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

andrew clarke mail at ozzmosis.com
Tue Dec 2 08:08:24 PST 2008

On Tue 2008-12-02 00:41:58 UTC-0600, Javier Vasquez (jevv.cr at gmail.com) wrote:

> 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 intalled
> 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?
> 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)?


> More into how things work, as ports and pacakages 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 downloadable packages that are regularly built from the
latest ports tree.  There are different packages available for
different releases though (eg. 6.x vs 7.x, i386 vs amd64).

The theory goes that you can use i386 packages built for (for example)
6.4 on a 6.3 system.  Possibly all the way back to 6.0.  If you're
relying on prebuilt packages then ideally you should try to keep the
base system updated where possible.

> 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...

Those specs should be fine if you're building "small" software such as
Squid, Apache, Samba, etc.  I build everything I need (http server +
http cache + mail server + spam filter + more) from source using a 1
GHz Pentium III with 256 Mb (using portmaster).

Firefox, GNOME or KDE would take a long time with 800 MHz.  But I
wouldn't really like to run those big apps at only 800 MHz either.

There's no reason why you can't install the larger software from
packages then just build the smaller stuff from source.  With
portupgrade -PP you're still going to have to keep your ports tree
updated (I use portsnap) so it's not a lot of extra effort to build
from source.

> 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...

Not too sure what you're asking here, and I've never used -STABLE.
Keep in mind though that you can't use freebsd-update if you're using

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