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Date:      Tue, 6 Jan 2009 15:33:18 +0100
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        "Stefan Miklosovic" <>
Subject:   Re: compilation vs binary files
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Tue, 6 Jan 2009 14:16:51 +0100, "Stefan Miklosovic" <> wrote:
> hi,
> i would like to know, if it has a sense to compile software provided
> in form of ports in /usr/ports. I mean, I know there is a bunch of
> options you can choose from and make certain application more
> suitable for your hardware / software needs. I just want to know, if
> I can install software in binary form (eg. pkg_add -r soft) without
> a significant change of performance to my machine. If I lost some
> percents of perfromance, I would rather install it in that way like
> to compile it and lose a lot of time ...

For most software provided as precompiled binary packages, there
is no loss in speed, especially not if today's hardware is considered.

As you mentioned correctly, there are applications where building
from source is the better way in many regards (e. g. mplayer: codecs,
CPU optimization). You usually do this on older hardware for some
speed gain, but on modern hardware...

> Yes, there is also a matter of patches and updates, because software
> is constantly improving. Have even a packages in binary form a sense?

Yes, they have, especially if you don't have the hardware for a long
compilation process - just consider KDE or OpenOffice - I wouldn't
even compile them on today's hardware. :-)

Binary packages often make the life easier. Personally, I do prefer
them. But as you know, you can't always use them (you mentioned the
reasons above).

You can, for example, put a collection of already compiled software
on a CD or DVD in the common tbz form and then install them on another
system (that may have no Internet access). The advantage is that you
have your software running right after install, no time is needed to
build from sources.

Binary packages aren't always "up to date" (they're not compiled
with every change in the port's source code), so if you're requiring
"bleeding edge" software, using the ports and building from source
is the better way to go.

But if you intend to once install a system and then let it run,
there's no problem using software from binary packages. Especially
on servers, you usually do the neccessary updates (such as security
patches) and keep the rest as it is.

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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