FreeBSD Security Survey

Jonathan Noack noackjr at
Mon May 22 07:14:35 PDT 2006

On 05/22/06 06:45, Steven Hartland wrote:
> Brent Casavant wrote:
>> On Sun, 21 May 2006, Colin Percival wrote:
>> So, in short, that's why *I* rarely update ports for security reasons.
>> There are steps that could be taken at the port maintenance level that
>> would work well for my particular case, however that's beyond the
>> scope of the survey.  Thanks for taking the time put the survey
>> together, I certainly hope it proves useful.
> Perfectly put there Brent portupgrade is all very powerful but:
> * Take an absolute age to do anything but the simplest updates
> * Often fails and needs significant manual fixing
> Here its usually 100 times quicker to just do:
> pkg_info | awk '{print $1}' > packages.txt
> cat packages.txt | xargs pkg_delete -f
> cat packages.txt | xargs pkg_add -r
> This at least brings you up to a known good set. Alternatively I
> also use something similar but build from ports the problem with
> that is often the ports need to be built with custom options to get
> back to how you started so unless you where very maticuls in
> noting down the options to every port on every machine you
> installed something often goes wrong :(

Dropping security at ...

The OPTIONS feature stores port preferences and helps a lot with this.
Not all ports are converted yet, but that's just a matter of time.  My
only complaint is that when options are added I'm not prompted for my
preference (I just get the default value).  I have to go back and
manually "make config" if I don't want the default.  If automatic
prompting for new options is added then we will truly have a "set it and
forget it" configuration system.  Because I track ports fairly closely
and usually catch new options, this hasn't annoyed me enough to fix it...

> On good example of portupgrade "going off on one" is a simple
> upgrade of mtr we dont install any X on our machines so mtr-nox11
> is installed. Whenever I've tried portupgrade in the past its
> always trolled of and started downloading and build the behemoth
> that is X, CTRL+C hence always ensues and I forget about upgrading
> until I really HAVE to.

You have to tell the ports system you don't want X (put the following in
WITHOUT_X11= yes

There are also ports (like bittorrent) that install GUIs by default.
You should also tell the ports system you don't want GUIs:

Some ports will still need the X libs (like graphviz), but that's not a
huge deal.


Jonathan Noack | noackjr at | OpenPGP: 0x991D8195

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