pkgng woes

Adam McDougall mcdouga9 at
Fri Nov 9 12:10:22 UTC 2012

Answering this in-line as a user of pkgng and binary packages:

On 11/9/2012 4:53 AM, Beeblebrox wrote:
> Pkgng, as a concept may be great, but it's not really working - at least for
> me:
> 1. pkg2ng conversion does not do a complete job and I have about half of my
> ports in purgatory or a quasi-installed state. The program runs and is
> installed but pkgdb does not have a record for it. So my ports updates do a
> half-ass job.
If it didn't work right, the problem should have been solved at that 
time or the conversion
undone (pkg2ng made a backup of /var/db/pkg) so you don't move forward 
with a partial db.
The package database it was trying to convert may have had its own 
problems, resulting in
the failure, but if you don't have the error messages and have continued 
since then, it may be
too late.  It is hard to say what future issues will arise from a 
compromised package db, but that
is what you now have.  It may be best to scrap it and "pkg install" 
everything you need
over top of your current install so the db is correct.  (After 
appropriate backups)

> 2. I am used to portmaster and I accept that portupgrade is "more ready" to
> be used with pkgng than portmaster. However, portmaster has the
> "--check-depends" option which I would normally use to correct problem #1,
> alas I see no similar function in portupgrade or pkg. The "portupgrade -Ffu"
> and "pkg check" commands don't do the trick either.
I have not tried portmaster with pkgdb yet but I understand recent 
versions of it support
pkgng.  Have you looked into that?
> 3. I have some ports that I never want to install (like accessibility/atk or
> net/avahi). The new pkgtools.conf has a nice feature of IGNORE_CATEGORIES
> and HOLD_PKGS which I hope will allow me to "blacklist" those ports but I
> have my doubts as the knob is PKGS and not PORTS - so we'll see. Separately
> though, while trying to get my system pkgng complient and doing updates,
> there have been some ports which were pulled in that I whish to remove. As
> in #2, portmaster --check-depends did a nice job of this and allowed the
> dependency to be removed from the portsdb structure - so same problem here
> as #2.
I also had some similar concerns.  I don't think you have much of a 
choice at the current
stage, the packages on pkgbeta are being compiled a single way just like 
they were with
the previous package format.  This is expected to improve in the future, 
but if it really
concerns you, it is best to use something like poudriere to make a 
custom set of packages
(its pretty easy, really!) Once I tried it for my site, I am thrilled.  
Especially because my
packages are complete, prompt, and customized.
> 4. I know how to do +IGNOREME in the portsdb and that is a very roundabout
> way of solving an sqlite entry.
> 5. pkg add does not respect existing port version information on the system.
> If you try to install a package and its dependencies, pkg tries to pull in
> its own preferred version. This happened for perl5 - I have 5.16 already on
> the system but pkg kept trying to install 5.14. The only solution was to use
> the old "pkg-add -i" to install one-by-one and without the dependencies.
> Interesting how pkgng does not have the -i (no-deps) option??
Same answer as #3 really.  I also preferred 5.16 but don't really care 
as long as it works,
so once I understood the deps in pkgbeta wanted 5.14 I just accepted 
that until I built
my own packages with all 5.16.
> 6. portupgrade's -i (interactive) also completely ignores you when adding a
> new port. It just goes and does its thing then happily informs you of the
> its fait accompli.
I haven't used portupgrade in a few years, and I want to avoid going 
back to dealing with
it's database issues
> Ubuntu's Synaptic gives more control than this...
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