Ports, bit depth confusion, and Synth

Greetings all,

upon recommendation from members of this board, I started to use ports-mgmt/synth, thank you very much for the amazing software, John.

When I explored the https://svnweb.freebsd.org/ to check out the ports tree, I have realized that there is only one version for both 32 and 64 bit depths. That made me wonder how does the system know, which bit depth I want to build. I explored a template of /make.conf in /usr/share/examples/etc/, the /usr/ports/Mk, and the result of:
synth configure
, but I cannot find any option related to the bit depth. So how does it work?

The reason for asking is (1) curiosity and (2) I have a 32 bit laptop and was wondering if I could use the ports-mgmt/synth on the more powerful 64 bit machine to build packages for the laptop.

Yes, the laptop is old, but it has 3:4 aspect ratio 15 inch screen, and I really prefer the larger vertical dimension when I have to work remotely.

Kindest regards,


P.S. Of course, if someone would want to solve (2) by donation old 3:4 aspect ratio 64 bit laptop, I am all for it. :)

Yes, you can build 32-bit packages on the 64-bit machine.
It's sort of an advanced topic.
It's probably worthy of an entry in the "how to" guide or the future "handbook" if I ever get around to writing one.

Basically you need to install a 32-bit environment, say at /laptop-base for example and then set the "[G] System root directory" value to /laptop-base
You'd create a new profile for this, of course.

you could actually install poudriere in order to use its command to install the 32-bit environment and just set "[G]" the location that poudriere uses. That's a quick way to do it if you are unsure how to get the 32-bit environment yourself.

As an aside:
I've actually configured synth and poudriere to use the same jails, same package directories, etc, and either can build incrementally from the other. Surprisingly they work pretty well together.
Hi John,

thank you for the answer. I am afraid that at this stage of my knowledge, the advice to "install a 32-bit environment" is way beyond my abilities. Also, at this point, I prefer to stay with the ports-mgmt/synth; I am enamored with the clarity of the documentation that enabled even me to easily configure it with only one minor issue.

I will continue to try to find a 64 bit laptop with a 3:4 aspect ratio screen and wait for your "How-to", hint, hint. ;-)

Kindest regards,

mefizto@ but I told you the "easy" way to do it.
install it through poudriere and use the same location.
I think it's basically one poudriere command.