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FreeBSD: How To fetch the ports from fast servers

Ports randomly gets it's source server list from file located in /usr/ports/Mk/, as defined by the port maintainer. Most of the time downloading the source takes a long time if the remote server is not physically near to us.

In this case, we can tune the ports so that it fetches the sources from the nearest server. A nearer server normally means less latency and a faster connection.

The port fastest_sites will test the latency of the servers listed in /usr/ports/Mk/ The file is suitable to be included in /etc/make.conf which tell ports where to fetch the sources from.

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OpenBSD: How To Install OpenBSD Ports and Packages Collection

OpenBSD is a fairly complete system of its own, but still there is a lot of software that one might want to see added.

The port collection, originally borrowed from FreeBSD and significantly rewritten, fills this gap. The concept is to have, for each third-party software, a Makefile that controls:

  • where to fetch it,
  • how to do the fetch,
  • what it depends upon (if anything),
  • how to alter the sources (if needed),
  • how to configure, build and install it.

This information is kept in a directory hierarchy under the /usr/ports directory.

Packages are the binary equivalent of ports. A compiled port becomes a package that can be easily installed and registered into the system using pkg_add utility.

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How To keep ports collection up to date in FreeBSD

The FreeBSD Ports collection is a package management system for FreeBSD which provides an easy way of installing software packages on the FreeBSD operating system.

1. Updating the ports collection

a.) Using CVSup method

This is a quick method of getting and keeping your ports collection up to date using cvsup protocol. Make sure /usr/ports is empty before you run cvsup for the first time.

If you never updated ports collection you have to install cvsup utility:

# pkg_add -r cvsup-without-gui

Update ports collection:

# cvsup -L 2 -h /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile

Above step will take some time to fetch the files.

b.) Using portsnap method

Portsnap is an alternative system for distributing the ports collection.

Install portsnap with the following command:

# pkg_add -r portsnap

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