The makers of FreeBSD have compiled a collection of common programs that have been designed to run on the FreeBSD operating system. The VPS has been designed to be able to use the ports collection to install programs on your VPS. There are several popular ports for VPS. It is important to note that not all of the ports are compatible with the VPS environment.

The FreeBSD ports collection can be found in the /ports directory of your VPS. From there, the ports are divided up by categories. Inside each category is a directory containing information about the individual program for each port. The best way to see what ports are available is to check out the ports index at

Some ports may not install easily into the VPS environment, or they may require additional configuration to get them to work. Some of the more common ports that require such special effort have a vinstall script to ease the installation process. You may want to see if a vinstall exists for the packages you are interested in using.

The pkg_info command can be used for two common tasks. First, simply running pkg_info at the command prompt will list the ports that are currently installed on your server. Another option is to find out specific information about a port that is installed. To find out about a specific port, run pkg_info package-name. For more information on the pkg_info command, see the man page.

Installing Packages

Once you have selected which package you want to add, you can use the pkg_add command. Because it is unlikely the source files for the package are stored on your VPS, you will probably need to use the -r flag to have it automatically retrieve the appropriate file. An example of using the pkg_add command follows.

# pkg_add -r package-name

The pkg_add command is a one-step way to install a port. Alternatively, you could go through each of the individual steps to build the package by using the make utility. The following is an example of the commands you would need to run to install a port using the make utility.

# cd path/to/package
# make
# make install
# make clean

Both make and pkg_add should download and install all the program files and dependencies that are required for the package to run on your server. There may be some additional configuration steps required for the specific program you are using.

Removing Packages

Once you have installed a package, you can use the pkg_delete or make deinstall tools to remove them. As with any time you use make, the command must be run from the port directory where the appropriate Makefile is stored.

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