On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM, Bryan McLellan firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Isa Farnik was asking me today about the FreeBSD package provider and
why it does all sorts of tomfoolery rather than just a pkg_add -r.
It’s been a while since I administered FreeBSD boxes, and it’s been
almost five years since I first wrote that provider for fun.
My frail memory was that binary packages were a silly concept that
nobody used. In trying to remember why, I see that FreeBSD 6.2 from
2007  was the first release that included the ability to do a
binary upgrade. The binary repositories were apparently offline for a
while due to a security incident  and pkgng was written to “provide
FreeBSD with a state-of-the-art binary package management system,
something that has been sadly lacking throughout the existence of
It seems to me that up until recently (FreeBSD 10 + pkgng), using
ports was still the way to go if you wanted software. Unless you
wanted to build all your own binary packages.
Thoughts or corrections?
It seems like we should have two providers for FreeBSD, one for
packages and one for compiling things from source.
I’ve always preferred ports to “pkg_add -r” when administering FreeBSD
systems. The biggest reason is that often the packages are broken
(e.g. built with some libc or other nonsense that isn’t the right
major version as the one on your system), or certain binary packages
don’t exist as they are kernel-dependent (e.g. virtio-kmod)
We should probably also open a ticket for adding a pkgng provider to
Chef, as FreeBSD 10 is about to be released. I see a few floating
around the Internet 
BTW, in case folks didn’t see, the Bento project  now ships
VirtualBox and VMWare baseboxes for FreeBSD 9.2. I am working on
FreeBSD 10 support.
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