Story 2014-08-27 2QW8 Twentieth anniversary of the FreeBSD Ports Tree

Twentieth anniversary of the FreeBSD Ports Tree

in bsd on (#2QW8)
Twenty years ago a guy by the name of Jordan Hubbard began the first FreeBSD ports tree. Two decades later it's an essential part of any FreeBSD install, allowing source code-level access to a huge ecosystem of software, all installable in either binary package or make-config-install format. That's not Jordan's only contribution either: FreeBSD owes sysinstall and the original package management system to him as well (retired in FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE for a next generation system).

In commemoration of the big 2-0, BSDFrance commissioned this video. It's quite well done.

BSD/Linux users, what are your opinions of the ports tree vs. repositories vs. app stores? Happy 20th, FreeBSD Ports Tree.

[Ed. note: 2014-08-27 21:18 thrilled to see we now have our very own BSD topic. About time; there have been several BSD articles here!]
Reply 4 comments

Fond memories (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-27 23:29 (#2QYW)

Back in the day FreeBSD came on DVDs with everything needed to get your system up and running. DSL was just rolling out. Dialup and ISDN were the norm. Today it is easy to just grab whatever you need from the net. Ports tree rocks!

Re: Fond memories (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-08-28 10:18 (#2R4M)

Makes for easier distribution, too. That said, I live in a place with crappy bandwidth and kind of miss DVD installs. I frequently go buy the disks from a place like or whatever they're advertising on distrowatch, just because it's hard to get an uncorrupted ISO downloaded. It's cool to buy for example the Debian repository and have the equivalent of that whole ports tree on 27 DVDs or something, I forget how big it is. Useful if you live in a place with net that approximates dial-up.

Dependency management? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-28 14:38 (#2R74)

How well does Ports handle dependencies these days with different apps and with uninstalls and such?

Re: Dependency management? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-28 16:46 (#2R9C)

Probably better than it did a year ago. I've just updated a FreeBSD server from 9.0 to 10.0 and one of the major changes is the new package management system: pkgng or something ("next generation"). I'm still finding my way around it, but initial impressions are favorable. I very infrequently have to compile packages these days, so the pkg system is almost indistinguishable from apt-get. I have yet to find a busted port, but give me time, if I try ...