Reclaim was not 'safe'

Gerben Wierda gerben.wierda at
Sun May 9 22:07:00 UTC 2021

I relied on the fact that man page/help of reclaim said it would not remove active installs. So, having read that, I assumed it was unable to damage the running setup and I assumed it would only remove everything inactive, compile stuff, etc.

That was a mistake I now know. Reclaim will remove active unrequested installs. But the help/man does not say so.


Sent from my iPhone

> On 9 May 2021, at 21:26, Daniel J. Luke <dluke at> wrote:
> On May 9, 2021, at 12:20 PM, Gerben Wierda via macports-users <macports-users at> wrote:
>> Anyway, the hard lesson was: reclaim is not ’safe’. I  thought, reclaim would only remove inactive installs, but it removed active ones as well.
>> It is not possible for me to retrace what went wrong exactly, sadly.
> The first thing reclaim does is this:
> --->  Checking for unnecessary unrequested ports
> Unrequested ports without requested dependents found:
> If you (like me) have an MacPorts install that pre-dates the requested flag, you'll have a bunch of ports in that list that you don't actually want uninstalled. For reclaim to work best, you need to do `port setrequested` on the ports you want to always keep - then the list of ports you see there will be stuff that got installed that you no longer need. (You can also mark things 'unrequested', see the port manpage - so you can fix things up if you mistakenly mark something requested that you don't want).
> Or, you can just hit 'n' for the first prompt.
> -- 
> Daniel J. Luke
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