Building Source Packages

The first step in building a package is to locate the directory within the pkgsrc tree that contains that package, and then entering that directory. There is a provided search utility called pkglocate which can be used to do a keyword search. However, in practice pkglocate is not a very effective search tool.

A much better search tool can be found at pkgtools/pkgfind. To install it:

cd /usr/pkgsrc/pkgtools/pkgfind
bmake install clean clean-depends

Now running pkgfind <searchterm> should return a much better list of search results.


It is good practice to always run the clean and clean-depends targets after running bmake install, to avoid leaving old work directories all over the tree As demonstrated by our installation of pkgfind, the general procedure to build a package using pkgsrc is to:

  1. Locate the directory containing the package we wish to install.
  2. cd into that directory
  3. Run bmake install in that directory.


We run bmake as opposed to just make because pkgsrc uses the NetBSD version of the make utility, which supports somewhat different Makefile syntax than GNU make.