Building ports on old FreeBSDs

The instructions in this entry no longer work, please check out the revised entry on this issue.

I've got a couple older FreeBSD machines at work, running 4.7 and 4.8, that have started having trouble building ports. Apparently some changes have been made to the ports infrastructure that are not compatible with make on older FreeBSDs. The error message given when a running 'make' in a port directory is:

"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2292: warning: String comparison operator should be either == or !=
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2292: warning: String comparison operator should be either == or !=
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2292: Malformed conditional (((${OSVERSION} < 504105 || 
      (${OSVERSION} >= 600000 && ${OSVERSION} < 600103) 
      || (${OSVERSION} >= 700000 && ${OSVERSION}     < 700012)) 
     && ${PKGORIGIN} != "ports-mgmt/pkg_install") || exists(${LOCALBASE}/sbin/pkg_info))
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2293: warning: String comparison operator should be either == or !=
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2293: warning: String comparison operator should be either == or !=
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2293: Malformed conditional ((${OSVERSION} < 504105 || 
     (${OSVERSION} >= 600000 && ${OSVERSION} < 600103) 
     || (${OSVERSION} >= 700000 && ${OSVERSION} < 700012)) 
     && ${PKGORIGIN} != "ports-mgmt/pkg_install")
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2308: if-less else
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2308: Need an operator
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2322: if-less endif
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 2322: Need an operator
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 5987: if-less endif
"/usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk", line 5987: Need an operator
make: fatal errors encountered -- cannot continue

I ran into this when trying to update timezone info. The problem can be fixed by installing a newer version of make on the system.

First, backup /usr/ports/Mk/bsd.port.mk

 cd /usr/ports/Mk
 cp -p bsd.port.mk bsd.port.mk.orig

Then patch it with this file or edit with your favorite editor going to line 2292 (the first error line above), where there's a chunk of .if .if....endif .endif statements and tossing everything except this first cluster of variables being set:

PKG_CMD?=              ${LOCALBASE_REL}/sbin/pkg_create
PKG_ADD?=              ${LOCALBASE_REL}/sbin/pkg_add
PKG_DELETE?=   ${LOCALBASE_REL}/sbin/pkg_delete
PKG_INFO?=             ${LOCALBASE_REL}/sbin/pkg_info
PKG_VERSION?=          ${LOCALBASE_REL}/sbin/pkg_version

save it. Now build and install a newer version of make, "Berkeley make, back-ported to FreeBSD 4.x"

cd /usr/ports/devel/make
make install
make clean


use it instead of the old make

cd /usr/bin
mv make make.old
ln -s /usr/local/bin/make .

restore the bsd.ports.mk file you backed up

cd /usr/ports/Mk
mv bsd.port.mk.orig bsd.port.mk

You should be able to build ports again using the current ports tree infrastructure.