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Date:      Mon, 7 Dec 2015 22:05:11 -0800
From:      Waitman Gobble <>
To:        "" <>
Subject:   Re: Migrating to FreeBSD from Debian
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <>

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On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 9:25 PM, Polytropon <> wrote:

> On Mon, 7 Dec 2015 17:10:00 +0200, Anton Sayetsky wrote:
> > 2015-12-07 17:03 GMT+02:00 Matthew Seaman <>:
> > > ... and a package is what you get by compiling a port.  Yes, there is a
> > > difference, but the two things are often conflated and it isn't worth
> > > muddying the waters by insisting on exactingly precise terminology from
> > > people new to FreeBSD.  It is clear enough what they mean -- their aim
> > > is to get some software installed or upgraded.
> > But we should warn then about not mixing ports & packages. I agree,
> > pkg is a good choice [when pkg only].
> That's not a big deal anymore. If you use the default options
> for building a port (like those from which the package would
> be generated), no precautions are needed. If you use different
> options, for only _few_ ports, use "pkg lock" and "pkg unlock".
> If you need to compile many ports and still want to use packages,
> check out "poudriere". Ports and packages can co-exist happily. :-)
> --
> Polytropon
> Magdeburg, Germany
> Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
> Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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The machines I use mostly run FreeBSD-CURRENT or Debian unstable on a
mainline Linux system. If you are not so interested in matters regarding
license, then the biggest difference you will see is that ports/packages
are installed in /usr/local, while the BSD system is in /usr. It's possible
to delete /usr/local and start fresh, without botching your system.  So we
have a system of user software mostly isolated from operating system.
Sometimes it's easier to start fresh, especially if you have a system which
has not been updated in several months, which can cause seemingly
chicken-and-egg kinds of problems. Most software configurations are in your
home directory, so it's pretty easy to rebuild and not lose any settings.

A Debian system is not configured in such a way, everything is co-mingled,
co-related, co-linked (in /usr). Your /usr/local will be completely empty,
unless you compile something and intentionally install it there.

Additionally, in my opinion, a FreeBSD system is much more 'hackable'. If
you take a look at the source code of the kernel and FreeBSD system, it's
very well documented, easy to change and fiddle with to suit your needs.
and recompile.

There have been times when ports and packages were out of sync, the port
version might be newer than the available package, and this reason is
essentially why it could be problematic to mix ports and packages. In the
past this has caused some issues and inconvenience, however in recent years
it seems packages are typically in sync with ports tree.

Waitman Gobble
Los Altos California USA

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