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The command is customizable with many options and modifiers.
The emerge tool is the most important utility for accessing the features of Portage from the command line.
The emerge command can also be used to download and install precompiled binary files.
The Portage system offers the use of "USE flags", which allows users to indicate which software features they would like to include (and exclude) while building packages.
The specification of USE flags is the usual way to configure programs on Gentoo.Although the system itself is known as Portage, it consists of two main parts, the ebuild system and emerge.The ebuild system takes care of the actual work of building and installing packages, while emerge provides an interface to ebuild: managing an ebuild repository, resolving dependencies and similar issues.The program calculates and manages dependencies, executes ebuilds and maintains the local Portage tree and database of installed packages.The compilation settings used by ebuilds can be changed through the CFLAGS environment variable, based on the specifications of the individual computer and on the user's desire for optimization.