Unable to upgrade packages on FreeBSD

RW rwmaillists at googlemail.com
Mon Jan 30 23:45:52 UTC 2012

On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 12:52:07 -0500
David Jackson wrote:

> I have tried endlessly to no avail to upgrade binary the packages on
> Freebsd to the latest version. I have tried:
> *portupgrade -PP -a
> *portmaster -PP -a
> *pkg_update
> All fail miserably and totally and have left the system in an
> unuseable state.

For the benefit of new readers David's question tend to take the form:

   I'm doing this the hard way, I'm refusing to compromise, 
   and yet it still isn't working.

I updated from ports yesterday and it did "just work". If you dropped
at least one of the -P flags, you should have less trouble.

If you need binary packages for a production server, then build your

> Why can't FreeBSD just make the package system "just work". Right
> after installing FreeBSD I should be able to type a single command
> such as update_packages and it should update all packages on the
> system,

Why would you need to update packages after a fresh install? It's
better not to install any stale packages in the first place.

> Why not? Why is something so simple so difficult and impossible?
> Ubuntu can do it, why not FreeBSD?

Ubuntu does pretty much nothing but build packages from third-party
software that's either portable or Linux-centric. A lot of it is
inherited from Debian, it has a comparatively huge user-base, and
financial backing from a commercial company. 

> Why cant FreeBSD  Just make the package upgrades work.

You aren't telling us anything new here, *prebuilt* binary package are
a second-class way of updating on FreeBSD. Packages pretty much have
to be built for current and stable development branches for testing
purposes. They are built against a constantly changing ports tree with
variable lag which isn't ideal. 

Making it work like Ubuntu would need a lot more hardware and a lot
more work from port maintainers to support branching the ports tree. At
the moment there aren't really enough to maintain one tree.

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