Chapter 7. Advanced pkg-plist Practices

Table of Contents
7.1. Changing pkg-plist Based on Make Variables
7.2. Empty Directories
7.3. Configuration Files
7.4. Dynamic Versus Static Package List
7.5. Automated Package List Creation
7.6. Expanding Package List with Keywords

7.1. 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 the pkg-plist of %%OSREL%%, %%PERL_VER%%, and %%PERL_VERSION%% will be substituted for appropriately. The value of %%OSREL%% is the numeric revision of the operating system (e.g., 4.9). %%PERL_VERSION%% and %%PERL_VER%% is the full version number of perl (e.g., 5.8.9). Several other %%VARS%% related to port's documentation files are described in the relevant section.

If you need to make other substitutions, you can set the PLIST_SUB variable with a list of VAR=VALUE pairs and instances of %%VAR%% will be substituted with VALUE in the pkg-plist.

For instance, if you have a port that installs many files in a version-specific subdirectory, you can put something like


in the Makefile and use %%OCTAVE_VERSION%% wherever the version shows up in pkg-plist. That way, when you upgrade the port, you will not have to change dozens (or in some cases, hundreds) of lines in the pkg-plist.

If your port installs files conditionally on the options set in the port, the usual way of handling it is prefixing the 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 the Makefile has:


In the pkg-plist file, 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 your port builds PLIST on the fly, do so in or before pre-install. Also, if your 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, PLIST_DIRS, and PLIST_DIRSTRY. The value of each variable is regarded as a list of pathnames to write to TMPPLIST along with PLIST contents. Names listed in PLIST_FILES, PLIST_DIRS, and PLIST_DIRSTRY are subject to %%VAR%% substitution as described above. Except for that, names from PLIST_FILES will appear in the final packing list unchanged, while @dirrm and @dirrmtry will be prepended to names from PLIST_DIRS and PLIST_DIRSTRY, respectively. To take effect, PLIST_FILES, PLIST_DIRS, and PLIST_DIRSTRY must be set before TMPPLIST is written, i.e., in pre-install or earlier.

From time to time, the OPTIONS_SUB construct is not enough, in those cases, adding a specific TAG to the PLIST_SUB variable 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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