How to deploy FreeBSD desktops ?

Jeremy C. Reed reed at
Mon Dec 27 14:05:43 PST 2004

On Mon, 27 Dec 2004, Jon Drews wrote:

>  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?  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? 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?
>  Any pointers or advice would be appreciated.

You may want to use Pkgsrc (maintained by NetBSD) under FreeBSD. Pkgsrc
works fine on FreeBSD. Although it doesn't support as many packages, it
does offer some features that may help you:

- stable pkgsrc branch that is branched every 3 months. It only contains
crucial package and infrastructure fixes and security updates, so you
don't have to worry about upgrades breaking stuff.

- pkgviews is an experimental way to install software to their own
directory hierarchies. It is similar to depot, arch and other
symlink-based packaging systems. Using pkgsrc (or pre-built packages), you
can install different versions of the same packages for evaluation and
easier upgrades.

Of course, using a different computer for tracking Ports, testing and
building packages is a good way too.

 Jeremy C. Reed

 	  	 	 technical support & remote administration

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