Posts Tagged ‘gentoo’

VPS.net 1 Year Review

By Mark Davidson on June 20th, 2010

This month my VPS.net account reached the grand age of 1 year old. For this special occasion I thought I would do another review of VPS.net and recount some of my experiences from the last 12 months.

In this review I will go over the good and bad aspects of VPS.net that I have experienced. Also I will cover what is coming in the future and what I would like to see in the future as well. Finally I will give a bit of a summary of my thoughts after a year.

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GNU Binutils – strings

By Mark Davidson on May 28th, 2010

A really quick post this time to just take note of the strings tool which is part of the Binutils collection of binary tools

The strings tool allows you to print all printable characters in a given file or files. This can be very useful for a number of different tasks from extracting metadata from a file to retrieving a certain level of information from unknown executables such as what URLs it has contained within it.

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Gentoo eix

By Mark Davidson on April 19th, 2010

eix is a tool that allows for fast and highly flexible searching of the gentoo portage system. There is a guide of how to get it installed and basic usage instructions on the Gentoo Wiki.

In this post I would just like to point out the two most useful commands I have found while using eix.


First of all the format argument is one of the most powerful features of eix. I have found it to be very useful when using the available versions parameter. Which allows you to see all the available versions of a particular program, available on the portage tree.

Here is an example of using it to find all the avaliable versions of nmap within the portage tree

eix --format '<availableversions:NAMEVERSION>' -e nmap

Which will give you an output like

net-analyzer/nmap-4.76
net-analyzer/nmap-4.85_beta9
net-analyzer/nmap-4.90_rc1
net-analyzer/nmap-5.00
net-analyzer/nmap-5.00-r2
net-analyzer/nmap-5.10_beta1
net-analyzer/nmap-5.20
net-analyzer/nmap-5.21

Then if you wanted to install say version 5.20 of nmap you can just do

emerge =net-analyzer/nmap-5.20

Another really useful command is multi installed which as is implied allows you to find all packages that have multiple versions installed.

The command with it arguments for this is

eix -i

Since the output from this is quite big on my system I will give a different command and its output for example. This command does the same as mentioned above but is limited by category of ‘dev-lang’ and also used verbose output to make it a bit clearer.

The resulting command is

eix -C dev-lang -v -i

Which reveals that I have quite a few versions of python installed


Those are the quick two commands I wanted to point out for now. I highly recommend checking out eix as it makes a really good alternative to qsearch. When using eix checking out the manual is an absolute must as its over 50 pages long and gives you a true idea of the ammount of functionality avaliable.