FreeBSD Ports vs. Gentoo Portage (a matter of concept)

Norberto Meijome freebsd at
Tue Feb 7 05:59:22 PST 2006

Hans Nieser wrote:
> FreeBSD Prospect wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Reading a lot about FreeBSD recently made me really curious. I know,
>> that the founder of Gentoo (the well known GNU/Linux
>> meta-distribution, which is also based on compiling everything from
>> source) was using FreeBSD for some time, before continuing creating
>> Gentoo, what's why portage (the Gentoo software management system) is
>> generally based on FreeBSD's ports. 
> [.. comparison of ports/portage features ..]
> I've been running Gentoo on my desktop computer for a few months and
> FreeBSD on my laptop / server machines. 

I've been using linux since '95 and freebsd since '98 (more heavily (98%
of boxen) since 02)...and I have to say that after using it in
production environment, RHE is quite painful to go back to (rpms too
limiting,etc,etc) *NOT* trying to flame, just stating my POV .I have to
say that Gentoo is definitely an improvement on all that, and I use it
in my PVR box (since linux has better support for the hardware :-( )

> What I am especially fond of in
> portage is the USE-flags and the way you can specify then globally and
> individually for each package and how you can get a nice, short overview
> of which USE-flags a package uses and which of them are enabled with
> "emerge -pv port". And also how you can find their descriptions without
> having to dig through Makefiles (although that's becoming less
> intimidating for me now that I have been using FreeBSD for half a year
> or so).

you can use pkgtools.conf and the port* tools, you can define variables
based on regular expressions (i.e., I have * => [ WITHOUT_IPV6=true] ,
so no port* enables IPV6. Works quite well. Again, once you have a
version of the port that works well for you, just make a package from
your installed files and keep a copy of that ;-)

*built with portinstall / portupgrade , NOT via the (cd
/usr/ports/[category]/[portdir]/make process... make uses
/etc/make.conf...but this method definitively lacks the granularity of


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