New Developer/Maintainer guide

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Some hints for new Developer/Maintainer


get a account at

You need to get a account at (they provide the svn-repo and Webspace)

request svn write access

Just write to Thomas or me (Frieder) gain write accesss

basic subversion commands

You've to know how to checkout/commit the overlay repository: So here some basics:

checkout the overlay

also read 4.0 and 4.1 before doing this step

svn co svn+ssh://<your_tuxfamily_login>


svn co --username <your_tuxfamily_login> svn+ssh://

for me the subversion server asked me three times before accepting my password

howto add a new ebuild to the tree

go inside your repository checkout eg into media-sound

cd ~/path/to/proaudio/media-sound
mkdir foo
cd foo
vi foo-0.1.ebuild
ebuild foo-0.1.ebuild digest
cd ..
svn st|status	# see the changes made to local repository
		# ? - means not added to the tree (svn ci ignore those files)
		# A - means freshly added to the overlay but not commited
		# C - means conflicting with a previous revision
		# 	to avoid this: do a "svn up" to make sure
		# 	you edit the latest version of a ebuild
		# D - means files gets deleted with next commit
		# U - means updated
svn add foo 	# adds directory foo recurively  to the overlay (only local) 
svn ci|commit	# until commit nothing changes in the repository on the 
		# svn-server
svn ci -m 'what this commit changes' # you could add just in one line what
		# your commit actually changes instead of using a vim/nano/...

just change a ebuild

1. close the your prefered editor 2. redigest your ebuild

svn st	# displays the changes made to the overlay 
svn ci	# commit changes

delete some files/directories

svn del foo 	# this changes are just local on your copy of the repository
		# sometimes svn don't allow to delete things so try with --force
svn ci	# commit changes

move files around (e.g bumping) (if former version is obsolete)

svn mv foo/foobar-123.ebuild foo/foobar-124.ebuild

If not obsolete you could also bump with svn cp

svn cp foo/foobar-123.ebuild foo/foobar-124.ebuild

or of course with just 'cp' and adding new files afterwards with

svn add foo/foobar-124.ebuild

Make sure to adjust dependencies (DEPEND RDEPEND) if needed If you have trouble with the right syntax, look at point 3.1 If you are bumping, make sure to redigest, and also to add the digest of the ebuild to the overlay. For above example:

svn st # gives you this
?	files/digest-foobar-124

so the following step is also needed before a commit

svn add files/digest-foobar-124

now svn st shows

A	files/digest-foobar-124

ready for committing

reverse your local changes to an ebuild/folder

svn revert path/to/file_which_you_want_to_revert # revert a file
svn revert -R foo/	# revert recursively all changes made in foo/

display the subversion log

svn log 	# diplays the logfile

edit the logfile if your message was not correct

and you feel you should correct it

svn propedit svn:log --revprop -r <revision-number>

change the repository server location (JFYI) :)

svn switch --relocate svn:// svn://

generate patches to review some change

eg. local modification to last checkout

svn diff foo/foobar-123.ebuild

or a diff to a specific revision

svn diff -r 3 foo/foobar-123.ebuild

login automatically to svn-server

put your key to the root of your (generate one if you don't have already one)

 --> ssh-keygen -t rsa

ftp-account at you can use ncftpput (emerge ncftp) or any other ftp-client

ncftpput -u <your_tuxfamily_login> -C ~/.ssh/ ssh_keys

our policy/rules

read the ebuild documentation at 
# and the also the gentoo ebuild manuals :)

run svn up

to avoid double-work always work on the latest checkout with

svn up

ebuild license

All commited ebuild must have to be licensed gnu gpl v2 so contribute with proper header eg.

Copyright 1999-2007 Gentoo Foundation
Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2
$Header: $

check your ebuilds if they are actually working (repoman)

To ensure correct ebuilds, you could run repoman which checks for invalid syntax, missing vars.

To do this, cd into your package directory and run repoman.

cd ${overlay_dir}/media-sound/foobar

Or if you want to really get stuck in, run it in the top level directory of an overlay.

cd ${overlay_dir}

ebuild archs (KEYWORDS)

For adding/removing keywords use (man ekeyword):


Add the your working archs into KEYWORDS. I prefer mostly stable keywords but if a new version of a pkg could break things do ~arch or if known to not work


ALL snapshot/live (cvs/svn/...) ebuilds should have:


--> this means not known if it will work as it could change quickly Use -9999 for the ebuild filename:


more infos about KEYWORDS available at: and

redigest your ebuild

try to assure that you've redigest your ebuild before commit and also make sure that there are no temporary files laying around which cause digest failures for other people

update the package list

Please execute both scripts before committing some bumped or new ebuilds to the overlay. Execute these scripts inside the overlay root. They modify two files inside the overlay.

./prepare_tree	# checks for some digest breakage and
			# generates 00-PACKAGES-LIST

and generate with

./generate-detailed-packages-list # generate 00-DETAILED-PACKAGES-LIST

add missing apps to TODO

If you have found a nice-to-have app which is not already in the overlay and you think there should be a ebuild but have no time and before you forget about it, add an entry about there. For every missing app with have a "block" which needs some details

EBUILD_STATE: none/working/
WHERE_TO_FETCH_EBUILD: <location if an ebuilds already exists>
DEVELOPER: <maybe your name>
DESCR: <info about the app>

If you have added an ebuild that is listed in the todo file please remove its entry


this both files gives a bit of introduction to the overlay should be updated (feel free to edit them)

change the rules/scripts/ebuilds/readme's/...

you're free to change other peoples ebuilds if you could improve/fix You could also fix/enhance all scripts at point 3.5

hope this are not to much rules

overlay hierarchy:

for absolute experimental ebuild we have a dev branch in this branch ebuilds could really be broken. This is also a place where we can collaborate in developing new ebuilds (add this overlay also to your other overlays see 4.1) If you put a new ebuild here and the category is missing create it.

this is our main overlay in which only "working" ebuilds should be placed

example proaudio / proaudio-dev overlays setup

this is how I've organized the proaudio overlay on my box I've placed the svn checkout in ~/svn-checkouts/

cd  ~/svn-checkouts/

fetch the tree as developer

svn co svn+ssh://<your_tuxfamily_login>

edit /etc/make.conf and add both overlays proaudio and proaudio-dev

PORTDIR_OVERLAY="/home/evermind/svn-checkouts/proaudio/trunk/overlays/proaudio /home/evermind/svn-checkouts/proaudio/trunk/overlays/proaudio-dev <other overlays>"

The main issue to understand is we cannot use /var/lib/layman/pro-audio to commit change to the repository. This path is managed by layman, and for subversion, this is not a working copy but a read-only copy.

Another setup is to use 3 copies, the svn checkout as before, the layman managed copy in /var/lib/layman/pro-audio (install it as usual with layman:

layman -a pro-audio

this is the copy that will be used by portage), and a test overlay that will be used to test new ebuilds and changes to the overlay. You can use it too for personal ebuilds. I placed it into /var/lib/layman/test. Edit /var/lib/layman/make.conf and add the overlay:

PORTDIR_OVERLAY="whatever you have

It will not be managed by layman but portage will find and use it. By placing the test overlay at the end of the list, it will take precedence: if portage find 2 different ebuilds with the same filename, it will use the one from the test overlay.

With this last setup, we have a 3 steps workflow: 1) create or modify an ebuild into the test overlay 2) copy it into the working copy in $HOME 3) commit the changes

The advantage of this setup is that now, we can synchronise the layman overlay (layman -s pro-audio), remove the ebuild from the test overlay and test the result with portage (emerge -a my_new_audio_soft).

adding files to the overlay

We do have a distfiles repository where we can add files:

You can use your favourite ftp client to uplaod files. Use your tuxfamily username and password.

From an ebuild, it can be accessed with:

feel free to ask

if you've questions problems you could always ask on the ml Communication is everything

testing ebuilds on different archs

ebuild which are not already tested on a specific arch could be found with the below script which is inside the proaudio overlay root

./check_ebuild_unstable-untested arch # eg ./check_ebuild_unstable-untested amd64

above script reveals all ebuilds without 'arch' --> this ebuilds needs testing so rekeyword if it builds AND works and check it into the svn repository (some ebuilds might only work on the given arch)

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