The ports collection has some serious issues

Kevin Oberman rkoberman at
Fri Dec 16 06:45:26 UTC 2016

On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 9:42 PM, Peter Jeremy <peter at> wrote:

> On 2016-Dec-15 19:31:22 +0100, list-freebsd-ports at wrote:
> >On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 01:18:05PM -0500, George Mitchell wrote:
> >> On 12/15/16 09:40, Warren Block wrote:
> >> > On Thu, 8 Dec 2016, Matt Smith wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> On Dec 08 05:16, Daniil Berendeev wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>> Although portmaster is not releated to the FreeBSD project and is an
> >> >>> outside tool, there aren't any alternatives from the project
> itself. So
> >> >>> use it or die. Not a nice situation.
> >> >>
> >> >> People have been trying to get portmaster deprecated and removed from
> >> >> the handbook but have met with resistance.
> >> >
> >> > Well, yes.  Because it works, has no dependencies, and there is no
> >> > equivalent replacement.  [...]
> >>
> >> Warren, you have hit the nail on the head.                  -- George
> >
> >+1
> >
> >I never have problems with portmaster.
> I don't know about never - I think I managed to get it into a dependency
> loop once - but I've never had any issues that I could not resolve or
> that would entice me to look at an alternative.
> >(But portupgrade could at times be an utter mess,
> >I never looked back after switching to portmaster
> >many years ago.)
> Likewise, portupgrade would explode and shower my system with bits of
> corrupt database to often for comfort.  At least part of that was caused
> by portupgrade depending on quite a few other ports and getting confused
> when it updated things whilst it was using them.
> >And I'm not at all interested in running poudriere
> >or synth, thank you.
> Interestingly, the most vocal proponent of deleting portmaster and
> portupgrade is the author/maintainer of synch.
> --
> Peter Jeremy

Just to add another voice of those who use portmaster on a regular basis. I
moved to portmaster about seven years ago and have has very few issues with
it. I have had issues building ports from time to time, but it's been a
long time since i hit one that was not a problem with the port... often
related to the options I use. I like that it has no dependencies. I like
that it is very stable. There are things I would like to see changed, but I
would be very upset to lose it. Since it is stable, the only way I would
lose it is if the underlying port structure changed in a way that required
work on it.

Saying that synth and poudriere are replacements for portmaster/portupgrade
simply indicate lack of familiarity with my (and others) use cases. I have
used synth and it is excellent, but not on my development system where
everything is built from source and I hope always will be. I have found
portupgrade too fragile for the reasons mentioned.  I had to clean up a
mangled database once too often. (Yes, it is a flat text db, so it can be
fixed manually, but it is NOT fun!)
Kevin Oberman, Part time kid herder and retired Network Engineer
E-mail: rkoberman at
PGP Fingerprint: D03FB98AFA78E3B78C1694B318AB39EF1B055683

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