17.19 Marking a port BROKEN, FORBIDDEN, or otherwise not installable

In certain cases users should be prevented from installing a port. For instance, there may come a time when a particular port will contain a security vulnerability, will be radically broken and needs many hours of tender loving care, or is generally obsoleted, but for one reason or another should remain in the tree (and get fixed, right?). To tell a user that a port should not be installed, there are several make variables that can be used in a port's Makefile. The value of the following make variables will be the reason that is given back to users for why the port refuses to install itself. Please use the correct make variable as each make variable conveys radically different meanings to both users, and to automated systems that depend on the Makefiles, such as the ports build cluster, FreshPorts, and portsmon.

Do remember that BROKEN and FORBIDDEN are to be used as a last resort if a port is not upgradeable. Permanently broken ports should be removed from the tree entirely.

When it makes sense to do so, users can be warned about a pending port removal with DEPRECATED and EXPIRATION_DATE. The former is simply a string stating why the port is scheduled for removal; the latter is a string in ISO 8601 format (YYYY-MM-DD). Both will be shown to the user.

It is possible to set DEPRECATED without an EXPIRATION_DATE (for instance, recommending a newer version of the port), but the converse does not make any sense.

There is no set policy on how much notice to give. Current practice seems to be one month for security-related issues and two months for build issues. This also gives any interested committers a little time to fix the problems.

For questions about the FreeBSD ports system, e-mail <ports@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.

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