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Last modified 10 days ago Last modified on 10/19/14 21:01:09

Migrating a MacPorts install to a new major OS version or CPU architecture

A MacPorts installation is designed to work with a particular operating system and a particular hardware architecture. Upgrading the operating system (e.g., from Mavericks to Yosemite) or migrating to a new machine with a different architecture (e.g., from PowerPC to Intel) will generally cause problems. The following procedure is designed to prevent such problems.

(The procedure is not necessary after Xcode upgrades unless one of the scenarios listed above also applies.)

Migration procedure

  1. Reinstall Xcode. After performing either of these types of system upgrades, you will need to update the development tools. If you are upgrading from a prior version of OS X, install the latest version of Xcode for your new OS.
  2. Reinstall MacPorts. After updating the development tools, install the base MacPorts system for your new platform, either from the appropriate pkg or dmg file if already available or from source.
    1. Update macports.conf. If your macports.conf contains uncommented settings for universal_archs or build_arch, you will likely want to update them, since unlike earlier OS versions, the compiler on Snow Leopard and later will build for x86_64 by default on systems that support it. The default values will be fine for almost all users, so unless you know you need something different, just comment out these two lines. Several other settings in macports.conf have changed their defaults over the years. Take a moment to compare each line of your macports.conf with the corresponding line in macports.conf.default in the same directory. Unless you know a reason why a line your settings file should be different from the defaults, adopt the line from the defaults file.
  3. Reinstall ports. To reinstall your ports:
    1. Save the list of installed ports:
      port -qv installed > myports.txt
      
    2. (optional) Save the list of requested ports:
      port echo requested | cut -d ' ' -f 1 > requested.txt
      
    3. Uninstall all installed ports:
      sudo port -f uninstall installed
      
    4. Clean any partially-completed builds:
      sudo port clean all
      
    5. Download and execute the restore_ports script. (If you installed MacPorts from source and used a custom prefix, then you'll need to use the -p option when you run restore_ports.tcl; see ./restore_ports.tcl -h.)
      curl -O https://svn.macports.org/repository/macports/contrib/restore_ports/restore_ports.tcl
      chmod +x restore_ports.tcl
      sudo ./restore_ports.tcl myports.txt
      
    6. (optional) Restore requested status: If you saved the list of requested ports, you can now restore the requested flags for your newly installed ports to their former states.
      sudo port unsetrequested installed
      < requested.txt xargs sudo port setrequested
      

Troubleshooting

Though it is now quite well-tested, the restore_ports script may fail in some cases. One known issue is that the script will fail if there are conflicting ports in the list. It's possible to have conflicting ports installed provided at most one of the conflicting set is active. If the script fails for this reason, you can delete one of the conflicting ports from myports.txt and then simply run the script again. You may need to do this multiple times if there are multiple conflicting ports listed.

In the worst case, you can reinstall your ports manually:

  1. Browse myports.txt and install the ports one by one, remembering to specify the appropriate variants:
    sudo port install portname +variant1 +variant2 …
    

Note that if you have specified variants which are not the default, you may need to install ports in an order other than the alphabetical order recorded in myports.txt. You may skip explicitly installing ports that you did not request as long as they are not using non-default variants, since they will be installed as dependencies of other ports.