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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  - PORTUPGRADE (1)


portupgrade, portinstall - tools to upgrade installed packages or install new ones via ports or packages


Technical Details
See Also


portupgrade [-habcCDDefFiknNOpPPqrRsuvwWy] [-A command] [-B command] [-l file] [-L format] [-S command] [-x pkgname_glob] [ [-o origin] [-m make_args] [-M make_env] pkgname_glob ... ]


The portupgrade command is used to upgrade installed packages via ports or packages. The portinstall command is equivalent to portupgrade -N .

Before reading these instructions, you must understand that a port/package can have the following two types of related ports/packages:
required Ports/packages that a port/package needs for it to be built and/or run. Port Makefiles refer to this type of ports/packages using the BUILD_DEPENDS and RUN_DEPENDS macros, respectively.
  Ports/packages that need this port/package.


  • Please read this manual page carefully and understand what you are doing with portupgrade.
  • When the tools suggest running "pkgdb -F", run it. Upgrade a certain number of packages at once with an inconsistent package database will surely cause bad results.
  • Since portupgrade allows you to upgrade your installed packages without rebuilding and reinstalling dependent packages, upgraded packages may occasionally cause binary incompatibilities. To cope with this situation, use the -f , -r and -R options as necessary.
  • Do not abort portupgrade while it is updating the package database, or it will leave you a half modified, inconsistent database. Even if you don’t do anything wrong, a package database may get corrupt somehow when it is heavily updated. In such cases, run "pkgdb -fu" to rebuild the database and rescue the tools from coredumping. If it makes no effect, remove a database file (/var/db/pkg/pkgdb.db) and rerun the command.
  • Do not be lazy about backing up your precious data and configuration files, including the package database in "/var/db/pkg".


The following command line arguments are supported:

pkgname_glob Specify one of these: a full pkgname, a pkgname without version, a shell glob pattern in which you can use wildcards '*', '?', and an extended regular expression preceded by a colon ':', or a date range specification preceded by either '<' or '>'. See pkg_glob(1) for details and concrete examples.

  Show help and exit.

  Do with all the installed packages. Equivalent to specify ’*’ as pkgname_glob.

--afterinstall CMD
  Run the specified command as root after each installation.

  Keep backup packages of the old versions.

--batch Run an upgrading process in a batch mode (with BATCH=yes).

--beforebuild CMD
  Run the specified command before each build. If the command exits in failure, the port/package will be skipped. Here is some typical uses:

    portupgrade -B ’cvs update’ ’gnome*’

    portupgrade -B ’ports_glob -M $(pwd) | (cd ../..; xargs cvs up)’ slave/port

    portupgrade -aB ’test ! ‘make -V IS_INTERACTIVE‘’

  Run "make config-conditional" before everything for all tasks.

  Run "make config" before everything for all tasks.

  Delete failed distfiles and retry if checksum fails. Specified twice, do "make distclean" before each fetch or build.

  Emit summary info after each port processing.

  Force the upgrade of a package even if it is to be a downgrade or just a reinstall of the same version, or the port is held by user using the HOLD_PKGS variable in pkgtools.conf.

  Only fetch distfiles or packages (if -P is specified), do not build, upgrade or install anything. This is useful if you want to download all the needed distfiles or packages at once in advance of installing or upgrading.

By default, if a port or a package fails to build or install, its dependents will be skipped.

--ignore-moved Do not read MOVED file.

  Turn on interactive mode. You are asked for approval before each suggested installation or upgrade. This option implies -v .

  Force the upgrade of a package even if some of the requisite packages have failed to upgrade in advance.

--results-file FILE
  Specify a file name to save the results to. By default, portupgrade does not save results as a file.

--log-file FORMAT
  Specify a printf(3) style format to determine the log file name for each port. "%s::%s" is appended if it does not contain a '%'. Category and portname are given as arguments, in the order named.

  Specify arguments to append to each make(1) command line.

  Specify arguments to prepend to each make(1) command line.

  Do not actually install or upgrade any packages; just show what would be done. This option implies -v and negates -i and -y .

  Install a new port/package when a specified package is not installed. Prior to the installation a new port/package, all the required packages are upgraded.

If this option is specified, you can specify a portorigin glob as well as a pkgname glob to specify which port to install. See portsdb(1) for the details of the 'portorigin glob'.

--origin ORIGIN
  Specify a port to upgrade the following package with.

  Omit sanity checks for dependencies. By default, portupgrade checks if all the packages to upgrade have consistent dependencies, though it takes extra time to calculate dependencies. If you are sure you have run "pkgdb -F" in advance, you can specify this option to omit the sanity checks.

  Build a package when each specified port is installed or upgraded. If a package is upgraded and its dependent packages are given from the command line (including the case where -r is specified), build packages for them as well.

  Use packages instead of ports whenever available. portupgrade searches the local directories listed in PKG_PATH for each package to install or upgrade the current installation with, and if none is found, pkg_fetch(1) is invoked to fetch one from a remote site. If it doesn’t work either, the port is used.

However, the source will still be used if the port is listed in USE_PORTS_ONLY variable in pkgtools.conf.

  Never use the port even if a package is not available either locally or remotely, although you still have to keep your ports tree up-to-date so that portupgrade can check out what the latest version of each port is.

  Do not display a message when -N specified and there is already installed package.

--noconfig Do not read the configuration file - $PREFIX/etc/pkgtools.conf.

  Act on all those packages depending on the given packages as well.

  Act on all those packages required by the given packages as well. (When specified with -F , fetch recursively, including the brand new, uninstalled ports that an upgraded port requires)

  Run commands under sudo(8) where needed.

--sudo-command CMD
  Specify an alternative to sudo(8). e.g. "’su root -c %s ’" (default: sudo)

  Do not preserve old shared libraries. By default, portupgrade preserves shared libraries on uninstallation for safety. See the pkg_deinstall(1) manpage and check out the -P option for details.

  Turn on verbose output.

  Do not "make clean" before each build.

  Do not "make clean" after each installation.

  Do not set UPGRADE_* environment variables.

--exclude GLOB
  Exclude packages matching the specified glob pattern. Exclusion is performed after recursing dependency in response to -r and/or -R , which means, for example, the following command will upgrade all the packages depending on XFree86 but leave XFree86 as it is:

    portupgrade -rx XFree86 XFree86

  Answer yes to all the questions. This option implies -v and negates -n .


portupgrade upgrades installed packages via ports or packages without necessarily having to reinstall required or dependent packages by adjusting the package registry database.

The procedures it takes are briefly shown as below:

  1. If -P is not given, jump to 4. Otherwise search the local directories listed in PKG_PATH for a newer package tarball. If found, jump to 5.
  2. Fetch the latest package from a remote site using pkg_fetch(1). If the fetched package is the latest, jump to 5. If -P is given twice (i.e. -PP ) and the fetched package is not the latest but at least newer than the current installation, jump to 5.
  3. If -P is given twice (i.e. -PP ), stop the task.
  4. Build the corresponding port of the given installed package.
  5. Fix the dependency information of the packages that depend on the given package.
  6. Back up the current installation of the given package using pkg_create(1). Note that the backup tarball will be very large if the package is a big monster like XFree86. Please ensure you have sufficient disk space (refer to the ENVIRONMENT section to know where) to save the backup tarball. (Perhaps a new option to omit backups will be added in the future)
  7. Back up the current package registration files of the given package.
  8. Uninstall the given package forcibly, preserving shared libraries unless -u is specified.
  9. Install the new version via ports or packages, depending on the conditions in 1, 2 and 3.
  10. If the installation fails,
    1. Restore the old installation backed up in 6.
    2. Restore the old package registration files backed up in 7.
    3. Revert the dependency information fixed in 5.
  11. Remove the dependencies obsoleted in this upgrade.
  12. Run "portsclean -L" to delete duplicate libraries and put away old libraries.
  13. Run "pkgdb -aF" to fix up stale dependencies and reconstruct +REQUIRED_BY files.


  • Upgrade glib:

        portupgrade glib

    As you see, you can omit version numbers. If multiple versions are installed, each of them is upgraded unless they share a port origin. (For example you may probably have foo-1.02 and foo-1.03 recorded somehow; run "pkgdb -F" to fix the situation)

  • Upgrade XFree86 and Mesa, passing -DWANT_GGI to make(1) for Mesa:

        portupgrade XFree86 -m ’-DWANT_GGI’ Mesa

    When portupgrade deals with multiple packages, it automatically sorts the packages in dependency order before everything.

    -m / --make-args is the option to specify options to pass to make(1).

  • Upgrade all the GNOME packages, keeping build logs in "/var/tmp/portupgrade-<category>::<portname>.log":

        portupgrade -L /var/tmp/portupgrade-%s::%s.log ’*gnome*’

    You can use the wildcards as in sh(1). Perl compatible extended regular expressions are also available by prepending a colon '': to a pattern. In the above case, you could type: :gnome.

    -L / --log-prefix is the option to tell portupgrade to keep the build log as a file for each port build. Regardless of the option, portupgrade always watches the build output of each port and when a build fails it guesses the reason why it has failed.

  • Upgrade sawfish and all that sawfish depends on, building binary packages for the upgraded packages, with the verbose mode on:

        portupgrade -Rpv sawfish

    -R / --upward-recursive is the option to tell portupgrade to recurse upwards through dependencies. In the above case, rep-gtk, librep, imlib, gnomelibs, XFree86 etc. would be upgraded.

    -p / --package is the option to tell portupgrade to build a binary package while it upgrades a package.

    -v / --verbose is the option to turn the verbose mode on.

  • Upgrade glib and all that depend on it, confirming each upgrade:

        portupgrade -ri glib

    -r / --recursive is the option to tell portupgrade to recurse downwards through dependencies. In the above case, gtk and all GNOME related packages would be upgraded.

    -i / --interactive is the option to tell portupgrade to ask you for approval before performing something important.

  • Rebuild and reinstall all ports that depend on sdl, but not sdl itself:

        portupgrade -rfx sdl sdl

    -f / --force is the option to force portupgrade to upgrade a package even if it does not seem to be needed judging from a version comparison.

    -x / --exclude is the option to specify an exclusion pattern.

  • Rebuild and reinstall all that ports that were installed prior to the date 2001-09-20:

        portupgrade -f ’<2001-09-20’

    You can also select packages by a date range.

  • Rebuild and reinstall all the dependent packages of png that were installed prior to png:

        portupgrade -fr png -x ’>=png’

    You may use a package to specify a date.

  • Fetch all the distfiles that are needed to upgrade all the installed packages at once, but do not upgrade anything yet:

        portupgrade -aFR

    -a / --all is equivalent to specifying an '*'.

    -F / --fetch is the option to tell portupgrade to not upgrade anything but just fetch distfiles.

    It is necessary to specify -R in addition to -a because some of the upgraded ports might require new ports that are not installed yet.

  • Replace ghostscript-gnu with ghostscript-afpl:

        portupgrade -o print/ghostscript-afpl ghostscript-gnu

    -o / --origin was originally the option to supply a missing origin of an outdated package before
    .Fx 4.2 , but this example shows another useful usage. Use portupgrade like this, and all the dependencies on the old package ( ghostscript-gnu) will be succeeded to the new one ( ghostscript-afpl) cleanly, without leaving inconsistency.

  • Upgrade glib using a package. If necessary, download one from a remote ftp site:

        portupgrade -P glib

    -P / --use-packages is the option to tell portupgrade to use packages instead of ports where available.

  • Let’s perform a massive binary upgrade using the packages stored on a CD-ROM, but before that I want to figure out what will be upgraded:

        env PKG_PATH=/mnt/cdrom/packages/All portupgrade -anPP

    -n / --noexecute is the option to tell portupgrade not to commit any upgrade but just show what would be done.

    Double -P tells portupgrade to use packages only; portupgrade will not upgrade a package if a package file ( *.tgz) to upgrade the package with is not available.

    If you don’t want portupgrade to download packages which are not on the CD-ROM, set PKG_FETCH to something like "/bin/false".


  • After performing a binary upgrade, it is strongly recommended that you run "pkgdb -F" to fix broken dependencies introduced by the newly installed packages.

  • Do a massive network binary upgrade:

        portupgrade -aPPR

  • When in doubt, use the portupgrade options such as -n and -i to see what would be done, or use pkg_glob(1) to see how it expands glob patterns.

  • To perform upgrades effectively and correctly, remember to run pkgdb(1) with -F on occasions to fix dependency discrepancies, and run portsdb(1) with -Uu every time you CVSup the ports tree to keep your ports INDEX database up-to-date in sync with the tree.

  • To check for available upgrades, give portversion(1) a try instead of pkg_version(1). It has comparable usage with pkg_version(1) but runs much faster. Also the output script of "portversion -c" utilizes portupgrade(1) for upgrading.

  • To deinstall packages, give pkg_deinstall(1) a try instead of pkg_delete(1). It is a wrapper of pkg_delete(1) with additional features, such as recursive deinstall and shared library preservation.

  • To clean unreferenced distfiles, working directories and old shared libraries, use portsclean(1).

  • To track the change history of a port, use portcvsweb(1).


PKG_DBDIR Alternative location for the installed package database. Default is "/var/db/pkg".

PORTSDIR Alternative location for the ports tree. Default is "/usr/ports".

PORTS_INDEX Alternative location for the ports INDEX file. Default is "$PORTSDIR/INDEX".

PORTS_DBDIR Alternative location for the ports database files. Default is "$PORTSDIR".

  (In that order) Temporary directory where portupgrade attempts to create backup files. If neither is defined, "/var/tmp" is used. Note that this directory must have enough free space when upgrading a big package. (See the TECHNICAL DETAILS above)

PACKAGES Base directory where portupgrade creates packages. Default is "$PORTSDIR/packages".

PKG_PATH A list of directories where portupgrade searches for packages, separated by colons. Default is "$PACKAGES/All".

PKG_SUFX Suffix for packages. Default is the value defined in or /etc/make.conf.

PKGTOOLS_CONF Configuration file for the pkgtools suite. Default is "$PREFIX/etc/pkgtools.conf".

PORTUPGRADE Default options for portupgrade (e.g. -v )

UPGRADE_TOOL The environment variable is set to upgrade tool name. Always is set to "portupgrade".

UPGRADE_PORT The variable is set to a port name and version (as PKGNAME make variable) which is upgraded.

  A version number extracted from UPGRADE_PORT (it’s the same as in PKGVERSION make variable).


/var/tmp Temporary directory for creating backup files, if environmental variables PKG_TMPDIR or TMPDIR do not point to a suitable directory.
/var/db/pkg Default location of the installed package database.
/usr/ports Default location of the ports tree and the ports database files.
/usr/ports/packages/All Default location of backup packages saved with -b.

  Default location of the pkgtools configuration file.


pkg_add(1), pkg_deinstall(1), pkg_delete(1), pkg_glob(1), pkg_info(1), pkg_sort(1), pkgdb(1), portcvsweb(1), ports_glob(1), portsclean(1), portsdb(1), portversion(1), pkgtools.conf(5), ports(7)


.An Akinori MUSHA Aq
.An Sergey Matveychuk Aq


SUSP (^Z) doesn’t work during a build/install.

Sometimes a database may get corrupt and the pkgtools commands start to abort due to segmentation fault. In such cases, run "pkgdb -fu" to rebuild the database, and the problems will go away. If the command failed itself, remove a database file (/var/db/pkg/pkgdb.db) and run it again.

Some third-party or hand-made packages have invalid package names which make portupgrade and the related tools angry. To completely hide the existence of a package from them, put (just touch(1)) a dummy file named "+IGNOREME" in the package directory.

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April 26, 2012 PORTUPGRADE (1) FreeBSD

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