Growing list of required(ish) ports

Daniel Nebdal dnebdal at
Mon Apr 8 15:40:55 UTC 2013

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM, Freddie Cash <fjwcash at> wrote:
> Note:  I may have messed up the quoting/attribution by snipping things.
> On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 10:11 PM, Kevin Oberman <rkoberman at> wrote:
>> On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 8:34 PM, Kimmo Paasiala <kpaasial at> wrote:
>> > > On the other hand, there are a number of things that I think should be
>> > > pulled out of base.  Some already have ports, and others would need
>> > > ports created.  Examples of things to pull out of base are OpenSSL,
>> > > Heimdal, OpenSSH, PF, ntpd, ipfilter, bind, sendmail, and others.
>> > > Code that is typically way behind the upstream project basically.
>> > >
>> >
>> > I think Bryan already explained the reasons why pkg should not be in
>> > base, it's an external tool that is not strictly required to get a bare
>> > bones FreeBSD system up and running. Including it in base you create
>> > yet another maintainance burden and would slow down the development of
>> > the ports/packages management tools.
>> What people seem to miss is that putting tools into the base system
>> strangles the tools. Look at the difficulty we have seen in updating
>> openssl. perl was removed from base for exactly that reason. Once something
>> is in base, it usually can only be updated  on major releases and even then
>> it can be very complicated. That is a problem for any dynamically changing
>> tool.
>> I would love to see BIND removed from base, but most of the things  you
>> listed really are hard to remove. I know that I don't want to try bringing
>> up a new install of FreeBSD on a remote system without OpenSSH and that
>> pulls in openssl.  In the case of many tools, it really turns into a
>> bikeshed. But i can see no reason to add any of the new packaging tools
>> simply because it is critical that updates be possible far  more often than
>> is possible for the base system.
>> Moving OpenSSH, OpenSSL, etc into the ports tree, but making the pkgs
> available on the installation media, and having a final hook at the end to
> install "required" pkgs, would solve that.  There's already a "do you want
> to enable OpenSSH daemon" question in the installed, so adding "pkg add
> /path/to/openssh-x.y.z.txz" wouldn't be hard.
> Same for bind, sendmail, kerberos, etc.  For instance, just add a "daemon
> selection screen" for each bit removed from base, to select which ones you
> want installed as part of the OS install.
> The hard part comes in finding stub/clients for each item moved to a pkg,
> such that a desktop-oriented install is not hampered (ie, SSH client is
> usable, DNS lookups can be done, local mail can be generated/delivered,
> etc).
> The really hard part is coming up with a migration path for those who
> upgrade via source builds.
> --
> Freddie Cash
> fjwcash at

There's also the issue that OpenSSH is used for remote administration
- being able to do destructive things with pkg without worrying about
continued SSH-access is rather relaxing. With danger of entering
bikeshed territory, it's one of the things that makes FreeBSD more
relaxing than the Linuxes: You can blast every installed package and
still be fine - and a working sshd is a part of "fine" for me, since
it's kind of a requirement for doing anything else.

Admittedly, my personal worst-case scenario is "drag a monitor and
keyboard to the other side of the room", so I will probably survive
either way. :)

Daniel Nebdal

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