packages available (i386)

Chris Whitehouse cwhiteh at
Sat Apr 11 14:05:08 PDT 2009

Manolis Kiagias wrote:
> Chris Whitehouse wrote:
>> Hi guys,
>> When you have a minute please would you have a look at a proposal for
>> changes to the packages system I posted which is kind of a ports
>> equivalent of freebsd-update involving a 'ports-snapshot'.
>> The original post is here
>> A more detailed description is here
>> And other peoples comments in between.
>> It's going a bit parallel to the discussion here and in fact you have
>> already offered some of the requirements,ie hosting
>> Would you be interested in incorporating the idea into what you are
>> doing? I could at least do some building of packages.
>> One of the requirements is a new package management tool which I've
>> called ports-update. Does anyone here have C or scripting skills who
>> would be interested to write it? I'm sorry to ask, I know the FreeBSD
>> way is to do it yourself, but I don't have programming skills. I could
>> probably knock up a framework to start from though.
>> If you are prepared to host a bunch of packages it would be
>> interesting to ask people to give us a list of their installed
>> packages to create a master list.
>> Thanks
>> Chris
> I am following this discussion too.
> I was actually thinking of some less drastic method to make a FreeBSD
> desktop easier to build and less time consuming.
> Currently there are at least two projects based on FreeBSD that offer
> reasonable BSD desktops without lots of manual setup: DesktopBSD and
> PC-BSD (PC-BSD actually had a version release yesterday).  The problem
> is both projects focus on KDE. I would like to have a choice between
> XFCE, Gnome and possibly some light WMs i.e. fluxbox.

My motivation also, plus energy considerations. I was rolling my own
using icewm but have recently been using PCBSD. I like PCBSD very much 
but I would go back to my previous setup with this project.

> I like to build my own packages, and have put together a spare machine

Are you using the tinderbox port or do you build in the machines own 

> just for this purpose. It is no speed daemon (P4 2.5Ghz, 2G DDR2 RAM)
> but it is stable and always available. What I intend to do - and I am
> close to this - is start building package CDs (or DVDs) that people can
> download and use in the following way:
Would each CD contain all the available packages or do you have some 
idea to only distribute changed packages?

> - Perform a base install of FreeBSD with *no* additional packages
> (except maybe the linux binary compatibility)
> - Insert the CD/DVD and run a dialog(1) based sh script with options to:
>     - Install packages
>     - Configure X and DE / WM
>     - Configure shell (i.e. startup files etc)
>     - Configure sound card
>     (and more)
> All these packages would be build from the same ports tree so they would
> be in sync. There should be regular (bimonthly?) updates to the CD
> itself.  Everyone building a new system can use the latest CD, and
> anyone who installed a system using a previous version could use the
> same CD with portupgrade -PP (after setting PKG_PATH, PKG_FETCH etc).
> This can actually be one of the menu options.
> Taking this one step further (using your ideas), I could also distribute
> the ports tree (and probably /var/db/ports assuming the ports do not use
> default options) along with the packages, so anyone wishing to compile
> more stuff could use this same tree knowing it will be in sync.

This achieves pretty much exactly what I was hoping for! Fantastic. I 
had assumed default
configs though because I imagine the ports people have reasons for
choosing them.
> I intend to build a prototype of this soon. It will contain XFCE,
> firefox, thunderbird, vlc, bash, openoffice, Xorg and few more
> packages.  If it generates enough interest in the community, we will
> then decide the final set of packages etc for the regular releases.

Exactly. gnome and kde?

Glen, I was replying to your post when Manolis's came but this has the 


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