[freebsd-questions] Looking @ upgrades mechanisms...

Beech Rintoul beech at freebsd.org
Tue Dec 2 00:04:58 PST 2008

On Monday 01 December 2008 21:43:08 Javier Vasquez wrote:
> On 12/2/08, Javier Vasquez <jevv.cr at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I was reading chapter 4 of the handbook, as well as chapters 24 and
> > 26...  If I got it clear, I pretty much might get the base system
> > updated by using freebsd-update script.  Ports collection can get
> > updated with portsnap, but that doesn't update neither the installed
> > ports, nor the installed packages.  To upgrade the installed ports,
> > portmanager or portmaster or portupgrade can be used...  However only
> > portupgrade can be used to upgrade packages, right?

Not sure about the others, I use portupgrade myself. But yes, you can update 
packages with portupgrade.

> >
> > Now, can something like "portupgrade -a -PP" to upgrade all packages
> > without building a thing (might be that some don't get updated due to
> > the lack of binary package yet, and in such case would dependencies be
> > managed right)?

Not sure what you mean by managed, but if there's no package there would be no 
dependent ports downloaded. If you do a portupgrade -aP (single "P") it will 
go look for a package then compile it if it's not available. Compiling really 
isn't that bad even on an 800MHz box. I did development for two years on a 
750MHz box and don't use packages. FreeBSD does a good job tracking 
dependencies, you just have to do some housecleaning once in awhile. 
Portupgrade will stop and tell you what to do if if finds something out of 
whack in your dependencies. It does that before building anything.

> >
> > More into how things work, as ports and packages are not part of the
> > base systems, are they somehow associated to a particular release
> > (most probably not)?  So that pretty much no matter the release, if
> > packages and ports are kept up to date, they might be the same for all
> > releases?

There are packages that come with a release, but they are out of date by the 
time you load the CD anyway. Ports are always the head branch for all 
versions. The packages for a particular branch tend to lag the updates by up 
to a couple of weeks although they are built continually.  If you want to stay 
really up to date you need to keep your tree updated with portsnap or csup 
(part of the base system) and compile them yourself. Another advantage to 
compiling is you can choose options. The packages are always built with 
default options which is generally OK, but not always optimal.

> >
> > I'm asking these questions since I'm evaluating moving to BSD, but I
> > want to avoid compiling as much as possible since my box is 800MHz
> > piii celeron with just 32KB of cache and 512MB of ram, and for it
> > source based distributions have proven to be too much to handle, so my
> > intention would be to live with binary packages and updates/upgrades
> > only...

You can use packages for most ports. There are notable exceptions a port that 
is restricted by license from redistribution will never be packaged so you 
have no choice but to compile it yourself. But these are few.

> >
> > Also if remaining under -STABLE, is all this possible?  Kind of
> > understood that openoffice.org can't be installed with "pkg_add -r",
> > so most probably if living under -STABLE automatic updates for
> > openoffice.org won't show up...  So this kinds of answers one previous
> > question about the packages been independent from the base system
> > release, it looks like they aren't...

Can't answer about open office, I don't use it.

> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > --
> > Javier

YW. Hope I answered some of your questions.


Beech Rintoul - FreeBSD Developer - beech at FreeBSD.org
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