Call for testers for yet another ports upgrade program, ports+

Doug Barton dougb at
Sat Jul 28 04:49:47 UTC 2007


I'm happy to respond to you, but first I'd like to make clear that I'm
not trying to talk you out of anything. If there is a better way to
manage ports, or even just a different approach, I'm all for it. I
don't think portmaster is a "one size fits all" tool, and I'm not
trying to make it one.

Yoshihiro Ota wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 00:57:34 -0700
> Doug Barton <dougb at> wrote:
>> Yoshihiro Ota wrote:
>>> I think portmaster is also one tries to read and do the same things
>>> but with shell script.
>> Not exactly the same things. Portmaster doesn't keep any external
>> database, it only updates what is in /var/db/pkg.
> Could you tell me a bit more or point to a source if already
> written on how portmaster works.

The man page has a good overview, I have documented it relatively
thoroughly, and I keep it up to date. You can either install the port,
or do:

nroff -man /usr/ports/ports-mgmt/portmaster/files/portmaster.8 | more

Of course, you can always "use the source luke." :) I won't claim that
it's as well documented as it probably should be, but being written in
/bin/sh it's not that hard to figure out what's going on.

>>> I personally didn't have good luck with portmaster and haven't 
>>> really used to evaluate. 
>> I'm sorry to hear that. If you're interested, please feel free to
>> start another thread that describes your issues.
> My problem was obsolete ports.  I think I need to put +IGNORE_ME
> file for such ports, but I haven't spent much time on portmaster
> so far yet.

It's /var/db/pkg/*/+IGNOREME, but yeah, that'd work for something you
don't want portmaster (or portupgrade for that matter) to mess with.

>>> However, "portmaster -a -n" wasn't not fast, neither. 

I should probably point out that this is the worst case scenario,
since by definition portmaster -a has to evaluate each installed port.
 The vast majority of the time spent doing that though is in 'make -V

The benefit comes when you actually start building stuff and because
all the information about the up to date ports is cached, it won't
have to be reevaluated.

>> Well, I'm not sure when you last tried it, but I've implemented a lot
>> of caching features in the past year, so nowadays almost all of the
>> time spent running portmaster is actually spent in the ports tree,
>> most of that in building the port.
> I did about a half year ago and a couple days ago.
> I don't think I am familar enough to evaluate portsmaster.

Fair enough.

I think it's useful and healthy to discuss where both the various
tools, and the infrastructure can be improved.



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