Jonathan Perkin edited this page May 30, 2017 · 3 revisions


  1. Introduction
  2. Navigating pkgsrc
  3. Configuration Files
  4. Package Options
  5. Building A Package
  6. Installing A Package
  7. Cleanup
  8. Summary


Our goal at Joyent is that our binary packages fulfill all of our users' needs. This isn't always possible, however - users may want packages we do not yet provide, or build with different options.

To satisfy those demands, it should instead be reasonably straight-forward for users to build their own packages, and this guide hopefully provides all the information for them to do just that.

This guide assumed that you have followed the setup document and are logged into an appropriate run-sandbox session.

Navigating pkgsrc

pkgsrc is organised into categories, with all packages following the pkgsrc/<category>/<package> layout, and everything is driven with bmake, the BSD implementation of make(1). We will choose nmap as an example, as it will show a couple of things that need to be covered.

First, finding it. Often the easiest way is with a simple glob:

$ cd /data/pkgsrc
$ ls -d */*nmap*

If you want a more featured search, you can do:

$ bmake search key=nmap

though the first time you run this it creates the INDEX file it requires, and that can take a long time. Another option is to use the web interface.

Once you have selected a package, cd into its directory in order to perform any further actions.

$ cd net/nmap

Configuration Files

There are three main configuration files to be aware of when building packages.

The primary configuration file for building packages is mk.conf. This file is stored relative to PKG_SYSCONFDIR which differs depending on the OS and package set, so to find the correct location for the sandbox you have created you can run (assuming you are in a package directory):

$ echo $(bmake show-var VARNAME=PKG_SYSCONFDIR)/mk.conf

Changes made to this file will be lost upon exiting the sandbox, so it is useful for temporary changes which you do not wish to retain.

This primary mk.conf then includes a secondary pkgbuild-specific mk.conf configuration file which contains the bulk of the configuration for the chosen pkgbuild. This is stored in /data/pkgbuild/conf/<pkgbuild>/mk.conf. As this file is maintained in thepkgbuild.git` repository it's best not to make changes to it.

Finally, the pkgbuild mk.conf includes an optional mk.conf.local file located in the same directory, so if you wish to make permanent changes then they should go in this file.

So, for example, with a 2016Q4-x86_64 package set you would have:


The reason for having separate files is because the primary mk.conf is part of the bootstrap kit, and so cannot be easily edited. By having per-pkgbuild configuration files we can make changes to the build easily via git without having to re-generate and distribute new bootstrap kits.

Package Options

Next, let's look at any options the package supports.

$ bmake show-options

If the package supports build options, as net/nmap does, you'll see something like:

Any of the following general options may be selected:
        inet6    Enable support for IPv6.
        lua      Enable Lua support.
        ndiff    Enable tool to compare Nmap scans.
        zenmap   Enable nmap GUI frontend.

These options are enabled by default:

These options are currently enabled:

You can select which build options to use by setting PKG_DEFAULT_OPTIONS
or PKG_OPTIONS.nmap.

These options are configured in mk.conf, so either add it to the primary mk.conf if you wish to just test them temporarily, or add them to mk.conf.local as described above for a more permanent change:

PKG_OPTIONS.nmap+=	ndiff

Building A Package

Now finally, we can go ahead and build the package. The output from this will be long, so you may want to tee it to a file for reviewing:

$ bmake 2>&1 | tee /var/tmp/nmap.log

Assuming this completes ok, you should note the main stages that make up a package build:

  • bootstrap-depends comes first, and installs all the dependencies required for pkgsrc to get started. For example, pkgtools/digest is installed to calculate the SHA1, RMD160, and SHA512 checksums of the source tarball and any package patches.
=> Bootstrap dependency digest>=20010302: NOT found
=> Verifying bin-install for ../../pkgtools/digest
===> Binary install for digest>=20010302
=> Installing digest>=20010302 from /data/packages/SmartOS/2016Q4/x86_64/All;
digest-20160304 successfully installed.
  • fetch and checksum then run to download the source tarball for this particular package, and then verify the checksum matches that stored by pkgsrc, to ensure it was downloaded from a good source:
=> Fetching nmap-7.40.tar.bz2
=> Total size: 9043221 bytes
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 8831k  100 8831k    0     0  1634k      0  0:00:05  0:00:05 --:--:-- 1814k
=> Checksum SHA1 OK for nmap-7.40.tar.bz2
=> Checksum RMD160 OK for nmap-7.40.tar.bz2
=> Checksum SHA512 OK for nmap-7.40.tar.bz2
  • depends then installs all packages required for both build and runtime for the package in question:
=> Tool dependency libtool-base>=2.4.2nb9: NOT found
=> Verifying bin-install for ../../devel/libtool-base
===> Binary install for libtool-base>=2.4.2nb9
=> Installing libtool-base>=2.4.2nb9 from /data/packages/SmartOS/2016Q4/x86_64/All;
libtool-base-2.4.2nb13 successfully installed.
  • extract and patch then unpack the source and apply any pkgsrc patches to the package. The patches are located in the patches/ sub-directory of each package:
===> Extracting for nmap-7.40
===> Patching for nmap-7.40
=> Applying pkgsrc patches for nmap-7.40
=> Verifying /data/pkgsrc/net/nmap/patches/patch-configure
=> Applying pkgsrc patch /data/pkgsrc/net/nmap/patches/patch-configure
Hmm...  Looks like a unified diff to me...
The text leading up to this was:
|$NetBSD: patch-configure,v 1.1 2015/11/20 15:37:40 adam Exp $
|External liblinear must be configured later.
|--- configure.orig     2015-11-10 04:26:26.000000000 +0000
|+++ configure
Patching file configure using Plan A...
Hunk #1 succeeded at 6242 (offset 50 lines).
Hunk #2 succeeded at 6897 (offset 2 lines).
  • The bulk of the build is performed by configure and build which for most software will consist of ./configure && make.
===> Configuring for nmap-7.40
Configured with: ndiff nping openssl ncat
Configured without: localdirs zenmap lua nmap-update
Type make (or gmake on some *BSD machines) to compile.
===> Building for nmap-7.40
gmake[1]: Leaving directory '/home/pbulk/build/net/nmap/work/nmap-7.40/nping'

Installing A Package

Assuming that the build completed successfully, you can now call the install target. This installs the software to a temporary DESTDIR directory, and then creates a binary package from that. The binary package is then installed into the real PREFIX using pkg_add:

$ bmake install
===> Installing for nmap-7.40
=> Automatic manual page handling
=> Generating post-install file lists
=> Checking file-check results for nmap-7.40
=> Checking for non-existent script interpreters in nmap-7.40
=> Checking file permissions in nmap-7.40
=> Checking for missing run-time search paths in nmap-7.40
=> Checking for work-directory references in nmap-7.40
=> Creating binary package /home/pbulk/build/net/nmap/work/.packages/nmap-7.40.tgz
===> Installing binary package of nmap-7.40

You can now verify it is installed, and test it:

$ type nmap
nmap is /opt/local/bin/nmap

$ nmap -v
Starting Nmap 7.40 ( ) at 2017-05-30 12:22 UTC
Read data files from: /opt/local/share/nmap
WARNING: No targets were specified, so 0 hosts scanned.
Nmap done: 0 IP addresses (0 hosts up) scanned in 0.15 seconds
           Raw packets sent: 0 (0B) | Rcvd: 0 (0B)

Note that the binary package was created under /home/pbulk. This is a temporary directory which is destroyed when you exit the sandbox. In order to save the package to a permanent location you need to call the package target. Note though that this will overwrite any existing package that may already be stored there.

$ bmake package
=> Bootstrap dependency digest>=20010302: found digest-20160304
===> Building binary package for nmap-7.40
=> Creating binary package /data/packages/SmartOS/2016Q4/x86_64/All/nmap-7.40.tgz

You can now install the package outside of the sandbox using:

$ pkg_add /data/packages/SmartOS/2016Q4/x86_64/All/nmap-7.40.tgz


The quickest way to clean up is to simply exit the sandbox. This will destroy any non-shared directories and remove the sandbox completely.

If you prefer to just clean up the build artefacts, for example if you are using the sandbox to build more packages but do not have a lot of space, you can use the clean and clean-depends targets.

$ bmake clean clean-depends

Sometimes though it's easier (and faster) to just wipe out the build area completely. This is configured by the WRKOBJDIR variable, so:

$ bmake show-var VARNAME=WRKOBJDIR
$ rm -rf /home/pbulk/build/*


This should hopefully be enough to get you started, but is only a small example of what pkgsrc can do and how it is configured. For more in-depth information please refer to the pkgsrc guide.