The future of portmaster [and of ports-mgmt/synth]

Adam Weinberger adamw at
Wed May 31 18:31:21 UTC 2017

> On 31 May, 2017, at 11:28, Per olof Ljungmark <peo at> wrote:
> On 2017-05-31 02:10, Kevin Oberman wrote:
>> On Tue, May 30, 2017 at 2:53 PM, Mark Linimon <linimon at <mailto:linimon at>> wrote:
>>    On Tue, May 30, 2017 at 11:46:46PM +0200, Per olof Ljungmark wrote:
>>    > Hello, I have not followed this thread before but just wanted to say
>>    > that I use portmaster extensively, it works for us and I would miss
>>    > it if it went.  Are there actually plans to retire it?
>>    To reiterate the status:
>>      * some extensive changes to the ports framework are coming;
>>      * these will require large changes to all the port upgrade tools;
>>      * no one has stepped forwards to offer to do the work for anything
>>        other than poudriere AFAIK.
>>    If no one does the work, at the time the large changes come, the
>>    other tools will break.
>>    People have been wanting subpackages (aka flavors) for many years;
>>    IIUC these are parts of the changes that are coming.
>>    Someone needs to step forwards and say "yes, I will do the work."
>>    mcl
>> Since portmaster is still popult and since the only solutions that looks to be available in the near term are pouderiere or raw make, neither terribly viable for many, I will look into updating portmaster to deal with 'flavors'. This looks fairly straight forward and I my have the sh capability to manage it. (And then again, I am far from a great shell person, so I may well be wrong.) I have looked at Doug's script and it is pretty readable, but writing may require help.
>> Can someone point me where to look for documentation on flavors? I have poked around the wiki, but to no avail. Unless there is documentation on what needs to be done, doing it will be hopeless and waiting for the packaging system to updated means portmaster WILL be broken for some period of time.
> Let me just say that I would really, really appriciate if we could keep such a simple tool. Why does it suit us? Because we have a limited number of systems, and they are all different meaning that we custom build for almost every task. Portmaster makes very easy to build what we need on each host. Yes, it brakes sometimes but it is not that hard to figure out how to get around.

I want to reiterate that nobody is taking portmaster away from you. It simply has not been actively developed for years. In all likelihood, somebody will patch portmaster eventually. Poudriere is a safer, more capable tool than portmaster, and it's better to migrate when there's no immediate time pressure or breakage.

The changes are not about to drop. Portmaster is not going to stop working tomorrow. We are bringing it up now so that you have time to consider migrating to poudriere or synth. If your system(s) and workflow make poudriere a viable option, we want to encourage and help you to migrate while there's no time pressure.

Sending emails to this list about why you prefer portmaster doesn't change the underlying problem, though: portmaster will only be long-term viable if somebody actively develops it again.

# Adam

Adam Weinberger
adamw at

More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list