an easy and consistent way of installing software ported to FreeBSD
The FreeBSD Ports Collection provides an easy and consistent way of installing software ported to FreeBSD. It uses Makefiles laid out in a directory hierarchy, so software can be installed and deinstalled with the make command.
When installing an application, very little (if any) user intervention is required after issuing the initial command. In most cases, the application is automatically downloaded from the Internet, patched and configured if necessary, compiled, installed, and registered in the package database. Any dependencies on other applications or libraries a port may have are also installed for the user.
Each port, or software package, is maintained by a "port maintainer", an individual who is responsible for staying current with the latest software developments. Anyone is welcome to become a port maintainer by contributing their favorite piece of software to the collection. One may also choose to adopt and maintain an existing port that has no maintainership. Due to the size of the Ports Collection and with new software being contributed on a regular basis, many users will never have to look elsewhere for third party applications.