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Cleaning Up Ports
Pages: 1, 2

Now you have a database of package information, /var/db/pkg/pkgdb.db. You'll also have a ports database, /usr/ports/index.db and /usr/ports/index.dbo. The various portupgrade tools use these databases to work their magic. Whenever you upgrade your ports tree, upgrade the ports database and /usr/ports/INDEX. You can do this easily with portsdb -Uu.



Now that we have the tools installed, let's see what we can do. To see what you have that's obsolete, use portversion (1). This works in the same way as pkg_info but is far faster.

# portversion
Hermes                      =
Mesa                        =
ORBit                       <
XFree86-aoutlibs            <
Xaw3d                       =
aalib                       =

A < means that the installed version is older than what is available in the ports tree. You can easily run portversion | grep '<' to see which ports are obsolete. I do this every so often just to see what's installed on my system. For example, my Apache package is outdated. I'm no longer using Apache on my laptop, however, so I can remove it. The standard pkg_delete command still works, but if I use it my package database will fall out of synch with my system. Use pkg_deinstall(1) instead.

# pkg_deinstall apache
---< Deinstalling 'apache-1.3.20'
[Updating the pkgdb in /var/db/pkg ... - 182 packages found (-1 +0) (...) done]
#

The nice thing is, I no longer need to give the full version number! (That's bugged me about the FreeBSD pkg_* tools for quite some time, but never enough to do anything about it.) The portupgrade tools include globbing functions, which means that they can do pattern matching.

I want to upgrade certain other ports. What's more, I want to upgrade these while keeping the database synchronized, and updating the now-correct entries in /var/db/pkg. For example, pkgversion tells me that gd is out of date. It's simple enough to upgrade:

# portupgrade gd
===>  Cleaning for gettext-0.10.35
===>  Cleaning for gmake-3.79.1
===>  Cleaning for libtool-1.3.4_2
===>  Cleaning for jpeg-6b
===>  Cleaning for png-1.2.0
===>  Cleaning for freetype2-2.0.5
===>  Cleaning for gd-1.8.4_4
If you want to compile in X support use 
'make -DWITH_X11' instead
===>  Extracting for gd-1.8.4_4
....

You'll see the familiar make output for a while. If you keep watching, though, you'll see it make a detour to deinstall the existing package, update the database, and keep going.

... ---> Deinstalling 'gd-1.8.4_3'
pkg_delete: package 'gd-1.8.4_3' is required by these other packages and may not be deinstalled (but I'll delete it anyway):
scr2png-1.1
[Updating the pkgdb in /var/db/pkg ... - 180 packages found (-1 +0) (...) done]
===> Installing for gd-1.8.4_4
...

Once the install finishes, it updates the package database again. Everything is synchronized.

Now, let's look at something difficult. My docproj port is out of date. The docproj port is a port that doesn't include anything in and of itself, but has dependencies on every tool needed to edit the FreeBSD Documentation Project. If you regularly build the docs tree, you need this tool to be up-to-date. Also, you don't want to recursively rebuild the whole thing just for a minor update; docproj has some huge dependencies.

If I wanted to save some time, I could use portupgrade -P to tell portupgrade to use packages for this. Time is something my computer has no shortage of, so I'll use ports. We need to tell portupgrade to recursively upgrade packages, however, so it will upgrade the packages required by docproj. You can do this with the -R flag. Let's give it a try.

# portupgrade -R docproj
This port will try to ensure that the tools used by the FreeBSD
Documentation Project are installed on your system so you can convert documentation from SGML to other formats.

One of these components is JadeTeX, which depends on TeTeX. The source for TeTeX is larger than 30 MB, and may be a very long download.

If you do not want to produce PostScript and PDF formats from the documentation, you do not need JadeTeX, and you should set the variable JADETEX to "no". If you do want to produce PostScript and PDF output then set JADETEX to "yes".

For example:

    make JADETEX=no
    make JADETEX=yes

*** Error code 1

Stop.
** Command failed: make clean build
** Fix the problem and try again.
** The following packages were not installed or upgraded (-:skipped /
!:failed)
        ! textproc/docproj (docproj-1.4)        (unknown build error)
#

Ugh. This port requires customization. You can edit /usr/ports/textproc/docproj/Makefile to add JADETEX=no somewhere. It will now run transparently.

When you've finished, you can check how things stand with portversion. You might find that other port dependencies have changed -- for example, if port A depends on port B, but port C also depends on port B, running portupgrade A will not edit the dependencies of port C. Be prepared to run pkgdb -F on occasion to find and fix these problems.

If you want to have the system handle these things itself, you can use portupgrade -rR; this will upgrade both dependent and depending ports. If you always want the latest software on your system, this is the way to go. portupgrade includes a variety of other tools that simplify software management on FreeBSD, but this should be enough to get you started.

You might find that you have to rebuild a single port multiple times from the same distfile. If a port is revised, portversion will catch it and mark it as outdated. You'll want to keep the distfiles for the ports you have installed, but delete outdated distfiles. portsclean -D will do this. Similarly, you might want to remove shared libraries that are not referenced in the package database. I don't want to use that option -- remember, I installed XFree86 from scratch, not from ports. This function would remove my X setup, ouch! But portsclean -L would do this, and it would help deal with problems such as leftover files from my defective Mesa install.

Finally, I have to say that this tool seems fairly robust. As I was finishing this article, I ran these programs to check my examples. I noticed one obsolete package, and simply had to try to upgrade it.

# portupgrade -R portupgrade

Yep, it works. I'd say this tool is a definite winner.

Michael W. Lucas


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