[RFC] Why FreeBSD ports should have branches by OS version

Fernando Apesteguía fernando.apesteguia at gmail.com
Thu Jun 22 12:21:00 UTC 2017

El 22 jun. 2017 14:15, "David Demelier" <demelier.david at gmail.com> escribió:


Today I've upgraded one of my personal FreeBSD servers. It's running
FreeBSD 11.0 for a while.

While I use quarterly ports branches, I usually update my ports tree
before installing a new service and I faced some troubles:

www/node was updated from 6.x to 7.x: unfortunately my etherpad
instance is not compatible with 7.x. I needed to install www/node6.

devel/mercurial was updated to 4.2: redmine has a small issue making
repository browsing unavailable. I temporarily downgraded Mercurial to

I think the current process of having rolling-releases packages makes
unpredictable upgrades as we have to manually check if the upgrade
will be fine or not. When a user installs FreeBSD 11.0 on its system,
it probably expects that everything will work fine until a next major
upgrade like 12.0. That's why I think we really should implement
branches for a specific FreeBSD version.

When FreeBSD 12.0 is released, we should create a ports branch that
will contains only fixes (such as security advisories, crash fixes and
such). No minor or major upgrades until a new 13.0 version is
released. This is the only way to make safe upgrades.

If user think that a software is too old (since we have long delay
between major releases) it can still use the default tree at its own

Additional benefits of having a ports tree by version: you don't need
to have conditionals in ports Makefiles (how many ports check for
FreeBSD version? a lot).

Any comments are appreciated.


CMIIW but when similar approaches come up, one of the reasons to not do it
is man power.

Demelier David
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