Monday, December 11, 2006

HOWTO remove blocked packages in portage on gentoo

On my routine of weekly updates to my gentoo installation I often encounter blocked packages in response to the command 'emerge --update --deep --ask world'

[blocks B ] mail-mta/ssmtp (is blocking mail-mta/postfix-2.2.2-r1)

This, until I became familiar with it, seemed confusing. My analysis, the order of this response is what tripped me up in combination with the temptation of speed reading. My interpretation was 'blocks mail-mta/ssmtp. Is blocking mail-mta/postfix-2.2.2-r1?' The parenthesis caused me to consider this as a separate thought. It is not and is my fault for confusing myself; And aside, I'd love for the parenthesis to be removed. That interpretive linguistics analysis aside on to the point.

Looking at the statement mail-mta/ssmtp is blocking mail-mta/postfix. The simple thing to do is to say, I don't need ssmtp let me remove it. The portage command:

emerge --unmerge 'mail-mta/smtp'

In summary it is the first item listed that is the 'blocking' package, that is what you want to remove.

Then try again with 'emerge --update --deep --ask world'

Of course the removal of something needed is a bad idea, so be careful.

An introduction to Portage: link
A simple portage Wiki page: Portage and Ebuilds
The man page: Portage Man page
The "best-known practices" for working with Portage: HOWTO_Use_Portage_Correctly
keywords: gentoo remove blocked package, portage remove blocked package, gentoo blocks, portage blocks.

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