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MAKE-PLIST(1) General Commands Manual MAKE-PLIST(1)

create or update packing-list(s) for a given port.

make-plist var=value ...

make-plist is a helper script for the target update-plist in bsd.port.mk(5).
make-plist looks in MULTI_PACKAGES to know which packing-lists to regenerate, the corresponding filenames are passed as variable assignments PLIST-sub=filename.
make-plist will scan all files under DESTDIR and dispatch them into corresponding subpackages, according to PREFIX-sub=directory.
make-plist is usually run as root to be able to thoroughly scan DESTDIR. However, it switches back to OWNER and GROUP before writing new packing-lists.
make-plist will avoid reporting files in OKAY_FILES (used for storing cookies generated under ${WRKINST} by fake).
By default, files and directories will end up in the main subpackage, unless there already exists packing-lists, in which case make-plist will dispatch them to the most likely packing-list.
make-plist will also scan dependencies for those packages, in order to strip common directories. Those are passed as DEPPATH-sub=list, a list of FULLPKGPATH for each subpackage. These may require
make print-list
to be run to figure out common directories.
Variables from SUBST_VARS should be back-substituted into the regenerated packing-lists, and so should be passed as var=value on the command line.
Shared libraries versions will also be backsubstituted. In addition, make-plist will complain if it doesn't find the corresponding LIBname_VERSION=value assignment.
make-plist also has limited understanding of existing fragments, and will try to dispatch entries to the most likely fragment.
Existing packing-lists are scanned for non-file entries, such as newuser, mode, or exec markers. Those will be inserted into the updated packing-lists at the most likely position.

pkg_add(1), pkg_create(1), bsd.port.mk(5)

make-plist might be the most complicated piece of the ports infrastructure. It tries its best at doing something which is definitely not trivial, so it will require manual intervention in specific cases. It is especially bad at figuring common directories in inter-dependent subpackages.
June 22, 2016 OpenBSD-current