How do I know what a meta port installs?

Erik Nørgaard norgaard at
Thu Mar 31 05:59:16 PST 2005

Per Berger wrote:
> I have installed a couple of "meta" ports, for example gnome2. How can I 
> see exactly which ports the meta port installs? I have tried to figure 
> it out but failed...
> I am right now installing "gnome2-power-tools" and can see that it 
> installs apache (!) which causes some concern regarding configuration 
> and security. So; what else did it install? How do I find out?

A meta port installs a number of packages by depending on them. For 
example in the ports/x11/gnome2/Makefile you will find a variable 
"RUN_DEPENDS=" and then a long list of things.

All these dependencies are installed when you "make install" but since 
it is a run-time dependency, nothing happens if you just type "make".

What you won't see, is that each of these packages most likely depends 
on other packages etc. that are also installed. Tracing this till the 
end is hard.

What may give you some idea is to install the portupgrade tools and run

   portupgrade -rRn gnome2

This will not install anything (-n) but recurse up and down in the 
dependencies to tell you what would be done. This may not show you all 
dependencies as portupgrade should only want to upgrade what is _not_ up 
to date.

Regarding gnome2-power-tools:

First, it may install apache as a (sub-) dependency, but apache won't 
start unless you start it, as such it does not introduce new network 
accessible services.

Second: Do you actually need all that? The easiest way to keep a system 
clean and updated is to stay at minimal needs, install as needed. You 
will learn that first time you try to upgrade a major package ...

Cheers, Erik
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