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The MacPorts directory /opt/local/var/macports/software is really full of "stuff":

Can all the .tbz2 files be deleted?

I am running out of space on the SSD.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes all the files in that folder located with in ${prefix}/var/macports/software/ can be deleted. Those are the installer packages for programs that you installed using MacPorts. MacPorts will re-download those as necessary when running the install or presumably the upgrade command too for a given program ,etc.

The descripton of the purpose of the directory ... is noted in MacPorts Guide under Binary Archives.

3.4.1. Binary Archives

Binary archives can only be used on a target system running MacPorts. Binary archives allow MacPorts utilities to begin installation after the destroot phase and install and activate a port on the target system. Binary archives are created whenever a port is installed, and can also be downloaded from a server.


Binary archive files are placed in ${prefix}/var/macports/software/. The archive file type is set in the macports.conf file. The default format is .tbz2; other options are: tar, tbz, tbz2, tgz, tlz, txz, xar, zip, cpgz, cpio.

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Is there a means to have this done automatically? I mean, some configuration so that sudo port upgrade outdated always cleans these files when done. TIA! – akim Oct 7 '13 at 9:14
It is not clear to me from the official description that MacPort will not need these binary archives at some point. However, from the discussion at, it looks like these binary archives can be used when you have multiple computers: you do the compilation on one computer, and then you can share the result. If this is their only purpose, then deleting them is obviously fine. – EOL Oct 24 '14 at 12:13

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