Building and running new package versions not yet in ports?

Chip Camden sterling at
Fri Aug 13 15:13:46 UTC 2010

Quoth Matthew Seaman on Friday, 13 August 2010:
> On 13/08/2010 07:44, Thomas Mueller wrote:
> > What do I do if I want to build and run a package where version in
> > ports collection is not up-to-date, and I want to build and run the
> > current release version of that package, like Abiword 2.8.6 for
> > instance, when version in ports is behind? Or maybe I want to try a new
> > alpha or beta development release of a package like Firefox or
> > Seamonkey, but don't want to burn my bridges on the already installed
> > and running version.
> Contact the port maintainers in the first instance -- they may well have
> beta test versions of the ports you can download.  Failing that, it is
> perfectly feasible for you to update a port yourself.
> Generally, you will want to work on a copy of the port directory
> somewhere.  You can check out what you need from anonymous CVS, which
> gives you all the extra VCS goodness you could want for serious code
> hacking.  Your working directory doesn't have to be anywhere special in
> relation to the ports tree.  Anywhere you like will be fine.  Well,
> assuming the port you're working on is pretty much stand alone -- if you
> need to look at a collection of highly interconnected ports then it gets
> harder, but that's not something particularly common.
> Refer to the Porter's Handbook for a guide on how it all should work,
> and read the comments and code in /usr/ports/Mk/*.mk for the
> nitty-gritty details.  Ion-Mihail's guide at
> has plenty of
> good tips too.
> If you do generate a usable upgrade for a port, please submit it as a PR
> so the rest of the world can benefit.  Beware though: thus begins the
> slippery path to port maintainership and possibly even a coveted
> e-mail address.
> > Can I create a testing install base such as /extra or /usr/extra,
> > and set something like
> > PATH=/usr/extra/bin:$PATH and perhaps modify some other environment
> > variables, and then be able to return to the regular environment? I
> > would only want to change a few things temporarily and would not want
> > to create an entire chroot system.
> Sure.  When testing ports, I regularly have the following set in the
> environment:
> setenv WRKDIRPREFIX	${HOME}/tmp/ports
> setenv PKG_DBDIR	${HOME}/tmp/db/pkgs
> setenv PORT_DBDIR	${HOME}/tmp/db/ports
> setenv PREFIX		${HOME}/tmp/local
> setenv INSTALL_AS_USER	yes
> setenv PACKAGES		${HOME}/tmp/packages
> > Is this the proper list for this question, or should I have posted
> > to freebsd-ports at ?
> You're more likely to find interested and knowledgeable people on
> freebsd-ports@ -- certainly post there if you run into difficulties
> trying to work with ports.
> 	Cheers,
> 	Matthew
> -- 
> Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
>                                                   Flat 3
> PGP:     Ramsgate
> JID: matthew at               Kent, CT11 9PW

That's some great information.  Thanks, Matthew.

Sterling (Chip) Camden    | sterling at | 2048D/3A978E4F |        |
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 488 bytes
Desc: not available
Url :

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list