About Overlays

Gentoo Overlays

What Are Overlays?

“Overlays” are package trees for Portage. They contain additional ebuilds for Gentoo. They are maintained by Gentoo developers and projects but distributed separately from the main Portage tree.

From Gentoo Overlays: Users' Guide

Why call it Overlays?

Within Gentoo Linux, users already have one “main” package repository, called the Portage tree. This main repository contains all the software packages (called ebuilds) maintained by Gentoo developers. But users can add additional repositories to the tree that are “layed over” the main tree - hence the name, overlays.

From Gentoo Wiki: Overlay

Use layman

# Install layman
emerge -av layman
#(for layman 1.3 and later)
# Init config
echo PORTDIR_OVERLAY=\"\" > /var/lib/layman/make.conf
echo "source /var/lib/layman/make.conf" >> /etc/portage/make.conf
# List remote overlays
layman -L
# Add a overlay
layman -a <overlay-name>
# Update the specified overlay
layman -s <overlay-name> is a website to Search Portages & Overlays.


I want to install git-flow, there is no ebuilds in the offical portage.

So I search it in this website. and find the page is what I need.

There are found items in the page, from different overlay, but the ebuild file is the same, so any one is ok.

The Overlay on the right is the overlay name, I choose the overlay flora, and add it:

layman -a flora
layman -s flora

Now I emerge -s gitflow and can install it.