As an advanced, long-time user of Sabayon with additional Gentoo experience, I've always mixed the use of Portage and Entropy on my systems— when I started using Sabayon, there was no Entropy. Despite all of the exclamatory warnings in the wiki about the dangers of this practice, I've actually found it to be surprisingly beneficial in helping me maintain a more stable, complete system. Here's the arrangement I've come to
- Entropy serves the majority of my package management needs, handling my system updates, and it's my go-to system when looking for new software
- I manage conflicts between packages which exist both in my Portage tree and the Entropy packageset using complementary entries in /etc/portage/package.* and /etc/entropy/packages/package.*
- I set up my Entropy system not to ignore whatever packages I've customized with Portage, but usually simply to not to downgrade newer versions of packages I've deliberately upgraded
What I've found to be wonderful about this system is that Portage now serves as my go-to place for experimental, customized, or missing packages while Entropy remains a complete and stable system which I can safely make minor tweaks to, and easily revert back to without lengthy recompilation or similar processes. Since I never use emerge for world updates, I'm left completely free to do all kinds of nasty things to my Portage tree. I've got well over a dozen overlays fetched and managed by layman, as well as a custom repository I added to layman manually, and even several fixed/hacked packages in /usr/local/portage. My overlays have a pretty big range as far as their officialness goes, but when I add a repository I essentially never have to worry about trusting the overall stability or security of the repository. My carefree attitude comes from the fact that I know the short list of individual packages I've installed manually and can retrieve it by poking through my /etc/portage/* files and my /etc/entropy/packages/* files, or searching for spm packages with equo or eix. As a final, nice little reassuring factor, if I fail to make a note of some custom package, or an untrusted (or any Portage) package is pulled in as a dependency during emerge, Entropy will remove it automatically unless I do make a note of it.
Thinking about it now, it may well be possible to set something similar up through the careful use of keywords, masking, and perhaps even the employment of two Portage trees, clean and unclean (basically turning on and off all layman overlays manually instead of adding them in make.conf). Even so, Sabayon's dual-packager system has made this very natural to me, and fast as well. I'm really enjoying it, and I hope Sabayon keeps support for Portage indefinitely. I hope as well that as I continue to use Sabayon, improvements in Entropy, Portage, and my understanding of both will help me further refine this package management workflow I've stumbled into.
So there's my 2¢; a slightly different take on the usual advice regarding Sabayon and Portage. Has anyone else got similar experiences, disaster stories, or tips? I'd like to hear the devs way in on this, if possible.