Status of portupgrade and portmaster?

Don Lewis truckman at
Sat Sep 30 19:30:25 UTC 2017

On 30 Sep, 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.

1 TB should be plenty-o-room for poudriere in most cases.  The machine I
use for building packages only has a mirrored pair of 1TB Western
Digital Green drives that were purchased years ago for another project
where they were eventually replaced, so I just happened to have them
handy when I put my package builder together.  I use that box to build a
set of about 1800 ports for FreeBSD 10 i386,  FreeBSD 11 amd64, FreeBSD
11 i386, and FreeBSD 12 amd64.  There are some of the larger ports in
that set, like chromium, firefox, thunderbird, openoffice-4,
openoffice-devel, and libreoffice.  I also run the other supported
release / x86 combinations when I'm doing port testing.

%zpool list
zroot   888G   608G   280G         -    64%    68%  1.00x  ONLINE  -

The biggest consumer of space is actually my collection of VM images
that get used when this machine isn't building packages.

My biggest constraint is CPU cycles.  I/O is generally not a problem
because I was able to max out RAM in this machine and use tmpfs for most
things in poudriere.

Centralizing port building like this allows me to continue to use some
really ancient and slow hardware, like my 2003 vintage laptop that only
has a 160 GB drive that is split between both Windows and FreeBSD and
1 GB of RAM.  It's still perfectly adequate for light use running a
browser and editing documents with one of the office products, but
trying to build those ports on it is totally out of the question.  I
also have a Via C3 machine with only 256 MB of RAM that I use as a
lightweight server and I maintain using the packages produced by
poudriere.  This also allows me to avoid bogging down my daily desktop
machine with port builds.  It's somewhat more modern, but a big batch of
port builds would probably make it really laggy for a long period of

That said, if you only have one machine, synth is probably a better

The situation on 12.0 should be fixable by someone with the proper
skillset, but it illustrates the problem of synth being the only real
consumer the ADA toolchain (which John also maintained) on FreeBSD.
Basically we've got an important tool that had a single point of
failure, and even without the the politics, we'd be in the same
situation if John had been run over by a bus.  By contrast, poudriere
is mostly shell scripts, which makes me shudder for totally different

Another issue is that synth is only available on x86 because that what
the toolchain limits it to, so that leaves the our other architectures
out in the cold.

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