How to deploy FreeBSD desktops ?

Matt Olander matt at
Mon Dec 27 16:42:51 PST 2004

On Mon, Dec 27, 2004 at 02:05:33PM -0800, Jeremy C. Reed wrote:
> 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.

pkgsrc is a great idea. you may also want to consider a diskless setup
too. just google for that and numerous articles come up:

Colin's FreeBSD Update would be a good solution for something like this
too. binary updates for FreeBSD:


Matt Olander
(408)943-4100 Phone
(408)943-4101 Fax
"Those who don't read have no advantage over those who can't"
-Mark Twain

More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list