Berkeley DB cleanup has apparently broken ports where no db is currently installed

Matthias Andree matthias.andree at
Thu Dec 26 08:41:35 UTC 2013

Doug Barton <dougb at> schrieb:
>I saw the DEPRECATED notice for my old faithful bdb 4.7, and read the 
>UPDATING entry related to the pending bdb purge. My first thought was 
>"That's a total waste of effort, with likely disastrous consequences." 
>I'm all for removing broken/unused ports. Some of you may recall that I
>made a non-trivial contribution to those efforts when I was a
>However the older versions of bdb are neither unused, nor broken.
>To make matters worse, newer versions require fairly extensive manual 
>intervention in order to make them work with older dbs. This is the 
>primary reason that a mass cleanup like this has never been done in the
>past. The amount of work to maintain the old ports is near-zero, since 
>they don't get updates often, if at all. Whereas the amount of pain
>is going to cause users is extensive. In other words this is a worst 
>case cost/benefit ratio.
>To add insult to injury the status quo seems to be that if you do not 
>already have a version of bdb installed, the ports tree will fail. The 
>only thing I have using it atm is p5-FreeBSD-Portindex. So I
>it, and its dependencies, and figured that with a clean system the
>tree would just do the right thing and install whatever version will be
>supported. Instead, the build failed when trying to install 
>databases/p5-BerkeleyDB. It has USE_BDB=47+, but that doesn't work 
>because it tries to install 47, which fails with the DEPRECATED
>Does anyone actually test this stuff before they commit it?
>Meanwhile, IF (and IMO that's still a big IF) there is some good reason
>to do the purge of old bdb versions then leaving only 5 and 6 behind is
>not the right way to go. There should be at least one 4.x version left 
>in, if for no other reason than to avoid having to go with the oracle 
>versions. Personally I would choose 4.7 for that, but reasonable 
>arguments can be made to include 4.8 instead. Either way, leaving
>just the 5 and 6 versions is a bad idea.
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Please excuse my top-posting, mobile... 

I disagree on the assessments of efforts here. I checked the docs, and the actual .db files are supposed to be compatible, excepting the corner cases mentioned in the wiki. The manual effort only exists for ports using BDB in transactional mode, while most ports just use it as a key-value data vault. 

Ttbomk, deprecated does not cause build failures, and even if so, WITH_BDB_VER=5 would fix that.

Finally, I would like to see technical or other _compelling_ reasons why we would need 48 in the tree in the future.

Best regards

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