updating a FreeBSD workstation

tech-lists tech-lists at zyxst.net
Sun May 24 12:38:16 UTC 2020


I've been using freebsd as a desktop since the late 90s (in addition to
running servers). In the last few years it's become a lot easier for desktop. 
I still get confused about *what to use* wrt desktop because there rae 
lots of different answers (see my thread about desktop sound) but in 
terms of keeping stuff like ports up-to-date it's got a *lot* easier.

Here's what I do:

1. unless you need kernel mods for your specific desktop, run
freebsd-12-release and keep it up-to-date with freebsd-update.

2. preferably on another machine with a lot of horsepower, build your ports in
poudriere and point yr desktop pkg at it. You can transfer your ports options
from /var/db/ports to the poudriere build machine, get a listing of installed
ports on yr desktop with pkg prime-origins | sort -u | tee ports.lst and feed
that to poudriere with -f.

poudriere builds the ports in a clean environment so avoiding the issues with
not being able to upgrade that you've described.

I personally think this is infinitely preferable to "just install linux for a
simpler life" because nothing is simple and I know more about freebsd than
linux. With poudriere you get to modify options you want out of ports so is
better than linux and the freebsd pkg repositories in this regard. All the
ease of pkg and the flexibility of ports. Plus there are other non-ports
considerations for using freebsd, like ZFS.

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