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

Frank Shute frank at shute.org.uk
Sat Dec 6 00:57:55 PST 2008

On Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 10:43:39AM -0600, Javier Vasquez wrote:
> On 12/2/08, andrew clarke <mail at ozzmosis.com> wrote:
> > 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)?
> >
> > 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.
> Actually I don't run desktop managers, just plain fluxbox over X.  And
> I use X mostly to browse the web.  But any ways, I've run source based
> linux distributions in the past, and although it's fun, my box takes
> too much time to keep up with the rolling changes.  So I've learned
> it's better to keep updating through binaries in this good old
> boxes...

I think you'll find that keeping relatively up-to-date on FreeBSD
using ports is fairly easy, even on a lowish powered machine
especially since you don't use the big desktop environments.

Install portaudit so that you only upgrade when there is a security
problem (or a must have feature).

The bigger stuff like Firefox you can run at night.

You will also find that FreeBSD is quite good at multitasking and that
whilst building ports it's perfectly possible to get on with your
work in comfort. More so than Linux.

> >> 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
> Ups, I didn't know that...  so freebsd-update only works on
> -RELEASE's.  I'm not sure that was explicit in the documentation, good
> to know, :)
> So the only way to live in -STABLE up to date is to keep the base
> system up to date through compilation...

Yep, but I only track STABLE when it's got some fix for some
hardware/software that I must have, otherwise I track RELEASES & then
you can use freebsd-update.

BTW, I just retired a 300MHz Celeron that I used a combination of
packages & ports (but mainly ports). My new laptop, I just use ports.

I find ports less troublesome than packages.

> Thanks,
> -- 
> Javier




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