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<?xml version="1.0"?>
<guide self="profiles/use.desc/">
<chapter>
<title>Profiles <c>use.desc</c> and <c>use.local.desc</c> Files</title>
<body>

<p>
The <c>use.desc</c> file contains a list of all global non-expanded <c>USE</c> flags,
together with a short description. This file should not be modified without
discussion on the <c>gentoo-dev</c> list.
</p>

<p>
The <c>metadata.xml</c> file on each ebuild category contains a list of the local
<c>USE</c> flags, together with short description for the package in the said category.
More information about the <c>metadata.xml</c> file can be found
<uri link="::ebuild-writing/misc-files/metadata/index.html">here.</uri>
</p>

<note>
<c>use.local.desc</c> used to be the default location for all the local useflags.
However, this file is now an autogenerated aggregation of all the <c>metadata.xml</c> files
so you must never edit it directly.
</note>
<p>
Having a small number of packages using identically named local <c>USE</c> flags is
allowed. If the number starts to grow substantially, it may be worth proposing
that the flag becomes a global <d /> see
<uri link="::general-concepts/use-flags#Local and Global USE Flags"/>.
</p>

<p>
All non-expand flags must be listed in exactly one of these files.
</p>

<p>Expanded flags are listed in <c>desc/${prefix}.desc</c>, where <c>${prefix}</c> is the
name of the environment variable to be expanded in lowercase. Instead of listing the
complete flag only the flag's suffix, i.e. the environment variable's possible values are
listed.</p>

</body>
</chapter>
</guide>