portinstall vs. pkg_add questions

Bjarne Wichmann Petersen freebsd.nospam at mekanix.dk
Tue Sep 7 00:08:15 PDT 2004

I'm playing around with RELENG_5.

I'd like to install binary packages instead of using ports (the machine is 

First bump. "pkg_add -r" looks in 
"ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/.. ../packages-5.3-release/", which doesn't exist... 
yet. And I failed to figure out how to change the default site to some mirror 
and path to ".../packages-5-current/", which I figure would be fine for 
recently updated RELENG_5 (aka BETA1).

Then I tried using portinstall with the -P option. It defaults to 
".../packages-5-stable/", which doesn't exist yet either. Reading the 
man-pages I was pointed toward pkg_fetch, which in turn stated I just needed 
to change som ENV-variables. I tried changing several, but portinstall kept 
using the default. Finally I figured out that I need to set the variables in 
pkgtools.conf and not in the shell-prompts.

Now portinstall looks in the right place, but doesn't behave how I would 
expect. portinstall -P "package" just installs the packages but none of it's 

Then I tried portinstall -PRF because the man-pages implicitly states that the 
required packages would be fetched and installed. But no.

One note though. I get several "(null:) failed to install default locale". 
Don't know what that means or how to solve it.

So now the questions:

1) Have I missed something or is this the correct behavior of portinstall.

2) How do I change the default site/path pkg_add -r uses?

3) What's the politics about the build packages in eg. .../packages-4-stable/? 
Not all packages are up-to-date.


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