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Custom Gentoo ebuilds & Arch PKGBUILDs

Gentoo introduction -- Arch introduction -- Ebuilds

Gentoo ebuild introduction

Gentoo is a source-based Linux distribution. This means its packages are downloaded in source form, patched and compiled on the target computer. The way this is done, using bash scripts called ebuilds, is transparent to the geek, which makes it easy to customise. For that and other reasons I regard it as one of the best Linux distros for computer literates. This page presents ebuilds I have customised or created.

Very concise instructions on how to enable custom ebuilds are as follows:

My ebuilds are gzipped tar archives to be unpacked in the overlay direcory, i.e. their paths include the category directory.

Cursory information on overlays is available here and here. In order to fully understand ebuilds, read the Gentoo Development Guide.

Arch PKGBUILD introduction

Arch Linux is a binary distribution enhanced by a large number of source-based community packages. Arch PKGBUILD files are similar to Gentoo ebuilds. The procedure to install them is:

Arch does not have a machine-specific package repository like a Gentoo overlay. A number of tools exist for accessing the central Arch User Repository (AUR); possibly some of them can be pointed to a different location.

Most of the following packages are already in the AUR; I provide a tarball for those that are not.



Martin Gulbrandsen's gladTeX is a preprocessor that converts TeX formulas in HTML documents to images. This is a comfortable way to put formulas in HTML. My ebuild downloads it from its home page and applies a small patch to use libgif instead of obsolete libungif. Depending on the gif USE flag, GIF support is enabled or disabled completely. A troff manual page of my creation, with the same content as the official README but nicer looking, is also in the ebuild.

Download ebuild

Warning: The ebuild is out of date, as gladtex is now hosted on sourceforge and the latest revision is 1.3. As I do not use Gentoo any more, I cannot update it. Regarding Arch Linux, I now maintain an AUR package that is based on the release version but contains the newest patches, so you probably don't need a PKGBUILD any more. But here is a PKGBUILD for the current (Jan 2013) SVN version:


Gnu bool

Gnu bool can search plain text and HTML documents for phrases and print the results with some context. Boolean operators between phrases and proximity search are supported.

Download ebuild

bbe, the binary block editor

bbe is a binary stream editor similar to sed for text. Among others, it can perform logical function on the data, print out parts of it, and convert to and from BCD (binary coded decimal).

Download ebuild

hexedit with advanced search

This page presents a patch for advanced search in Pascal Rigaux's hexadecimal editor. A Gentoo ebuild that contains the patch is also provided.