Compatability with FreeBSD Ports [debian package tools]

Eduardo Tongson propolice at
Fri Aug 19 07:55:15 PDT 2005

> Portage problems:
> 1.  It's not easy to use an older version of software.  We can't
> upgrade to mysql 4.x for political reasons and have to run 3.x
> Portage constantly wants to upgrade to 4.  I pinned it to 3.x, but
> that breaks builds of many packages that depend on mysql.  Most of
> them have an optional dependency, which I don't really use, but since
> mysql was installed when these packages were first installed, they now
> depend on it.There's no nice automatic way to find all of these and
> make them not depend on mysql.

see what depends on mysql: equery h mysql
then reemerge world with -mysql

> 2.  There are at least 3 places where a package can be masked.
> /etc/portage/packages.mask, USE flags,
> /usr/portage/profiles/packages.mask and those are the ones I know
> about.  Some may have been deprecated, but they are still used.

whats wrong with that

> 3.  Trying to build something that is masked is a nightmare.  Why
> would anyone want to do this?  Sometimes it takes forever for a new
> port to be unmasked.  FreeBSD's gnome team is usually 2 months ahead
> of Gentoo's for new releases.  If the port or a next-level dependency
> are masked, I believe it's easy to figure out what to unmask.  If it's
> a deeper dependency, you have to try the build, decipher the error,
> unmask, rinse and repeat.  Try that for something like gnome with a
> few hundred dependencies -- all masked.

emerge -Dtpv gnome
> 4.  Finding dependencies isn't easy -- see #3.  The only way I found
> was to keep trying and deal with them one at a time as emerge errored
> out.

equery or qpkg
> 5.  Inside joke, how do you emerge the rsync package -- emerge rsync
> ??  This one isn't brokem anymore, but it used to cause me grief every
> time.

trivial to get around even if it's your first time to encounter it.

> Organizational problems:
> 1.  It is common to wait a week or so after every portage update in
> case something is broken.  This may seem like common sense, but it
> follows from being burned numerous times.  There was a period where
> portage was downgraded after almost every upgrade.

its not perfect
> 2.  Things often sit in a masked state for a long time before being
> unmasked.  I understand this is a volunteer effort, but it's often not
> clear from the ChangeLog why something is waiting.  #3 above shows why
> this is a problem.

ask the maintainer

> 3.  Downgrading ports for no appearant reason.  Once again, the
> ChangeLog often doesn't say why it's downgraded -- it just is.

read GLSA and gentoo-announce

> I've only used FreeBSD ports and portage, and as bad as ports is
> sometimes, it's much better than portage.  People talking about using
> portage has me looking for a clue-by-four :-)

I have used deb/apt, ports, pkgsrc, rpm, sorcery/sourcemagelinux.
sorcery and portage had less problems.

Perhaps because ~90% of open source software is built assuming linux?


More information about the Users mailing list