keeping all things up to date

Christian Walther cptsalek at
Tue Apr 17 09:49:15 UTC 2007

On 17/04/07, Chad Perrin <perrin at> wrote:
> 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.
Just as an example that just came up recently: gettext was updated in
the ports tree, which required a rebuild of all ports that depend on
it. I missed reading /usr/ports/UPDATING before, so I didn't notice
this fact. I did an update on my girlfriends laptop which resulted in
several applications not being usable anymore. Imagine my face as I
had to explain to her why she was unable to use her machine for one
and a half day.
Another lesson learned...

That's why I agree to Chad: Doing automatic updates isn't advisable.
They might even come at the wrong time, e.g. when you need your system
resources. I'm thinking about monsters like OpenOffice, GNOME or KDE.

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