Staying up to date - easy way?
m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Thu Jul 3 00:47:23 PDT 2003
On Wed, Jul 02, 2003 at 04:38:52PM -0700, Gary Singleton wrote:
> Here's my question. Is there a simple way to stay up to date with
> FreeBSD? The install was great! But the whole CVSup, rebuild thing
> seems a little much to do for just security updates. Is it just a huge
> thing the first time you do it and get smaller / faster after that or
> am I just completely missing something else. Could I make a refuse
> file and refuse everything except what I need? Am I clueless?
I take it you're tracking one of the release branches --
eg. RELENG_4_8 -- in which case, I don't think there has been any
updates to that branch since 4.8 was released. If you subscribe to
the freebsd-security-notifications at freebsd.org mailing list
you'll be notified whenever there's a security problem that needs
attention --- and it usually is just important security patches that
get applied to the release branches. Fixes to make important
functionality work properly might also be made, but these are very
Given the security advisory, you will be able to run cvsup(1) to grab
the updated sources, and you can usually just recompile only the
affected part of the system according to the instructions in the
Managing ports with cvsup(1) is always going to involve a lot more
effort. That's because there's about 9000 ports each of which could
be updated at any time. At a very rough count there's something like
20 port updates committed per day. When you cvsup(1) the ports, that
means you're going to see a lot of output scrolling past. But
remember, the whole ports tree is only 140Mb or so, and you're
probably not seeing much more than a megabyte of actual changes in a
The thing that makes port management a real dream is using
portupgrade(1) -- this automates all of the tedious chores and
generally is the best thing since sliced bread.
> I always used Debian's apt-get update / upgrade stuff before and it was
> a really simple process. I don't doubt that FreeBSD is very powerful
> but I like to be up to date with patches and stuff but don't want to
> rebuild everything every time.
portupgrade(1) is in my opinion equally as easy to use as apt-get(1).
There's a difference in philosophy: ports is really all about
downloading and compiling the source code, and the ports system
generally makes that a no-brainer. However, by giving the '-P' flag
to portupgrade(1) you can download precompiled packages --- for
certain ports like OpenOffice, the compilation is a real monster, so
downloading the package is the way to go. Other ports --- like the
natie JDKs --- are *only* available if you compile them yourself from
Note that updated packages are generally not available as quickly as
the updates to ports, especially at the moment when the package
building cluster is doing double duty building packages for both 4.x
and 5.x branches.
Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 26 The Paddocks
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614 Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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