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ports - contributed applications


The FreeBSD Ports Collection offers a simple way for users and administrators to install applications. Each port contains any patches necessary to make the original application source code compile and run on BSD. Compiling an application is as simple as typing make build in the port directory! The `Makefile' automatically fetches the application source code, either from a local disk or via ftp, unpacks it on your system, applies the patches, and compiles it. If all goes well, simply type make install to install the application.
It is possible to download and use ports from the FreeBSD repository that are newer than the installed system; however it is important to install the appropriate "Upgrade Kit" from first! The portcheckout(1)? script (also a port, of course!) will help to download new ports.
For more information about using ports, see The Ports Collection ( For information about creating new ports, see Porting applications ( Both are part of the FreeBSD Handbook.


Some of the targets work recursively through subdirectories. This lets you, for example, install all of the biology ports. The targets that do this are build, checksum, clean, configure, depends, extract, fetch, install, and package.

The following targets will be run automatically by each proceeding target in order. That is, build will be run (if necessary) by install, and so on all the way to fetch. Usually, you will only use the install target.

Fetch all of the files needed to build this port from the site(s) listed in MASTER_SITES and PATCH_SITES. See FETCH_CMD and MASTER_SITE_OVERRIDE.
Verify that the fetched distfile's checksum matches the one the port was tested against. Defining NO_CHECKSUM will skip this step.
Install (or compile if only compilation is necessary) any dependencies of the current port. When called by the extract or fetch targets, this is run in piecemeal as fetch-depends, build-depends, etc. Defining NO_DEPENDS will skip this step.
Expand the distfile into a work directory.
Apply any patches that are necessary for the port.
Configure the port. Some ports will ask you questions during this stage. See INTERACTIVE and BATCH.
Build the port. This is the same as calling the all target.
Install the port and register it with the package system. This is all you really need to do.
The following targets are not run during the normal install process.
Show list of files needed to be fetched in order to build the port.
pretty-print-run-depends-list, pretty-print-build-depends-list
Print a list of all the compile and run dependencies, and ependencies of those dependencies.
Remove the expanded source code. This recurses to dependencies unless NOCLEANDEPENDS is defined.
Remove the port's distfile(s) and perform the clean target. The `clean' portion recurses to dependencies unless NOCLEANDEPENDS is defined, but the `distclean' portion never recurses (this is perhaps a bug).
Use this to restore a port after using pkg_delete(1)? when you should have used deinstall.
Remove an installed port from the system, similar to pkg_delete(1)?.
Make a binary package for the port. The port will be installed if it hasn't already been. The package is a .tgz file that you can use to install the port on other machines with pkg_add(1)?. If the directory specified by PACKAGES does not exist the package will be put into the current directory. See PKGREPOSITORY and PKGFILE.
Create a port's README.html. This can be used from /usr/ports to create a browsable web of all ports on your system!
Search the INDEX file for the pattern specified by either the key (searches the port name, comment, and dependencies) or name (just searches the port name) make argument. For example, one would type

cd /usr/ports && make search name=query

to find all ports whose name matches `query'. Results include the matching ports' path, comment, maintainer, build dependencies, and run dependencies.
Create /usr/ports/INDEX, which is used by the pretty-print-* and search targets. While the master INDEX file in the CVS repository is periodically updated, running the index target will ensure your INDEX file is up to date with your ports tree.


You can change all of these.
Location of the ports tree. This is /usr/ports on FreeBSD and OpenBSD and /usr/pkgsrc on NetBSD.
Where to create any temporary files. Useful if PORTSDIR is read-only (perhaps mounted from a cdrom).
Where to find/put distfiles, normally distfiles/ in PORTSDIR.
Used only for the package target; the base directory for the packages tree, normally packages/ in PORTSDIR. If this directory exists, the package tree will be (partially) constructed. This directory does not have to exist; if it doesn't packages will be placed into the current directory, or you can define one of
Directory to put the package in.
The full path to the package.
Where to install things in general (usually /usr/local or /usr/X11R6)
Primary sites for distribution files if not found locally.
Primary location(s) for distribution patch files if not found locally.
If set, go to the master FreeBSD site for all files.
Try going to this site for all files and patches, first.
If defined, don't let `clean' recurse to dependencies.
Command to use to fetch files. Normally fetch(1)?.
If set, overwrite any existing package registration on the system.
Location of libXm.{a,so}.
If defined, only operate on a port if it requires interaction.
If defined, only operate on a port if it can be installed 100% automatically.


The default ports directory (FreeBSD and OpenBSD).
The default ports directory (NetBSD).
The big Kahuna.


make(1), pkg_add(1)?, pkg_create(1)?, pkg_delete(1)?, pkg_info(1)?, pkg_version(1)?
The following are part of the ports collection:
pib(1)?, portcheckout(1)?, portlint(1)?
The FreeBSD handbook (searchable index of all ports)


This man page was originated by David O'Brien. The ports collection is maintained by Satoshi Asami and the Awesome Ports Team.


The Ports Collection appeared in FreeBSD 1.0. It has since spread to NetBSD and OpenBSD.


Ports documentation is split over four places --- /usr/ports/Mk/, the ``Ports Collection section of the hand- book, the ``Porting Existing Software section of the handbook, and ports(7).
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