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I would like to install two (or more) versions of the same packages on my Gentoo system. I know for sure there won't be any file clash, since there very few files installed and each of them is named after the version.

I know about slots, but these are specified in the ebuild files, and let's assume I don't want to edit any ebuild file for several reasons.

I would like the installed versions to be part of the world package, so they can be reinstalled or uninstalled as usual.

Is there a way to install multiple versions of the same package? Do you know of some Portage tricks to achieve that?

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That's what slots are for. If the package is not slotted then the only thing I can think of is to create a personal overlay and a new package/ebuild that is slotted. – Keith May 2 '11 at 1:11
    
@Keith - That's the right answer, why not post it as an answer? – HedgeMage May 2 '11 at 2:07
    
@Keith: If it's indeed the only way to do it, then post it as an answer and I will gladly accept it. – Laurent Pireyn May 2 '11 at 10:56
up vote 10 down vote accepted

That's what slots are for. If the package is not slotted then the only thing I can think of is to create a personal overlay and a new package/ebuild that is slotted.

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1  
A little hint towards a pragmatical way to use slots would help newbies :) – Stefano Apr 13 '13 at 14:20

I think in theory you could do something silly like:

$ ROOT=~/package-1.0 emerge =package-1

But basically all non-overlay stuff is highly subject to some additional limitations and requirements about which there is not that much information.

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What you might try (I'm not sure if it works as expected) is to use /etc/portage/env to set the SLOT of particular package versions. It might not work because of metadata caching though. Even if it does work this is a cludge and may result in unexpected behaviour. As always, if it breaks, you get to keep the pieces.

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Another potential thing to explore is Gentoo Prefix

Which might be a viable alternative if you don't mind maintaining 2 ecosystems of Gentoo in order to provide the "alternative" package.

This is essentially creating a "sub-space" for a given project scope, and then using Gentoo differently in that project scope.

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