Does MacPorts depend on Spotlight?

Richard L. Hamilton rlhamil at
Wed Nov 17 18:57:52 UTC 2021

I also haven't found an intended command line way or program API to add a directory to exclude from Spotlight. (they are buried in a plist file in the Spotlight data directory for the particular mount point, and one could use command line tools to add it there, but I would NOT recommend risking it)

But in System Preferences ->Spotlight->Privacy tab, the usual command-shift-G type the path works just fine to set a directory (not needing to be a volume mount point) to exclude. That's probably needed because /opt/local/var/macports has the Finder invisible flag set.

> On Nov 17, 2021, at 13:31, Peter Hancock <hancock at> wrote:
> On 17/11/2021 15:46, Chris Jones wrote:
>> Some users might find it useful, and the exact volume to exclude
>> depends on the details of the users installation, which would be
>> difficult to automate. So I think its fine to just leave it to be
>> done by hand by those that wish to.
>> On 17/11/2021 3:09 pm, André-John Mas wrote:
>>> Just wondering whether it would make sense for MacPorts to auto
>>> exclude that folder? Does spotlight even provide an API or command
>>> that would allow MacPorts to do that?>>
> André-John Mas mentions folders (directories?), while Chris Jones mentions volumes
> (mounted filesystems?).
> On Catalina, for me the command "sudo mdutil -i off /opt/local/var/macports "
> evokes:
> [
> Password:
> /System/Volumes/Data/opt/local/var/macports:
> Error: invalid operation.
> 	Error: unknown indexing state.
> ]
> Trying to drag that directory into the appropriate System Preferences "privacy" pane,
> accomplishes nothing. It doesn't appear on the list.
> My man page for mdutil seems to speak only about volumes. A bit of googling suggests
> that though there *may* have been a time when you could exclude various directories
> from spotlight indexing, by one trick or another, those days are gone.
> Am I wrong?
> I hope so. I'm getting pretty dyspeptic about how much of my computer seems to be
> taken over by Spotlight and it's various underlings/minions.
> (Eg, It/they seem(s) to spend a large chunk of resources on creating tens/hundreds of thousands
> of empty directories deep under /private/var/folders, to no apparent purpose.)

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