Package management on many hosts

Andrew Pantyukhin infofarmer at
Wed Jan 31 21:43:23 UTC 2007

On 1/31/07, Paul Chvostek <paul+fbsd at> wrote:
> So ... on the topic of large-scale FreeBSD deployment ...
> How are people handling package version consistency in large groups of
> servers?  If you have a web farm with 10 hosts, plus 3 hosts in a QA
> farm, and you want to make sure you're using the same version everywhere
> and upgrading production to the version you tested last week in QA, do
> you just do it manually, perhaps using portdowngrade on each host, or
> installing binary packages built on one host?
> Next, how are people dealing with portaudit info for groups of servers?
> Is the old standard of a cronjob for daily `portaudit -a` results still
> the best option?
> I'm putting together some tools to help with this stuff, but I'd hate to
> duplicate a perfectly functional wheel.

The things you're talking about is what makes (some)
enterprise proprietary Unix flavors competitive (e.g.
HP-UX). Both BSD and Linux crowds would certainly
like to have this kind of functionality, but it's
currently in the planning phase. Enterprise Linux has
been aiming there for years, but it's still clumsy at

So I guess you're left with a bunch of hacks, and
unless some magic collection of scripts surfaces, I'd
say you have the right ideas. I'd stick with building
packages on QA boxes and using portupgrade -PP or a
similar solution on production ones.

Good luck!

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