    • show disk usage before/after an update
  • notifier:
    • send update report via IRC bot
    • send update report via email using SendGrid
    • send update report via email using local relay
    • send update report via mobile app
    • send a short report with only the update status instead of a full report
  • general:
    • ebuild in GURU repository
    • CI/CD pipeline that will run gentoo_update on newly published stage3 Docker containers
    • comprehensive set of unit tests


gentoo-update is in GURU overlay, and can be installed using emerge. First, enable the overlay:

emerge --ask app-eselect/eselect-repository
eselect repository enable guru
emerge --sync

and then install it:

emerge --ask app-admin/gentoo_update

Alternatively, it can be installed with pip in a virtual environment:

python -m venv gentoo_update
source gentoo_update/bin/activate
python -m pip install gentoo_update


The updater creates a subdirectory in Portage's default PORTAGE_LOGDIR located at /var/log/portage/gentoo-update. However, if this variable is set to a different value in make.conf, it will use the new location instead of the default.

Here are some usage examples:

  • Basic security update
  • Full system update with extra update parameters
gentoo-update --update-mode full --args "color=y keep-going"
  • Full system update, show elogs and news
gentoo-update --update-mode full --read-logs --read-news
  • Read last update report:
gentoo-update --report
  • Send the last update report to an IRC channel:
export IRC_CHANNEL="#<irc_channel_name>"
export IRC_BOT_NICKNAME="<bot_name>"
export IRC_BOT_PASSWORD="<bot_password>"
gentoo-update --send-report irc


The detailed explanation of command flags can be found in CLI's help message:

gentoo-update --help

Information on testing can be found in tests directory readme.

To get help or request additional features feel free to create an issue in this GitHub repo. Or just contact me directly via or IRC. I am also in most of the #gentoo IRC groups and my nick there is #LabBrat.

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