The future of portmaster [and of ports-mgmt/synth]

Mark Millard markmi at
Wed May 31 05:30:41 UTC 2017

On 2017-May-30, at 1:06 PM, Mark Linimon <linimon at> wrote:

> On Tue, May 30, 2017 at 12:00:14PM -0700, Mark Millard wrote:
>> Kevin Oberman rkoberman at wrote on Tue May 30 16:52:19 UTC 2017
>>> I really suggest that you look at synth.
> synth is currently only available for x86 and unless someone steps up
> to do the work to make the Ada compilers run on the other architectures
> that is certain to remain to the case.

As I understand currently x86 and amd64 are also broken for
lang/gcc6-aux if built from a recent enough head (ino64).

True historically (x86/amd64) but briefly there was a little more,
at least for a native aarch64 context if I understand right.
(Possibly armv6 and/or armv7 too?)

My understanding is that there was a short time when aarch64 also
had Ada going via lang/gcc6-aux . But the problem of gcc's technique
of adjusting system headers so it has separate copies (supposedly to
force the headers to be language complaint) vs. FreeBSD making updates
to various headers that has gcc copied and adjusted broke the bootstrap
compiler's ability to do the bootstrap. (A compiler involved in the
bootstrap for aarch64 is actually retrieved from elsewhere as part of
the build as I remember. But it processes the headers that are as of
when the bootstrap compiler was built and made its adjustments.)

In other words: the overall mechanism (FreeBSD+gcc) is fragile and
both sides tend to think that the other side should be the one to
change how they work in order to remove the fragile status. The
two parts just do not fit well and no minor variations in how
the two operate can remove the mismatch.

I happened to do my attempted experiment that involved building
ports-mgmt/synth on aarch64 after things had broken. (I did not
try armv6/v7 but there might have been a short time when there
was context in that area that worked as well.)

aarch64 (and any others) did not last long.

Powerpc, powerpc64, mips, etc. have never attempted for Ada support
as far as know.

Mark Millard
markmi at

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