difference between cvsup and portsnap

APseudoUtopia apseudoutopia at gmail.com
Fri May 29 18:02:05 UTC 2009

On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 1:09 PM, Barry McCormick <barry at pdc4u.com> wrote:
> Here at my work we use FreeBSD in production.  We have the following
> debate and wish to know better the differences between cvsup(csup) and
> portsnap.  One of my co-workers think that portsnap should NOT be used
> and only gets the latest and greatest port collection, no matter what
> version  of FreeBSD is on the server.   For example, if you are still
> running a 5.4 stable box in production and use any of the portsnap,
> portupgrade, etc utilities, you would pull the current version ports and
> NOT from teh directory of the 5.4 ports. I.E, risk breaking the
> production box.  So you should not use portsnap ever except for dev
> boxes.
> I have always used portsnap to set up a new machine.  I have never had
> it pull a wrong port that I knew of.  I think it has to pay attention to
> the version of the ports it is pulling.
> which is right?  This is a major issue with our production servers.
> Thanks

There is no "5.4" branch of the ports collection. If you're running
FreeBSD 2, you have the same exact ports collection as FreeBSD 8 does
(as long as you get an updated copy of the ports collection, of

CSup gets the instant CVS revision of the ports collection.

Portsnap is a bit delayed because it fetches a tarball of the
collection (it doesn't check out from CVS). However, portsnap uses a
secure key to verify the integrity of the snapshot retrieved.

I personally use portsnap. It's also easier to script. I have this in
my crontab;
0       0       *       *       *       root    /usr/sbin/portsnap -I
cron update && /usr/sbin/pkg_version -I -L = -v

It updates the index files, not the actual ports collection itself.
This way, it wont interrupt any currently running compiles or

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