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PKG_ADD(1) OpenBSD Reference Manual PKG_ADD(1)
pkg_add - install software package distributions
pkg_add [-vInfRMS] [-t template] [-p prefix] pkg-name [...]
The pkg_add command is used to extract packages that have been previously
created with the pkg_create(1) command. Selected packages containing
pre-compiled applications from the /usr/ports tree can be found on the
OpenBSD FTP site or on the official OpenBSD CD. These packages are pro-
vided as a convenience for quickly installing software that would other-
wise need to be built manually.
Package names may be specified as filenames (which normally consist of
the package name itself plus the ``.tgz'' , ``.tar.gz'' , or ``.tar''
suffix) or an FTP location in the form of an URL. For example, the fol-
lowing is valid:
pkg_add -v ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/2.6/packages/i386/m4-1.4.tgz
If the given package names are not found in the current working directo-
ry, pkg_add will search for them in each directory named by the PKG_PATH
environment variable. Specifying `-' as a package name causes pkg_add to
read from the standard input.
Alternativly, it is possible to add packages interactivly from within the
ftp client. For example, the following works:
$ ftp ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/2.6/packages/i386
250 CWD command successful
ftp> ls m*
227 Entering Passive Mode (129,128,5,191,164,73)
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for m*.
226 Transfer complete.
ftp> get m4-1.4tgz "|pgk_add -v -"
Warning: Since the pkg_add command may execute scripts or programs con-
tained within a package file, your system may be susceptible to ``trojan
horses'' or other subtle attacks from miscreants who create dangerous
packages. Be sure the specified package(s) are from trusted sources.
The options are as follows:
-v Turn on verbose output.
-I If an installation script exists for a given package, do not exe-
-n Don't actually install a package, just report the steps that
would be taken if it was.
-R Do not record the installation of a package. This means that you
cannot deinstall it later, so only use this option if you know
what you are doing!
-f Force installation to proceed even if prerequisite packages are
not installed or the requirements script fails. Although pkg_add
will still try to find and auto-install missing prerequisite
packages, a failure to find one will not be fatal.
Set prefix as the directory in which to extract files from a
package. If a package has set its default directory, it will be
overridden by this flag. Note that only the first @cwd directive
will be replaced, since pkg_add has no way of knowing which di-
rectory settings are relative and which are absolute. It is rare
in any case to see more than one directory transition made, but
when such does happen and you wish to have control over all di-
rectory transitions, then you may then wish to look into the use
of MASTER and SLAVE modes (see the -M and -S options).
Use template as the input to mkdtemp(3) when creating a ``staging
area''. By default, this is the string /var/tmp/instmp.XXXXXX,
but it may be necessary to override it in the situation where
space in your /var/tmp directory is limited. Be sure to leave
some number of ``X'' characters for mkdtemp(3) to fill in with a
You can get a performance boost by setting the staging area
template to reside on the same disk partition as target directo-
ries for package file installation; often this is /usr.
-M Run in MASTER mode. This is a very specialized mode for running
pkg_add and is meant to be run in conjunction with SLAVE mode.
When run in this mode, pkg_add does no work beyond extracting the
package into a temporary staging area (see the -t option), read-
ing in the packing list, and then dumping it (prefaced by the
current staging area) to the standard output where it may be fil-
tered by a program such as sed(1). When used in conjunction with
SLAVE mode, it allows you to make radical changes to the package
structure before acting on its contents.
-S Run in SLAVE mode. This is a very specialized mode for running
pkg_add and is meant to be run in conjunction with MASTER mode.
When run in this mode, pkg_add expects the release contents to be
already extracted and waiting in the staging area, the location
of which is read as a string from the standard input. The com-
plete packing list is also read from stdin, and the contents then
acted on as normal.
By default, when adding packages via FTP, the ftp(1) program operates in
``passive'' mode. If you wish to use active mode instead, set the FTPMODE
environment variable to "active". If pkg_add consistently fails to fetch
a package from a site known to work, it may be because the site does not
support passive mode ftp correctly. This is very rare since pkg_add will
try active mode ftp if the server refuses a passive mode connection.
pkg_add extracts each package's ``packing list'' into a special staging
directory in /tmp (or PKG_TMPDIR if set) and then runs through the fol-
lowing sequence to fully extract the contents of the package:
1. A check is made to determine if the package is already recorded as
installed. If it is, installation is terminated.
2. A check is made to determine if the package conflicts (from @pkgcfl
directives, see pkg_create(1)) with an already recorded as in-
stalled package. If it is, installation is terminated.
3. All package dependencies (from @pkgdep directives, see
pkg_create(1)) are read from the packing list. If any of these re-
quired packages are not currently installed, an attempt is made to
find and install it; if the missing package cannot be found or in-
stalled, the installation is terminated.
4. A search is made for any @option directives which control how the
package is added to the system. The only currently implemented op-
tion is @option extract-in-place, which causes the package to be ex-
tracted directly into its prefix directory rather than moving it
through a staging area in /tmp.
5. If @option extract-in-place is enabled, the package is now extracted
directly into its final location, otherwise it is extracted into the
6. If the package contains a require script (see pkg_create(1)), it is
executed with the following arguments:
pkg-name The name of the package being installed
INSTALL Keyword denoting to the script that it is to run an
installation requirements check (the keyword is useful
only to scripts which serve multiple functions).
If the require script exits with a non-zero status code, the instal-
lation is terminated.
7. If the package contains an install script, it is executed with the
pkg-name The name of the package being installed.
PRE-INSTALL Keyword denoting that the script is to perform any ac-
tions needed before the package is installed.
If the install script exits with a non-zero status code, the instal-
lation is terminated.
8. If @option extract-in-place is not present in the packing list, then
it is used as a guide for moving (or copying, as necessary) files
from the staging area into their final locations.
9. If the package contains an mtreefile file (see pkg_create(1)), then
mtree is invoked as:
mtree -u -f mtreefile -d -e -p prefix
where prefix is either the prefix specified with the -p flag or, if
no -p flag was specified, the name of the first directory named by a
@cwd directive within this package.
10. If an install script exists for the package, it is executed with the
pkg_name The name of the package being installed.
POST-INSTALL Keyword denoting that the script is to perform any ac-
tions needed after the package has been installed.
11. After installation is complete, a copy of the packing list,
deinstall script, description, and display files are copied into
/var/db/pkg/<pkg-name> for subsequent possible use by pkg_delete(1).
Any package dependencies are recorded in the other packages'
/var/db/pkg/<other-pkg>/+REQUIRED_BY file (if the environment vari-
able PKG_DBDIR is set, this overrides the /var/db/pkg/ path shown
12. Finally, the staging area is deleted and the program terminates.
The install and require scripts are called with the environment variable
PKG_PREFIX set to the installation prefix (see the -p option above).
This allows a package author to write a script that reliably performs
some action on the directory where the package is installed, even if the
user might change it with the -p flag to pkg_add.
PKG_PATH If a given package name cannot be found, the directories named
by PKG_PATH are searched. It should contain a series of en-
tries separated by colons. Each entry consists of a directory
name. The current directory may be indicated implicitly by an
empty directory name, or explicitly by a single period (`.').
PKG_DBDIR Where to register packages instead of /var/db/pkg.
pkg_create(1), pkg_delete(1), pkg_info(1), mkdtemp(3), sysconf(3),
Initial work and ongoing development.
Hard links between files in a distribution are only preserved if either
(1) the staging area is on the same file system as the target directory
of all the links to the file, or (2) all the links to the file are brack-
eted by @cwd directives in the contents file, and the link names are ex-
tracted with a single tar(1) command (not split between invocations due
to exec argument-space limitations; this depends on the value returned by
Sure to be others.
OpenBSD 2.6 November 25, 1994 4
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
FreeBSD Sources for pkg_add(1)
OpenBSD sources for pkg_add(1)
Up to: File and Version Management - RCS, CVS, distribution, etc.
Up to: Installed Software Administration - installation utilities, consistency and security checks, virus scanners
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