Train Bridge at Swarthmore College crossing Crum Creek

Automating Ports with Poudriere

While pkg-ng is good for simple FreeBSD setups it rarely fits all of my needs. Eventually you’ll need a package with custom build flags. While ports is pretty decent in itself it is a royal pain to automate. New to FreeBSD 10, poudriere allows ports to be built in the background with no human interaction post setup. Setup is quick and easy to maintain.


I recommend copying over the sample conf file and making changes as you see fit. Make sure to read it over as it will not work out of the box.

[ehouse@myon]$ cp /usr/local/etc/poudriere.conf.sample /usr/local/etc/poudriere.conf

I have also included my config for reference. This should work assuming you have the files and folders in the proper places and create a SSL key for packaging signing. Check out the signing section below.




First Run

Run these commands to setup the poudriere environment. I included comments on what each line does. This will create the ports tree and setup the jail template.

# Create copy of the ports tree
[ehouse@myon]$ poudriere ports -c
# Create base jail
[ehouse@myon]$ poudriere jail -c -j 10x64 -v 10.0-RELEASE -a amd64
# Create port list file for poudrier to build from
[ehouse@myon]$ portmaster --list-origins | sort -d > /usr/local/etc/poudriere-list

You can have poudriere build packages with special options. These options will persist across builds.

[ehouse@myon]$ poudriere options -c www/firefox

Package Signing

Even if your repo is private, signing packages is a good thing to do. Assuming you keep your private key private you can be sure the packages were built on your system. Distribute the cert however you see fit but make sure anyone using your repo has access to it.

[ehouse@myon]$ mkdir -p /usr/local/etc/ssl/keys /usr/local/etc/ssl/certs
[ehouse@myon]$ chmod 600 /usr/local/etc/ssl/keys
[ehouse@myon]$ openssl genrsa -out /usr/local/etc/ssl/keys/pkg.key 4096
[ehouse@myon]$ openssl rsa -in /usr/local/etc/ssl/keys/pkg.key -pubout > /usr/local/etc/ssl/certs/pkg.cert

Final Setup

You’re almost done. All you have left to do is actually host the content somewhere. Just point your trusty webserver at the package set and you’re ready to go.

server {
    listen       80;

    location / {
        autoindex on;
        root /usr/local/poudriere/data/packages/10amd64-default/;

Now you need to create the repo for FreeBSD to read from. Create the file /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/poudriere.conf for pkg to read from. The contents of the repo file are below. Adjust the url to work for your system.

poudriere: {
    url: "",
    mirror_type: "http",
    signature_type: "pubkey",
    pubkey: "/usr/local/etc/ssl/certs/pkg.cert",
    enabled: yes

Time to automate. I wrote up a series of cronjobs to handle the processes of automating. Tweak to how you see fit.

@weekly     /usr/local/bin/poudriere ports -u; /usr/local/bin/poudriere bulk -f /usr/local/etc/poudriere-list -j 10x64
0 6 * * *   /usr/sbin/pkg update
0 23 * * *  /usr/local/sbin/portmaster --list-origins | sort -d > /usr/local/etc/poudriere-list

Web Frontend

Poudriere includes a neat little web frontend to watch packages as they are built. Example Here. I included the nginx config I wrote. Change the root to point at what ever you named the jail template.

server {
    listen       80;

    location / {
        root /usr/local/poudriere/data/logs/bulk/10x64-default/latest;
        index index.html;
        autoindex on;

There you go. A fully functional automated ports building process. Probably took no more then 30 minutes.

I used BSDNow for reference when writing this. Check out their stuff, it’s pretty great.