how to build from ports without downloading ports

Roland Smith rsmith at
Tue Oct 20 20:57:12 UTC 2009

On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 01:35:54PM -0700, Noah wrote:
> Hi there,
> I have a server with minimal disk space.  is there a way to build from 
> ports without downloading ports 

Not directly.

But you can install pre-built packages instead. The only downside in that
case is that you cannot choose which options a package is built with.

Another option is to build the ports on another machine (with the same FreeBSD
version and hardware architecture!) and just copy (using e.g. rsync or tar &
nc) /usr/local from the build machine to the server. The latter is especially
handy if you have more than one machine to keep up to date.

> or only downloading what is needed for 
> the build and then it is removed?

Ports as a rule do not download more than is needed to build and run the
port. After installing the port, you should always run 'make clean' in the
port directory to reclaim space used for the build. Additionally you can
reclaim disk space by e.g. removing everything under /usr/ports/distfiles.

But why go to all this trouble? Disk space is cheap these days, why not add an
extra disk?  If you don't have space in the chassis, consider using an
external USB disk for /usr/ports.

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