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Developer(s)Alistair Crooks, Hubert Feyrer and Johnny C. Lam[1]
Initial releaseJanuary 4, 1998; 21 years ago (1998-01-04)
Stable release2018Q4 (31 December 2018; 2 months ago (2018-12-31)) [±]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
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.

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,[2] macOS,[3] Solaris, and QNX.[4]

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.[5]

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[6] on January 4, 1998. DragonFly BSD used pkgsrc as its official package system from version 1.4 in 2006, to 3.4 in 2013.[7]


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.[8]

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. ^ a b "Joyent Packages Documentation - Install On Linux". Joyent. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  3. ^ a b c "Joyent Packages Documentation - Install On macOS". Joyent. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  4. ^ Perkin, Jonathan (2018-10-05). "Announcing the pkgsrc-2018Q3 release". NetBSD. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  5. ^ "pkgin, a binary package manager for pkgsrc".
  6. ^ "Information about NetBSD 1.3".
  7. ^ Dillon, Matthew (2005-08-31). "PKGSRC will be officially supported as of the next release". DragonFly users mailing list.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b "Joyent's packages, available for SmartOS/illumos, Linux, and OSX". Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "Re: Pkgsrc binary packages now available for scientific computing". pkgsrc-users (Mailing list). NetBSD. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  13. ^ "Software Management". University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, High Performance Computing dept. Retrieved 2018-10-11.

External links[edit]