The ports are really funcional?

perryh at perryh at
Tue Nov 1 06:15:12 UTC 2011

Michael Powell <nightrecon at> wrote:

> I have always suspected that unknowingly utilizing the already
> out-of-date tree from the initial install is probably what causes
> most newcomers' problems with ports.

My experience is exactly the opposite.  The biggest problem I've
had with ports came from trying to follow the recommended approach
of updating the tree after installing, before trying to build

In retrospect, I'm not at all sure why anyone would be surprised
at this finding -- or why "update it first" would be recommended.
The ports tree is known to be buildable and self-consistent when
packages are built for a release, and that version of the tree
is distributed with the release.  If something won't build on a
freshly-installed -RELEASE, but the build cluster _was_ able to
build the package, there pretty much has to be something wrong with
the local installation.  Updating the ports tree can't possibly
fix such a problem, whatever it may be, and just complicates the
situation by introducing more variables.

My approach is to install using the known-good ports tree from the
release, get the system operational, and _then_ consider updating.

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