compiling ports with more than one job

Christian Baer christian.baer at
Sat Mar 3 12:55:59 UTC 2007

On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 18:37:33 +0000 RW wrote:

> There are two problems here. The first is that not all of the
> underlying builds support this. The second is that we are using Make as
> our ports scripting language - I'm guessing that in Gentoo no-one
> expects portage itself to be parallel.  

I don't actually *expect* anything. :-) I'm not sure why you think that
Gentoo should be an exeption here, but that won't hold up forever - on
any OS. It seems that we have reached a point where faster CPUs cannot
be made by just increasing the clock. All current CPUs (from Intel and
AMD) have two cores and ones with four cores are almost on the market.
There are CPUs in other areas with even more cores in use today.

This means that at least in the near future just about every OS must
somehow work with more than one CPU since parallel computing seems to be
the future. This will create several new challenges. 

Microsoft will lose money because until now they charged money for their
OS if the customer wanted more than one CPU supported. :-)

But others will have to adapt too. FreeBSD and Gentoo will have to get
the compiling into order so it works parallel. NetBSD mut get SMP
running properly at all.

I know that SMP wasn't considered too important in the past as only
servers had more than one CPU. But the times are changing, SMP is coming
bigtime and the software must be made to meet the demands of the

> Really it's only the build stage that matters. What you might try is
> setting the MAKE_ARGS variable, which passes extra arguments to gmake
> during build and install. If a port makefile sets it explicitly you'll
> be out of luck, but I think most either don't set it, or use +=.

So you mean a MAKE_ARGS= -j 4 would help?

> Probably you would want to set it conditionally in make.conf, so you
> can exclude any problematical ports.

What do you mean with that?


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