Media Packages Vs. Ports
dteske at vicor.com
Sat Sep 25 00:11:17 UTC 2010
On Fri, 2010-09-24 at 10:54 -0400, Rick Miller wrote:
> I've created the package and copied it to the networked media. How do
> I edit the INDEX file so that it knows how to get the file?
HINT: If you created the package from the ports tree, you can say "make
describe" in the package's top-level port directory
(e.g. /usr/ports/pkg_origin/some_pkg). This will produce a line that can
be added to the INDEX file without much modification, if any.
In addition, here's a guide that I wrote long ago:
HOWTO: Interpret the obfuscated `INDEX' file located on FreeBSD CD-ROMs.
AUTHOR: Devin Teske
DATE: January 1st, 2006
LAST MODIFIED: February 24th, 2006 09:45:54
This file documents the file format of `/packages/INDEX' file located on
FreeBSD installation CD-ROMs and conveys what it is used for (and its
2. The INDEX File
3. The FreeBSD INDEX File Format
3a. FreeBSD-5.2 and FreeBSD-4.10 or Lower
3b. FreeBSD-5.3 and FreeBSD-4.11 or Higher
3c. FreeBSD-6.0 or Higher
4. Field Definitions
5. Field Population
This document describes the format of the `/packages/INDEX' file located on
the FreeBSD installation CD-ROM. Depending on which FreeBSD release version
you are working with, the format may vary. Documented below you will find
3 versions commonly used.
Common between each version, is that each line (delimited by the new-
line character) corresponds to a singl e package (found in `packages/All').
It is possible to have additional fields beyond the last field (for custom
purposes) as they will be ignored by sysinstall.
2. THE INDEX FILE
The INDEX file (located on the FreeBSD installation CD-ROMs) is a file that
is read by sysinstall (see sysinstall(8)) for the installation of ancillary
packages (located in `/packages'). When sysinstall displays an interactive
menu for the selection of these packages, it uses the INDEX file (located
at `/packages/INDEX') to display information such as the package name, the
package description, and what categories to place it in.
If sysinstall is scripted, then the interactive menu may or may not be
invoked (if not, then the categories/description fields may be omitted).
When sysinstall is in the process of installing the packages, it first
makes sure that all the run-dependencies (listed in the INDEX file for that
package) are installed. If a package that is listed in the `run-deps' field
is not installed, sysinstall installs it before installing the requested
package. After installing any dependent packages (recursively), sysinstall
then unpacks the requested package and reads its packing-list (the
`+CONTENTS' file within the package tarball). All package dependencies
listed inside the package's packing-list MUST be installed before-hand or
else sysinstall will generate an error. Therefore, all package dependencies
that appear in the packing list MUST be present in the `run-deps' field of
the INDEX file. There reverse is not true, however. A dependency may appear
in the INDEX file and not in the package's packing-list.
3. THE FREEBSD INDEX FILE FORMAT
3a. FREEBSD-5.2 AND FREEBSD-4.10 OR LOWER
3b. FREEBSD-5.3 AND FREEBSD-4.11 OR HIGHER
I have never seen the 11th, 12th, or 13th field populated. So their
purpose remains unknown.
3c. FREEBSD-6.0 OR HIGHER
4. FIELD DEFINITIONS
This is the name of the package. This should be the name of the file as
it appears in `/packages/All' without the `.tgz' suffix. This value is
used for finding the package tarball and is also displayed in the left-
hand column of the interactive package selection menu of sysinstall.
The package origin (as a qualified pathname). Basically, this is the
origin of the package with a `/usr/ports/' prefix. Even if you do not
install the Ports Collection (which installs Makefiles and other infor-
mation), this should be populated respectively.
The base directory where the package will install it's files to. For
example, if the package installs files into `/usr/local/bin' and
`/usr/local/sbin' then the install-prefix would be `/usr/local'. This is
an informational value (the package's packing-list takes precedence).
This is the one-line comment for the package. This should be the same
as the contents of the `+COMMENT' file located within the package
tarball. This value is displayed in the right-hand column of the
interactive package selection menu of sysinstall.
When you install the Ports Collection the `/usr/ports' directory is
populated with Makefiles and other information. This value should be the
path to the description file for the package. This is only used when you
install the FreeBSD Ports Collection.
The e-mail address of the package maintainer.
Within the `/packages' directory of the CD-ROM, you will find (besides
the INDEX file) several directories. The actual package should always
reside in the `All' directory (as this is where sysinstall looks for it)
However, finding the package you want/need can become quite cumbersome
if you have to sift through every package in one directory. To ease the
process of finding a specific package, you can populate this field with
several categories (sub-directories) that the package can be found in.
When sysinstall's interactive package selection menu is invoked (either
by a script or simply interactively) it allows a user to browse several
categories to find a specific package. This field dictates to sysinstall
which categories (delimited by a space) the package is available in.
When you specify a category (sub-directory), the simplest (and most
efficient) thing to do is, create a symbolic link in the category
directory ( in `/packages' ) pointing to the actual package ( in
These are the dependencies (names of packages delimited by a space) that
this package requires to be built. This is used if you install the
FreeBSD Ports Collection.
These are the dependencies (names of packages delimited by a space) that
this package requires to run. Any package listed here will be installed
by sysinstall before the package is even attempted to be installed. See
section 2 paragraph 3 for more information.
Either the website URL of where the package can be obtained, the package
maintainer, or the website URL of the item that the package installs.
If a field has been marked `unknown' in section 3, it is because I have
never seen it populated and thus never used. These fields can be left
empty without any recourse.
The disc that the package can be found on (in a multi-disc distribution
of the FreeBSD installation). This is a new feature of FreeBSD-6.0
Other distributions (such as FreeBSD-4.8 and FreeBSD-4.11 do not list
packages in the INDEX file unless it appears on the same CD-ROM).
5. FIELD POPULATION
Below you will find various ways that you can use to populate the formats
listed in section 3 given nothing more than a package tarball. NOTE: these
commands must be run on a FreeBSD distribution (as Linux and other UNIX
distributions do not have the `pkg_info' command).
package - file_name without `.tgz' suffix
port-path - echo /usr/ports/`pkg_info -qo file`
install-prefix - pkg_info -qp file | head -n1 | sed -e 's/^@cwd //'
comment - pkg_info -qI file
desc-file - echo /usr/ports/`pkg_info -qo file`/pkg-descr
maintainer - echo ports at FreeBSD.org
categories - find . -type l -name FILE | \
sed -e 's/^\.\/\(.*\)\/[^\/]*$/\1/' | tr '\n' ' '
build-deps - pkg_info -qr file | sed -e 's/^@pkgdep //' | tr '\n' ' '
run-deps - pkg_info -qr file | sed -e 's/^@pkgdep //' | tr '\n' ' '
www-site - pkg_info -qd file | grep '^WWW: ' | sed -e 's/^WWW: //'
disc - the disc that the package resides on
The information in this document is the result of many hours of reverse-
engineering and testing. Little or no sources on this topic have been found
online. Even when the subject matter was found online, the amount of
information on the topic was anemic.
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