keeping all things up to date

Chad Perrin perrin at
Tue Apr 17 09:10:29 UTC 2007

On Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 10:12:31AM +0200, Michael Grant wrote:
> Is there some sort of automated way to keep freebsd and all the
> installed ports/packages up to date automatically?
> I don't mean just the source, that part is easy.  I mean something
> that actually reinstalls the things ad needed, sort of like windows
> update or the updater on ubuntu.

Have you used MS Windows much -- enough to notice that often a patch can
break something?  Now imagine that Windows Update also has to handle a
bunch of third-party applications.  Imagine that "a bunch" is roughly
equal to 15,000.  Realize that, without direct control over the
development of all those additional applications, the chance of a patch
to any one of them causing more problems than it fixes is increased.

Of course, FreeBSD is managed in a much more sane fashion, but the
increased chance of problems does exist in such circumstances.  There
are ways to try to minimize that, however.  The one FreeBSD seems to
take, as a project, is to do the very best job possible fixing every
potential problem that comes up in a reasonable amount of time, and
telling us about the things that can't just be magically "fixed" that
quickly in the /usr/ports/UPDATING file.

That means, unfortunately, that you have to pay attention to what's
going on when updating software.  Automating the process is likely to
cause problems by circumventing the last line of defense against system
instability -- you (and me and all the rest of us that actually use the
system).  In other words, completely automating the process is probably

On the other hand, the above is all assumption and conjecture on my
part, so any or all of it could easily be incorrect.  If someone else
here disputes my guesstimation of the situation, (s)he is probably

CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ ]
"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do
if he knew he would never be found out." - Thomas McCauley

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list