Command line glob expansion broken-ish

Bill Cole macportsusers-20171215 at
Thu May 20 13:28:22 UTC 2021

On 2021-05-20 at 02:10:39 UTC-0400 (Thu, 20 May 2021 01:10:39 -0500)
Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at>
is rumored to have said:

> On May 19, 2021, at 20:43, Bill Cole wrote:
>> Example:
>> shiny:~ root# port installed *proto
>> The following ports are currently installed:
>>  xorg-xorgproto @2021.4_0
>> shiny:~ root# port installed |fgrep proto
>>  xorg-compositeproto @0.4.2_0 (active)
>>  xorg-damageproto @1.2.1_0 (active)
>>  xorg-fixesproto @5.0_0 (active)
>>  xorg-kbproto @1.0.7_0 (active)
>>  xorg-randrproto @1.5.0_0 (active)
>>  xorg-renderproto @0.11.1_0 (active)
>>  xorg-xineramaproto @1.2.1_0 (active)
>>  xorg-xorgproto @2021.4_0
>> I do understand the issue, I think: the glob is being expanded 
>> against the names of ports that still exist in the current ports 
>> tree, not the ones that have been installed but have been superseded 
>> by (in this case) an omnibus port that won't activate because of the 
>> existing installations.
>> The obvious workaround was to manually uninstall each of the zombie 
>> ports individually. I wonder if anyone else considers this a bug?
> I believe that's behaving as designed, so it's not a bug.

OK. I can see how that choice makes port-expression handling more 
efficient. It is probably worth documenting (I know: PRs welcomed...)

> You can identify what you call zombie ports and what we call obsolete 
> ports with:
> port installed obsolete

That's the bit of man page I skimmed too loosely. Thanks!

> You can uninstall them with
> sudo port uninstall obsolete
> You can also periodically use
> sudo port reclaim
> to reclaim disk space from things that are no longer needed, which 
> might include obsolete ports unless you had explicitly requested them 
> to be installed.

This is a machine whose MacPorts world had seen no attention in many 
months and probably hasn't been installed from scratch in 5+ years, as 
it was retired to low-attention duties. I may well have  'setrequested' 
every installed port at the last major OS update.

Bill Cole
bill at or billcole at
(AKA @grumpybozo and many * addresses)
Not Currently Available For Hire

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