Utility for safe updating of ports in base system

Doug Barton dougb at FreeBSD.org
Thu Mar 20 12:51:53 PDT 2008

David Wolfskill wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 01:05:27AM -0700, Doug Barton wrote:
>> ...
>>> One of the
>>> requirements of an upgrade system is predictability, this can only
>>> be achieved by using binary packages.
>> You gain a certain amount of flexibility with packages, at the expense of 
>> being able to customize things. As long as the user understands that, then 
>> it's fine.
>> ...
> With respect, that (the notion that use of packages inherently
> reduces flexibility) doesn't quite follow, from my perspective:  it
> depends on who makes the packages.  (What follows is unlikely new to
> Doug, as I touched on it a while back in a private exchange; I thought
> it might be of use or interest to the list, though.)

Well we're talking apples and oranges (common user experience vs.
advanced configuration for sysadmins) but it's an apple I'm
particularly fond of as this is what I did for named packages when I
was at Yahoo!. (And yes, I still have "specify a package source" on
the list of things related to adding this support to portmaster.) :)

> Thus, for me, being able to customize by building my own packages,
> then using those custom-built packages for upgrading other systems
> is a useful approach.  While in theory, I could do this manually
> (roughly: run the port management tool with a -n flag so it won't
> actually change anything, but would report what warrants updating,

You could also do 'portmaster -L' to generate a list of what is out of



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