I was just upgrading my system using paludis -i world and noticed virtual/ghostsctipt. As with all virtuals, I wanted to know what the different options are – I'm using Gentoo, aren't I? ;)

So what I found out was that I used so far app-text/ghostscript-esp, and there's two other options – app-text/ghostscript-gpl and app-text/ghostscript-gnu. So, I looked their respective homepages to see what's the difference. If I understand the history correctly, the GNU Ghostscript project started, because the original Ghostscript wasn't under the GPL for quite a while. Then came also the ESP Ghostscript that was optimised for printing. But that's how it was two years ago!

Now, let's look at the current state of things:

  • The original Ghostscript became licensed under the GPL again and is now named GPL ghostscript.
  • ESP Ghostscript development ceased with the GPL-ification of the original and its optimisations were back-ported to the GPL Ghostscript.
  • GNU Ghostscript seems to be just GNU-ification (and some additional bug fixing) of each version of GPL Ghostscript.

Bottom line:

emerge -C app-text/ghostscript-esp


paludis -u app-text/ghostscript-esp

…and emerge either the vanilla app-text/ghostscript-gpl or the GNU-ified app-text/ghostscript-gnu.

Which of the two is better to use – I have no idea. But for now I'm trying out the vanilla GPL Ghostscript, as it's marked as stable under KEYWORDS="amd64", while the GNU patched one is marked as testing KEYWORDS="~amd64".

hook out → taking the dog for a walk and then studying

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