living with freebsd

Michaël Le Barbier michael.le_barbier at
Mon May 5 10:24:53 UTC 2008

prad wrote:
> i'd like to know how people live with freebsd.
It will soon be the ninth anniversary of my union with FreeBSD. I have 
been pleased of it, all the time.
> do you use only ports or only packages or a mixture?
> do you upgrade from version to version using freebsd tools or do it
> manually?
> do you have a different approach regarding the above depending on
> whether it is for a server or a desktop?
I use FreeBSD in the `desktop' setting, I do a lot of TeX, programming, 
and scientific computing.
In my own views, I segregate applications in three groups:
  -- the zombie group, consisting of applications I rarely use, and do 
not care to keep up to date (almost everything);
  -- the living group, consisting of applications I use often but 
moderately care to keep up to date (Emacs and seamonkey);
  -- the hot group, consisting of applications I am very interested in 
(e.g. some libraries I use in my programs).

I do not care to update the zombie group.
I will maybe consider updating ports in the living group, either for 
security reasons or for some new functionnality I heard of and I really 
want to have.
It is not unlikely I update ports in the hot group every time there is a 
new major release is available.

I do the base install from packages, and use portupgrade for updating my 
software, after I have read /usr/ports/UPDATING.

My primary goal is having a working system for a minimal maintenance 
cost, the way I do works pretty well for me; but some others may have 
better ways to deal with this.

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