How to deploy FreeBSD desktops ?

Shaun Meyer shaun.meyer at
Mon Dec 27 09:25:17 PST 2004

>  Can anyone give me advice on how I should go about deploying and
> maintaining FreeBSD desktops, in a company setting? I know how to do
> it for my own FreeBSD desktop but how would I manage 30 to 50
> simultaneous installs?  

Are you talking about being able to push software down? (Ie, I want to
upgrade Python on *all* my machines) If the machines are all fairly
identical hardware, you could compile package from ports to packages.
Set up your own Package server and have the others check their
versions against yours.

>Also what would be an effective way to track
> ports so that I don't inadvertently portupgrade to an unstable
> version of software? Would I set aside one computer for tracking
> ports? That is, suppose I have Gnome 2.6.2 in use but I want to
> evaluate 2.8.0. How should I test it? Something to consider would be "Why Upgrade",
especially in a corporate setting. If it ain't broke, and you can't
justify a reason to upgrade stay with what you know is stable. If you
do want to test it yourself, a free machine off to the side that could
fetch either packages or compile it's own ports separate from the
other machines could be used. If you like what you see, compile the
package on the Package Server, and wait for cron to trigger all the
machines to check for updates.

>Superficially, it would seem a
> simple thing but how can  I be sure that my use of 2.8.0 replicates
> what be normal usage, throughout the company?

So, computersA-D have KDE installed. You want to switch the company to
Gnome with the click of a few buttons. That would involve changing a
decent amount of .files - You might consider a file versioning system.

All the ideas I've thrown up here are not really beautiful ideas, but
they could work. If anyone knows of any projects designed for what
I've been talking about - please let me know!


You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you 
want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe
filled with whipped cream.
Frank Zappa

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