ports vs packages

Devin Teske devin.teske at fisglobal.com
Mon Jan 9 18:19:22 UTC 2012

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org [mailto:owner-freebsd-
> questions at freebsd.org] On Behalf Of alexus
> Sent: Monday, January 09, 2012 9:18 AM
> To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
> Subject: ports vs packages
> Ports vs Packages?
> /usr/ports vs pkg_*
> pros/cons

For a very serious production environment, here's our recipe...

1. Always and forever packages first
2. If you can't find it in the pre-compiled packages for your release... then use ports
3. But if the port wants too many dependencies, ... we build our own package.

Your mileage may vary, but the reason we've adopted this scheme is because precompiled binary packages already have their dependencies set in stone. Opposed to ports, if you pull two related packages from the ports-tree at two different times (months apart), then the dependencies may have "floated" away from your release and therefore, you may end up installing 30+ package dependencies when it may not absolutely be necessary to do so.

We've been doing things this way since FreeBSD 2.2.2-RELEASE (migrated from 2.2.2 to 4.4, then 4.8, then 4.11, then stuck on 4.11 for some years, and now 8.1).

Of course, this is explicit to rather serious production environments. Desktop and casual usage ... ports may serve you better if you like to stay up-to-date rather than only upgrading once every 1-2 years.

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