Subject: pkgsrc
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Alistair Crooks <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/03/1998 02:52:49
I'm often told that we don't do a very good job of advertising the
various parts of NetBSD, and the package system is often cited as a good
example of this.

This mail is intended to be a short introduction to the package
system.  You could also look at the Packages.txt document:
or the README file in the top-level pkgsrc directory.

The packages collection is made weekly into a tar_file:
and you can sup the pkgsrc tree using the `pkgsrc' name for the

The pkgsrc tree is laid out in various categories, and, within that, the
various packages themselves.

You need to have root privileges to install packages. We are looking at
ways to remove this restriction.

+ To install a package on your system, you need to change into the
directory of the package, and type "make && make install".

+ If you've made a mistake, and decided that you don't want that package
on your system, then type "pkg_delete <pkg-name>".

+ To find out all the packages that you have installed on your system,
type "pkg_info".

+ To remove the work directory, type "make clean", and "make
clean-depends" will clean up any working directories for other packages
that are built in the process of making your package.

The best way to find out what packages are in the collection is to move
to the top-level pkgsrc directory (this will usually be /usr/pkgsrc),
and type "make readme".  This will create a file called README.html in
the top-level pkgsrc directory, and also in all category and package
directories. You can then see what packages are available, along with a
short (one-line) comment about the function of the package, by using a
browser like lynx (see pkgsrc/www/lynx) or something like Communicator

Finally, please make sure that you have up-to-date copies of
and in your /usr/share/mk directory (they are
installed when you do a "make install" in /usr/src/share/mk).