The following sections provide basic instructions on using the ports collection to install or remove programs from your system.
Before you can install ports, you must first obtain the ports collection--which is essentially a set of Makefiles, patches, and description files placed in /usr/ports.
When installing your FreeBSD system, Sysinstall asked if you would like to install the ports collection. If you chose no, you can follow these instructions to obtain the ports collection:
This method involves using sysinstall again to manually install the ports collection.
As root, run /stand/sysinstall as shown below:
Scroll down and select Configure, press Enter.
Scroll down and select Distributions, press Enter.
Scroll down to ports, press Space.
Scroll up to Exit, press Enter.
Select your desired installation media, such as CDROM, FTP, and so on.
Scroll up to Exit and press Enter.
Press X to exit sysinstall.
The alternative method to obtain and keep your ports collection up to date is by using CVSup. Look at the ports CVSup file, /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile. See Using CVSup (Section A.5) for more information on using CVSup and this file.
This is a quick method for getting the ports collection using CVSup. If you want to keep your ports tree up to date, or learn more about CVSup, read the previously mentioned sections.
As root, copy /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile to a new location, such as /root or your home directory.
# cvsup -g -L 2 /root/ports-supfile
Running this command later will download and apply all the recent changes to your ports collection, except actually rebuilding the ports for your own system.
The first thing that should be explained when it comes to the ports collection is what is actually meant by a ``skeleton''. In a nutshell, a port skeleton is a minimal set of files that tell your FreeBSD system how to cleanly compile and install a program. Each port skeleton includes:
A Makefile. The Makefile contains various statements that specify how the application should be compiled and where it should be installed on your system.
A distinfo file. This file contains information about the files that must be downloaded to build the port and their checksums, to verify that files have not been corrupted during the download using md5(1).
A files directory. This directory contains patches to make the program compile and install on your FreeBSD system. Patches are basically small files that specify changes to particular files. They are in plain text format, and basically say ``Remove line 10'' or ``Change line 26 to this ...''. Patches are also known as ``diffs'' because they are generated by the diff(1) program.
This directory may also contain other files used to build the port.
A pkg-descr file. This is a more detailed, often multiple-line, description of the program.
A pkg-plist file. This is a list of all the files that will be installed by the port. It also tells the ports system what files to remove upon deinstallation.
Some ports have other files, such as pkg-message. The ports system uses these files to handle special situations. If you want more details on these files, and on ports in general, check out the FreeBSD Porter's Handbook.
Now that you have enough background information to know what the ports collection is used for, you are ready to install your first port. There are two ways this can be done, and each is explained below.
Before we get into that, however, you will need to choose a port to install. There are a few ways to do this, with the easiest method being the ports listing on the FreeBSD web site. You can browse through the ports listed there or use the search function on the site. Each port also includes a description so you can read a bit about each port before deciding to install it.
Another method is to use the whereis(1) command. Simply type whereis file, where file is the program you want to install. If it is found on your system, you will be told where it is, as follows:
# whereis lsof lsof: /usr/ports/sysutils/lsof
This tells us that lsof (a system utility) can be found in the /usr/ports/sysutils/lsof directory.
Yet another way to find a particular port is by using the ports collection's built-in search mechanism. To use the search feature, you will need to be in the /usr/ports directory. Once in that directory, run make search name=program-name where program-name is the name of the program you want to find. For example, if you were looking for lsof:
# cd /usr/ports # make search name=lsof Port: lsof-4.56.4 Path: /usr/ports/sysutils/lsof Info: Lists information about open files (similar to fstat(1)) Maint: [email protected] Index: sysutils B-deps: R-deps:
The part of the output you want to pay particular attention to is the ``Path:'' line, since that tells you where to find the port. The other information provided is not needed in order to install the port, so it will not be covered here.
For more in-depth searching you can also use make search key=string where string is some text to search for. This searches port names, comments, descriptions and dependencies and can be used to find ports which relate to a particular subject if you don't know the name of the program you are looking for.
In both of these cases, the search string is case-insensitive. Searching for ``LSOF'' will yield the same results as searching for ``lsof''.
Note: You must be logged in as root to install ports.
Now that you have found a port you would like to install, you are ready to do the actual installation. The port includes instructions on how to build source code, but does not include the actual source code. You can get the source code from a CD-ROM or from the Internet. Source code is distributed in whatever manner the software author desires. Frequently this is a tarred and gzipped file, but it might be compressed with some other tool or even uncompressed. The program source code, whatever form it comes in, is called a ``distfile''. You can get the distfile from a CD-ROM or from the Internet.
The FreeBSD Project's official CD-ROM images no longer include distfiles. They take up a lot of room that is better used for precompiled packages. CD-ROM products such as the FreeBSD PowerPak do include distfiles, and you can order these sets from a vendor such as the FreeBSD Mall. This section assumes you have such a FreeBSD CD-ROM set.
Place your FreeBSD CD-ROM in the drive. Mount it on /cdrom. (If you use a different mount point, the install will not work.) To begin, change to the directory for the port you want to install:
# cd /usr/ports/sysutils/lsof
Once inside the lsof directory, you will see the port skeleton. The next step is to compile, or ``build'', the port. This is done by simply typing make at the prompt. Once you have done so, you should see something like this:
# make >> lsof_4.57D.freebsd.tar.gz doesn't seem to exist in /usr/ports/distfiles/. >> Attempting to fetch from file:/cdrom/ports/distfiles/. ===> Extracting for lsof-4.57 ... [extraction output snipped] ... >> Checksum OK for lsof_4.57D.freebsd.tar.gz. ===> Patching for lsof-4.57 ===> Applying FreeBSD patches for lsof-4.57 ===> Configuring for lsof-4.57 ... [configure output snipped] ... ===> Building for lsof-4.57 ... [compilation output snipped] ... #
Notice that once the compile is complete you are returned to your prompt. The next step is to install the port. In order to install it, you simply need to tack one word onto the make command, and that word is install:
# make install ===> Installing for lsof-4.57 ... [installation output snipped] ... ===> Generating temporary packing list ===> Compressing manual pages for lsof-4.57 ===> Registering installation for lsof-4.57 ===> SECURITY NOTE: This port has installed the following binaries which execute with increased privileges. #
Once you are returned to your prompt, you should be able to run the application you just installed. Since lsof is a program that runs with increased privileges, a security warning is shown. During the building and installation of ports, you should take heed of any other warnings that may appear.
Note: You can save an extra step by just running make install instead of make and make install as two separate steps.
Note: Some shells keep a cache of the commands that are available in the directories listed in the PATH environment variable, to speed up lookup operations for the executable file of these commands. If you are using one of these shells, you might have to use the rehash command after installing a port, before the newly installed commands can be used. This is true for both shells that are part of the base-system (such as tcsh) and shells that are available as ports (for instance, shells/zsh).
Note: Please be aware that the licenses of a few ports do not allow for inclusion on the CD-ROM. This could be because a registration form needs to be filled out before downloading or redistribution is not allowed, or for another reason. If you wish to install a port not included on the CD-ROM, you will need to be online in order to do so (see the next section).
As with the last section, this section makes an assumption that you have a working Internet connection. If you do not, you will need to perform the CD-ROM installation, or put a copy of the distfile into /usr/ports/distfiles manually.
Installing a port from the Internet is done exactly the same way as it would be if you were installing from a CD-ROM. The only difference between the two is that the distfile is downloaded from the Internet instead of read from the CD-ROM.
The steps involved are identical:
# make install >> lsof_4.57D.freebsd.tar.gz doesn't seem to exist in /usr/ports/distfiles/. >> Attempting to fetch from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/distfiles/. Receiving lsof_4.57D.freebsd.tar.gz (439860 bytes): 100% 439860 bytes transferred in 18.0 seconds (23.90 kBps) ===> Extracting for lsof-4.57 ... [extraction output snipped] ... >> Checksum OK for lsof_4.57D.freebsd.tar.gz. ===> Patching for lsof-4.57 ===> Applying FreeBSD patches for lsof-4.57 ===> Configuring for lsof-4.57 ... [configure output snipped] ... ===> Building for lsof-4.57 ... [compilation output snipped] ... ===> Installing for lsof-4.57 ... [installation output snipped] ... ===> Generating temporary packing list ===> Compressing manual pages for lsof-4.57 ===> Registering installation for lsof-4.57 ===> SECURITY NOTE: This port has installed the following binaries which execute with increased privileges. #
As you can see, the only difference is the line that tells you where the system is fetching the port distfile from.
The ports system uses fetch(1) to download the files, which honors various environment variables, including FTP_PASSIVE_MODE, FTP_PROXY, and FTP_PASSWORD. You may need to set one or more of these if you are behind a firewall, or need to use an FTP/HTTP proxy. See fetch(3) for the complete list.
For users which cannot be connected all the time, the make fetch option is provided. Just run this command at the top level directory (/usr/ports) and the required files will be downloaded for you. This command will also work in the lower level categories, for example: /usr/ports/net. Note that if a port depends on libraries or other ports this will not fetch the distfiles of those ports too. Replace fetch with fetch-recursive if you want to fetch all the dependencies of a port too.
Note: You can build all the ports in a category or as a whole by running make in the top level directory, just like the aforementioned make fetch method. This is dangerous, however, as some ports cannot co-exist. In other cases, some ports can install two different files with the same filename.
In some rare cases, users may need to acquire the tarballs from a site other than the MASTER_SITES (the location where files are downloaded from). You can override the MASTER_SITES option with the following command:
# cd /usr/ports/directory
# make MASTER_SITE_OVERRIDE= \ ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/distfiles/ fetch
In this example we change the MASTER_SITES option to ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/distfiles/.
Note: Some ports allow (or even require) you to provide build options which can enable/disable parts of the application which are unneeded, certain security options, and other customizations. A few which come to mind are www/mozilla, security/gpgme, and mail/sylpheed-claws. A message will be displayed when options such as these are available.
Sometimes it is useful (or mandatory) to use a different distfiles and ports directory. The PORTSDIR and PREFIX variables can override the default directories. For example:
# make PORTSDIR=/usr/home/example/ports install
will compile the port in /usr/home/example/ports and install everything under /usr/local.
# make PREFIX=/usr/home/example/local install
will compile it in /usr/ports and install it in /usr/home/example/local.
And of course,
# make PORTSDIR=../ports PREFIX=../local install
will combine the two (it is too long to completely write on this page, but it should give you the general idea).
Alternatively, these variables can also be set as part of your environment. Read the manual page for your shell for instructions on doing so.
Some ports that use imake (a part of the X Windows System) do not work well with PREFIX, and will insist on installing under /usr/X11R6. Similarly, some Perl ports ignore PREFIX and install in the Perl tree. Making these ports respect PREFIX is a difficult or impossible job.
Now that you know how to install ports, you are probably wondering how to remove them, just in case you install one and later on decide that you installed the wrong port. We will remove our previous example (which was lsof for those of you not paying attention). As with installing ports, the first thing you must do is change to the port directory, /usr/ports/sysutils/lsof. After you change directories, you are ready to uninstall lsof. This is done with the make deinstall command:
# cd /usr/ports/sysutils/lsof # make deinstall ===> Deinstalling for lsof-4.57
That was easy enough. You have removed lsof from your system. If you would like to reinstall it, you can do so by running make reinstall from the /usr/ports/sysutils/lsof directory.
The make deinstall and make reinstall sequence does not work once you have run make clean. If you want to deinstall a port after cleaning, use pkg_delete(1) as discussed in the Packages section of the Handbook.
Using the ports collection can defiantly eat up your disk space. For this reason you should always remember to clean up the work directories using the make clean option. This will remove the work directory after a port has been built, and installed. You can also remove the tar files from the distfiles directory, and remove the installed ports when their use has delimited.
Some users choose to limit the port categories by placing an entry in the refuse file. This way when they run the CVSup application, it will not download the files in that category.
Keeping your ports up to date can be a tedious job. For instance, to upgrade a port you would go to the ports directory, build the port, deinstall the old port, install the new port, and then clean up after the build. Imagine doing that for five ports, tedious right? This was a large problem for system administrators to deal with, and now we have utilities which do this for us. For instance the sysutils/portupgrade utility will do everything for you! Just install it like you would any other port, using the make install clean command.
Now create a database with the pkgdb -F command. This will read the list of installed ports and create a database file in the /var/db/pkg directory. Now when you run portupgrade -a, it will read this and the ports INDEX file. Finally, portupgrade will begin to download, build, backup, install, and clean the ports which have been updated. Other utilities exist which will do this, check out the ports/sysutils directory and see what you come up with.
This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.
For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <[email protected]>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <[email protected]>.