Software installation from ports

Installing software on virtual private servers. General provisions

Every virtual private server is provided with a rich collection of pre-installed software. The pre-installed software does not occupy your VPS disk space, and our specialists regularly update it. However, you may want to install additional software.

FreeBSD provides different technologies that you can use to install the software, such as installation from binary packages, from the source code and from the FreeBSD Ports collection, which is the most advantageous method. The FreeBSD Ports collection is a set of software sources. Installation from ports involves interconnection of many  programs.

The Ports collection is located in the /usr/ports directory. Our specialists update it at a regular basis, that’s why we would strongly recommend you not update it yourself.

List of installed software

To view the list of installed packages, run the following program from your VPS console:

# pkg_info

All the installed packages including the pre-installed software packages and those you can set up yourself following the instructions below will be listed.

The pkg_info command has many useful parameters that you can learn in details on the corresponding page of the Guide (man pkg_info). For example, you can view the list of specific package files, such as:

# pkg_info -L zip-2.31

Installing programs from ports

Locate the required program in the /usr/ports directory. The programs are grouped into catalogues for you to easily find them. Go to the required catalogue using the “cd” command:

# cd /usr/ports/…/program

You can pre-configure most of the programs by executing:

# make config

The configuration menu will appear. If not, the program does not have configuration options. Once configuration is complete, run the compilation process:

# make

If the compilation process is successfully completed, run the installation process with the command:

# make install

Note! If you already have the program and want to update it, execute the following commands instead of  “make install”

# make deinstall
# make reinstall

After you have installed the program, delete the contemporary files to save the disk space:

# make clean

Please note, that the installed software will occupy your VPS disk space. The program that you have installed won’t update along with the pre-installed software. When a new program version is released, you will need to update it yourself.

Deleting installed programs

Find out a full name of the previously installed package, including the version number (see pkg_info) and run the command:

# pkg_delete program_version

For example,

# pkg_delete zip-2.31

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Posted on February 12, 2010