The ports collection is the toolkit to build OpenBSD packages. Installing software from ports takes longer than installing via packages, is more error-prone, and requires a deeper understanding of the system and the add-on software than packages demand. You can’t get packages for every possible situation, however (one particularly annoying example is when the license for a particular piece of software makes it illegal for the OpenBSD project to create and distribute packages), and sometimes ports are the only way to get third-party software on your OpenBSD system short of compiling it yourself.
What makes ports interesting is their level of automation. With one command, a port can find the source code for a program, download it, verify ...
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