Using pkgsrc Package Management

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Using pkgsrc Package Management

Installing a Package[edit]

N.B. This section is being left for users of pre GhostBSD 4.0 This will be different from GhostBSD4.0/FreeBSD 10.0 onwards, as it now uses pkgng. More info here The pkg command.

Use pkg_add(1) to install binary package from a local file or from a server on the network.

If you do not have a source of local packages, such as a FreeBSD CD-ROM set, include -r with pkg_add(1). This automatically determines the correct object format and release, and then fetches and installs the package from an FTP site without any further user intervention.

pkg_add -r lsof

To specify an alternative FreeBSD FTP mirror, specify the mirror in the PACKAGESITE environment variable. pkg_add(1) uses fetch(3) to download files, which uses various environment variables, including FTP_PASSIVE_MODE, FTP_PROXY, and FTP_PASSWORD. You may need to set one or more of these if you are behind a firewall, or need to use an FTP/HTTP proxy. See fetch(3) for the complete list. Note that in the example above lsof is used instead of lsof-4.56.4. When the remote fetching feature is used, the version number of the package must be removed.

Package files are distributed in .tgz and .tbz formats. Packages are available from, or the /packages directory of the FreeBSD DVD distribution. The layout of the packages is similar to that of the /usr/ports tree. Each category has its own directory, and every package can be found within the All directory.

Managing Packages[edit]

pkg_info(1) can be used to list and describe installed packages:

colordiff-1.0.13    A tool to colorize diff output
docbook-1.2         Meta-port for the different versions of the DocBook DTD

pkg_version(1) summarizes the versions of all installed packages and compares the package version to the current version found in the ports tree:

colordiff                   =
docbook                     =

The symbols in the second column indicate the relative age of the installed version and the version available in the local ports tree.

Symbol Meaning
= The version of the installed package matches the one found in the local ports tree.
< The installed version is older than the one available in the local ports tree.
> The installed version is newer than the one found in the local ports tree, meaning that the local ports tree is probably out of date.
 ? The installed package cannot be found in the ports index. This can happen when an installed port is removed from the Ports Collection or is renamed.
* There are multiple versions of the package.
 ! The installed package exists in the index but for some reason, pkg_version was unable to compare the version number of the installed package with the corresponding entry in the index.

Deleting a Package[edit]

To remove a previously installed software package, use pkg_delete(1):

pkg_delete xchat-1.7.1

Note that pkg_delete(1) requires the full package name and number; the above command would not work if xchat was given instead of xchat-1.7.1. Use pkg_version(1) to find the version of the installed package, or use a wildcard:

pkg_delete xchat\*

In this case, all packages whose names start with xchat will be deleted.


All package information, including the file list and descriptions of each installed package is stored within the /var/db/pkg directory.