Document for OPTIONS syntax in /etc/make.conf, where to find?

Thomas Mueller mueller6722 at
Thu May 25 07:47:25 UTC 2017

> > On 24 May, 2017, at 21:52, Thomas Mueller <mueller6722 at> wrote:

> > Where do I find documentation so I get the correct syntax for setting ports options in /etc/make.conf ?

> > I tried "man ports", "man make", "man make.conf", and the online Porters' Handbook but have been unable to find the needle in the haystack.

> > NetBSD pkgsrc and Gentoo (Linux) portage document this much better.

> Tom
> You'll find some info in the instructions at the top of /usr/ports/Mk/; there's not a lot of info because it's not generally the preferred place to specify options.

> To turn something off by default on all ports (which can always be overridden by make config),

> To turn something off which overrides make config,
> You can set options for individual ports in make.conf too, though it's almost always a better idea to run 'make config' or 'poudriere options':
> /usr/ports/editors/vim$ make -V OPTIONS_NAME
> editors_vim

> make.conf:
> editors_vim_UNSET=      NLS
# Adam

> Adam Weinberger

While the newer dialog4ports is a big improvement over the previous dialog, it is still difficult to go back in case of finger error.

Previous dialog tended to make a mess of the screen, especially when I teed to a log file.

Now I have a better idea what to do to set options.

I still have in /etc/make.conf from some time ago,


I guess that would need to be revised to

mail_mpop_set=GNUTLS NLS

if I stay with the same options.

The new synth has no mechanism for configuring options; I guess that would have to be done by
make config-recursive ,
possibly several times until there is nothing more left to configure, as I did when using portupgrade and later portmaster.

Thanks for the tips!

Other options-configuring systems don't have the dialog: I am thinking of NetBSD pkgsrc and Gentoo portage (not all-inclusive).


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