As you can see, it's pretty awesome - and people recognize that. It can also be called via a cron script so your tree is updated automatically every night. Once you have /usr/ports populated with all the makefiles and patches, you're ready to begin installing whatever you need.
The way it works is like this: you have a collection of makefiles and patches stored locally on your system. We'll go through a few basic tasks you might want to do, but first..
This tutorial will show you how to use the source-based ports collection to install and manage applications.
Jordan Hubbard committed what would become the legendary ports system on August 21, 1994. Fetching snapshot generated at Thu Oct 31 EDT 2013: 98c3a00130d24348ff5bcca8474e4c6cb777d838e8f5d2 27% of 69 MB 3728 k Bps 00m21s The portsnap tool will download a snapshot of the tree from the mirror closest to you, verify its integrity against a public key and then extract everything to /usr/ports.
The term refers to a remote repository containing ports and a client program capable of downloading ports from that repository.
Since then, it's grown to become the most powerful and flexible way to manage software. You only need to do "fetch extract" the very first time you install.
It's been copied and imitated by others, and is the basis of Open BSD's ports, Net BSD's pkgsrc, Dragon Fly BSD's dports and even Gentoo Linux's portage. After that, you can keep your tree up to date by issuing: For more information and options, see the portsnap man page.
If even you need to search through /usr/ports/UPDATING file on Free BSD, it becomes a tedious task on the command line if your grep knowledge is not good.
A browser based interface through which you can query using keywords is available at