It is the interface to the user to install and uninstall software, upgrade the system, search through the available software and help with the configuration of the various software titles.
Thief Master's answer is the right way to go, but there is another option, which I think improves upon Keith's answer.
to chose what the currently inforce package is out of the installed ones, if the package supports it.
But what if I don't know the version number or naming convention and just want a list of what's versions of foo are available to me?
Namely, with his answer the emerge will be tried and may take time.
In case you know that the Resumes the most recent merge list that has been aborted due to an error.
/bin/bash # grab default portage settings source /etc/portage/# make a read-write copy of the tree cp -a /usr/portage /tmp/portage umount /usr/portage # standard sync rsync -avz --delete $SYNC /tmp/portage && rm /var/squashed/portage mksquashfs /tmp/portage /var/squashed/portage && rm -r /tmp/portage mount /usr/portage # the following two are optional eix-update emerge -avu DN system world And that's it.
[ Results for search key : eix ] [ Applications found : 1 ] * app-portage/eix Latest version available: 0.29.3 Latest version installed: 0.29.3 Size of files: 536 k B Homepage: Search and query ebuilds, portage incl. overlays, version changes, and more License: GPL-2 $ [-] eix eix$ -c [I] app-portage/eix Available versions: 0.25.5 0.29.3 ~0.29.6 ~0.30.0 ~0.30.1 Installed versions: 0.29.3( )(dep nls -clang -debug -doc -optimization -security -sqlite -strong-optimization -strong-security -swap-remote -tools -zsh-completion LINGUAS="-de -ru") Homepage: Search and query ebuilds, portage incl. As such, I am going to focus on source-code installations and the first binary package level (which is automatically supported).The software that is responsible for managing installed software is called a package manager.I'm also not saying standardisation here is needed right now - the functionalities offered by the various distributions are too different to make standardisation possible at this point.Gentoo is primarily a source-code based Linux distribution.If there is nothing for portage to do, then portage will exit with a message and a success condition.