From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)Alistair Crooks, Hubert Feyrer and Johnny C. Lam[1]
Initial releaseJanuary 4, 1998; 26 years ago (1998-01-04)
Stable release
2024Q1[2] / 4 April 2024; 8 days ago (4 April 2024)
Written inC, Unix shell
Operating systemUnix-like
TypePackage management system
LicenseBSD License

pkgsrc (package source) is a package management system for Unix-like operating systems. It was forked from the FreeBSD ports collection in 1997 as the primary package management system for NetBSD. Since then it has evolved independently; in 1999, support for Solaris was added, followed by support for other operating systems.[3]

pkgsrc currently contains over 22,000 packages and includes most popular open-source software. It is the native package manager on NetBSD, SmartOS and MINIX 3, and is portable across 23 different operating systems, including AIX, various BSD derivatives, HP-UX, IRIX, Linux,[4] macOS,[5] Solaris, and QNX.[6]

There are multiple ways to install programs using pkgsrc. The pkgsrc bootstrap contains a traditional ports collection that utilizes a series of makefiles to compile software from source. Another method is to install pre-built binary packages via the pkg_add and pkg_delete tools. A high-level utility named pkgin also exists, and is designed to automate the installation, removal, and update of binary packages in a manner similar to Debian's Advanced Packaging Tool.[7]

Several vendors, including, provide binary packages for popular operating systems, including macOS and Linux.[5][4]

Supported platforms[edit]

Platform Date added
NetBSD October 1997
Solaris March 1999
Linux June 1999
Darwin and macOS October 2001
FreeBSD November 2002
OpenBSD November 2002
IRIX December 2002
BSD/OS December 2003
AIX December 2003
Interix (for Windows NT) March 2004
DragonFly BSD October 2004
OSF/1 November 2004
HP-UX April 2007
QNX October 2007
Haiku January 2010
MINIX 3 August 2010
MirBSD January 2011
illumos and SmartOS February 2011
Cygwin May 2013
GNU/kFreeBSD July 2013
Bitrig June 2015


On October 3, 1997, NetBSD developers Alistair Crooks and Hubert Feyrer created pkgsrc[1] based on the FreeBSD ports system and intended to support the NetBSD packages collection. It was officially released as part of NetBSD 1.3[8] on January 4, 1998. DragonFly BSD used pkgsrc as its official package system from version 1.4 in 2006, to 3.4 in 2013.[9][3]

On 2017-09-12, a commit message policy that accommodates DVCS was established by the project.[10]


The NetBSD Foundation provides official, pre-built binary packages for multiple combinations of NetBSD and pkgsrc releases, and occasionally for certain other operating systems as well.[11]

As of 2018, several vendors provide pre-built binary packages for several platforms:


  1. ^ a b "10 years of pkgsrc - pkgsrc and the concepts of package management 1997-2007 (part 1)". The NetBSD Foundation. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  2. ^ Thomas Klausner (4 April 2024). "pkgsrc-2024Q1 branch released". Retrieved 12 April 2024.
  3. ^ a b David Chisnall (2006-10-06). "NetBSD: Not Just for Toasters". InformIT. Prentice Hall Professional. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  4. ^ a b c "Joyent Packages Documentation - Install On Linux". Joyent. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  5. ^ a b c d "Joyent Packages Documentation - Install On macOS". Joyent. Archived from the original on 2018-10-06. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  6. ^ Perkin, Jonathan (2018-10-05). "Announcing the pkgsrc-2018Q3 release". NetBSD. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  7. ^ "pkgin, a binary package manager for pkgsrc".
  8. ^ "Information about NetBSD 1.3".
  9. ^ Dillon, Matthew (2005-08-31). "PKGSRC will be officially supported as of the next release". DragonFly users mailing list.
  10. ^ Thomas Klausner (2017-09-12). "pkgsrc Commit Message Policy". pkgsrc-users@ (Mailing list). NetBSD. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  11. ^ "Index of pub/PKGSRC/Packages/".
  12. ^ a b "Joyent's packages, available for SmartOS/illumos, Linux, and OSX". Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  13. ^ "Index of /Packages/".
  14. ^ a b "Re: Pkgsrc binary packages now available for scientific computing". pkgsrc-users (Mailing list). NetBSD. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  16. ^ "Software Management". University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, High Performance Computing dept. Retrieved 2018-10-11.

External links[edit]