Can I stop a Gentoo "emerge world" to add a feature or use flag I forgot? If so, how much pain am I in for, and what steps would you recommend for safely getting the system back on its feet?

  • Ouch, not sure why this got down voted. If you would enlighten me with a comment I'd appreciate it. Jun 9, 2009 at 18:48
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    If you indeed use gentoo on servers (I consider a full blown build environment a security risk). You should be building binaries on a dedicated host and install those on the servers that need them. That way you will still have the pros of gentoo (custom binaries with only the support you want) but won't need to compile on every host. Downvoting is because it very much sounds like a desktop system (I'd guess, wasn't me) :)
    – Martin M.
    Jun 9, 2009 at 18:52
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    OK, thanks. It is based off a desktop system I'm learning on ... maybe I need to read the "rules" of serverfault a bit more, which I'll do now. Jun 9, 2009 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


It is perfectly safe...

but, when you change global USE flags. You may as well run a emerge -auDN world. That'll re-emerge anything that was built with different flags than what you have now.

When that is finished, it is also often a good idea to do a revdep-rebuild (from gentoolkit to ensure that libraries are in good shape.

Finally, when all this is done, you can optionally do a emerge -pv --depclean to remove any packages which are no longer required.


You can run emerge --resume when an emerge fails or stops for some reason, and it should pick up right where it left off. Also note that you can use --skipfirst to skip the first package in case it fails but you want to continue emergeing all other packages.


yes, you can stop an emerge with Ctrl+C at anytime. if emerge is on the compile phase, there's no problem, "make" and "make install" run in a separate directory. but if emerge is on the final "installing..." phase, when it copies the installed files to the system, some of the files may have been already merged, and that may cause an inconsistency; but if you're going to change the USE flags and reemerge the package, that's fine too.

so, in summary, you can stop an "emerge world" anytime, it won't mess up with your system.

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