The portmod.conf file is used for configuring Portmod’s global options. It can be found in the portmod config directory, found in one of the following locations:




~/Library/Application\ Support/portmod


C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\Local Settings\portmod\portmod or C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\portmod\portmod

All config entries can be overridden using environment variables of the same name. In the case of USE, ACCEPT_LICENSE and ACCEPT_KEYWORDS, this will extend the value, rather than override it. E.g. setting the environment variable USE=foo will use all use flags in your config file (and profile) and also set the foo flag. Similarly, USE=-foo will disable foo if it is set in your config file or profile.

You can also create a prefix-specific version of portmod.conf which will apply the same options just to one prefix. This can be done by creating or modifying the portmod.conf in the subdirectory of the portmod config directory with the name of the prefix. E.g. ~/.config/portmod/<prefix>/portmod.conf


The portmod config file uses a restricted subset of python with extremely limited support for builtins. No imports are allowed.

Available builtins:

  • join: equivalent to os.path.join and can be used for specifying paths in a platform independant manner.

  • PLATFORM: equivalent to sys.platform.

Variables used by Portmod

You may define arbitrary variables, but there are several that are reserved for the use of Portmod and have a special meaning

All variables defined in portmod.conf are set as environment variables during portmod execution.


A string of whitespace separated keywords that indicate stability of mods that you allow to be installed. By default this is generally the stable keyword (equal to your arch, e.g. openmw or tes3mp without qualifiers).

If you also want to include unstable mods, prefix the keyword with a ~. E.g. ACCEPT_KEYWORDS = ~openmw or ACCEPT_KEYWORDS = ~tes3mp.


Specifies a list of mirrors to use to fetch source files (mod archives). Currently the only mirror is the default: https://gitlab.com/portmod/mirror/raw/master/


Specifies the globally accepted licenses. By default this is all except EULA licenses, i.e. a value of * -@EULA. If you want to only install mods with Free licenses, you could, for example set this to ACCEPT_LICENSE = -* @FREE.

See profiles/license_groups.yaml in the repo for details on the available license groups.


Specifies a function for choosing between texture size options. This must contain an operator min or max, followed by an optional inequality.

  • min: Chooses the smallest texture size available

  • max: Chooses the largest texture size available

  • min >= NUM: Chooses the smallest texture size available that is larger than NUM.

  • max <= NUM: Chooses the largest texture size available that is smaller than NUM.


Sets global use flags. See Use Flags for details.


The default options passed to portmod <prefix> merge (e.g flags such as --verbose, --no-confirm, etc.). Will be ignored if --ignore-default-opts is passed.


The list of repositories (as a whitespace-separated string) which are enabled for this prefix. Only packages from these repositories will be found when installing or searching for packages.


A command to be used to merge updates to configuration files.

The placeholders ${orig}, ${new} and ${merged} should be used to specify the input files.


MERGE_TOOL = "kdiff3 ${orig} ${new} --output ${merged}"


Added in portmod 2.3

Use Expand Variables

Use expand variables represent categories of global use flags for enabling features across all packages that support them.

They can be enabled similarly to USE flags, but use a custom field. E.g. for L10N flags, you can set

L10N = "ru"

Which will enable the flag l10n_ru globally, building support for Russian localization into packages.

Note that supported use expand flags vary depending on your profile and architecture.