Over-whelmed by ports and package tools

Alejandro Imass ait at p2ee.org
Fri May 20 02:06:37 UTC 2011

On Thu, May 19, 2011 at 9:23 PM, Xn Nooby <xnooby at gmail.com> wrote:
> It is hard for me to tell what tools I should be using to work with
> ports and packages.  I was trying to set up a 64bit 8.2 machine as a
> desktop environment, with Firefox 4 and Flash installed.  It looked
> like I was going to need to track the 8.x stable branch in order to
> get a Firefox package, and I was having some problems pinning down
> which version of Flash I should use (they have a new version since 8l2

Great question. The is no best prctice as such and it mostly depends
on your use of FreeBSD. If it's a workstation you probably want to
install most things via binary packages instead of ports. FreeBSD is
so amazing that it does not matter which way you install them, the pkg
database will not care. You can add a package and the remove by port
and vice-versa. cvsup and all that is mostly used nowadays by mere
mortals for building the world and upgrading.

if you are going to use FreeBSD as a server you arel probably be
better off compiling everything to your exact needs. Precompiled
binary packages are built with standard default options: i.e. probably
either over-bloated with unnecessary features and security holes, or
other times lack the functionality you will require. I would
personally never compile Gnome, Open Office and these great big
packages for several reasons but primarily because it's a waste of
time, and the default compilation options are usually good for the
average use.

Also, please take a look at PC BSD which derives directly from FreeBSD
but it's targeted for the PC/Workstation/laptop world. It's somewhat
akin to Ubuntu and Debian. I think PC BSD is great for workstation use
whereas FreeBSD is great for servers. I use FreeBSD for both but use
binary packages for the big fat GUI applications and compile
everything else.


Alejandro Imass

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