Updating Instructions

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu
Tue Nov 14 18:11:27 UTC 2017

On Tue, November 14, 2017 7:22 am, Carmel NY wrote:
> On Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:00:40 +0000, Arthur Chance stated:
>>On 14/11/2017 12:47, Baho Utot wrote:
>>> On 11/14/17 03:29, Carmel NY wrote:
>>>> Out of morbid curiosity, I was just wondering why instructions for
>>>> updating a
>>>> moved or discontinued port are never posted for "synth", like they are
>>>> for
>>>> "portupgrade" or "portmaster" in the UPDATING file? An example would
>>>> be the
>>>> recent 20171112 change in the devel/oniguruma* port.
>>> I think it is because synth is a bads word around here
>>More likely that very few of us knew about it. This thread was the first
>>time I heard of it. I've been using poudriere since shortly after it
>>came out, and it works fine for me.
> Personally, I consider "poudriere" over kill for the average user,
> especially
> a user who is using FreeBSD on a single PC or laptop.

In the past I was always told to do port or package part installation and
update one of two mutually exclusive ways:

1. build stuff on your machine in ports (and for update use something what
will rebuild all that has to be rebuild, like portupgrade/portdowngrade)

2. go with prebuilt packages, e.g. use (exclusively) pkg to install and
update/upgrade everything but base system

The reason for that I understand is: when you build ports, you may have
changed some of the configuration settings, then dependencies may (or
must) be rebuild and installed in accordance with that, hence having them
coming from pkg will potentially make mess for you.

That is where poudriere comes into play with me:

1. I do need some ports (or rather packages) built with different options
than those that come from pkg repository

2. I do like to do updates on multiple boxes using pkg (thus building
stuff only once if necessary)

3. I do like the intelligence of poudriere, having poudriere in your pkg
config brings only stuff that is in your poudriere repository from it, and
the rest of necessary packages from central pkg repository.

The only thing you have to keep in mind, if you need several different
sets of build options for some package, you will have to have set of
different poudriere repositories, one for each of these different sets of
build options. Well, one can not have everything I guess.

So, as someone already mentioned, poudriere builds stuff in clean
environment, thus you can rely on the result. Is it overkill if you just
maintain one single machine? Well, if you maintain machine decently clean
way, that is there is no leftovers of libraries, headers etc that will not
be found on freshly installed system, then you are safe using just port
builds (and going with some tools like portupgrade/portdowngrade).
However, if you have leftovers of libraries/headers, not cleaned after
upgrade of major release, or if you have some stuff built outside of
ports, but installed with the same /usr/local prefix, then you take chance
to get surprises, and may end up asking experts on this list (mind that I
am not one of experts ;-) for help, and even experts may have hard time to
resolve the trouble.

I hope, this helps. Again, this comes not from an expert, just from
someone who sort of found one's way to maintain a bunch of FreeBSD boxes
(with help of experts who post to this list).


> I realize that the updates needed to run synth on FreeBSD-12 are not in
> place,
> and perhaps never will be. In that case, I will be happy to stay with my
> present system or switch to a different OS.
> --
> Carmel
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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