Chapter 8. Advanced pkg-plist Practices

Table of Contents
8.1. Changing pkg-plist Based on Make Variables
8.2. Empty Directories
8.3. Configuration Files
8.4. Dynamic Versus Static Package List
8.5. Automated Package List Creation
8.6. Expanding Package List with Keywords

8.1. Changing pkg-plist Based on Make Variables

Some ports, particularly the p5- ports, need to change their pkg-plist depending on what options they are configured with (or version of perl, in the case of p5- ports). To make this easy, any instances in pkg-plist of %%OSREL%%, %%PERL_VER%%, and %%PERL_VERSION%% will be substituted appropriately. The value of %%OSREL%% is the numeric revision of the operating system (for example, 4.9). %%PERL_VERSION%% and %%PERL_VER%% is the full version number of perl (for example, 5.8.9). Several other %%VARS%% related to port's documentation files are described in the relevant section.

To make other substitutions, set PLIST_SUB with a list of VAR=VALUE pairs and instances of %%VAR%% will be substituted with VALUE in pkg-plist.

For instance, if a port installs many files in a version-specific subdirectory, use a placeholder for the version so that pkg-plist does not have to be regenerated every time the port is updated. For example:


in the Makefile and use %%OCTAVE_VERSION%% wherever the version shows up in pkg-plist. When the port is upgraded, it will not be necessary to edit dozens (or in some cases, hundreds) of lines in pkg-plist.

If files are installed conditionally on the options set in the port, the usual way of handling it is prefixing pkg-plist lines with a %%OPT%% for lines needed when the option is enabled, or %%NO_OPT%% when the option is disabled, and adding OPTIONS_SUB=yes to the Makefile. See Section, “OPTIONS_SUB for more information.

For instance, if there are files that are only installed when the X11 option is enabled, and Makefile has:


In pkg-plist, put %%X11%% in front of the lines only being installed when the option is enabled, like this :


This substitution will be done between the pre-install and do-install targets, by reading from PLIST and writing to TMPPLIST (default: WRKDIR/.PLIST.mktmp). So if the port builds PLIST on the fly, do so in or before pre-install. Also, if the port needs to edit the resulting file, do so in post-install to a file named TMPPLIST.

Another way of modifying a port's packing list is based on setting the variables PLIST_FILES and PLIST_DIRS. The value of each variable is regarded as a list of pathnames to write to TMPPLIST along with PLIST contents. While names listed in PLIST_FILES and PLIST_DIRS are subject to %%VAR%% substitution as described above, it is better to use the ${VAR} directly. Except for that, names from PLIST_FILES will appear in the final packing list unchanged, while @dir will be prepended to names from PLIST_DIRS. To take effect, PLIST_FILES and PLIST_DIRS must be set before TMPPLIST is written, that is, in pre-install or earlier.

From time to time, using OPTIONS_SUB is not enough. In those cases, adding a specific TAG to PLIST_SUB inside the Makefile with a special value of @comment, makes package tools to ignore the line. For instance, if some files are only installed when the X11 option is on and the architecture is i386:

.include <>

.if ${PORT_OPTIONS:MX11} && ${ARCH} == "i386"
PLIST_SUB+=	X11I386=""
PLIST_SUB+=	X11I386="@comment "

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