dependency explosions

Matthieu Volat mazhe at
Mon Oct 3 14:57:23 UTC 2016

On Mon, 3 Oct 2016 14:29:27 +0000
Grzegorz Junka <list1 at> wrote:

> On 03/10/2016 14:11, Mike Clarke wrote:
> > On Mon, 3 Oct 2016 13:11:43 +0000
> > Grzegorz Junka <list1 at> wrote:
> >
> >> Shouldn't all packages default to noX dependencies? If I am not mistaken
> >> FreeBSD is predominantly a server-side system, with X running only
> >> occasionally
> > I'd disagree with that. I don't know whether or not the majority of
> > FreeBSD installations are servers or personal computers but the chances
> > are that the majority of server installations will have relatively few
> > packages installed whereas most PC's are likely to make use of far
> > more packages and are also likely to be using X. Building from ports
> > to get the required options would be a much bigger task for these
> > installations than it would be for the servers.
> >
> I have been wondering if it would be possible to have two distinct set 
> of packages compiled automatically, one tailored for X and one for the 
> console. It seems that requirements of both environment are quite 
> opposite. The server-side requires small amount of packages without X 
> because it wants to run the system headless, as long as possible and 
> without interruptions and restarts. Whereas the X/PC environment always 
> wants to have everything latest and newest. In the Linux world they 
> would just create a new distribution, even in the BSD world there is 
> PC-BSD/TrueOS. But we have ports and can re-use the same base for two 
> distinctive set of packages. I don't believe we can create pre-compiled 
> packages for FreeBSD in such a way, that both camps are happy (which 
> this thread is one of many signs of).
> Grzegorz

That must be somehow possible and even extensible to be something like macports variants, except with binary package support (macports localy build packages when user defined option differs from default); but this would take signifiant space and processing power...

On the other hand, setting OPTIONS_UNSET to include X11 is quite trivial. I would expect a server administrator to be more proficient in that kind of settings...

PS. I agree with the multiplication of dependencies, but I see them as the result of nowaday FOSS ecosystem practices rather than port management issues.

Matthieu Volat <mazhe at>
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