Freebsd Ports – Environmental variables

I’m a big fan of the FreeBSD port system. But the last few weeks
I had problems updating my freebsd ports.

A growing number of ports were giving the following error: “cc: /sbin:/bin:/…:/root/bin: No such file or directory”

A full sample:

libtool: link: cc -shared  .libs/lqr_gradient.o .libs/lqr_rwindow.o .libs/lqr_energy.o .libs/lqr_cursor.o .libs/lqr_carver.o .libs/lqr_carver_list.o .libs/lqr_carver_bias.o .libs/lqr_carver_rigmask.o .libs/lqr_vmap.o .libs/lqr_vmap_list.o .libs/lqr_progress.o   -Wl,-rpath -Wl,/usr/local/lib -Wl,-rpath -Wl,/usr/local/lib -L/usr/local/lib /usr/local/lib/ /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin:/root/bin /usr/local/lib/ /usr/local/lib/ /usr/local/lib/ -lm    -Wl,-soname -Wl, -o .libs/
cc: /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin:/root/bin: No such file or directory
gmake[2]: *** [] Error 1
gmake[2]: Leaving directory `/usr/ports/graphics/liblqr-1/work/liblqr-1-0.4.1/lqr'
gmake[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
gmake[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/ports/graphics/liblqr-1/work/liblqr-1-0.4.1'
gmake: *** [all] Error 2
*** Error code 1

After a lof of debugging and digging deeply in the /work directories of the broken ports. I found out
that libtool was generating a ‘wrong’ cc command. The part -L /sbin:/bin/usr/bin … etc was wrong. The path seperator ‘:’ should not be used. I thought libtool was broken. (Rule X pragmatic programmer: “SELECT Isn’t broken” ;-) )

After dinging deeply in this script I saw the $path variable was placed in this command…

After typing ‘set’ to see all environment variables I found out I defined a custom $path variable.
Probably by a typing mistake. Because the real environment variable for path is PATH (uppercase…)

After remove this variable ‘path’ (“unset path” in bash), all my problems were gone…. Yess !

So some words of wisdom: NEVER define an environment variable ‘path’ on freebsd !! (And be VERY careful with your other environment variables!)