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

7.1. 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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