[nycbug-talk] Request for Review, Summary of FreeBSD src fetching problems

Marc Spitzer mspitzer at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 13:51:12 EST 2013


Don't take this the wrong way but why do you need to build from source at
all on all your servers?  Why not set up a freebsd-update server that
serves your current build and install the build only tools, including svn,
on 1 crappy box(8gb ram, 500gb disk, 4 cores)  and build binary updates for
all your serves and then use the binary update tools that come with the os
to patch?  This is much more maintainable, scaleable and auditable.

If all your servers are special and unique the odds are you are doing it
wrong, very wrong in this age of cheap commodity hardware.   Even if all
your servers are special and unique there is nothing stopping you from
setting up a freebsd-update server for each of them so you never have to
install source build tools on the operational systems.


On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM, Brett Wynkoop <nycbug at wynn.com> wrote:

> Greeting-
> As a VERY LONG TIME Systems Admin, as in I have been doing it longer
> than many developers have been alive my issues with the
> move to svn from cvs are totally related to SIZE & LICENSE.
> 1.  SIZE
>     It is obscene to require a source fetching tool that is so huge
>     compared to the size of the base OS.  This is especially true for
>     those of us that deal with small systems.
> 2.  There are times when one wants to keep NON-BSD-Licensed code off
>     of a system. I do not at this time have any need to do such a thing,
>     but in the past I had that need sometimes.
> When I started working with Unix full time in the early 1980s I used
> EMACS as my editor of choice.  At some point Richard got EMACS up to
> about 50Mb, which considering at the time I was running sun 4-110s with
> 120Mb disks was HUGE.  I dropped EMACS.
> The idea that systems administrators should be forced to
> install/maintain a huge tool to keep their systems up to date with
> source is silly at best.
> I believe that several years ago when portsnap was brought to life that
> a similar tool for grabbing /usr/src should have been introduced.  I
> know I would have jumped all over that.  At the time of the
> introduction of portsnap I was working at a government agency where I
> did not have control over the firewall and the network crew would not
> open up the needed ports for CVS.  I was forced to tunnel all cvsup
> traffic via an outside FreeBSD Box that was running ssh on a port
> assigned to something the firewall folks did allow.  What a pain.  Then
> came portsnap running via http and life was easier!
> So this begs the question why not something like "basesnap fetch"?
> In any case I feel that long before now the discussion of how to fetch
> base should have been started and a suitable tool should have been
> proposed and coded.  This "how to fetch base" issue shows the same lack
> of forethought exhibited by changing the system installer and breaking
> sysinstall by changing the layout of the FTP servers before the new
> installer actually worked. AFIK the new installer is still broken, but
> I have not tried to install using it since I discovered the MFSBSD iso
> images, which are small and give a simple fool proof install method.
> I do not know the ins and outs of svn or how hard it is to build a
> fetch tool.  I am probably not a good enough programmer to do the job
> either, but I would urge someone who is a good programmer to take on
> the problem and provide a solution before /usr/src can no longer be
> fetched with csup.
> -Brett
> --
> wynkoop at wynn.com               http://prd4.wynn.com/wynkoop/pgp-keys.txt
> 917-642-6925
> 718-717-5435
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> tyranny in government" - Thomas Jefferson.
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