Portupgrade, XFree86, and Gnome

Adam blueeskimo at gmx.net
Thu May 1 09:00:52 PDT 2003

On Thu, 2003-05-01 at 11:30, Drew Tomlinson wrote:
> I've looked but have been unable to find an answer to my question.  Can I
> use portupgrade to upgrade XWindows related components while XWindows is
> running?  For example, I use the Gnome desktop.  If I open a terminal window
> on the desktop, can I upgrade Gnome and XFree86 related items that need
> updating in this window?  Or is it required that I exit my desktop session,
> kill gdm, and then kill XFree86 and run portupgrade from a console session?
> Or maybe this isn't required but preferred?  I'm confused.

FreeBSD (as well as the other Unices) do not have any concept of
Process-->File mapping like Win32. In other words, there is no problem
of overwriting the file executed to create a currently running process.

However, I am always wary of updating my XFree86 or window manager while
they're running. If I understand correctly, various modules get loaded
and unloaded dynamically by X as necessary. If portupgrade upgrades one
of those modules, it's possible (in theory) that the new module isn't
100% compatible with the old version of X (which is the currently
running process). So, if the updated module gets loaded by the existing
X process, bad things *could* happen ...

So, what is my answer to your question? You can probably get away with
it most of the time, but there is a small chance that you could
encounter problems. My advice: install and configure some console apps
to tide you over while X isn't running. Eg, centericq, mutt, elinks,
irssi. ;p

I am not a FreeBSD developer, and I don't really know much about the
internal workings of X, but this is my take on things. If I'm completely
off my rocker here, someone please correct me.

Adam <blueeskimo at gmx.net>
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