I started updating a pair of neglected Xen servers a few days ago and I ran into this problem:
xen2 ~ # emerge portage * IMPORTANT: 3 news items need reading for repository 'gentoo'. * Use eselect news to read news items. Calculating dependencies... done! [ebuild U ] app-admin/eselect-1.2.11 [1.0.11-r1] [ebuild N ] app-admin/eselect-python-20100321 [uninstall ] app-admin/eselect-news-20080320 [blocks b ] app-admin/eselect-news ("app-admin/eselect-news" is blocking app-admin/eselect-1.2.11) [ebuild NS ] dev-lang/python-2.6.6-r2 [2.4.4-r13, 2.5.2-r7] USE="berkdb gdbm ipv6 ncurses readline ssl threads (wide-unicode) xml -build -doc -examples -sqlite -tk -wininst" [ebuild U ] sys-apps/portage-22.214.171.124 [126.96.36.199] USE="(ipc%*) -python2% -python3%" *** Portage will stop merging at this point and reload itself, then resume the merge. [blocks B ] <sys-apps/portage-2.1.9 ("<sys-apps/portage-2.1.9" is blocking dev-lang/python-2.6.6-r2)
This conflict arises on machines which have not been updated since the mainstream python 2 version was upgraded from 2.5 to 2.6. The fix is fairly ham-fisted: untar these files and overlay them on your filesystem:
# tar -xjf portage-188.8.131.52.tar.bz2 # tar -xjf python-2.6.6-r2.tbz2 # cp -ax etc / # cp -ax usr /
Ignore the warnings about trailing garbage. I'm not sure what's going on there but it seems to work anyway. Now update the python symlink:
# rm /usr/bin/python # ln -s /usr/bin/python2.6 /usr/bin/python
Now re-emerge portage and python and you're on your merry way.