automating menu options in ports (and other ports build questions)

Warren Block wblock at
Fri May 25 01:52:43 UTC 2012

On Thu, 24 May 2012, Gary Aitken wrote:

> 1. When building a port, the system uses sysinstall to set options for the 
> build.

ncurses, not systinstall, but yes.

> How does one configure those options so make can be run unattended? 
> I didn't see anything in the ports documentation, but maybe I'm blind.  In 
> particular, how does one configure a dependent port for the options you want 
> whenever it is built as part of a higher-level build?

make config-recursive

> 4. Is there a discussion anywhere of whether or not one should turn on 
> various optimizations?  If these aren't turned on by default, but are safe, 
> why aren't they the default?  Is this a cross-platform build issue, and the 
> default is to build for cross-platform?

In general, if a port can benefit from certain optimizations, it will 
have an option for that.  Setting optimizations system-wide breaks that. 
And the optimizations that many people try turn out to be detrimental.

> 5. It looks like the options which show up using sysinstall are from the 
> OPTIONS variable in the Makefile.  Is there any convention for where to find 
> out more about the option other than the often useless text hint provided in 
> the menu?
>  e.g. gvfs has an option called
>         FUSE       Enable fuse
> which doesn't say which of the several software systems called FUSE this 
> refers to
>  e.g.  OPENGL      Use OpenGL graphics
> doesn't say much about why you would want to do that,
> what the opengl option actually does, ramifications,
> whether it will help only if your graphics card / driver supports it,
> etc.

Mostly you would have to look in the Makefile and possibly in the 
application source for these.

>  Or is this a documentation project in the offing?

Well, there's ports(7), and some related chapters in the Handbook.

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