portmaster best practices

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Wed Jan 25 06:48:39 UTC 2012

On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 03:49:05PM +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > Generally I like to run 'portsnap fetch update' followed by 'portmaster -ai'
> > (after reading /usr/ports/UPDATING) every week. This keeps the number of huge
> > compilefests (like gettext updates :-() to a minimum.
> Has portmaster ever screwed things up for you?

Not really. There have been occasions where some build fails and I have to
re-start it. But that is hardly portmaster's fault. The biggest problem is
that I have TeXLive installed instead of teTeX. So I have to patch the
tex-related ports that I use after using portsnap but before using portmaster.

> > For efficiency, I tend to keep one machine up-to-date in that way,
> > and use rsync to then distribute the changes in /usr/local to my
> > other machines. This only works for machines that are on the same
> > major FreeBSD version and architecture, of course.
> That's interesting. Do you also rsync /var/db/pkg ?

In the beginning I did, but I found that I didn't do much upgrading/installing
on my other machines anyway, so I actually removed /var/db/[pkg|ports] on the
other machines. And /usr/ports too.

The other thing to sync are of course the configuration files because they
tend to differ significantly from machine to machine. I keep git repositories
for the config files of all my machines (and jails) on my main desktop (every
machine its won repo), and use rsync to distribute them to the machine in
question where they are installed locally using ssh.

E.g, after the update from 8.2 to 9.0, once the main desktop was done, it was
easy to do a 'git diff'on it's config files and see which changes needed to be
applied to other machines as well. I do this manually since the files can be
very different from machine to machine.

R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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