Getting started with FreeBSD

ke han ke.han at
Tue Oct 10 20:53:24 PDT 2006

Since you are already knowledgeable of X-11 apps on slackware, this  
opinion may not concern you.
My opinion of FreeBSD is do not try to configure X-11 desktops and  
apps with it.  Its just too much effort.  I have the same opinion of  
any *nix system that require the user to install/configure their own  
desktop experience.
If you want a good desktop that does provide updates to some apps  
(firefox included), start with PC-BSD,  This is  
built on FreeBSD 6.x and keeps the base enough as in the  
release so as to enable you a true freebsd system so you can still  
use ports or packages in addition to PC-BSD's PBI installer....but  
without the trouble of integrating and maintaining your own desktop  
enjoy, ke han

On Oct 11, 2006, at 11:10 AM, cothrige wrote:

> I am a complete newb to BSD trying to get started learning a bit about
> how to make my way in it.  I have been using Slackware over the last
> four years or so, and this has made me a bit used to one way of doing
> things and now the FreeBSD way is kind of rattling me.
> For some background, I installed from the FreeBSD 6.1-RELEASE discs,
> and this is also what I get from uname -r.  What I don't understand is
> the relationship between ports, packages and security.  For instance,
> I am currently using firefox, which I keep seeing online is
> not terribly secure.  However, I am confused about what FreeBSD makes
> available to update this and other similar packages.  I installed  
> this,
> and most of the rest of the system, from the discs via packages, and
> hope to keep packages as my main method.  I have had some experience
> in the past with twenty hour compiles of kdelibs on Gentoo and really
> don't want that again but I cannot find any info anywhere on how to
> approach updating for security via packages.
> I installed once previously as a test, and in that system followed the
> only online information I could find which seemed relevant, and that
> was regarding cvsup.  I backed up the ports directory and setup a
> supfile according the handbook and a couple of examples, and went
> ahead and ran it.  From there I started checking how things would go
> if I ran portupgrade on a couple of apps.  I chose the infamous
> kdelibs as my sample.  When I ran portupgrade -P, just to check
> things out and see what I would get, it failed to find a package and
> started grabbing the source.  No, couldn't do that, so I killed it.
> I then tried again with portsnap and got the same result.
> When I looked at the complaint I found that it was looking for what
> appeared to be a nonexistent file.  I am not sure now, but it was
> something like kdelibs-3.5.4 and the server it was searching on,
> something which ended in ...packages-6.1-release I think, had only
> kdelibs-3.5.1.  As a matter of fact, I went through all the
> directories I could find online (including 6 and 7 stable, release and
> current) and was unable to find the package my system was looking for
> in any of them.  This failure, and the confusion which ensued, are
> what cause me to wonder just how to keep things like the
> aforementioned firefox up to date.
> I am now in a situation where I am unsure of what to do as regards
> updates, and can really find nothing which clarifies things much
> online.  Everything I find says to run cvsup and use a supfile
> entirely like that which I used before, and that did not work out.
> How do I use new, more secure ports and yet still be able to use
> binary packages?  Is updating ports with cvsup the only way?  And if
> so, what did I do wrong before?  The inability to use binary packages
> for giant, though in my case needed, bloatware like kde made me leave
> Gentoo behind and I want to know whether that is the only future for
> FreeBSD too.  I am assuming that since there are binary packages
> online for these files they must be usable, I just don't know how to
> get to them from tools like portupgrade.  Or if that is how you even
> try to upgrade a system from packages.  I just can't find any really
> relevant guides for this type of thing, so I am supposing that
> everyone just compiles everything.
> Any help in this is very much appreciated, and sorry if I am
> overlooking super obvious information somewhere about this.  I
> probably am, but I just can't find it.
> Patrick
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