ports and PBIs

Lucas Holt luke at foolishgames.com
Tue Apr 13 07:23:01 UTC 2010

On 4/10/2010 3:18 PM, kris at pcbsd.org wrote
> However for my more hard-core friends, nothing stopping you from
> running your own ports down
> the road, more power to ya! For doing something like embedded work or
> a server this makes total
> sense and I think it is a huge positive for FreeBSD, no reason to
> trash that or break it in any way.
> For the other 99.9% of society who want something "that just works"
> for day-to-day computing,
> something like PBI is very attractive. It would be great to have an OS
> that offers best of both worlds.
> 	--
> Kris Moore

There are only two possibilities with any package system.  Either give 
the user self packaged binaries containing all shared libraries or make 
them update everything.  Both have positives and negatives.  We've been 
working on a new package system in MidnightBSD for some time.  When we 
weighed this issue, it was decided that letting users have old binaries 
sitting around was a bad idea.  It encourages a user to sit on a package 
for a year and not install security updates.  The larger package size 
also deters users from downloading updates in parts of the world which 
have slow Internet connections. Remember the GDI+ update to windows 
awhile back?  There were many applications that had to be updated and 
Microsoft had to release a scanner to search the drive for uses.  There 
side isn't always rosy.

Obviously, there are also advantages to the larger PBI packages for 
users.  PC-BSD is certainly easy to use.

At the end of the day, I think creating packages more frequently during 
releases and pushing updates like many linux distros do makes more sense 
in terms of security.  FreeBSD has ten times the number of ports to 
build than we do so obviously it's a problem to build packages that 

I don't want to butt in any more on this because it's not my place, but 
I just felt it was important to bring another perspective.


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