This seems like a really straightforward problem, but I haven't had much luck looking around the internet so far. (A couple message boards are talking about it, but they don't offer any solutions.)

The Problem

When I run sudo portsnap fetch, I get:

Looking up portsnap.FreeBSD.org mirrors... none found.
Fetching snapshot tag from portsnap.FreeBSD.org... failed.
No mirrors remaining, giving up.


  • The internet connection appears to be working.
  • I've successfully used portsnap fetch on this machine before.

I'll obviously provide any other details you need, but I don't have any idea of what details would be relevant.

  • Does it make a difference if you use su instead of sudo? Sep 2, 2013 at 20:25
  • What version of FreeBSD is it? If it is a version that is not supported anymore the ports are not available anymore after a while.
    – Lexib0y
    Sep 23, 2016 at 14:45
  • I don't remember, but it was almost certainly the most recent release at the time. Sep 26, 2016 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


Do you perhaps have a proxy configured in your environment variables? In that case use the -E flag to sudo that passes through the complete environment (which it does not do by default for security reasons):

sudo -E portsnap fetch

An alternative is to 'keep' HTTP_PROXY (or whatever the relevant variable is called). Edit /usr/local/etc/sudoers and add a line like the following:

Defaults env_keep += "HTTP_PROXY"

You can further limit the scope of this potential security hole via configuring things in more detail, see sudoers(5).

  • Good thought, but nope, no proxy. Jun 19, 2013 at 19:44
  • Ok, but did you try it? Does portsnap fetch without sudo work; as in, it fetches a file and then fails?
    – Coroos
    Jun 20, 2013 at 8:19
  • I tried sudo -E portsnap fetch and it didn't work. Without sudo, it just tells me I don't have write permissions for /var/db/portsnap. (Thanks for following up!) Jun 20, 2013 at 18:37
  • Did you try to open up permissions to see whether portsnap does continue for a normal user?
    – Coroos
    Jul 17, 2013 at 9:33
  • You mean add write permissions for a normal user to /var/db/portsnap? Jul 19, 2013 at 5:52

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