Questions about freebsd-update

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Jul 10 02:32:34 UTC 2015

On Thu, 09 Jul 2015 22:22:48 -0400, Quartz wrote:
> >> I should clarify: I know it's possible to do this by downloading the
> >> patch/asc files and doing the whole make/install dance, but that
> >> requires all the build tools to be installed which is awkward on
> >> dedicated systems that need a small footprint.
> >
> > The tools involved here are already part of the base system (except
> > they got manually removed, which renders the OS somehow incomplete).
> > A system installation typically uses compiler, assembler, linker,
> > installer, and make, which are all contained in the base distribution
> > of the OS.
> Wait.... isn't all the build stuff part of the 'src' option during 
> install?

No. The "src" distribution contains the sources which will
be available in the /usr/src subtree.

> If you unselect that, how does make/install apply patches if 
> the files it's patching aren't there?

It doesn't do that, but the tools make, install, and patch
themselves will be available.

> >However, resource limitations might be a problem - even
> > though nobody admits this possibility today anymore. ;-)
> Not having to install that ~1G of stuff would help a lot on some 
> systems, especially those booting off a small flash memory device.

Has the source tree meanwhile grown to 1 GB in size?

Regarding the development tools: They're mostly small binaries
(where the justification of "small" depends on today's current
hardware, of course) which cannot be de-selected during install.
Looking at "man src.conf", I think you can't even de-select them
during custom system builds. They are considered essential parts
of the OS. Just imagine someone saying "I'm not going to copy
any files, so /bin/cp can safely be removed!" and then wondering
about the system behaving in strange ways... :-)

Manually deleting stuff that is _not_ considered optional (by
design) to the OS often is a bad idea. THe parts that you can
individually tune can be derived from make.conf and src.conf.

Of course I agree that there are legitimate reasons to use a
computer which is not comparable to today's PC and server class
hardware with plentycore CPUs, endless hard disks, 512 GB RAM,
and a 10 Gbit Internet connection. And if you can omit something
which is optional (by design) to help the system run better,
faster, or more reliable, that's a valid consideration.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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