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Installing Source Packages


pkgsrc is used to build third-party software. This page describes how to use pkgsrc.

Before diving in, you should be aware of a few things:

  • precompiled binary packages are available for many applications. This can save a lot of time and headaches. See Installing Binary Packages for details.
  • pkgsrc tracks MINIX. For best results, update the base system to tracking current MINIX.

We have currently the following manually maintained lists:


  • 1 GB of hard disk space for the pkgsrc tree (as of August 29, 2014). Additional space is required to build software.
  • 512MB of RAM or more. Some applications such as gcc need more than 512MB of RAM to build.

Setting up pkgsrc on MINIX

To retrieve the current official repository, type the following as root:

# pkgin install git-base digest
# cd /usr
# make pkgsrc

To build software, you will also need to install the development tools (pkgin_sets contains bmake, clang, etc):

# pkgin_sets 

<!> This is all that is needed to prepare the system to build software with pkgsrc. The MINIX installation comes pre-bootstrapped. Do NOT run the bootstrap script that comes with pkgsrc.

Updating the pkgsrc Tree

To update the pkgsrc tree in the future:

# cd /usr
# make pkgsrc-update

This will download any changes (new versions of packages, patches, etc.).

<!> It is important to update your copy of the pkgsrc tree using this method, instead of git pull. This update method may perform additional steps, such as updating your mk.conf file.

Compiling a Package

All pkgsrc operations should be done with bmake.

To build a package, misc/figlet in this example, you need to cd to that directory and do a bmake install.

# cd /usr/pkgsrc/misc/figlet
# bmake install

This installs figlet in /usr/pkg/bin.

If you receive a message “install: exec of strip failed: /usr/bin/strip” test your environmental values:

# which strip
# export STRIP=/usr/pkg/bin/strip

The default for /usr/bin/install -s (as provided in the Makefile) is to use /usr/bin/strip, unless an alternative is provided in the environmental value STRIP.

Additional Documentation

General pkgsrc documentation

See the official pkgsrc guide for complete details.


If you wish to contribute fixes and patches to pkgsrc, please see HowToContribute.

usersguide/installingsourcepackages.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/26 19:42 by gtkelly