FreeBSD questions

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Mon Nov 12 09:23:35 PST 2007

On Mon, Nov 12, 2007 at 02:37:06PM +0000, Alex Zbyslaw wrote:

> Andy Greenwood wrote:
> >If you want the newer versions of software from the ports tree, don't 
> >limit your results by the tag. Basically, you're saying (IIRC) "I want 
> >the version of the port that was included with this release" instead 
> >of "I want the most recent version of this port." the release versions 
> >of the ports will only be updated for bug fixes, etc. 
> Unless something has changed recently, this is not correct.
> The release versions of the ports are *never* updated for anything; not 
> security fixes, not features, nothing.  The ports tree is not like, say, 
> Fedora Linux rpms.

I think what you want to say may be correct, but this is confusing.
Ports are updated all along as port maintainers get to it.  In general
the ports system does not have release identifiers.  It is also not
specifically tied to any release.   It just happens that a particilar
'snapshot' of the condition of the ports tree is put on an ISO and
for good measure, gets frozen a while to give time to check it out.
But, as soon as that freeze is over (which pretty much corresponds to
the timing of a base system RELEASE), updates begin again as the port
maintainers get around to making improvements.    So, a certain condition
of the ports tree and the individual ports conceptually gets tied to
a certain RELEASE, but in reality is not, since changes continue to
be made and you will get the most recent condidition of the ports if
you do an install over the net.   You will get the 'RELEASE' condition
only if you install only from the ISO-s.  

Now, when changes are made to ports, they should be tested against
something and I don't know just what they get tested against between
freezes.    So, whether you csup your ports tree and install over
the net or install from the ISO you have burned to a CD may depend
on whether an updated version of a port will work with the stuff you
are trying to install it over.   You may have to test.   Generally
the latest version is the best, but sometimes the updates may have
moved the port beyond where your base system is at the moment.

Of course, you could also upgrade your base system - if you need 
that latest instantiation of the port.

The point being that ports are almost continuously being updated
except for that freeze period.   But, there is no general-systemwide
versioning system for the ports.     So, in in the base system RELEASE 
sense, ports is not updated - there are no numbers to update.  But it 
is updated, in the sense that improvement are continuously made - depending
on the maintainer.


> What you say is true of the *base* system, but not true for ports.
> Technically, the ports tree is not branched, because it's a) too much of 
> a maintenance burden and b) apparently CVS is likely to struggle, which 
> I can believe.
> The ports tree is *tagged* (not branched) when the release ISOs are 
> made, and those tags are never moved.
> For cv(s)uping ports there are only two reasonable tags, as far as I know:
> "."  which means the latest ports tree or
> a date: when you desperately need to get back to the ports tree you had 
> say a week ago because it worked and your current one doesn't and you 
> are desperate.
> --Alex
> _______________________________________________
> freebsd-questions at mailing list
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-questions-unsubscribe at"

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list