Minimal skills

Brandon helsley brandon.helsley at
Thu Jun 4 05:56:42 UTC 2020

Thank you, I'm minimally familiar with the port files but I know where and what they are, so I think it would be a great starting point. So is this kind of contribution limited to submitting patches or is there some kind of other persistent communication with the "upstream", whatever that means. Could you tell me what this tool "diff" is. I' bet I'll have to learn it myself but if you could give me an overview and familiarize me that would be great too.

Right now I already have dedicated a PC to FreeBSD. I'm quite intimidated by the editing of configuration files but have managed to install and configure fluxbox and other simple GUI's. I'm currently working on making it a mail server but am stuck for now. Other than simple configurations like firewalls or jails or virtualbox I find FreeBSD difficult too learn. I'm progressing though!!!

I'll work on understanding port files and sources as my next step.



> On Jun 3, 2020 at 11:41 PM, Polytropon  <freebsd at>  wrote:
>  On Wed, 03 Jun 2020 21:52:37 -0600, Brandon Helsley wrote:  >  You said there is different areas of documentation. Does this  >  separation of areas just go by the handbook's sections? Please check the links I provided. Primarily FreeBSD documentation contains the handbook / FAQ / books / articles you also find on the web page, and then there is the manpages that accompany the OS install. Ports contain their own documentation, independent from FreeBSD, and usually maintained by the port's upstream.  >  Could this mailing list please elaborate on the subject of  >  updating documentation? and what it takes to do this? As I mentioned, one part of the _FreeBSD_ documentation is what you find in the documentation port (freebsd-doc), and the other part is in the OS (/usr/src). For FreeBSD documentation: To obtain a current ports tree, use the following commands (typical example): # portsnap fetch extract # cd /usr/ports/misc/freebsd-doc-en # make # make install You can then go ahead an
d work with the sources in the work directory, and use tools like diff to create your patches to submit. The FreeBSD ports collection is explained here:  For manpages: You usually use the freebsd-update tool to install and update the "src" component (it should be the default already). But in this specific case, using the most current version of the sources probably is the better way, and this is done using the Subversion tool. Get the latest sources. Then you'll find manpages in /usr/src's subdirectories for all the components and sections. Again, you can use diff to create patches. The OS updating procedures are explained here:  Of course you don't need to install the kernel and the OS userland - you just want the manpage source files. :-) Sidenote: You can obtain the most current ports tree with svn (Subversion) as well, but for a first impression, I'd say the convenient bina
ry methods are a good point to start. However, in actual contribution, you'll always want the latest (!) version available, and that is what svn delivers.  >  For a specific area that I'm interested in, that would be the  >  Network servers, firewall and advanced networking chapters,  >  since this is what I want to learn. I'm assuming that's what  >  you had meant about being interested in a particular area or  >  documentation. That is a broad topic. :-) FreeBSD itself offers several aspects of networking servers, firewalls, and of course the whole networking stacks and drivers; and there are ports that contain stuff, first of all things like web servers.  >  Thank you for all the advice so far. Now I can get on track  >  with the right direction for my education. I will make sure  >  I learn a little programming, learn unix and study some kind  >  of computer science that supports all the rest. And then of  >  course continue to use FreeBSD with the updating handbook. If you don't
 mind, I'd suggest to dedicate a workstation PC or a laptop for FreeBSD, while having a second computer (or a smartphone) for web access (documtnation, mailing lists, or web forums). Start by installing FreeBSD. Set up your working environment. On the way of doing so, you will already learn a lot. Then examine what you _can_ contribute, and decide what you _want_ to contribute to. Depending on that decision, the steps to take (as mentioned above) are a bit different, still they share a certain skillset and tools. It also helps if you read (or at least skim through) the documentation that already exists, to get a feeling of what you will be dealing with. As I said, the FreeBSD documentation basically works with the port that turns input files into a variety of output formats, while the manpages use their own "language". You can easily check how those look like. You can also get an impression of the writing style  and terminology used. Example manpage files can be found on any FreeBSD 
install in /usr/share/examples/mdoc/ where template files can be found. -- Polytropon Magdeburg, Germany Happy FreeBSD user since  4.0  Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ... 

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