interactive ports - the plague

Philipp Ost pj at
Mon Mar 3 20:43:53 UTC 2008

Wesley Shields wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 03, 2008 at 05:04:57PM +0000, RW wrote:
>>On Mon, 03 Mar 2008 11:27:31 -0500
>>Naram Qashat <cyberbotx at> wrote:
>>>RW wrote:
>>>>On Mon, 03 Mar 2008 10:24:21 +0100
>>>>Dominic Fandrey <kamikaze at> wrote:
>>>>>I don't mind ports that use the config framework. You can deal with
>>>>>them without trouble by setting BATCH, using portmaster or
>>>>>portconfig-recursive from bsdadminscripts.
>>>>>But I find ports like ghostscript-gpl that open an ncurses dialogue
>>>>>between configure and build stage very annoying. 
>>>>Setting BATCH is supposed to prevent genuinely interactive ports
>>>>from building (that's actually the original purpose of BATCH).
>>>I believe a good example of what he might be talking about is the jdk
>>>ports. Because of the licensing of those ports, they will bring up an
>>>EULA that you need to read and then type "yes" afterwards.  Even with
>>>BATCH set, it still stops at that EULA.
>>IIRC these ports refuse to fetch the distfiles, and ask you to
>>fetch them manually from the websites, where you have to agree to the
>>terms, they aren't actually interactive.  
> While true there are at least two ports which are interactive beyond
> OPTIONS and license things.
> I know mail/postfix asks if it should activate itself in
> /etc/mail/mailer.conf.
> security/tripwire asks some setup questions during the post-install.
> I don't recall how BATCH affects these two ports, if at all.

Another case is print/xdvi: it asks for a font directory. Unless you 
specify one it hangs there forever waiting for input.

However, it didn't bother me enough yet to "fix" this... ;-)


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