CONTROL files

Each port has some static metadata in the form of a CONTROL file. This file uses the same syntax and a subset of the fields from the Debian control format.

Field names are case-sensitive.

Source Paragraph

The first paragraph appearing in a CONTROL file is the Source paragraph, which defines the core attributes of the package (name, version, and so on).

Example:

Source: vtk
Version: 8.1.0-1
Description: Software system for 3D computer graphics, image processing, and visualization
Build-Depends: zlib, libpng, tiff, libxml2, jsoncpp, glew, freetype

Recognized fields

Source

The name of the port.

Version

The port version.

This field should be an alphanumeric string which may also contain ., _, or -. No attempt at ordering versions is made; all versions are treated as bitstrings and are only evaluated for equality.

By convention, if a portfile is modified without incrementing the "upstream" version, a -# is appended to create a unique version string.

Example:

Version: 1.0.5-2

Description

A description of the library

The first sentence of the description should concisely describe the purpose and contents of the library. Then, a larger description including the library's "proper name" should follow.

Maintainer

Reserved for future use.

Build-Depends

The list of dependencies required to build and use this library.

Example:

Build-Depends: zlib, libpng, libjpeg-turbo, tiff

Unlike dpkg, Vcpkg does not distinguish between build-only dependencies and runtime dependencies. The complete list of dependencies needed to successfully use the library should be specified.

For example: websocketpp is a header only library, and thus does not require any dependencies at install time. However, downstream users need boost and openssl to make use of the library. Therefore, websocketpp lists boost and openssl as dependencies

Dependencies can be filtered based on the target triplet to support different requirements on Windows Desktop versus the Universal Windows Platform. Currently, the string inside parentheses is substring-compared against the triplet name. This will change in a future version to not depend on the triplet name.

Example:

Build-Depends: zlib (windows), openssl (windows), boost (windows), websocketpp (windows)

Feature Paragraphs

After the Source Paragraph, CONTROL files can list zero or more Feature Paragraphs which declare features.

Example:

Source: vtk
Version: 8.1.0-1
Description: Software system for 3D computer graphics, image processing, and visualization
Build-Depends: zlib, libpng, tiff, libxml2, jsoncpp, glew, freetype

Feature: mpi
Description: MPI functionality for VTK
Build-Depends: msmpi, hdf5[parallel]

Recognized fields

Feature

The name of the feature.

Description

A description of the feature

Build-Depends

The list of dependencies required to build and use this feature.

All dependencies from selected features are unioned together to produce the final dependency set for the build. This field follows the same syntax as Build-Depends in the Source Paragraph.