About me: My name is Solène Rapenne, pronouns she/her. I like learning and sharing knowledge. Hobbies: '(NixOS BSD OpenBSD Lisp cmdline gaming internet-stuff). I love percent and lambda characters. OpenBSD developer solene@.

Contact me: solene+www at dataswamp dot org or @solene@bsd.network (mastodon). If for some reason you want to support my work, this is my paypal address: donate@perso.pw.

Search in OpenBSD packages with openports.pl

Written by Solène, on 21 October 2022.
Tags: #openbsd

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Intro §

This blog post aims to be a quick clarification about the website openports.pl: an online database that could be used to search for OpenBSD packages and ports available in -current.

openports.pl website

The setup §

The software used by openports.pl is the package ports-readmes-dancer which uses the sqlite database from the sqlports package.

The host is running OpenBSD -current through snapshots, it tries twice a day to upgrade when possible, and regularly try to upgrade all packages, so it's as fresh as it can be through snapshots.

What does this mean? §

The data displayed on openports.pl are accurate because it's directly derived from packages by packaged software you can run on your local system.

Sponsor §

While I manage this website, the system is hosted at OpenBSD.Amsterdam for free 🙏 and they also pay for the domain name.

OpenBSD Amsterdam official website

The program packaged in ports-readmes-dancer has been created by espie@, it's using a Perl web framework named Dancer. It's open source software and you can contribute to it if you want to enhance openports.pl itself

ports-readmes-dancer GitHub project page

For security reasons, as it's running "too much" unaudited code server side, it's not possible to host it in the OpenBSD infrastructure under the domain .openbsd.org.

Reliable alternatives §

The main alternative is OpenBSD.app, a website but also a command line tool, using sqlports package as a data source, and it supports -stable and -current.


I wrote a GUI application named AppManager (the package name is appmanager) that allows to view all packages available for the running OpenBSD version, and install/remove them. It also has surprisingly effective heuristic to tell if search results are GUI/CLI/other programs.

Blog post about AppManager