I installed the Vim editor using Ports and in the process didn't enable GTK2 or GNOME option. I assume that either these 2 options will let me use gvim. Here's my pkg info vim:

Name           : vim
Version        : 7.4.430_1
Installed on   : Sun Sep  7 13:30:57 PHT 2014
Origin         : editors/vim
Architecture   : freebsd:10:x86:32
Prefix         : /usr/local
Categories     : editors
Maintainer     : [email protected]
WWW            : http://www.vim.org/
Comment        : Improved version of the vi editor
Options        :
        ATHENA         : off
        CONSOLE        : on
        CSCOPE         : on
        GNOME          : off
        GTK2           : off
        LUA            : on
        MOTIF          : off
        NLS            : on
        PERL           : on
        PYTHON         : on

Now, I want to enable either the GNOME or GTK2 option.

I've tried make deinstall followed by make reinstall but I don't get the dialogs for choosing the options to enable just like I did when I installed Vim the first time. I've also tried make deinstall then make install but still no go.

  • 1
    And by running make config before make install? (in /usr/ports/editors/vim)
    – julp
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 9:42
  • @julp Thanks for helping me again. that's what I missed. Make this an answer so I can choose it as such.
    – baktin
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


FreeBSD is smart enough to not bother you about port options: if they haven't changed at port level (Makefile), it won't ask you twice for them.

I do not use binary packages but I guess, in your case, that options from your previous installed binary package were kept so the make config step was skipped.

Anyway, to force FreeBSD to display the dialog screen to choose your build options, run make config before make install.

In the same way: to restore default options, it exists make rmconfig.

  • Thanks. I think it would be helpful to add this to the official Handbook...just in case noobs like myself need this info.
    – baktin
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 10:43
  • At least, all port "commands" (make targets) are described in man 7 ports ;)
    – julp
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 11:27

Note, you can also enable ports-wide options by editing /etc/make.conf, and the ports(7) manpage demonstrates this in example 4:

Example 4: Setting Ports Options via make.conf(5)

The following lines present various ways of configuring ports options
via make.conf(5) (as an alternative to, e.g., running “make config”):

# Enable NLS for all ports unless configured otherwise
# using the options dialog.
OPTIONS_SET=            NLS
# Disable DOCS for all ports overriding the options set
# via the options dialog.
# Disable DOCS and EXAMPLES for the shells/zsh port.
shells_zsh_UNSET=       DOCS EXAMPLES

It also references the /usr/ports/Mk/bsd.options.mk file, which documents more options that can be set in the comments at the top of the file.

This kind of configuration is what you'll need if you use a tool like ports-mgmt/synth, but note, synth has it's own make config file location, which by default should be /usr/local/etc/synth/LiveSystem-make.conf, but see the synth(1) manpage's FILES section for details.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .