Ports Tree, Updating

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When updating your FreeBSD system, you'll first want to sync your sources to the live sources offered via cvs. There is a port cvsup that you can use to update your other ports and source trees if you want. If you hail from a Windows environment, you may think of keeping your sources updated as about the first half of the FreeBSD procedure which corresponds to Windows Update.

Installing cvsup

You'll need to have superuser access, so su to root and then go to your /usr/ports/net/ directory. There are two versions of cvsup available to you: cvsup and cvsup-without-gui (for systems that don't have or need the cvsup GUI). Pick the one that's most apporpriate for you and go into that directory and "make install clean":

   dave@samizdata:~% su -
   samizdata# cd /usr/ports/net/
   samizdata# ls cvsup*
     Makefile        distinfo        pkg-descr.nogui scripts
     README.html     pkg-descr       pkg-plist
     Makefile        files           pkg-descr       pkg-plist
     README.html     pkg-deinstall   pkg-install     scripts
     Makefile        README.html
     Makefile        pkg-descr       pkg-plist
     README.html     pkg-install     pkg-req
   samizdata# cd cvsup-without-gui/
   samizdata# ls
    Makefile        README.html
   samizdata# make install clean

so, let's say this is a headless server and I don't want X11 on it (which it is, and I don't) so:

   samizdata# cd cvsup-without-gui/
   samizdata# make install clean

and you'll get a lot of lines scrolling by; this is the program compiling.

So it's installed already, how do I update the ports tree?

Not so fast, speed racer. First you need to configure your supfile. Go to /usr/share/examples/cvsup and look through the example files. The easiest way to make a supfile for your own personal use is to copy the one that want out of the examples and edit it. So from the command line, do a

   cp /usr/share/examples/ports-supfile /root/ports-supfile

and you have just copied the ports-supfile over to the /root/ directory (root's home directory). Now you'll need to edit that file: use your favorite text file editor such as vi, edit, joe, nano, pico or emacs to edit the ports-supfile.

In that file, you'll want to search for a string that says "" and change that "CHANGE_THIS" to the name of a real CVSup server. You can get a list of the servers at [the list of CVSup mirrors on] but they all have the general form of cvsup(number).(country) such as It will almost always make the process much faster if you choose a mirror nearest you (or the country that you're in, rather.)

See also: [The FreeBSD Handbook's section on cvsup and updating]

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