freebsd packages going the debian way!

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Oct 12 15:46:04 UTC 2018

On Fri, 12 Oct 2018 13:42:37 +0000, Mayuresh Kathe wrote:
> i have been tinkering around with mailing system options under freebsd
> and have found most of the options are dependent on entire unnecessary
> bloated external components.
> eg.;
> - fetchmail depends on python, why?

I think because of the fetchmailconf X11 tool, that one
actually requires Python - fetchmail itself doesn't. So
in this case, you are much better _not_ using the package
(where the default building options don't fit your needs
or expectations), and go with "make configure", select
only the stuff that you _actually_ want, and then run
"make install".

> - nmh depends on curl and libhttp, why?

Seems to be something new. Older versions didn't need it.

> - getmail depends on python + python config suite, why?

It surely is a core dependency here.

> somehow, freebsd packages seem to be going the debian way, why?

Ask those who set the default build options for the packages.
This is what lets the list of dependencies grow.

It's worth noting that most software today is developed on
Linux, and _for_ Linux primarily. The software ported to
FreeBSD, i. e., what you find in the ports collection,
adds FreeBSD-specific patches, but still heavily depends
on a typical Linux build system, like configure, GNU make,
and "build suites" which in turn can depend on Python
to format the error messages. ;-)

> i am willing to abandon "nmh" and be happy with mailx, but how do i get
> my remote emails onto my local system without having to install a 
> bloated
> fetchmail package which depends on an entire python programming system?

As I said, build fetchmail yourself instead of using the
package. Check if there is a "-no-x11" or "-without-gui"
package (I doubt it, but that was pretty standard decades
ago, like for CVS and gs).

There simply is no "one size fits all" package for everything
and everyone.

But allow me to mention pine / alpine again. It's
very versatile and still low on dependencies. Maybe
you like it better than mail/mailx? However, when I
did use it, I couldn't stand the editor and used
other (external) editors, usually joe or mcedit. :-)

> btw, the stock sendmail seems nicely minimalistic, good to know.

And with the ports system, you can build that version.
However, building software from ports with different
options than the official packages can (and probably
will) cause additional work for you: Either you use
"pkg unlock" and "pkg lock" around upgrading your
system with "pkg", or you consider using Poudriere
(I'm never sure I got the spelling right). But if
fetchmail is your only "nonstandard port", using
the lock/unlock mechanism is probably okay.

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

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