Same version on binary packages and updated ports

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Thu Dec 29 18:14:28 UTC 2011

On Dec 29, 2011, at 11:16 AM, Walter Alejandro Iglesias wrote:
> I am giving my firsts steps with FreeBSD.

Greetings and welcome...

> In a RELEASE fresh install, after updating the ports using i.e.
> portsnap, the packages downloaded with pkp_add -r are older
> versions respect their port counterparts, leading to
> dependencies issues.  So, once the ports tree is updated:

There are tools like portmaster & portupgrade which help manage
the issue of changing dependencies.

> 1) Am I forced to compile all?

Mostly, no.  There are a few ports which cannot be made available
as packages, typically due to licensing issues.

> 2) Should I use STABLE to get the same versions with pkg_add
> than compiling up to date ports?  Are STABLE packages compiled
> from this ports?

-STABLE refers to the FreeBSD OS.  There is no such thing as
-STABLE for ports/packages.

> 3) In case my assumption above is correct; taking in care that
> in a production system it is advisable (handbook) to stay with
> RELEASE, should I avoid updating the ports tree in i.e. a server
> machine?  

The ports tree and the OS aren't directly related.  People ought to
be fine running a -RELEASE version of FreeBSD with the latest ports
tree (or packages compiled from the ports tree).

> What to do with broken ports in this case?

Fix them?  Revert to a working backup?

> Resuming, is there a default way to install-update the software
> keeping ports and binary packages in one piece?  

portupgrade and portmaster (mentioned earlier) do this.

They can be told to use precompiled packages in preference to building
locally, and you can even set up a local package repository if you
want to build your own packages with specific options that you prefer.

> What is advisable in general terms for a desktop and what for a server?

Well, a casual desktop user tends to upgrade whenever they feel motivated to,
whereas a server ought to be managed.  Part of managing a server is deciding
when and how often to update it, based on workload, fault-tolerance, security,
and other concerns.

You might start by using portaudit, and upgrading ports whenever a security
issue is noticed with a port that you have installed.

> It will be enough for me if someone just point me to documentation.

It's not clear whether you'd read the Handbook?


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