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

martinko martinkov at
Tue Feb 7 12:14:46 PST 2006

Norberto Meijome wrote:
> Hans Nieser wrote:
>>FreeBSD Prospect wrote:
>>>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).

there are global USE-flags in FreeBSD too and you also can configure
ports individually, but i'd agree that Gentoo way is more transparent.

> 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
> pkgtools.conf.

i already raised the following issue with pkgtools.sonf here on MLs some
time ago but i didn't get a response i'd be happy with:
i want to make sure that a certain port will be compiled with a certain
make argument/flag. there are MAKE_ARGS in port tools but these are
used/applied differently depending on whether the port is compiled
directly or indirectly via a metaport and also if it's being compiled
for the 1st time or again. :-((

> B

besides, i should say i'm using mainly FreeBSD and occasionally i'm
playing with Gentoo but i consider the quality and stability of ports
provided to be (much) better than that of apps via portage. also,
syncing and updating portage tree is much more heavy (by which i mean it
takes much longer and downloads much more data) than updating ports
collection (especially since portsnap has appeared). not to mention that
 Gentoo's system/base layout is still heavy evolving and frequent
changes to the format, contents and location of their /etc files are
happening quite so often, which wouldn't make any admin too happy.


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