Jesse Harris IT

A blog about IT and other things I find interesting

Using the latest vim on Gentoo

May 22, 2018 — Jesse Harris

Most people (including myself until recently), think of Gentoo as a bleeding edge source distribution. This is pretty far from accurate as most packages marked stable are quite out of date. And even if you decide to accept all unstable packages by adding:


to your make.conf file, you will likely be a bit disappointed when you can't get the latest gnome bits.

As my last post indicated, I'm a bit of a vim user and I want to have the latest vim on all my machines (Windows at work, WSL/Ubuntu 18.04 on the Windows box, and Gentoo at home). To that end, here is the simple thing you need to do to get the latest Vim on Gentoo:


  1. Add a special keyword to vim's ACCEPT_KEYWORDS var
  2. Unmerge existing vim
  3. emerge the new vim


Newer versions of portage allow /etc/portage/package.keywords to be a directory with simple files so that you can seperate files for seperate packages. Now, lets check if it is a file or dir and convert it if it is a directory.

    cd /etc/portage
    if test -f package.keywords; then
        mv package.keywords keywords
        mkdir package.keywords
        mv keywords package.keywords/

And now, lets use the special keyword for the vim package which will allow ebuilds from github

    echo app-editors/vim "**" > package.keywords/vim
    echo app-editors/gvim "**" >> package.keywords/vim
    echo app-editors/vim-core "**" >> package.keywords/vim

Unmerge existing vim

    emerge --unmerge app-editors/vim app-editors/gvim

Merge the new vim

    emerge app-editors/vim app-editors/gvim

Final thoughts.

This is the way I did it, but thinking about it now, it may be unnessecary to unmerge vim. You could probably get away with running emerge --update vim gvim

Tags: gentoo, vim, git, ebuild

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