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A recurring question about the Gentoo release process is: "Why roll out new releases frequently, if they are not intended to let users update software?" There are various reasons: When a release includes new incompatible features, or provides a set of core packages and settings that deeply modify the behavior of the system, we say that it provides a new profile.
Even power users from other distributions probably share the same feelings, given the popularity and spread of tools like apt or apt-rpm which make it possible to have quick and frequent updates.A profile is a set of configuration files, stored in a subdirectory of , that describe things such as the ebuilds that are considered system packages, the default USE flags, the default mapping for virtual packages, and the architecture on which the system is running.The profile in use is determined by the symbolic link .:) When the installed packages are upgraded as explained in the Gentoo Handbook, then the system will be exactly the same as one that has been installed using the new release.If a release (such as 13.0 for ) introduces a new profile, then there is the choice to migrate to the new profile.