Building and running new package versions not yet in ports?

Thomas Mueller mueller6724 at
Sun Aug 15 09:20:12 UTC 2010

> 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.

I think I'd likely start with a release version not yet in FreeBSD ports tree as opposed to an alpha or beta development version.

I think I'd need to refer to the Porter's Handbook as well as looking at the anatomy of the individual port, older version.  Likely, as in the case of Abiword or Gnumeric, there would be dependencies.

Yes, it is a good idea to submit the result of my work if I produce a usable update of a port.  I get community exposure, and open-source software depends on community effort.


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