Area 51 repository

In the KDE 3 days, around FreeBSD 5, the repository where KDE ports were developed was called Area 51 – the famous place where aliens land. Although 'area51' no longer appears in the host name or repository name, we still call it Area 51.

Area 51 is used for development of KDE and Qt ports that are maintained by the KDE on FreeBSD team. These ports are not always in a stable state, so users are encouraged to test and report problems, especially during call for testing (CFT) periods. Area 51 is hosted on GitHub.

New versions and changes to ports are always committed here first and only later hit the FreeBSD ports tree. The history of commits is recorded in the KDE on FreeBSD e-mail list. Workflow is similar to the graphics stack ports development workflow, or GNOME ports: a complete Git clone of the ports tree is kept, branches work on specific updates, and that work gets merged to FreeBSD ports master when things are ready.


Source organization

See the XOrg ports pages.

Packages and build status

The current status of some of the branches of Area 51 can be seen in the FreeBSD continuous integration (CI) system, which is a Jenkins instance kindly hosted by one of the team members:

Builds are done on both STABLE and 12.0-CURRENT.

Packages may be obtained from the unofficial repository that is created by the Jenkins CI system. To do this, add a configuration file /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/area51.conf as follows:

FreeBSD: { enabled: false }
area51: {
  url: ""
  priority: 2
  enabled: true

The first line disables the official FreeBSD package repository. This avoids mixing packages from multiple sources, and is is strongly advised when using unofficial packages.


We strongly recommend using poudriere for building packages from Area 51. These packages can then easily be used with pkg(8). First things first, install poudriere:

   # pkg install poudriere

it is recommended to modify `/usr/local/etc/poudriere.conf` to use ZFS.

Setting up the ports tree

(Note that this can be done more easily with poudriere-devel.)

With poudriere installed, you must create one or more ports trees (to build from) and one or more jails (to build in). We'll start with the ports tree. Create a tree, but don't populate it; we'll call this ports tree freebsd-ports-kde.

   # poudriere ports -c -F -m git -p freebsd-ports-kde

Next, clone the ports tree from Area 51. This needs to go into the just-created directory for the ports tree, which could be anywhere on your system depending on how poudriere is configured. The default is under `/usr/local/poudriere/ports`. Depending on how you want to access Area 51, you may need to use a different user or credentials – this example just does an anonymous clone.

   # cd /usr/local/poudriere/ports
   # git clone

With this setup, you can `git pull` and otherwise update the Git repository as you see fit: it is the working directory that will be used for the ports tree (so you can switch branches inside the clone, too).

Setting up the build jail

Create a jail to build in; this is essentially a whole new FreeBSD installation inside your existing one. It can also be an older FreeBSD version (newer than the host system is not recommended and may not work at all). This command creates a new 11.0 jail, calling it 110amd64:

   # poudriere jail -c -j 110amd64 -v 11.0-STABLE -m ftp

Running a build

Poudriere can bulk-build ports, given a jail and a ports tree to work with. It will generally rebuild all that is needed; assuming you are most interested in all the latest KDE software, the metaport x11/kde is the one to rebuild.

   # poudriere bulk -j 110amd64 -p freebsd-ports-kde x11/kde

This page was last edited on 23 December 2017, at 10:45. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.