Updating packages

Waitman Gobble gobble.wa at gmail.com
Sun Jun 3 08:00:55 UTC 2012

I have tried the available package update methods. It occurred to me to
experiment with a different way.

I am working on a package update script in Python as an alternate way to
update installed packages with latest available on the FreeBSD web site. It
parses the index page of the web site and compares the versions of
installed packages. If their is a difference it downloads the package tbz
file and performs an MD5 checksum, then writes the corresponding pkg_delete
and pkg_add for the package into a file which can be edited and executed
from the command line. It does not automatically update the packages, for
example in some cases the script reports that an older version of Perl is a
suitable replacement for the latest version. Also on my system there are
like seventeen versions of doc_book package so it writes the pkg_delete for
each installed version and pkg_add for the latest version. (in which case
we would not really want to install it seventeen times).

Does anyone have recollection of a negative experience using 'pkg_delete
--force' to the old version and 'pkg_add' the replacement? Would you say
it's generally a bad idea to first delete the package before adding the
updated package, and instead recommend to install the updated package on
top of the existing installation?

My project is at the following URL:



Waitman Gobble
San Jose California USA

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