MacPorts activation relating to bsdtar

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Sat Oct 12 02:26:15 UTC 2019

On Oct 11, 2019, at 10:49, Steven Esser wrote:

> On a fresh Catalina (10.15) install with Xcode 11.1 and the latest CLI tools I cannot seem to activate any ports. Most seem to configure and build correctly, but fail when they reach the activation step. Attached is the log for an attempted installation of ncurses that has this activation step failure and occurs no matter what the port. 
> From the log itself, it looks like bsdtar is the culprit? Bsdtar fails with this command "Command failed: /usr/bin/bzip2 -d -c /Users/sesser/MacPorts/var/macports/software/ncurses/ncurses-6.1_0.darwin_19.x86_64.tbz2 | ( bsdtar -xvp --hfsCompression -f - )”
> This is the bsdtar found at /usr/bin/bsdtar.
> Wanted to post this here to make sure there wasn’t a quick fix etc for this before I file a formal bug.
> <>

Does the bsdtar command seem to work when you do things with it manually on the command line?

The log shows you have installed MacPorts into a custom prefix /Users/sesser/MacPorts. Any particular reason? It's recommended to use the standard /opt/local prefix so that you can benefit from our binaries, once they become available.

The log shows that hfsCompression is being used. Up to Mojave, Apple's bsdtar didn't support hfsCompression. I haven't checked Catalina yet so it's possible that they've finally added it. But is it perhaps possible that you have a different bsdtar somewhere else on your system that MacPorts is using, and that other bsdtar isn't working?

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