[FreeBSD-Announce] Volunteers needed to help maintain ports

Kris Kennaway kris at obsecurity.org
Wed May 24 23:30:39 UTC 2006

Many of you no doubt make use of the FreeBSD Ports Collection for
installing and managing third-party software.  What you may not know
is that a lot of the ports in the Ports Collection have no assigned
maintainer.  Unmaintained ports tend to lag behind the rest of the
Ports Collection in the speed of updates to new versions, and in the
overall quality of the port.  With nearly 15000 third-party
applications in the Ports Collection, and dozens more added every week,
there is an ever-present need for more volunteers to assist in
maintaining ports.

What is a Port Maintainer?  A Port Maintainer is a FreeBSD volunteer
who donates some of their time to making sure a port is kept
up-to-date and in good working order.  They are intermediaries between
the FreeBSD user community and the third party developers of the
software, and they help to ensure that the software runs optimally on
FreeBSD systems.

Maintaining a port or two is a great way to contribute to the FreeBSD

Maintaining a port does require some familiarity with the Ports
Collection and the workings of the software (at least at an
operational level), but we have an excellent collection of
documentation (the Porter's Handbook) that explains how to get
started, and covers many of the more advanced points you may need to
know.  And of course the ports community is available to answer your
specific questions, via the ports at FreeBSD.org mailing list.

The following document explains in more detail about what it means to
be a Port Maintainer:


and the Porter's Handbook may be found here:


(translated versions are also available on the FreeBSD website).

The following command may be used to list the ports that you have
installed on your system that are currently unmaintained.  First make
sure your INDEX file is up-to-date:

# cd /usr/ports
# make fetchindex

Then run the following command (root privilege is not necessary):

% sh -c 'cd /usr/ports; grep -F "`for o in \`pkg_info -qao\` ; \
do echo "|/usr/ports/${o}|" ; done`" `make -V INDEXFILE` | \
grep -i \|ports at freebsd.org\| | cut -f 2 -d \| '

This will display a list of all ports that are unmaintained; you can
then investigate each of the listed ports to see if you may be
interested in maintaining one or more of them.  You might be surprised
to learn that a software package you use and rely upon every day has
no port maintainer!

The "contibuting-ports" document referenced above explains what to do

Thanks in advance,

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