portmaster, portupgrade, etc

Adam Weinberger adamw at adamw.org
Thu Oct 5 01:14:32 UTC 2017

> On 4 Oct, 2017, at 10:16, Michael W. Lucas <mwlucas at michaelwlucas.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm doing tech edits on the new edition of "Absolute FreeBSD," and
> stumbled into what's apparently a delicate topic.
> Some of my reviewers are happy I included portmaster in the book.
> Some reviewers beg me not to include it.
> Unfortunately, people will be reading af3e and considering it
> definitive for the next several years. So I have to get a feel for
> where things are going. :-/
> I've read a couple threads on portmaster's current problems/growing
> pains and its looming difficulty with forthcoming flavors.
> I've been a happy portmaster user for many years now. All things being
> equal, if its future is still being debated I'm inclined to keep it in
> the book.
> Poudriere really needs its own small book. Yes, you can do simple
> poudriere installs, but once you start covering it properly the docs
> quickly expand. My notes alone are longer than my af3e chapter
> limits. (I'll probably publish "FreeBSD Packaging Misery^WMastery" in
> 2018).
> Truly, I'm not looking to start a flame war here. I only want a bit of
> guidance on The Future...
> ==ml

Hi Michael,

Poudriere is indeed intended to be the canonical port building and management tool. It is what essentially the entire ports committer team uses, it's what the clusters build with, and it is where support for new features land first.

Portmaster is a tried-and-tested tool for automating port builds. Poudriere wants to be everything to everybody, but portmaster is as simple to use as possible. The current issue is that portmaster is no longer actively developed. Major new features are about to land in the ports tree, and portmaster will either not support them, or will break entirely.

The official message is that everybody for whom Poudriere's workflow works should migrate to Poudriere to avoid the impending breakage.

Portmaster is still very much a part of the current landscape, and if somebody steps in to fix it (which I have every expectation will happen eventually), it will continue being a usable alternative.

# Adam

Adam Weinberger
adamw at adamw.org

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