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Package maintenance (portage) and system management for Gentoo Linux

Project description

This is a script for package update and general system management in Gentoo’s portage package manager. The aim is to automate system updating and maintenance as straight forward as possible. There are a lot of commands to be run to keep a Gentoo Linux system healthy and tidy. Emerge alone does not do a lot. That’s where this script comes in.

What does emerge_update do?

The following tasks are run:

  1. Run qcheck --badonly --all to check for altered files belonging to packages installed with emerge. With a few exceptions no files should be modified. This is a simple way to detect malicious activities e.g. by an intruder.[1]

  2. Run eix-sync -q to update the package repository

  3. Backup /etc (see Backups)

  4. Run emerge @world. A lot of options are given, see Emerge Options

  5. If automatic unmasking of packages is detected, etc-update --automode=-5 /etc/portage is run to make the changes proposed by emerge permanent. If Oracle’s JDK should be downloaded, it does so. Then, emerge @world is run again.

  6. Run emerge --depclean to remove unnecessary packages

  7. Run revdep-rebuild --ignore to rebuild packages with broken shared library dependencies due to the last emerge.

  8. Run emerge @preserved-rebuild. Another measure to repair broken library dependencies. Gentoo recommends running both revdep-rebuild and @preserved-rebuild.

  9. Run python-updater if an update of Python was detected

  10. Run perl-cleaner --all

  11. Run cfg-update --update --automatic-only to update all config files which can be updated automatically.

  12. Run cfg-update --index to create update indexes for the next run of cfg-update.

  13. Run prelink --all to prelink all binaries to speed up loading them.

  14. Backup /var/db/pkg (see Backups). If this directory is destroyed, you are in the most serious trouble.

  15. Run qcheck --all --update to bring the checksums up-to-date for the next run.

  16. Run emaint -c all to check for potential problems or points for improvement. This does not repair anything. You can run emaint -f ... eg. emaint -f all to fix things.

Using emerge_update


-h, --help

show the help

--dry-run, -n

don’t execute commands, just print them

--verbose, -v

print commands as they are executed

--version, -V

show program’s version number and exit

--output OUTPUT, -o OUTPUT

specify output file

--append, -a

append to output file instead of overwriting

To test the script, run it with emerge_update --dry-run. This way, it only shows what would be done.


Backups are done by renaming and hard-linking the target ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.listif possible. This does not work with mount points, however. Directories acting as a mount point are backed up as a tar file into a backup directory ( /var/lib/emerge_update by default). The backup directory is created if necessary.

Emerge Options

Emerge is run with these options:


This is not desirable in automated runs of emerge


Only update packages


Update packages when the USE configuration changes


Consider updating dependencies


Continue in case of error to update as much as possible

--autounmask y

Unmask required packages

--autounmask-write y

Make unmasking permanent

--jobs n

where n = 4. This runs a maximum of 4 parallel emerge jobs

--load-average n

where n is the number of processors on-line in the system or 3 if this number cannot be determined.

This prevents creating new emerge jobs if the load average if above n

Project details

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jw.emerge_update-0.7.4.tar.gz (8.6 kB view hashes)

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