Status of portupgrade and portmaster?

Carmel NY carmel_ny at
Sun Oct 1 10:34:18 UTC 2017

On Sun, 1 Oct 2017 10:51:39 +0100, Matthew Seaman stated:

>On 30/09/2017 18:06, Kevin Oberman wrote:
>> John did state that he would continue to support synth. I can't say if he
>> has continued to make contributions. In any case, only poudriere is
>> available for maintaining ports in HEAD and I, for one, feel that it is
>> simply unacceptable as it make FreeBSD unusable for those of us with only
>> "small" systems where the weight poudriere simply can't be justified. (I
>> have no system with other than SATA disk drives and, for my current needs,
>> 1 TB of SATA on my development system and .5TB on my production system is
>> adequate. Both systems are physically constrained in expansion capability,
>> though otherwise easily meet my requirements.  
>I don't know what it is about poudriere that elicits this immediate
>reaction that it is some sort of behemoth, trampling through disks by
>the bushel, shouldering aside other processes to seize the best bits of
>RAM and making CPUs cry with incessant demands for more cycles.
>It's simply not so.
>poudriere is really a very thin layer of shell scripts (and a few other
>bits) over the general ports make system.  All of the really heavy
>lifting is done by the compilers and so forth /that you'ld have to
>invoke anyhow/.
>In fact, I'd say that if your system is /at all/ capable of building the
>ports you want, then it is perfectly capable of running poudriere to
>help automate that.
>Yes, the pkg builders used by the project are pretty chunky bits of kit.
> That's because they are building some 30,000 ports for about 8
>different combinations of OS and CPU architecture with a cycle time of
>less than two days.
>If you're just building a few hundred ports for your own consumption,
>then you don't need anything like that amount of resource.  I manage
>perfectly well with a 6-year old Core2Duo with 8GB RAM and some 500GB
>SSDs which cost me under £500 originally + about £200 for replacement
>drives later on.  Which also runs a bunch of other stuff including my
>mail system.

This is probably OT for this thread; however, at this point I don’t think it
matters much.

I have read up on poudriere although I have never used it. I have several
questions that I cannot find the answer too.

1. Does it determine out-of-date update packages automatically or does
the user have to determine that what is out-of-date and feed them to poudriere
manually and in the proper order?

2. From what I have read, the user is required to install each package
manually. Is that correct?

I have a small system. Three PCs plus a number of laptops. Only one machine
runs FreeBSD. I don’t have the time to be a slave to this system. It appears
that there is a considerable amount of manual configuration to get poudriere
up and running, which means there is a significant possibility of making

Synth, and before that “portmanager”, and then “portupgrade” do all the heavy
lifting leaving me free to work on more important projects. I suppose I could
always go back to “portupgrade”; however, I understand that it is not being
maintained either.

If FreeBSD cannot get the problems with synth corrected when FreeBSD-12 is
released, perhaps it will be time to consider a new OS.


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