pkg-register question

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sat Aug 9 18:39:51 UTC 2014

On 09/08/2014 18:39, doug at wrote:
> I think this was a user error. I have been making & killing systems
> (vmware is cool) to figure out pkg and how to use freebsd-update to
> update jails. So I am fuzzy on things I did not actually document along
> the way.
> Anyway I was checking a system that had pkg, subversion, and ezjail. All
> were registered except ezjail. I could tell from /usr/ports that I had
> build it so I must have done so before adding 'WITH_PKGNG=yes' to
> make.conf.
> I assumed one would fix this with 'pkg register' but after man and
> google I decided to use 'pkg check -r -v -a'. This [seemingly] worked.
> The logical thing would seem to be 'pkg register -x ezjail'. Except no
> such syntax exists. Does 'pkg register metadatafile' mean use the full
> name?

That's not really the intended use for pkg-register.  It takes a
previously written +MANIFEST which describes some software that has
already been installed on a system and inserts the data from the
+MANIFEST plus checksums etc it calculates from the installed files into
the package database.  The +MANIFEST is the 'metadatafile' the man page
is talking about.

Before staging, this was the way the ports operated.  Now, with staging,
you use the very similar pkg-create to build a package from the staging
area, and then simply install that package.  Not sure what the long term
plans are for 'pkg register' but making it obsolete in the future
probably should not be discounted.

What you probably wanted was 'pkg convert' -- or in fact, the pkg2ng
script which is basically a wrapper around pkg convert.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

JID: matthew at

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