PKG_ADD(1) BSD General Commands Manual PKG_ADD(1)
pkg_add -- a utility for installing and upgrading software package distributions
pkg_add [-AfILnRUuVv] [-C config] [-K pkg_dbdir] [-m machine] [-P destdir] [-p prefix]
[-W viewbase] [-w view] file ...
The pkg_add command is used to extract and upgrade packages that have been previously cre-
ated with the pkg_create(1) command. Packages are prepared collections of pre-built bina-
ries, documentation, configurations, installation instructions and/or other files. pkg_add
can recursively install other packages that the current package depends on or requires from
both local disk and via FTP or HTTP.
Since the pkg_add command may execute scripts or programs contained within 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 provide installable pack-
age files. For extra protection, use the digital signatures provided where possible (see
the pkg_install.conf(5)), or, failing that, use tar(1) to extract the package file, and
inspect its contents and scripts to ensure it poses no danger to your system's integrity.
Pay particular attention to any +INSTALL or +DEINSTALL 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 package file.
The following command line arguments are supported:
The named packages are installed. pkg_add will first try to use pkg-name as full
URL or path name without any wildcard processing. If that fails, pkg_add will try
to match packages using wildcard processing. If that fails as well and pkg-name
does not contain any /, the entries of the PKG_PATH variable are searched using the
wildcard processing rules.
-A Mark package as installed automatically, as dependency of another package. You can
pkg_admin set automatic=YES
to mark packages this way after installation, and
pkg_admin unset automatic
to remove the mark. If you pkg_add a package without specifying -A after it had
already been automatically installed, the mark is removed.
Read the configuration file from config instead of the system default.
-f Force installation to proceed even if prerequisite packages are not installed or the
install 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. This flag
also overrides the fatal error when the operating system or architecture the package
was built on differ from that of the host.
-D Force updating even if the dependencies of depending packages are not satisfied by
the new package. This is used by "make replace", after which one would typically
replace the depending packages.
-I If an installation script exists for a given package, do not execute it.
Override the value of the PKG_DBDIR configuration option with the value pkg_dbdir.
-L Don't add the package to any views after installation.
-m Override the machine architecture returned by uname with machine.
-n Don't actually install a package, just report the steps that would be taken if it
Prefix all file and directory names with destdir. For packages without install
scripts this has the same behavior as using chroot(8).
Override the prefix stored in the package with prefix.
-R Do not record the installation of a package. This implies -I. This means that you
cannot deinstall it later, so only use this option if you know what you are doing!
-U Replace an already installed version from a package. Implies -u.
-u If the package that's being installed is already installed, an update is performed.
Installed dependent packages are updated recursively, if they are too old to fulfill
the dependencies of the to-be-installed version. See below for a more detailed
description of the process.
-V Print version number and exit.
-v Turn on verbose output.
Passed down to pkg_view(1) for managed views.
Passed down to pkg_view(1) for managed views.
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 avail-
able on an ftp or web site. Thus you may extract files directly from their anonymous ftp or
WWW locations (e.g., pkg_add ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/Net-
BSD/i386/3.1_2007Q2/shells/bash-3.2.9.tgz or pkg_add http://www.example.org/pack-
ages/screen-4.0.tbz). Note: For ftp transfers, if you wish to use passive 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 meta data (including the ``packing list'') to memory and
then runs through the following 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 terminated if the -u or -U
options are not given.
If the same version is installed and -U is not given, it is marked as manually
installed and process stops. If the -u option is given, it's assumed the package
should be replaced by the new version instead. Before doing so, all packages
that depend on the pkg being upgraded are checked if they also work with the new
version. If that test is not successful, the dependent packages are updated
first. The replacing is then prepared by moving an existing +REQUIRED_BY file
aside (if it exists), and running pkg_delete(1) on the installed package.
Installation then proceeds as if the package was not installed, and restores the
+REQUIRED_BY file afterwards.
2. The package build information is extracted from the +BUILD_INFO file and compared
against the result of uname(3). If the operating system or architecture of the
package differ from that of the host, installation is aborted. This behavior is
overridable with the -f flag.
3. The package build information from +BUILD_INFO is then checked for
USE_ABI_DEPENDS=NO (or IGNORE_RECOMMENDED). If the package was built with ABI
dependency recommendations ignored, a warning will be issued.
4. A check is made to determine if the package conflicts (from @pkgcfl directives,
see pkg_create(1)) with an already recorded as installed package or if an
installed package conflicts with the package. If it is, installation is termi-
5. The file list of the package is compared to the file lists of the installed pack-
ages. If there is any overlap, the installation is terminated.
6. All package dependencies (from @pkgdep directives, see pkg_create(1)) are read
from the packing list. If any of these required packages are not currently
installed, an attempt is made to find and install it; if the missing package can-
not be found or installed, the installation is terminated.
7. If the package contains an install script, it is executed with the following
pkg-name The name of the package being installed.
PRE-INSTALL Keyword denoting that the script is to perform any actions needed
before the package is installed.
If the install script exits with a non-zero status code, the installation is ter-
8. The files from the file list are extracted to the chosen prefix.
9. If an install script exists for the package, it is executed with the following
pkg_name The name of the package being installed.
POST-INSTALL Keyword denoting that the script is to perform any actions needed
after the package has been installed.
10. After installation is complete, a copy of the packing list, deinstall script,
description, and display files are copied into <PKG_DBDIR>/<pkg-name> for subse-
quent possible use by pkg_delete(1). Any package dependencies are recorded in
the other packages' +REQUIRED_BY file.
11. If the package is a depoted package, then add it to the registered by calling
12. Finally, if we were upgrading a package, any +REQUIRED_BY file that was moved
aside before upgrading was started is now moved back into place.
The install script is called with the environment variable PKG_PREFIX set to the installa-
tion 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 scripts are also called with the
PKG_METADATA_DIR environment variable set to the location of the +* meta-data files, and
with the PKG_REFCOUNT_DBDIR environment variable set to the location of the package refer-
ence counts database directory. If the -P flag was given to pkg_add, PKG_DESTDIR will be
set to destdir. Additionally, PKG_METADATA_DIR and PKG_REFCOUNT_DBDIR are prefixed with
See pkg_install.conf(5) for options, that can also be specified using the environment.
Packages using views are also affected by the environment variables documented for
In all cases, pkg_add will try to install binary packages listed in dependencies list.
You can specify a compiled binary package explicitly on the command line.
# pkg_add /usr/pkgsrc/packages/All/tcsh-6.14.00.tgz
If you omit the version number, pkg_add will install the latest version available. With -v,
pkg_add emits more messages to terminal.
# pkg_add -v /usr/pkgsrc/packages/All/unzip
You can grab a compiled binary package from remote location by specifying a URL. The base
URL can also be provided by the configuration variable, PKG_PATH.
# pkg_add -v ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/i386/3.1_2007Q2/All/firefox-184.108.40.206.tgz
# export PKG_PATH=ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/i386/3.1_2007Q2/All
# pkg_add -v firefox
pkg_admin(1), pkg_create(1), pkg_delete(1), pkg_info(1), pkg_install.conf(5), pkgsrc(7)
Initial work and ongoing development.
NetBSD wildcard dependency processing, pkgdb, upgrading, etc.
Rewrote most of the code base to work without external commands.
Package upgrading needs a lot more work to be really universal.
Sure to be others.
BSD June 16, 2010 BSD