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Manual Reference Pages  -  PKG-CREATE (8)


pkg create - a utility for creating software package distributions


Manifest File Details
Plist Format
See Also


pkg create [-nqv] [-f format] [-o outdir] [-p plist] [-r rootdir] -m metadatadir pkg create [-nqv] [-f format] [-o outdir] [-r rootdir] -M manifest pkg create [-gnqvx] [-f format] [-o outdir] [-r rootdir] pkg-name ... pkg create [-nqv] [-f format] [-o outdir] [-r rootdir] -a

pkg create [--no-clobber] [--quiet] [--verbose] [--format format] [--out-dir outdir] [--plist plist] [--root-dir rootdir] --metadata metadatadir pkg create [--no-clobber] [--quiet] [--verbose] [--format format] [--out-dir outdir] [--root-dir rootdir] --manifest manifest pkg create [--{glob,no-clobber,regex}] [--quiet] [--verbose] [--format format] [--out-dir outdir] [--root-dir rootdir] pkg-name ... pkg create [--no-clobber] [--quiet] [--verbose] [--format format] [--out-dir outdir] [--root-dir rootdir] --all


pkg create is used to create packages from binaries or other files installed on your computer. Package tarballs can be created from the files of a previously installed package using metadata from the local package database. Any number of packages may be created in one invocation of this style.

Alternatively, a single package can be created from an arbitrary selection of files on your system, but this requires a metadatadir and optionally plist to be supplied. The package name will be derived from the +MANIFEST file which must be contained within the metadatadir, or passed as the argument to -M .

Packages thus created can be distributed and subsequently installed on other machines using the pkg add command.


The following options are supported by pkg create:
-a -, --all Create package tarballs from all packages installed on your system. This option is incompatible with the -g -, -x or -m metadatadir options.
-g -, --glob Interpret pkg-name as a shell glob pattern and create package only for installed binaries whose name match this pattern. This option is incompatible with the -a -, -x or -m metadatadir options.
-x -, --regex Like -g , but interpret pkg-name as a regular expression using the "modern" or "extended" syntax described in re_format(7). This option is incompatible with the -a, -g or -m metadatadir options.
-f format, --format format
  Set format as the package output format. It can be one of txz, tbz, tgz or tar which are currently the only supported formats. If an invalid or no format is specified txz is assumed.
-m metadatadir, --metadata metadatadir
  Specify the directory containing the package manifest, +MANIFEST and optionally three other files; one containing a message to be displayed on package installation, +DISPLAY. Another containing the description for the package, +DESC. If specified, only a single package will be created. +DISPLAY and +DESC are not required; the +MANIFEST file can contain all the required information needed to build a package. This option is incompatible with the -M, -a, -g or -x options.
-M manifest, --manifest manifest
  Read all of the package metadata from the manifest file. This is exactly the same format as +MANIFEST mentioned above, but any file name can be used, and no other file will be used to read package metadata from. If specified, only a single package will be created. This option is incompatible with the -m, -a, -g or -x options.
-n -, --no-clobber
  Do not overwrite already existing packages.
-o outdir, --out-dir outdir
  Set outdir as the output directory. If this option is not given, all created packages will be saved in the current directory.
-p plist, --plist plist
  Specify some package metadata using the legacy plist format from pkg_add(1), commonly found in pkg-plist files in the ports tree. Metadata from the plist file, if specified, will take precedence over any equivalents from the metadatadir. Only has any effect when used with metadatadir. See PLIST FORMAT for details.
-q -, --quiet Force quiet output. This is the default, unless PKG_CREATE_VERBOSE is set to yes in pkg.conf.
-v -, --verbose Force verbose output, the opposite of --quiet.
-r rootdir, --root-dir rootdir
  rootdir specifies the top-level directory to be treated as the root of the filesystem hierarchy containing the package files. File paths in generated packages will be relative to rootdir. This allows a package to be generated from content offset from its intended final location, which allows a package building without disturbing similar content already on the system. If unspecified, the default is effectively /, the actual root directory.


name pkg-name
  This entry sets the package’s name to pkg-name. Among other things, this name is used - with the version and the origin of the concerned package - to identify a dependency.
version pkg-version
  This entry sets the package’s version to pkg-version.
origin pkg-origin
  This entry sets the package’s origin to pkg-origin. This is a string of the form category/port-dir which designates the port this package was built from.
comment comment-string
  comment-string is a one-line description of this package. It is the equivalent of the COMMENT variable for a port, not a way to put comments in a +MANIFEST file.
desc description
  description is a longer description of the package. It is the equivalent of the pkg-descr file for a port. It may be one to a few paragraphs. For example:
desc = <<EOD
   This is a longer description of the package.
   It can span multiple lines.

It can also span multiple paragraphs. EOD

arch cpu-type
  The architecture of the machine the package was built on. cpu-type takes values like x86, amd64...
www url
  The software’s official website.
maintainer mail-address
  The maintainer’s mail address.
prefix path-prefix
  The path where the files contained in this package are installed (usually /usr/local).
flatsize size
  The size that the files contained in this package will occupy on your system once uncompressed. This value does not take into account files stored in the package database.
deps dep-name dep-origin dep-version
  Associative array of package dependencies, keyed on dep-name and with values version dep-version and origin dep-origin. For example:
"deps" : {
   "pstree" : {
      "version" : "2.36",
      "origin" : "sysutils/pstree"
   "cdiff" : {
      "version" : ",1",
      "origin" : "textproc/cdiff"

conflict pkg-glob
  Flag this package as incompatible with the one designated by pkg-glob. Conflicting packages cannot be installed on the same system as they may contain references to the sames files.
option option-name option-value
  Set the option option-name to the value option-value.
file sha256-hash path
  file entries list files included in the package. If the file is a regular one, such an entry contains its sha256 digest along with its path. If a packaged file is a link, you must use this entry’s other form, as described below.
file - path
  Same as above but for file links. The sha256 hash is replaced with a - (dash).
dir path
  Mimics the file entry but for directories.


The following describes the plist format:

The plist is a sequential list of lines which can have keywords prepended. A keyword starts with an '@'. Lines not starting with a keyword are considered as paths to a file. If started with a '/' then it is considered an absolute path. Otherwise the file is considered as relative to PREFIX.

Keyword lines are formed as follows: @keyword line

Available keywords are the following:

@cwd [directory]
  Set the internal directory pointer to point to directory. All subsequent filenames will be assumed relative to this directory.
@preexec Command
  Execute command as part of the pre-install scripts.
@preunexec command
  Execute command as part of the pre-deinstall scripts.
@postexec command
  Execute command as part of the post-install scripts.
@postunexec command
  Execute command as part of the post-deinstall scripts.
@exec command(deprecated)
  Execute command as part of the unpacking process. If command contains any of the following sequences somewhere in it, they will be expanded inline. For the following examples, assume that @cwd is set to /usr/local and the last extracted file was bin/emacs.
%F Expands to the last filename extracted (as specified), in the example case bin/emacs
%D Expand to the current directory prefix, as set with @cwd, in the example case /usr/local.
%B Expand to the "basename" of the fully qualified filename, that is the current directory prefix, plus the last filespec, minus the trailing filename. In the example case, that would be /usr/local/bin.
%f Expand to the filename part of the fully qualified name, or the converse of %B, being in the example case, emacs.
@unexec command(deprecated)
  Execute command as part of the deinstallation process. Expansion of special % sequences is the same as for @exec. This command is not executed during the package add, as @exec is, but rather when the package is deleted. This is useful for deleting links and other ancillary files that were created as a result of adding the package, but not directly known to the package’s table of contents (and hence not automatically removable).
@mode mode
  Set default permission for all subsequently extracted files to mode. Format is the same as that used by the chmod command. Use without an arg to set back to default (mode of the file while being packed) permissions.
@owner user
  Set default ownership for all subsequent files to user. Use without an arg to set back to default (root) ownership.
@group group
  Set default group ownership for all subsequent files to group. Use without an arg to set back to default (wheel) group ownership.
@comment string
  The line will be ignored when packing.
@dir name
  Declare directory name to be deleted at deinstall time. By default, most directories created by a package installation are deleted automatically when the package is deinstalled, so this directive is only needed for empty directories or directories outside of PREFIX. These directives should appear at the end of the package list. If the directory is not empty a warning will be printed, and the directory will not be removed. (Subdirectories should be listed before parent directories.)


The following environment variables affect the execution of pkg create. See pkg.conf(5) for further description.


See pkg.conf(5).


Create package files for installed packages:

    % pkg create -a -o /usr/ports/packages/All

Create package file for pkg:

    % pkg create -o /usr/ports/packages/All pkg


pkg_printf(3), pkg_repos(3), pkg-repository(5), pkg.conf(5), pkg(8), pkg-add(8), pkg-annotate(8), pkg-audit(8), pkg-autoremove(8), pkg-backup(8), pkg-check(8), pkg-clean(8), pkg-config(8), pkg-convert(8), pkg-delete(8), pkg-fetch(8), pkg-info(8), pkg-install(8), pkg-lock(8), pkg-query(8), pkg-register(8), pkg-repo(8), pkg-rquery(8), pkg-search(8), pkg-set(8), pkg-shell(8), pkg-shlib(8), pkg-ssh(8), pkg-stats(8), pkg-update(8), pkg-updating(8), pkg-upgrade(8), pkg-version(8), pkg-which(8)
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