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2.6 Custom Overlays

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2.6 Custom Overlays


I've put some info here on creating your own custom overlays

Overlay Setup

Userpriv feature

One of the security features enabled by default within portage / emerge, is to always run commands such as emerge or ebuild as the portage user. If your working on an overlay and it's in a place portage can't access, this can cause a problem.

One work around to this (although this makes the system a little less secure) is to just turn off the userpriv feature.

nano -w /etc/portage/make.conf


To see which features are already enabled

emerge --info | grep ^FEATURES=

Custom Overlays

If you want to setup your own overlay on github, one useful tool is


To generate the xml for layman. However you'll need layman 2.2.0 or later to use it

emerge --autounmask-write =app-portage/layman-2.3.0

I'd recommend going back to the default layman version after using layman-overlay-maker. I had problems with 2.3.0

Ebuild Setup

Creating the Digest

The first step is to create a digest / Manifest file for the ebuild, this just acts as a verification when downloading the source for the emerge that the correct source files have been downloaded

ebuild <filename>.ebuild digest

The end result should be changes or the addition of a Manifest file also the sources for the ebuild will be downloaded into /usr/portage/distfiles/ This needs to be done whenever the ebuild file is changed, before it can be used for emerge

Unpack the Sources

The next stage is to unpack / uncompress the sources

ebuild <filename>.ebuild unpack