Getting started with FreeBSD

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Wed Oct 11 07:54:47 PDT 2006

On Wed, Oct 11, 2006 at 11:53:04AM +0800, ke han wrote:

> Patrick,
> 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  
> experience.
> enjoy, ke han

This is not very good advice to give to someone who is trying to 
learn FreeBSD.   It is like telling a short person the solution
to their problems is to get taller.

Anyway, configuring X is not much related to the questions the person
is asking.   They are asking more about the relationship of versions
and using CVSUP, etc.


> 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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