Debian pool-esque distfile subdirs (Was: Re: Three-level ports)

Neil Blakey-Milner nbm at
Mon Sep 1 01:45:04 PDT 2003

On Sun 2003-08-31 (18:08), Doug Barton wrote:
> I can already hear people thinking, "Why not just have one big ports
> directory?" Two reasons off the top of my head. First is file system
> performance. UFS starts to bog down at about 10k directory entries, and
> we already have 9k+ ports. The second reason is cvsup refuse files. I
> (and I know lots of others) put all the language ports, and some other
> stuff that I know I won't ever want in my refuse file to avoid thrashing
> the cvsup servers.
> There are of course pluses and minuses to this approach, but I think
> it's worth considering. The ports collection has been headed in
> increasingly complicated directions over the past 3 years or so.
> Personally, I prefer the idea of building a simple, robust foundation,
> then giving people tools to do more complex, elegant things.

While we're on the subject - anyone have any reason besides "it'll
prevent people from using their existing distfiles" to doing like Debian
and putting distfiles into subdirectories based on their first letter?
I almost die when I type 'ls' by mistake in my communal distfiles
location.  I more often delete things because my habitual 'ls' is taking
so long than because I'm keen on saving space.

I'll be more than happy to write a script to let people convert to using
it - especially mirror operators.  I'm not even sure most people use
their own backup or override master sites, but I can write a script
again for those operators who want to provide symlinks to the distfiles
for a few weeks while people update their ports system.

MASTER_SITE_DEBIAN_POOL already has the magic to do this with
MASTER_SITE_SUBDIR, it should be reasonably easy to make DISTSUBDIR do
this.  Also, we can keep DISTSUBDIR, allowing things that want to live
together to live together - distfiles/zope/ -> distfiles/z/zope/.

I'm willing to write the patch and the scripts, if there're
no "that totally sucks and it'll never get in" and at least one "hmm,
we'll take a look at it" messages from members of portmgr.

Neil Blakey-Milner
nbm at

More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list