PORTS(7) BSD Miscellaneous Information Manual PORTS(7)


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 ’’Packages and Ports’’ in The FreeBSD Handbook, (file:/usr/share/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/ports.html or For information about creating new ports, see The Porter’s Handbook (file:/usr/share/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/porters-handbook/index.html or


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.


Configure OPTIONS for this port using dialog(1).


Fetch all of the files needed to build this port from the sites 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.


Display OPTIONS config for this port.


Remove OPTIONS config for this port.


Show list of files to be fetched in order to build the port.


Fetch the distfiles of the port and all its dependencies.


Show list of files that would be retrieved by fetch-recursive.

pretty-print-run-depends-list, pretty-print-build-depends-list

Print a list of all the compile and run dependencies, and dependencies of those dependencies.


Remove the expanded source code. This recurses to dependencies unless NOCLEANDEPENDS is defined.


Remove the port’s distfiles 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).


Remove all installed ports with the same PKGORIGIN from the system.


Make a binary package for the port. The port will be installed if it has not already been. The package is a .tbz 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.


Like package, but makes a package for each depending port as well.


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 the key (searches the port name, comment, and dependencies), name (searches the port name only), path (searches the port path), info (searches the port info), maint (searches the port maintainer), cat (searches the port category), bdeps (searches the port build-time dependency), rdeps (searches the port run-time dependency) make(1) variables, and their exclusion counterparts: xname, xkey etc. 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.

cd /usr/ports && make search name=pear- \

To find all ports whose names contain ’’pear-’’ and which do not have apache listed in build-time dependencies.

cd /usr/ports && make search name=pear- \

To find all ports whose names contain ’’pear-’’, but not ’’html’’ or ’’http’’.

make search key=apache display=name,path,info keylim=1

To find ports that contain ’’apache’’ in either of the name, path, info fields, ignore the rest of the record.


Generate a one-line description of each port for use in the INDEX file.


Create /usr/ports/INDEX, which is used by the pretty-print-* and search targets. Running the index target will ensure your INDEX file is up to date with your ports tree.


Fetch the INDEX file from the FreeBSD cluster.


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 CD-ROM).


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 does not, 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 locations for distribution patch files if not found locally.


If set, go to the master FreeBSD site for all files.


Try going to these sites for all files and patches, first.


If defined, do not 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.


If defined, list of what WITH_* options this port accepts. Note: to make OPTIONS actually work, it is necessary to include before starting to test the WITH_* variables.


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


Ports documentation is split over four places — /usr/ports/Mk/, The Porter’s Handbook, the ’’Packages and Ports’’ chapter of The FreeBSD Handbook, and this man page.

This man page is too long.

BSD June 16, 2004 BSD