Documentation for port config options?

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sat Apr 5 20:36:35 UTC 2008

Steven Friedrich wrote:
> cups-base has several options:
>  [X] GNUTLS    Build with GNUTLS library
>  [ ] PHP       Build PHP support
>  [ ] PYTHON    Build PYTHON support
>  [ ] LIBPAPER  Build with libpaper support
>  [ ] DNSSD     Build with DNS_SD (avahi) support
>  [ ] PAM       Build with PAM support
>  [ ] LDAP      Build with LDAP support
>  [ ] DBUS      Build with DBUS support
> Where can I find documentation regarding these options, so I can determine 
> which ones I need?

That's actually a pretty hard thing to do, given the current way the
ports tree operates.  If you're lucky the port maintainer will have
commented the ports' Makefile nicely for you.  Another good place to
look is the documentation included in the source tarball of whatever
it is you are trying to build.  In that case, it helps if you can
follow through the logic in the ports Makefile to see what it does
to change the build when the option is toggled -- usually it's by
tweaking the options to  the configure script in the package sources.
Other possibilities are searching the web or asking someone knowledgeable.

Unfortunately there isn't a sure-fire way of getting any sort of
reasonable explanation of how port options work.  There is a proposal
being discussed over on the freebsd-ports@ list about adding a one
line explanatory snippet for each option, which would actually make
a pretty big difference despite the limited space to work with.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

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