Ports with X11 options

Matthew Seaman matthew at FreeBSD.org
Thu Apr 28 15:27:00 UTC 2016

On 04/28/16 15:49, Albert Shih wrote:
> Some ports got a option « WITH_X11 ». I would like to
> known what's that mean on a server ? Can I safely disable every WITH_X11 if
> those software is for a server.
> For example, php-gd need graphics/cairo. If I disable X11 can I got some
> issue with php-gd ?

This depends very much on the port in question.  Yes, for some ports
WITH_X11 means the software is compiled so that it can make use of a
graphical environment, and that is generally safe to turn off on a server.

For other ports, like GD, these use bits of X Windows to generate images
-- typically something like using X fonts to render text into the image.
 In these cases, turning off the X11 support will remove that
functionality, which may or may not be what you want.  It's also the
case that some ports higher in the dependency tree sometimes expect
their dependencies to have X support, but that isn't enforced through
the ports.  so turning off X in a dependency can break the build of some
other ports.

In general, X support for an application will need only the X client
libraries, and those are not huge.  Unless you're in a very constrained
environment or you're a perfectionist[*], just leaving the server ports
with X enabled is not going to cause you any terrible problems.



[*] Like me.  I build packages for server deployment without X support
as far as possible, and luckily it's not mandatory for pretty much
anything we want to deploy.  Except for Java stuff: JVMs always link
against the X client libraries.  But it took a few rounds of trial and
error and fiddling with options under poudriere to get things building
to my liking.

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