musearch: per ebuild USE flag descriptions on your terminal

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 in All Articles, Files, Linux and Open Source, Programming

There is some material I want to upload to the site eventually. I will begin with musearch, a bash script useful to Gentoo Linux users.

musearch lets you search for an ebuild and then displays it’s USE flags along with their description. It can be considered as a CLI interface to Mike Valstar’s site gentoo-portage.com.

musearch uses portage (emerge), esearch or eix to search for an ebuild by name or by name and description. Then, provided the results aren’t too many (we don’t want to cause unnecessary traffic to gentoo-portage.com), connects to Mike Valstar’s website and downloads the USE flag descriptions for each result, formats them in a nice way and displays them on your terminal. Here is a picture of what you should expect when running musearch:

musearch preview

There are instructions inside the archive in case you want to install it in your system,  it isn’t necessary for it to work though, just uncompress it and run it. To learn how to use it  just call it with -h or –help switch:

$ ./musearch -h 

I usually use the eix backend because it is fast. For example to search for okular with the eix backend:

$ ./musearch -x okular 

There are times when the results will be too many no matter how much you try to narrow your search. For example a search for mplayer returns 11 results from portage alone, let overlays aside. In that case you can use the -d or –direct switch to do a direct query using the category/package-name as the search term:

$ ./musearch -d media-video/mplayer 

I wrote this script a long time ago,  during my first steps to bash scripting. I know it isn’t perfect but it works as advertised and will not blow up your system (at least I haven’t heard of anyone with a blown system yet).  Interestingly enough it still works. I run an ~amd64 Gentoo so it is tested up to portage-2.1.6.13, eix-0.18.1, esearch-0.7.1-r7.

You can download version 1.03b from here:Μπορείτε να κατεβάσετε την έκδοση 1.03b από εδώ: musearch 1.03b

PS. If you speak Greek there is also a thread about musearch at adslgr.

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