Say I have the following outdated packages:

  • foo
  • bar
  • baz

I want to update as many as them as possible, so I try to run:

sudo port -n -f upgrade outdated

However this fails with:

Error: org.macports.build for port foo returned: command execution failed
Please see the log file for port foo for details: ...

How can I make macports try to upgrade bar and baz, if foo fails?

I would like to generally make macports try to install/upgrade other ports if installing/upgrading some of them fails and just continue.

From the man page:

 -f       force mode (ignore state file)


 -n       don't upgrade dependencies (affects upgrade and install)

Edit: foo, bar & baz, are 3 total unrelated ports, that doesn't depend on each other in any way.

Edit 2: Next time I run this the outdated ports might be a, b & c, instead of foo, bar & baz, so I can't hardcode the failing ones and I can't just do:

sudo port update foo
sudo port update bar
sudo port update baz

4 Answers 4


The -p seems to work for me.

From the manpage:

-p       Despite any errors encountered, proceed to process multiple
         ports and commands.
  • But see the caution from a MacPorts dev below.... Using this flag is not recommended!
    – jvriesem
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 17:11

You can also specify "outdated and not foo" in the upgrade command, rather than just "outdated".

  • see "edit 2" in question.
    – Tyilo
    Commented Oct 6, 2012 at 20:28

MacPorts dev here; the correct answer to your question is: you don't.

There is a reason why MacPorts doesn't attempt to install a package when a dependency fails to build.

This exact question has been discussed on the macports-users mailing list not so long ago:

  • 1
    foo, bar & baz, are 3 total unrelated ports, that doesn't depend on each other in any way.
    – Tyilo
    Commented Oct 6, 2012 at 12:36
  • 1
    In that case you can always update them manually, i.e. sudo port upgrade baz, sudo port upgrade bar, sudo port upgrade foo. Commented Oct 6, 2012 at 15:55
  • see "edit 2" in question.
    – Tyilo
    Commented Oct 6, 2012 at 20:27
  • This should be the correct answer, if a MacPorts dev is speak to it.
    – jvriesem
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 22:08
  • This could be an acceptable answer if MacPorts wouldn't be anything but stable. Unfortunately, many packages depend on a lot of optional things not really needed in most cases and every second upgrade of ports fails because macports is a bunch of unstable crap.
    – Bachsau
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 16:17

Considering an old closed ticket, a defect that was fixed:

333 (dependancy failure are ignored and port continues to try and install) – MacPorts

If I understand correctly: to continue following a failure may, in some cases, be defective.

In other words:

  • it's proper (least risky) to not continue.

Postscript: I was too lazy to read the man page in its entirety (not found by the Help menu of Terminal, but that's no excuse). Following advice from someone in irc://irc.freenode.net/#macports I decided to leave this answer.

enter image description here

I never realised the -p option. Thanks to Tyilo.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .