Still having trouble with package upgrades

David Jackson djackson452 at
Wed Mar 7 16:57:16 UTC 2012

On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM, <thomas at> wrote:

> Hmm what is the problem ? Is there a log or something that you can share ?
> Usually portsnap, freebsd-update, pkg_add -r or portupgrade that do binary
> update should be enough
Ive tried them all. I will work on getting some logs to post here shortly

> Regards
> Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Sinyal Bagus XL, Nyambung
> Teruuusss...!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Jackson <djackson452 at>
> Sender: owner-freebsd-questions at
> Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 11:28:47
> To: <freebsd-questions at>
> Subject: Still having trouble with package upgrades
> I still have yet to find a resolution to the problems I have had with
> binary packages and upgrades on FreeBSD. Binary upgrading is broken with
> every tool I have tried.
> There is no real reason why FreeBSD should not provide a facility for users
> to be able to binary upgrade to the most recent version of all packages
> with a simple upgrade command.
> One faulty argument I heard was that it is often not a good idea to upgrade
> to new software release. The whole purpose of having a release cycle for
> programs is to provide stable, tested releases for the public to install
> that will will work properly, and improve upon and fix problems with older
> releases. This is why mainline release are differentiated from betas and
> the CVS downloads which are experimental. So you really do want the most
> recent release, especially for corrections to any security problem. Making
> upgrades more difficult actually makes the system more insecure by exposing
> people for a long time to security problems that were fixed in software but
> making it difficult for people to upgrade.
> As for the security issues of downloading binary packages. The fact is
> source packages are not safer than binary packages, more on that in a bit.
> I am astonished that people here would not realise the obvious, having safe
> binary installs is do-able from mirror sites, just have the package
> management software download MD5s from many mirror sites, compare them and
> test the downloaded package, is they are off, then the package will not be
> installed the user will be prompted to allow a notification of the problem
> to be sent to the FreeBSD administrators. The fact is, binary releases are
> no more dangerous than source releases, someone could just as easily insert
> bad code in a source code package on a mirror, you need automated MD5
> checking anyway, for both binary or source upgrades. So the idea that
> source upgrades are safer is false, just dead wrong.
> As for compile options, the solution is simple, compile in all feature
> options and the most commonly used settings into the binary packages, for
> the standard i386 CPU. If people want customisations then they can build
> the software for themselves.
> A good software philosophy is to allow software to work out of the box with
> as little configuration as possible, but allow everything to be configured
> by the user if they want, by shipping software with reasonable defaults
> which can be overridden by the user. Make simple things easy and
> complicated things doable. In GUI, by default, complexity can be hidden
> from users, but if people want fine grain control, they should be free to
> use advanced screens of the GUI to get complex, fine grained control. In
> GUI design, more commonly used settings can be provided more upfront while
> advanced features for use by experts can be placed deeper in advanced or
> expert screens oft the GUI. Everything should be able to be configured or
> accomplished by both GUI and CLI and API.
> A good user friendly model for a useable OS is to allow for binary packages
> of the entire system to be upgraded with a single upgrade command. It
> should work out of the box without hassle. Keeping software up to date to
> recent releases is good practice, remember what I said about the purpose of
> software releases. make it easy.
> why dont the freebsd administrators just have a build machine that
> automatically compiles the software and makes them available as the ports
> are updated.
> The user should be able to  keep their system up to date without doing any
> system wide all at once OS-release upgrades at all. There is no reason why
> kernel and userland programs have to be upgraded at the same time.
> Especially considering its a good design practice for kernel to provide
> backward compatability. Instead the system would be piecemeal updated over
> time, including the kernel, in a piecemeal fashion. The need for system
> wide OS distribution version numbers like FreeBSD 9.0 is becoming obsolete.
> Versions are still very valuable for the kernel, but for collections of the
> entire system software, it has become much less relevant.  This was from an
> age when people would receive a Tape or CD in the mail and update
> everything all at once, now software can be upgraded in a piecemeal way
> over time with automatic updates. The CD-based upgrade and all at once
> system wide upgrades actually for reasons are inferior, in that it meant
> often months would go by before a software program was updated, delying the
> application of vital security fixes. Before the age of the internet and the
> hacker, that may have been acceptable. Its not anymore. With Firefox and
> Flash for instance, security fixes are made sometimes weekly, with an
> system wide at once upgrade model, it could be a very long time between
> upgrades of such software between releases of the OS software distribution
> CD. The idea of waiting on a FreeBSD kernel release to upgrade firefox is
> absurd, and the idea that firefox must be upgraded during a kernel upgrade
> is also absurd. The piecemeal model is much more convenient for users,
> providing more up to date packages and no OS release upgrade hassle.
> There really should be little reason for release upgrades anymore these
> days, when the different parts of the system can be upgraded independantly
> through a binary package management tool, including kernel and user
> programs.
> When a new kernel is released, there is no reason to reinstall all of the
> packages on the system at the same time. Since the kernel and userland
> packages have different development cycles, there is no reason why there
> has to be synchronization of the upgrading.
> Some here suggested PC-BSD, it was no better at all than FreeBSD, In fact
> in its documentation it demanded a complete system reinstall just to
> upgrade to a new kernel version. An OS that requires a user to reinstall
> everything just to upgrade the kernel is not user friendly. It creates more
> trouble and difficulty for users and ironically makes the system more user
> unfriendly, and makes these users suffer due to the design faults of the
> system, a user having to upgrade userland packages for a kernel upgrade is
> a symptom of serious design faults and deficiencies. These two parts should
> be able to be upgraded independently and a good system assures backwards
> compatability support so older packages can run on a newer kernel.
> For now I have totally given up on FreeBSD, all I had with FreeBSD were
> problems, big problems. The lack of smooth binary upgrades, and the poor
> virtual box support made it very difficult to use.
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