[nycbug-talk] Re: talk Digest, Vol 14, Issue 9

Pete Wright pete
Thu Jan 13 18:46:55 EST 2005

(sorry if this is a duplicate reply...despite my ability to offer advice
seems that still have problems sending email ;)

> Thanks for the tip pete, I have struggle with idea of which is better,
> building from ports or pkg_add. I just think that when I build from
> ports the program should work faster, although I have not been able to
> prove that. I have pretty much given up on the g4u.

i was talking to a developer a while back (who was actually preparing a
lecture on compiler optimisation) about this same topic.  I forwarded the
idea that one of the benefits of hand compiling software is that it will
run faster...seeing as how it's been built on my specific CPU/etc.  He
responded that as long as the maintainer builds a package with sensable
optimisation flags the benefits are really slim to nill.

For me the real benefit of the ports tree or pkgsrc is the ability to
easily customize a specific software package.  For example let's say that
the .pkg for sasldb does not include support for ldap auth (or something
along those lines).  Using the ports adding this support is pretty
trivial.  Having to do this in a sane way with binary distributions is
not, atleast in the long term (actaully i've never had to do this with
FreeBSD packages...only with .rpm's .deb's and slackware .tgz so maybe
it's more easy with FreeBSD wouldn't that be nice).

so anyway...pkg's 9 times outta 10 are the way togo esp. with large
bundles like X.org or gnome....

> Coming from the Windows world, I am custom to spend time tweakoing my
> OS just the way I want it, then ghosting (Symantec Ghost) my entire
> harddrive.
> Then whenever I screw up my system, badly enough, I just download the
> image.

one of the great design decisions with Unix is the fact that all of your
important configuration data is in easy accessable ASCII text files.  For
me, when it's time to reinstall a workstation...or even migrate operating
environments I tar up /etc /usr/local/etc/ /home and what ever important
directories I may need.

On a similar note I think you will find that the need to do a complete
reinstall when a box get's messed up to pretty infrequent when using a
Unix platform.  Unix type OS's tend to be much more modular than Win32 so
if your mail server get's hosed there is rarely a need to reinstall the
complete box to fix the problem.  Altho to do a complete backup there are
builtin utilities like "dd" "dump" and tar that are well suited for these

> I would love to have the same flexibility with FreeBSD. Because even
> with pkg_add perfecting FreeBSD for desktop use is quite time
> consuming. Not to mention configuring a custom Kernel and building
> world.
> I would like to hear how others have managed to accomplish this.

sure it may take a little time, altho when it comes down to it it should
not take too long to build a kernel for example.  I have a dual pIII
server that can build a kernel in several min's.  If you have a SMP system
try using a command similar to this (assuming that no others are using the

# make -j5 buildworld KERNCONF=MY_KERNEL

this will launch 5 make jobs, which will speed up some of the make tasks.

> I have look on articles that details how to move FreeBSD to a bigger
> disk and I think  this method may help. Any thoughts ?


have fun!

Peter Wright
pete at nomadlogic.org

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