My make.conf

Ever installed a port from the ports collection only to find out it pulled-in an unwanted version of a dependency?

Make.conf is used to provide flexibility in the process of compiling sources, documentation and applications.  It provides the user a means to override the default values or variables.

Let’s take a look at my make.conf:


Notes on my make.conf:

  • Since a number of ports install Berkeley DB as a dependency, WITH_BDB_VER=5 forces the building of Berkeley DB 5.  At the time of this writing, many ports list Berkeley DB 4.6 as a dependency even though it is marked deprecated
  • The requirement for this server is to utilize Apache 2.4. Thus, APACHE_PORT=www/apache24 is included in make.conf
  • This server is headless therefore X11 is not needed and the OPTIONS_UNSET=X11 is utilized

Final thoughts:

There are many options, values and variables in make.conf one can alter to affect the building of ported applications, kernels, buildworld and documentation.  Please consult the man page for make.conf at

Additionally, information found in /usr/ports/Mk can be useful for specific ports or category of ports.  Makefile Options found in /usr/ports/KNOBS can be helpful.

For more information, please visit the enclosed links:


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