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MacPorts runs a buildbot infrastructure that creates prebuilt binary packages for all ports in MacPorts for the default installation prefix. Buildbots exist for systems later or equal to Snow Leopard. If a port builds successfully and its license and those of its dependencies allow binary redistribution, the archives are uploaded to packages. The archive file type is set in macports. The default format is tbz2 ; other options are: tar , tbz , tbz2 , tgz , tlz , txz , xar , zip , cpgz , and cpio. Binary packages are standalone binary installers that are precompiled; they do not require MacPorts on the target system.

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As such, they are helpful in generating disk images or installers to be redistributed to users without relying on MacPorts for installation. Binary installers created with MacPorts are usually. MacPorts can also convert a. You can create binary packages using port as shown in the following examples. If you do that, your installer package conflicts with MacPorts on systems that do have MacPorts installed. Then use this custom MacPorts installation to build your package. Create a macOS. In most cases you probably want to package a port and all its library and runtime dependencies in a single package.

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You can use a metapackage to do this. Create one using:. Just as with a single package, a metapackage can also be wrapped in a. A port is a distribution of software that can be compiled and installed using MacPorts. A Portfile describes all the required steps such as where to get the source code from upstream, which patches have to be applied and which other tools and commands are required to build the source code.

Each port consists of multiple files in a directory, usually within a category subdirectory of the root of a ports tree.


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The MacPorts Project distributes the main ports tree that is by default configured in all installations of MacPorts. This section serves as a reference for the directory structure of a single port and the layout of the files within.


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  • The only required file in a port is the Portfile. Every port has a corresponding Portfile, but Portfiles do not completely define a port's installation behavior since MacPorts base has default port installation characteristics coded within it. Therefore Portfiles need only specify required options, though some ports may require non-default options. A common way for Portfiles to augment or override MacPorts base default installation phase characteristics is by using Portfile phase declaration s. Any statements not contained within a phase declaration, no matter where they are located in a Portfile, are said to be in the global section of the Portfile; therefore the global section need not be contiguous.


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    Likewise, to remove statements from the global section they must be placed within a phase declaration. The default installation phase behavior performed by the MacPorts base works fine for applications that use the standard configure , make , and make install steps, which conform to phases configure, build, and destroot respectively. See Example Portfiles below.

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    For a detailed description of all port phases, see the Portfile Reference chapter. Here we list the individual Portfile components for an application that conforms to the standard configure , make , and make install steps of most open source application installs. This should be the first line of a Portfile. It sets the correct editing options for vim and emacs. See Port Style for more information. Its use is optional and up to the port maintainer.

    A port may belong to more than one category, but the first primary category should match the directory name in the ports tree where the Portfile is to reside. A port's maintainers are the people who have agreed to take responsibility for keeping the port up-to-date. The maintainers keyword lists the maintainers' GitHub usernames or email addresses, preferably in the obfuscated form which hides them from spambots. For more, see the full explanation of the maintainers keyword in the Global Keywords section of the Portfile Reference chapter.

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    The checksums specified in a Portfile are checked with the fetched tarball for security. For the best security, use rmd and sha checksum types. Checksums should also include the target file's size. To find the correct checksums for a port's distribution file, follow one of these examples:. In this section we begin by taking a look at a complete simple Portfile; then we see how to augment default phases by defining pre- and post- phases, how to override default phases , and finally how to eliminate port phases. To augment a port's installation phase, and not override it, you may use pre- and post- installation phases as shown in this example.

    To override the automatic MacPorts installation phase processing, define your own installation phases as shown in this example. Because many software packages do not use configure , a keyword is provided to eliminate the configure phase. Another exception is the destroot phase may not be eliminated.

    See the chapter Portfile Reference for full information. Variants are a way for port authors to provide options that may be invoked at install time. The most common actions for user-selected variants is to add or remove dependencies, configure arguments, and build arguments according to various options a port author wishes to provide. Therefore, take care to never use hyphens in variant names.

    In the example variant declaration below, the configure argument --without-x is removed and a number of others are appended. Variants are used to specify actions that lie outside the core functions of an application or port, but there may be some cases where you wish to specify these non-core functions by default. Patch files are files created with the Unix command diff that are applied using the command patch to modify text files to fix bugs or extend functionality.

    If you wish to contribute modifications or fixes to a Portfile, you should do so in the form of a patch. Follow the steps below to create Portfile patch files. Make a copy of the Portfile you wish to modify; both files must be in the same directory, though it may be any directory. Put the name of the port in the patchfile, for example, Portfile-rrdtool.

    The Portfile patch below will change the version and checksums when applied. Now you may attach the patch file to a MacPorts Trac ticket for the port author to evaluate. Necessary or useful patches to application source code should generally be sent to the application developer rather than the port author so the modifications may be included in the next version of the application.

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    Generally speaking, you should create one patch file for each logical change that needs to be applied. An example filename would be patch- destdir-variable-fix. Locate the file you wish to patch in its original location within the unpacked source directory and make a duplicate of it.

    You should execute diff from the top-level directory of the unpacked source code, because during the patch phase MacPorts by default uses the patch argument -p0 , which does not strip prefixes with any leading slashes from file names found in the patch file as opposed to -p1 that strips one, etc , and any path not relative to the top-level directory of the unpacked source will fail during the patch phase.

    If you find an existing source file patch you wish to use that contains leading path information diff was executed from a directory higher than the top-level source directory , you will need to use the patch phase keyword patch. Place the patch patch-destdir-variable-fix. MacPorts applies patch files automatically, but you may want to know how to apply patch files manually if you want to test patch files you have created or you wish to apply uncommitted Portfile patches.

    Change to the directory containing the file to be patched. In this example, we'll apply a Portfile patch to the postfix port. Now apply the patch from your Downloads folder, or wherever you put it. The patchfile knows the name of the file to be patched. To create and test Portfiles that are not yet published in the MacPorts ports tree, you may create a local Portfile repository as shown.

    Replace the hypothetical user julesverne with your username in the example below. Open sources.