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pkg_add(1) NetBSD Reference Manual pkg_add(1)
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pkg_add - a utility for installing software package distributions
pkg_add [-vInfRMS] [-t template] [-p prefix]
The pkg_add command is used to extract packages that have been previously
created with the pkg_create(1) command.
Since the pkg_add command may execute scripts or programs contained with-
in a package file, your system may be susceptible to ``trojan horses'' or
other subtle attacks from miscreants who create dangerous package files.
You are advised to verify the competence and identity of those who pro-
vide installable package files. For extra protection, use the -M flag to
extract the package file, and inspect its contents and scripts to insure
it poses no danger to your system's integrity. Pay particular attention
to any +INSTALL, +DEINSTALL, +REQUIRE or +MTREE_DIRS files, and inspect
the +CONTENTS file for @cwd, @mode (check for setuid), @dirrm, @exec, and
@unexec directives, and/or use the pkg_info(1) command to examine the
The following command line arguments are supported:
The named packages are installed. pkg-name may be either a URL
or a local pathname, a package name of "-" will cause pkg_add to
read from stdin. If the packages are not found in the current
working directory, pkg_add will search them in each directory
named by the PKG_PATH environment variable. Any dependencies re-
quired by the installed package will be searched in the same lo-
cation that the original package was installed from.
-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 mktemp(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 mktemp(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 stdout where it may be filtered by a
program such as sed(1). When used in conjunction with SLAVE
mode, it allows you to make radical changes to the package struc-
ture 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 stdin. The complete packing
list is also read from stdin, and the contents then acted on as
One or more pkg-name arguments may be specified, each being either a file
containing the package (these usually ending with the ``.tgz'' suffix) or
a URL pointing at a file available on an ftp or web site. Thus you may
extract files directly from their anonymous ftp or WWW locations (e.g.
ages/1.3.2/i386/shells/bash-2.02.1.tgz). Note: If you wish to use pas-
sive mode ftp in such transfers, set the variable FTP_PASSIVE_MODE to
some value in your environment. Otherwise, the more standard ACTIVE mode
may be used. If pkg_add consistently fails to fetch a package from a
site known to work, it may be because you have a firewall that demands
the usage of passive mode ftp.
pkg_add extracts each package's "packing list" into a special staging di-
rectory in /tmp (or $PKG_TMPDIR if set) and then runs through the follow-
ing sequence to fully extract the contents of the package:
1. A check is made to determine if the package or another version of it
is already recorded as installed. If it is, installation is termi-
2. A check is made to determine if the package conflicts (from @pkgcfl
directives, see pkg_create(1)) with an already recorded as installed
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 use-
ful 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.
The value of the PKG_PATH is used if a given package can't be found, it's
usually set to /usr/pkgsrc/packages/All. The environment variable should
be a series of entries seperated by semicolons. Each entry consists of a
directory name or URL. The current directory may be indicated implicitly
by an empty directory name, or explicitly by a single period. FTP URLs
may not end with a slash.
Where to register packages instead of /var/db/pkg.
Staging directory for installing packages, defaults to /tmp. Set to di-
rectory with lots of free disk if you run out of space when installing a
pkg_admin(1), pkg_create(1), pkg_delete(1), pkg_info(1), mktemp(3),
Initial work and ongoing development.
NetBSD wildcard dependency processing, pkgdb, etc.
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 and the link names are
extracted with a single tar command (not split between invocations due to
exec argument-space limitations--this depends on the value returned by
Sure to be others.
NetBSD 1.5 January 12, 1999 4