Information sought...

Mason Loring Bliss mason at
Tue Mar 1 19:13:27 GMT 2005

Hi, all.

I've got a new server that I'm currently bringing up with Debian GNU/Linux.
Things are largely good, but I'm encountering some horrible problems with
NFS, and at a friend's bidding I'm considering the prospect of using FreeBSD

My experience with FreeBSD is pretty minor, but I know it would do the trick
for me. However, I have one question/concern that I'm hoping someone can

I've got a lot of experiencing having NetBSD pkgsrc fail for me in various
ways, ranging from annoying to catastrophic. I love NetBSD otherwise, but
it's unsuitable for my current need. Debian handles packages better than
any system I've ever encountered.

My questions are about FreeBSD binary packages. How quickly are they
updated when security advisories come through? Is there documentation about
any branching in place, and how that's handled? Are there any general
caveats for using binary packages with FreeBSD? Is there any mechanism in
place for safely doing in-place upgrades of dependencies?

Say, for instance, I have an active Netatalk server that I really don't
want disturbed. Say, further, that this theoretically depends on CUPS, and
that CUPS lists a privilege escalation vulnerability or somesuch.  Do
FreeBSD's tools allow me to swap in a new CUPS when it becomes available
without uprooting everything in its dependency tree? (Indeed, I had this
happen recently with NetBSD, and the Netatalk configuration happened to
change during the upgrade, resulting in a bunch of downtime and
inconvenience as I tracked down why my users could no longer authenticate.)

Debian goes to great lengths to make this sort of thing safe. How does
FreeBSD compare? I'm quite open and willing to be swayed towards installing
it. My only hesitation comes from seeing what issues I've had with NetBSD's
package system and knowing that it arose from FreeBSD's ports. However, my
issues with it are as much or moreso organizational (manpower and attention
to detail) than technical.

Thanks in advance for selling me on FreeBSD binary packages, or for telling
me why I want to avoid them like the plague and find some other solution!

  Mason Loring Bliss      mason at       I m m a n e n t i z e
awake ? sleep : dream;     t h e E s c h a t o n
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 186 bytes
Desc: not available
Url :

More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list