xi@localhost /usr/src $ equery depgraph gcc | wc -l
xi@localhost /usr/src $ equery depends gcc
 * These packages depend on gcc:
app-admin/eselect-python-20100321 (>=sys-devel/gcc-3.4)
sys-devel/llvm-3.0-r2 (>=sys-devel/gcc-3.0)
sys-libs/glibc-2.15-r3 (>=sys-devel/gcc-3.4.4)
                       (arm ? >=sys-devel/gcc-4.1.0)
                       (x86 ? >=sys-devel/gcc-4.3)
                       (amd64 ? >=sys-devel/gcc-4.3)
                       (ppc ? >=sys-devel/gcc-4.1.0)
                       (ppc64 ? >=sys-devel/gcc-4.1.0)
xi@localhost /usr/src $ equery depgraph
Display a direct dependency graph for a given package

xi@localhost /usr/src $ equery depends
List all packages that depend on a atom given query
  • "depends" - those 2 packages depend on gcc? How few!
    – Xsi
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 5:08
  • What are direct dependencies? What are indirect dependencies? Direct of gcc - those which depend on gcc (to be dependent - is to require gcc). Indirect of gcc = gcc are dependent of those packages? That is all the difference?
    – Xsi
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 5:11
  • how to undertand directly and what's the difference . Depgraph indirect - there is a separate option. So it is not strict the difference. May be it's better to say in what purpose do they serve?
    – Xsi
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 18:26
  • How they are usually used, in what context of thought and mind. This is my first experience with linux I use emerge to install and emerge --unmerge to uninstall. +may be some USE flags USE="" emerge, that's all. I've read a lot. But I don't know the way of thought in general.
    – Xsi
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 18:29

2 Answers 2


equery depgraph <atom> will list you a graph of the dependencies needs to be installed

equery depend <atom> lists all packages that directly need to be installed.


equery depgraph <atom> outputs all the required dependencies for atom.

Use case: pre-install considerations

  • Where is software based on
  • Is it worth the extra amount of packages?
  • Prevent a whole tree of additional dependencies by USE flag tuning

Example: qt and kde libraries can be pulled in while you are gnome user. You may be able to prevent it by disabling qt and kde USE flags. Or choose to find an alternative package offerings a similar solution.

equery depends <atom> gives reversed dependency resolution. So what other packages are pulled in by atom.

Use case: blocked packages

An installed package can prevent an update.

  • What other packages pulled this atom in?
  • Is it an absolute requirement or can we get rid of it by disabling an USE flag?
  • Consider if we need the package asking for this atom or if we really want to update.

Some more use cases for both commands:

  • portage tree dependency bug hunting
  • System cleanup

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