Jan 131999

make – and how to use it behind a firewall

make is a powerful tool which allows you to build a port by issuing a single command.  If makecant find the source files it needs, it goes out onto the Internet to get them.  However, if you are behind a firewall, there are a couple of things you should set in order for make to do it’s job.

If you get the following message when you use fetch, then I suspect you are behind a firewall:

fetch: ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/distfiles//donkey-0.5.tar.gz:
FTP error: fetch: Can't open data connection >> Couldn't fetch it - 
please try to retrieve this >> port manually into 
/usr/ports/distfiles/ and try again. 
*** Error code 1

If you are encountering an error message which is similar to the above, then try this simple test:

fetch -p <file>

If this succeeds, then the following lines added to /etc/make.conf should solve the problem:


fetch allows you to retrieve a file by supplying a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).  It is very useful and powerful tool.  It effectively automates an anonymous FTP session.  It works for both ftp and http.