Utility for safe updating of ports in base system

Michel Talon talon at lpthe.jussieu.fr
Thu Mar 20 15:07:01 PDT 2008

On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 01:12:06PM -0700, Doug Barton wrote:
> Fair enough, but can we please come quickly to a consensus on what
> _all_ of the requirements should be? Two things I'd like to avoid. One
> is the feeling that no matter how many hoops I jump through, there is
> always going to be one more placed in my path because we really don't
> want portmaster in the base. The other is frustration on the part of
> any student brave enough to tackle this task.

Now that it is clear that 2 different things are desirable, a utility
to upgrade by ports, and a utility to upgrade by packages, may i say
that i agree completely that portmaster does the first perfectly,
and should be in the base system, notably since it is a shell script 
which doesn't cost anything. 

But i remain convinced that the second one is also necessary and in fact much
more important. Since portmaster is already here, a SOC project should
concentrate on the second aim, which is perfectly summarized by the name
"pkg_upgrade" (by opposition to port_upgrade). 

The ideas necessary to develop such a project are apparent in the ruby program
portupgrade and/or my python pkgupgrade, but a C program is desirable so that
there is no external dependency.  More precisely portupgrade and pkgupgrade
both use extensively data structures such as arrays and dictionaries (perl
hashes) so it may be that using C++ and the STL containers  is more convenient
than C.

> You also need to look at the other side of that, which is an
> exponential increase in the number of package downloads, and the
> incumbent costs in terms of bandwidth, processor time, etc.

All big Linux distributions, which have many times more users, incur
this cost without apparent problem. For example my provider, which
is a quite large one, has a mirror of many distributions, including
Free and NetBSD, with incredible bandwith. See
I can download a DVD from my office at 100Mb/s from here at any time.

I would venture to say that the problem you mention is really a non problem.


Michel TALON

More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list