General issues with the ports system

epilogue epilogue at
Mon Jul 5 15:08:02 PDT 2004

On Mon, 05 Jul 2004 23:35:28 +0200
"Konstantin 'Kosta' Welke" <damaker at> wrote:

> Hello!
> I have some questions about the FreeBSD ports system. I did not find
> any further "real" documentation other than the FreeBSD handbook and
> the porters guide, so I guess I'll just ask you guys.
> a) Is it possible to "downgrade" ports? Theoretically, it should be
> possible given that the ports dir is a cvs tree. Is there any non-
> painful way?

> b) Is it possible to use & install ports without having a ports tree?
> I know that it's not, but other than the directory for the single port
> (multimedia/mplayer for example) and the distfile directory, is there
> anything more that is needed by it? Could one, with some not too major
> changes, get rid of the big big ports tree?

actually, it *is* possible.  i believe that you can find an explanation of
how to do it in the book BSD Hacks (Dru Lavigne, No Starch Press).
it involves using cvs to pull down only what you want and then installing
it that way.  it might be in one of the sample chapters at o'reilly. 
if not, you'd have to pop by the tech section of your local bookstore to
have a look.  (unless, of course, it's in the handbook somewhere that i
simply didn't notice)

> c) What issues do you have with the FreeBSD ports system? What features
> are you missing?
um, i think that i'll leave this one for a slightly more ambitious reader.


> Don't get me wrong, this isn't really a complaint. I love the way it is
> unbelievably easy to compile&install software on FreeBSD. These things
> are just what I thought could be improved, maybe. And before I'm trying
> it on my own (maybe... *g*), I guess it couldn't hurt to ask.
> cya,
> Kosta
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