Synth: copying installation to second computer

Jonathan Chen jonc at
Tue Jun 13 09:12:40 UTC 2017

On 13 June 2017 at 18:01, Thomas Mueller <mueller6722 at> wrote:
> I just managed to install (first part) ports-mgmt/synth on FreeBSD 11.1-PRERELEASE amd64, using portmaster after deleting all packages except pkg and portmaster.  Those old packages were no good anyway due to shared libraaries being out of sync.
> Now I want to convert packages to synth repository format and copy this installation to another computer with same FreeBSD 11.1-PRERELEASE using NFS, doing as little recompilation as possible.
> This is my first (partway) success after an attempt to build synth on FreeBSD-CURRENT amd64, before ino64, was stopped by a system crash and reboot while I was sleeping.
> I looked through and man synth, but there are still some hazy points.  Or is it easier than I think?

The thing to note is that ports-mgmt/synth is a repository builder.
Coming from portupgrade or portmaster, a user may think that it is
rebuilding too many packages for a simple port change, but what it is
doing is verifying that the chain of construction for each port is
working as expected. The first build is always going to be long, but
will do concurrent builds as much as it much as possible.

Once you have a complete repo on one of your machines, you can simply
serve up the /var/synth/live_packages using www/apache24 or even ssh.
On each of the remote hosts, all you have to do is to add a
/usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/my-local-repo.conf entry, eg:
# Locally built packages
localrepo: {
  url      : http://my-build-host/live_packages,
  priority : 20,
  enabled  : yes,

And then you're good to go with "pkg upgrade -r localrepo" on each of
the remote hosts.

Jonathan Chen <jonc at>

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