building a package without installing it

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Tue Jan 11 02:15:19 PST 2005

daniel quinn wrote:
> is this even possible?  a number of google results have informed me that it 
> isn't, but i'm hoping there's a hack or a work around.  essentially, i want 
> to build the packages on one box, copy them to many boxes and run package_add 
> there.

Correct.  This is something that comes up every so often on the lists, 
in a "wouldn't it be nice if..." sort of way.  Unfortunately, to get the 
ports tree from working the way it does now changed into doing things in 
a way that would make what you want possible is a major feat of 
engineering.  There have been some PRs proposing changes that would 
facilitate such a change, but those patches haven't been applied -- eg.

You can see why it hasn't been applied by reading the follow-ups in that 
PR.  Too much stuff in the ports tree would break.

The canonical answer to this problem is to set up a jail(8) environment 
specifically for building ports in -- which is essentially the way the 
FreeBSD package building cluster works.

A somewhat less popular answer would be to look at NetBSD's pkgsrc 
system or whatever the OpenBSD packaging system is called -- either of 
which can be ported to FreeBSD relatively easily, and which I think have 
the capability to create their own style of packages without installing 
them first.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       8 Dane Court Manor
                                                       School Rd
PGP:         Tilmanstone
Tel: +44 1304 617253                                  Kent, CT14 0JL UK
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