New ports on older stable (4.11)

James Long stable at
Thu Mar 2 04:16:42 UTC 2006

> Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 11:05:13 +0000
> From: Pete French <petefrench at>
> Subject: New ports on older stable (4.11)
> To: freebsd-stable at
> Message-ID: <E1FEP8r-0008Qr-IY at>
> I dont know how backward compatible ports are ggenerally, but I
> have a 4.11 machine that I really want to upgrade the ports on.
> But I dont know if they will alla ctually compile, and I dont wnat to
> start doing the process only to find that I cant build one of them
> possibly. Does anybody know if this is likely to work, or is it
> simply unsupported ?
> I;d love to upgrade the machine to 6.1 - but I have no physical access to
> it, nor am I likely to get any for the forseeable future, and upgrading
> across the 4/5 boundary isn't something I would be happy doing remotiley
> in multi-user mode (if it's even possible!)
> -pcf.

This is rather a case of the extremely near-sighted leading the blind,
but I recently inherited the care of some older boxen, and in fact,
recently deployed a new 4.11 installation, and proceeded to build
up-to-date ports on it.

I still share a part of your trepidation about getting oneself into
a bind with uncooperative dependencies, etc.  However, I have had
more success than I would have imagined.

Here are some suggestions, and I certainly welcome corrections to
my advice from more expert sources.

Start by backing up your /usr/ports and your /var/db/pkg and 
/var/db/ports and anything else you can think of.  Heck, back up the 
whole samn dystem if you can.  To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the 
universe is a lot safer if you have a backup.

I should think portaudit would be the first thing you'd want to 
install, so that you can find out if other ports have security 

Go slow, read Makefiles first, that sort of thing.  You can probably 
install portupgrade without too much trouble, as it doesn't have a lot 
of dependencies.  Then a lot of use of portupgrade -nR (portname) will 
tell you which ports have the fewest dependencies, and -nr (portname) 
will tell you which ports depend on any given port you may be thinking 
about upgrading.

Just for prurient interest, would you care to post your pkg_info?  If
you have portupgrade installed, or can install it, how about the output
from "portupgrade -na" also.


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