Gentoo USE-Flags

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Under Gentoo USE-Flags are used to signal the Package-Manager Portage exactly how one wants to have his system configured.

Setting of USE-Variables

USE-Variables are enabled by simply writing the name of the Variable and disabled by prefixing it with a Minus.

  • enabled: bash-completion
  • disabled: -bash-completion

There are more ways to set USE-Variables:

This USE-Variable is then set global, that means set for all packages.
  • In /etc/portage/package.use für exactly one packet:
Category/Packagename ...
  • In the variable USE directly before the start of emerge:
USE="..." emerge Package

An example for USE-Variables

The program cowsay has support for exactly one USE-Variable called bash-completion:

# emerge -pv cowsay

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

Calculating dependencies ...done!
[ebuild   R   ] games-misc/cowsay-3.03  USE="bash-completion" 0 kB

Total size of downloads: 0 kB

In this case the USE-Variable bash-completion is activated.

The call of

emerge cowsay

will install files to help complete the command line in Bash with [Tab].