Help understanding basic FreeBSD concepts (ports, updates, jails)

Chris Stankevitz cstankevitz at
Fri Nov 6 18:27:55 UTC 2009

Roger wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm coming from Linux and I would appreciate it if I could get some
> help understanding some basic FreeBSD concepts.


I had a hard time with ports and core apps.  Here is a summary of what I 
learned (taken from a post I made months ago):


Applications on a FreeBSD machine are broken into two categories:
1. Applications installed under /bin, /usr/bin, etc
2. Applications installed under /usr/local

The first group is called "core OS applications". The second is called 
"ports applications." FreeBSD developers think carefully before deciding 
in which group to place a new application.

Update applications in the first group using freebsd-update but first 
decide whether you want RELEASE, STABLE, or CURRENT. Update applications 
in the second group using CVS on the ports tree.

Sometimes applications in the second group will require an update to the 
first group with a message like "Does not compile on FreeBSD < 7.0"

Some applications are in both groups and can exist simultaneously, such 
as GCC.



More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list