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retsmar
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Joined: 20 Oct 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:02 pm    Post subject: Three questions before installing Reply with quote

Hello everyone.

I have been thinking about a Gentoo install. I've not done it yet: I'm in the planning phase. This has involved things such as reading through the install docs several times, random browsing of the forums, etc.

I have three questions. (only three? yes, actually: I've been doing a good deal of RTFM to prevent future chair-to-keyboard interface errors).

I've heard oddly indirect references to a stable branch, or setting, of Gentoo. I've not found any specifics. How does one tell portage/emerge that one wants Stable, not Unstable (or would it be called Testing? Experimental? Mad Alpha? Raw bleeding edge? Masochist? Tempting The Elder Gods?).

Let's say I have the "-png" flag set in the USE variable. If I understand correctly, this would mean that for any programs that have the option of png support, that flag would make sure that they are compiled without that option. Now, what if I "emerge some_program" and some_program *needs* png, would then png and its dependencies brought in so that some_program can be compiled and then run? For programs compiled after that, will they still be compiled without a png option, despite the presence of png?

There is mention of package-specific USE flags. OK. Great. I like this idea. It allows some flexibility and control. One problem. I can't find the specifics of how one would actually set USE flags for a specific package. This is too obvious for me to miss, but somehow I have. How is this done?
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi retsmar. Welcome to Gentoo!

#1: Stable branch is what you get if you don't do anything special. See Gentoo configuration in the Handbook for how to select the testing branch. These days, testing branch is pretty stable as a lot of bleeding edge work has moved to overlays.

#2 and #3: If a package needs the png USE flag set, Portage will complain, asking you to set the USE flag. It won't automatically pull in things your USE flags tell it not to. USE flags can be set with global scope (in the /etc/portage/make.conf USE variable) or per package (in files in /etc/portage/package.use/). See Declaring USE flags for individual packages in the Handbook.

Don't hesitate to ask if the number increases above three. ;)

- John
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