updated ports tree

Killermink ! killermink at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 24 03:14:16 PDT 2004

Hi Joe,

I think I do understand the port/package differences, but let me explain 
where I am coming from so you have a better idea of what I am trying to 

I have an old laptop that I don't really use anymore and is frankly too slow 
for Windows XP, so I decided to go the FreeBSD route.  Right now, the laptop 
is of no use to me as I also have a Powerbook which I use for important 
stuff.  Plus, it has 'only' 5Gb of hard drive, and I want to keep most of it 
for Videos and MP3's etc. So, I am just 'fiddling' with FreeBSD to see how I 
can create a system that is useful for just browsing the web, maybe 
streaming audio from my iTunes over wireless etc. Now, I don't want to run 
before I can leap, so I am messing with things to see what I like and what I 
don't, what works and what doesn't which also means I am frequently 
reinstalling (I appreciate I prob don't need to do this, but I am having 

An important aspect of this is to get a window manager/desktop environment 
on the machine.  I do not like Gnome or KDE, and want a really basic shell 
which I can then build on.  Because Gnome and KDE both have dependencies for 
things I will never use, such as the Pilot Sync stuff and games and Koffice 
etc, and as they appear quite bloaty (and I don't like th elook of them), I 
decided to use XFCE.  XFCE is not included as a package on the ISO's I have, 
so I had to install from the Ports tree, but the tree on the 5.2.1 CD only 
has XFCE 4.0.0, whereas the ports site has 4.0.4.  I looked everywhere for a 
package of XFCE4, but presumably due to the dependencies and modules etc, it 
is not possible to have a single package to do this, and I didn't fancy 
getting packages for each dependency and then misisng something and it 
failing.  Plus, I quite like the idea of building from source anyway...

So, I was hoping there was a way that I still get all of the applications I 
require (see list below), but not having to install the entire 300mb ports 
collection on the machine, or having to resolve dependencies myself.

I hope this clears it up, either way though, however i can get XFCE4, 
OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and some kind of media player I haven't 
decided on yet, installed easily on my machine without wasting space is 

Oh, and BTW I wrongly thought the ports tree was 600mb, not 300mb (thats a 
lot of MP3's difference) so it doesn't actually seem that bad to install it! 
  I am stil interested for the answer though...



----Original Message Follows----
From: Joe Altman <fj at panix.com>
To: Killermink! <killermink at hotmail.com>
CC: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
Subject: Re: updated ports tree
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 21:52:00 -0400

On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 11:41:36PM +0000, Killermink ! wrote:
 > I see what your saying and i suppose I have two points:
 > 1) Can you install a port without installing the ports tree?

I see that you and I are using terms that aren't really at odds, in
what we mean; but are at odds in what they are normally used for.

Let me explain: you are, in your query, and in your previous email,
talking about packages. What you want to do is download a pre-compiled
binary of each application you wish to use, and install each one.

So no, you cannot install *from* the ports tree without installing the
ports tree. But you *can* install a pre-compiled binary, entirely
bypassing the ports tree.

 > 2) If you must install the ports tree, what is the best way to keep it up
 > to date?

AFAIK, the best way is the only way: via a make update/kernel/world
process run out of /usr/src/ and employing cvs. I suggest cd'ing to
/usr/src/ and reading the Makefile there; it is well-commented.

 > I am still new at this, and can't seem to find packages for all the
 > ports in the tree...

You will not find packages for any port in the ports tree. Have you
looked at the various mirrors for the binary you wish to install?
That's where you will find the packages you seek. There, or perhaps on
one of your 5.x CDs?

However, it occurs to me that the pre-compiled binaries might take up
as much room as the ports tree and the distiles they fetch, if the
packages are large enough. I'd bet that this is an FAQ, of sorts; and
that someone might actually take a stab at answering it.

They probably do not: my /usr/ports/ tree, without distfiles, comes to
about 300 and some few meg out of a gigabyte...sheesh:

61M    /usr/ports/distfiles/teTeX
87M    /usr/ports/distfiles/gnome2

I'm almost sorry I looked.

HTH, Killermink; let me know if I've made things clearer or foggier,

 > ----Original Message Follows----
 > From: Joe Altman <fj at panix.com>
 > Reply-To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
 > To: Killermink! <killermink at hotmail.com>
 > CC: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
 > Subject: Re: updated ports tree
 > Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 14:23:37 -0400
 > On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:04:06PM +0000, Killermink ! wrote:
 > > Hello all,
 > >
 > > I am about to (re)install FreeBSD 5.2.1, and wish to make sure I have 
 > > latest ports afterwards.  I do not really wish to install the whole 
 > > tree from sysinstall as disk space is at a premium, and i will (soon)
 > have
 > > a fast internet connection so seems pointless when i am only going to
 > > install like 10 ports. Also, the ports tree on the 5.2.1 ISO is out of
 > date
 > > now.
 > >
 > > I have read the manual over and over, but cannot fathom how I can make 
 > > port without the whole ports tree being installed...
 > >
 > > Is it possible to make a port in this way, and how is it done?
 > If disk space is at a premium with an out of date ports tree, and
 > ports were likely added in the interim, then disk space will still be
 > an issue with a current ports tree, no?
 > So you may want to:
 > 1) use packages, and skip ports entirely
 > or
 > 2) install the ports tree, and update it as a part of a make world
 >    process.

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