Getting started with FreeBSD

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Wed Oct 11 08:40:51 PDT 2006

On Wed, Oct 11, 2006 at 08:45:56AM -0500, cothrige wrote:

> * Tore Lund (toreld at wrote:
> > 
> > I wondered about the same thing some time ago.  I was told by one of the
> > gurus to try packages-6-stable, which would most likely work with
> > 6.1-RELEASE.  So I tried to fetch the latest Firefox in this way:
> > 
> > pkg_add [no line break]
> > ftp://ftp.<mirror>,1.tbz
> > 
> Doesn't this seem a tad clunky and unfinished?  I am still having a
> bit of trouble figuring out what I am overlooking.  Why would a fully
> binary installed OS offer no binary support for updates at all?  Why
> have a nice secure RELEASE edition when once installed it will
> naturally develop security holes that are very hard to find and fix?
> Things are just so foggy at this point and I must assume that I am
> just not seeing the answer to this.
> > Seems to work fine.  However, I tried to do the same thing with
> > Thunderbird (mail/thunderbird-, and then I got many warnings
> > about libraries not being up to date.  Could I have done it differently
> > to get dependencies updated as well?

You might do a complete upgrade each time.
 backup any stuff you don't want to lose, 
 including maybe the current ports tree
For cvsup;
 (all the general stuff)
 *default tag=RELENG_6_1       (RELENG_whatever-version-you are-using)
 ports-all tag=.
 doc-all tag=.

Then do the 
  cd /usr/src
  make buildworld
  make buildkernel KERNCONF=GENERIC  (or whatever kernel config you use)
  make installkernel KERNCONF=GENERIC     ( '' )
reboot to single user and clean up and mount filesystems
  cd /usr/src
  make installworld
  mergemaster -cv
Then go and install your ports upgrades
They should all be pretty much at the same place at this point.

> > 
> > Just a few extra words in section 4.4.1 the handbook could probably have
> > cleared this up.
> One of the things I don't get is the stable vs. release concept.
> There is basically nothing said to address this.  I can imagine that
> the packages in packages-6.1-release are fixed and static, though it
> surprises me that no security fixes are placed there, but what about
> packages-6-stable?  These seem quite new, comparitively, and so I
> would assume that they are not static as release are.  And if they are
> in fact tracked and improved, how can they be accessed via the tools?
> Your experience seems to show that using them in a release system is
> not ideal, and so must be unintended.  It really is about as clear as
> mud to me.  And as fine as the handbook is I cannot really use the
> info given there without a better understanding of the basic system
> concepts such as this first.

basically a 'release' is a fixed version, essentially created by 
making a snapshot of the system at a particular point, freezing it
and then running it through all the verification procedures and 
trying to get all ports maintainers to bring their stuff up to 
build and work at that level.    Once that has happened and everything
seems peachy-keen, then it becomes a release.

But, stable is more of a snapshot on the fly - being the most complete
combination of everything that can be made and that seems reliable.
But, it is not fixed (frozen) and may be modified as things are
seen as ready.   Ports may not be at that level.

Packages are prebuilt units of system and ports made of a particular
version.   They are for convenience, and not necessarily the latest
word in version. 

The general assumption is that if you want/need the latest, you 
build from source and do not rely on packages.

Ports do not get frozen at a release level.  Their development 
is by "third parties" not necessarily part of or answerable to 
the FreeBSD core group.  They continue their work independently
and hopefully build against the most recent versions of the OS.
But, I tihnk most are tested at the point of freezing the OS and
if they work are left in and if not, are marked broken.  I am a
little foggy on the exact process here.

So, this is probably oversimplified, but maybe it can help complete
the picture.


> Patrick
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