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To install eix, emerge it:

root # emerge eix


To include your layman repositories for synchronization:

root # echo "*" >> /etc/eix-sync.conf

Update eix by running:

root # eix-update


The basic usage of eix is simply using its name as a prefix to the package you are looking for:

root # eix foo

This will give you a fairly verbose list of packages containing the term 'foo' in their name. It gives you information about which versions are available, whether they are stable, current or live, a description of the package and a list of the USE flags for all the packages combined - sometimes different versions of packages have different USE flags so you may need to check which a specific package contains with equery.

More detailed example

Suppose that you are interested in learning about the various available kernels in Portage. Eix can help with that. By running the following command, you will find the answer that you are looking for:

root # eix -# sys-kernel/

To receive more information in the output, add the -c argument when you run eix:

root # eix -c sys-kernel/

Showing what you have installed

A handy feature of eix is the ability to quickly show you which packages you have installed on your system.

root # eix-installed all

This will output all the packages you have explicitly installed along with the version number. There are other options to get more specific information with this command so check the man page for details.

This can be handy for when you do backups of your system, the list could be sent to a file before you run rsync:

root # eix-installed all > ~/installed_list.txt

Searching other overlays

It is possible search in more than just the main portage tree and your local overlay. By using the eix-remote command you can configure eix to load, update and search multiple external overlays.

To add the list of external overlays to eix:

root # eix-remote update 
root # eix-sync

Now you are ready to search for packages inside the main funtoo portage tree and in all the third party overlays by using the -R argument:

root # eix -R foo

This is will give you a list of all the packages and versions, as well as telling you which overlay they belong to. Once you have found something you want to emerge you can add the overlay, with either

root # layman -a [overlay_name]

or by using eix-layman, and then just emerge the package in the normal way.