What does it mean to use ports?

hw hw at adminart.net
Mon Jul 15 15:35:16 UTC 2019

Steve O'Hara-Smith <steve at sohara.org> writes:

> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 06:25:17 +0200
> hw <hw at adminart.net> wrote:
>> Thanks for the warning --- Gentoo has something like that, too.
>> Wouldn't I want everything to be optimized for the CPU it's running on?
> 	It is rarely worth the compile time (ie. the CPU time saving over
> the lifetime of the system is less than the CPU time to perform the
> compilation) to optimise to a particular CPU rather than using generic
> binaries for the CPU family. Of course for some CPUs and some applications
> there are big wins to be had, but not on average especially when most
> software is IO bound not CPU bound.

That's probably true.  I never noticed a difference with Gentoo, and
even for software that takes advantage of particular CPU features, there
may be no gain when this software isn't used much.

It's more about wanting everything to be as good as it can be.
Compiling everything optimized for the CPU it's running on might do
that --- if you get all the options right.

> 	I generally only compile a port for one of two reasons, some cannot
> be shipped as packages for licensing reasons and some are built with
> different options to the ones I want (CPU optimisation is one I've not
> needed but YMMV).
> 	When I do need to compile a port the first thing I do is make sure
> my ports tree is up to date then I use make missing to get a list of
> dependencies that aren't installed and use pkg to install them first so
> that I am only compiling the one thing I need to compile rather than all
> the dependencies. Finally I use pkg lock to prevent package updates
> overwriting my customised version.

Perhaps that is the intended usage.  I'll take that as a recommendation.

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