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1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2 <!DOCTYPE sections SYSTEM "/dtd/book.dtd">
3
4 <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
5 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
6
7 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/handbook/hb-portage-branches.xml,v 1.12 2005/08/11 12:28:23 swift Exp $ -->
8
9 <sections>
10
11 <version>1.6</version>
12 <date>2005-08-11</date>
13
14 <section>
15 <title>Using One Branch</title>
16 <subsection>
17 <title>The Stable Branch</title>
18 <body>
19
20 <p>
21 The ACCEPT_KEYWORDS variable defines what software branch you use on your
22 system. It defaults to the stable software branch for your architecture, for
23 instance <c>x86</c>.
24 </p>
25
26 <p>
27 We recommend that you only use the stable branch. However, if you don't care
28 about stability this much and you want to help out Gentoo by submitting
29 bugreports to <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri>, read on.
30 </p>
31
32 </body>
33 </subsection>
34 <subsection>
35 <title>The Testing Branch</title>
36 <body>
37
38 <p>
39 If you want to use more recent software, you can consider using the testing
40 branch instead. To have Portage use the testing branch, add a ~ in front of your
41 architecture.
42 </p>
43
44 <p>
45 The testing branch is exactly what it says - <e>Testing</e>. If a package is in
46 testing, it means that the developers feel that it is functional but has not
47 been thoroughly tested. You could very well be the first to discover a bug in
48 the package in which case you could file a <uri
49 link="http://bugs.gentoo.org">bugreport</uri> to let the developers know about
50 it.
51 </p>
52
53 <p>
54 Beware though, you might notice stability issues, imperfect package handling
55 (for instance wrong/missing dependencies), too frequent updates (resulting in
56 lots of building) or broken packages. If you do not know how Gentoo works and
57 how to solve problems, we recommend that you stick with the stable and tested
58 branch.
59 </p>
60
61 <p>
62 For example, to select the testing branch for the x86 architecture, edit
63 <path>/etc/make.conf</path> and set:
64 </p>
65
66 <pre caption="Setting the ACCEPT_KEYWORDS variable">
67 ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86"
68 </pre>
69
70 <p>
71 If you update your system now, you will find out that <e>lots</e> of packages
72 will be updated. Mind you though: when you have updated your system to use the
73 testing branch there is usually no easy way back to the stable, official branch
74 (except for using backups of course).
75 </p>
76
77 </body>
78 </subsection>
79 </section>
80 <section>
81 <title>Mixing Stable with Testing</title>
82 <subsection>
83 <title>The package.keywords file</title>
84 <body>
85
86 <p>
87 You can ask Portage to allow the testing branch for particular packages but use
88 the stable branch for the rest of the system. To achieve this, add the package
89 category and name you want to use the testing branch of in
90 <path>/etc/portage/package.keywords</path>. For instance, to use the testing
91 branch for <c>gnumeric</c>:
92 </p>
93
94 <pre caption="/etc/portage/package.keywords setting for gnumeric, full line">
95 app-office/gnumeric ~x86
96 </pre>
97
98 </body>
99 </subsection>
100 <subsection>
101 <title>Test Particular Versions</title>
102 <body>
103
104 <p>
105 If you want to use a specific software version from the testing branch but you
106 don't want Portage to use the testing branch for subsequent versions, you can
107 add in the version in the <path>package.keywords</path> file. In this case you
108 <e>must</e> use the = operator. You can also enter a version range
109 using the &lt;=, &lt;, &gt; or &gt;= operators.
110 </p>
111
112 <p>
113 In any case, if you add version information, you <e>must</e> use an operator. If
114 you leave out version information, you <e>cannot</e> use an operator.
115 </p>
116
117 <p>
118 In the following example we ask Portage to accept gnumeric-1.2.13:
119 </p>
120
121 <pre caption="Enabling a particular gnumeric test version">
122 =app-office/gnumeric-1.2.13 ~x86
123 </pre>
124
125 </body>
126 </subsection>
127 </section>
128 <section>
129 <title>Using Masked Packages</title>
130 <subsection>
131 <title>The package.unmask file</title>
132 <body>
133
134 <p>
135 The Gentoo developers do <b>not</b> support the use of these files. Please
136 exercise due caution when doing so. Support requests related to
137 <c>package.unmask</c> and/or <c>package.mask</c> will not be answered. You have
138 been warned.
139 </p>
140
141 <p>
142 When a package has been masked by the Gentoo developers and you still want to
143 use it despite the reason mentioned in the <path>package.mask</path> file
144 (situated in <path>/usr/portage/profiles</path> by default), add the
145 <e>exact</e> same line in <path>/etc/portage/package.unmask</path>.
146 </p>
147
148 <p>
149 For instance, if <c>=net-mail/hotwayd-0.8</c> is masked, you can unmask it by
150 adding the exact same line in the <path>package.unmask</path> file:
151 </p>
152
153 <pre caption="/etc/portage/package.unmask">
154 =net-mail/hotwayd-0.8
155 </pre>
156
157 </body>
158 </subsection>
159 <subsection>
160 <title>The package.mask file</title>
161 <body>
162
163 <p>
164 When you don't want Portage to take a certain package or a specific version of a
165 package into account you can mask it yourself by adding an appropriate line to
166 <path>/etc/portage/package.mask</path>.
167 </p>
168
169 <p>
170 For instance, if you don't want Portage to install newer kernel sources than
171 <c>gentoo-sources-2.6.8.1</c>, you add the following line to
172 <path>package.mask</path>:
173 </p>
174
175 <pre caption="/etc/portage/package.mask example">
176 &gt;sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-2.6.8.1
177 </pre>
178
179 </body>
180 </subsection>
181 </section>
182 </sections>

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