The future of portmaster

Adam Weinberger adamw at
Tue May 30 14:30:34 UTC 2017

> On 30 May, 2017, at 8:15, Anton Shterenlikht <mexas at> wrote:
>> From adamw at Tue May 30 15:03:31 2017
>> The ports tree continues to evolve. Major new features are planned and in the process of being implemented. These changes will break all the port-building tools.
> oy vei
>> poudriere and synth are actively developed, so they will quickly support the new changes. portmaster and portupgrade are no longer being actively developed, so it is anticipated that they will stop working until somebody fixes them (if at all).
> I last used poudriere a couple years back.
> It is much more involved than portmaster
> (obviously, these 2 tools are not doing the same job)

There's definitely more work up-front to set up poudriere. You get the effort back, though, in long-term viability and not having to chase problems up and down the ports tree.

>> So no, portmaster isn't going away. But, there's no guarantee that it will keep working. We strongly, strongly advise everyone to use poudriere or synth to build their ports, and then plain old "pkg upgrade" to handle updates.
> because my experience of poudriere was mixed,
> I haven't used it at all on amd64.
> pkg is great. And when occasionally I need
> non-default options I use portmaster.
>> The vast majority of problems reported on this mailing list exist only in portmaster/portupgrade, because they do not do clean builds. At this point, portmaster should only be used by people with enough ports development experience to understand and mitigate conflicts and various build errors.
> I agree that a dirty environement is mostly
> the source of bad portmaster builds.
> However, to create the whole poudriere enviroment
> to build a port a week, or maybe a month, seems
> like an overkill.
> Yes, I know, it's a volunteer project, things
> evolve, unless somebody steps in...
> If my recollection of poudriere is correct,
> I'll need a separate ports tree?
> And if I only need to build a single port
> with custom settings, I'll have to start
> every time from scratch?
> And if I want to use this single port with
> default settings with my other ports, I need
> to make sure the 2 port trees are in sync.
> Sorry if I don't do poudeire justice, it's been a while...

You don't need separate port trees. The idea is to use poudriere to build ALL your ports. Just make a list of the ports you want, pass it to poudriere, and it will keep everything up-to-date, rebuild things when they need to be rebuilt, and give you a pkg repository so you can just run "pkg install foo" or "pkg upgrade" to keep your system running.

Even if you do use poudriere to build only a few ports, it's pretty easy. Give your own generated packages a higher priority in /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/ and you can transparently layer your pkg repo above the upstream repo.

So no, you don't need separate ports trees. poudriere is happiest though when you let it manage its own ports tree, so I prefer to just symlink /usr/ports to it, but you can very easily use a pre-existing ports tree with poudriere.

# Adam

Adam Weinberger
adamw at

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