Most updated ports/packages

Kalero

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Hi! I open this thread to talk about which BSD flavour has the most updated ports/packages. For example, sometimes I develop some Java app with NetBeans IDE on Linux, and I see in freshports.org the last version ported to FreeBSD is the 8.0.2 version. Now where is a "freshports.org" for OpenBSD, NetBSD or DragonFly BSD so somebody could check what's the last version ported to that system? Thanks :)
 
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Oko

Daemon

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Hi! I'm new in the *BSD family and I'm a little confused about which BSD flavour has the most updated ports/packages. For example, sometimes I develop some Java app with NetBeans IDE under Linux, and I see in freshports.org the last version ported to FreeBSD is the 8.0.2 version, but I don't know where is a "freshports.org" for OpenBSD, NetBSD or DragonFly BSD so I could check what's the last version ported to that system. Thanks :)
For OpenBSD check out http://openports.se/
For NetBSD check out http://pkgsrc.se/

DragonFly doesn't have its own packing system. It uses DPorts

https://github.com/DragonFlyBSD/DPorts

which which FreeBSD ports tree adopted to compile on DF. DPorts is a strict subset of FreeBSD ports. There is non-trivial number of FreeBSD ports which don't compile on DragonFly BSD.


There is no good answer to your question which BSD flavour has the most updated ports/packages. I will explain a bit. First thing that people try to compare is the number of ports. FreeBSD/DragonFly look real winners followed by NetBSD pkgsrc here until you realize that Xenocara (OpenBSD version of XOrg which the part of the base). That is right of the bat few thousand ports which are unnecessary on OpenBSD since XOrg is the part of the base. Also FreeBSD ports tend to be more fine grained than OpenBSD ports (not so much than NetBSD). A Linux analogy would be Debian vs RHEL/Springdale/CentOS/Scientific. Debian people like to brag about the number of ports until you realize that a single RPM might contain hundreds of Debian ports. The another thing to keep in mind is that some project like OpenBSD have distaste for rotten ports and are very aggressive removing obsolete software from their ports tree. Net and Free are far less conservative and you will find lots of old junk/crapware in FreeBSD ports tree for example. OpenBSD also has policy against poorly written software in their ports tree. For example you will not find wireshark in OpenBSD ports tree because it is worthless peace of security ridden code.

I would say that you will be OK with number of ports no mater which flavour of BSD you chose. The only time I was bitten by this rule was on DragonFly were some monitoring ports fail to compile.

Now the next question is which BSD has the newest version of particular package? Since ports/pkgsrc are voluntary maintained that typically can't be uniformly answered across the board and really depends on the maintainer.
If the port maintainer actively use the port(s) it maintains and if it is possibly paid by her/his employer to maintain the port it is almost 100% sure that the port will be the latest and the greatest. The only exception to this rule if there are changes in licensing which make updating the port impossible.
Also OpenBSD official policy is the latest stable software. In my personal experience typical desktop stuff is pretty updated across the board with probably OpenBSD leading the pack (having the latest version of HPLIP, Sane-backends and similar). If you are after scientific software (for example various Python or R modules) in my experience FreeBSD would have them earlier than Open/Net. Unfortunately many important scientific software like ATLAS, BLAS, LAPACK are in sorry state at least on OpenBSD. BSDs in general are ill suited for scientific computing for the most part.

I would wrap up this little paragraph by pointing philosophically difference in FreeBSD vs Open (ports) vs pkgsrc (Net).

FreeBSD ports are extremely configurable and tunable. OpenBSD ports tree revolves about idea of reproducibility. In another words idea of OpenBSD ports tree is always producing identical binaries. OpenBSD ports have some elementary tunability via flavours but that is far cry from gazillion knobs FreeBSD ports have. On another hand OpenBSD ports compare on far more architectures (OpenBSD runs on over 20 architectures) comparing to 4-5 FreeBSD runs on.

pkgsrc of NetBSD has as ultimate goal being not just tunable like FreeBSD ports but also being able to run on other OSs and be using there as a packaging system. That is theory sounds awesome but in my experience pkgsrc is very poorly tested outside on NetBSD. I was probably the last person to try running pkgsrc on OpenBSD (around times of 4.7) and it was broken for all practical purposes. DragonFly people took a bait and used pkgsrc for a while as a packaging system on DragonFly. In spite of the hard effort of several DragonFly developers which hunted hundred of bugs in pkgsrc the things at the end didn't work quite as expected and they moved to DPorts.
Minix is using pkgsrc. Many people on old Solaris box swear by pkgsrc as Draco Linux.

Anyhow all four BSDs have a serious packaging system. For the record FreeBSD ports tree is granddaddy of all packaging systems not just on BSDs but in general. Linux stole the idea of centralized packaging system from FreeBSD and were light years behind RedHat dependency Hell comes to mind.

For the record YUM is OK IMHO. apt-get is peace of junk. I just can't get over those automated installation scripts which configure software for me (how stupid do you have to be to believe that you know better than me how the software should run on my computer) and turn on daemon whether I need them or not.
 
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Kalero

Kalero

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Thanks for your great explanation, Oko. I think this kind of threads may help many *BSD beginners searching at Google. That was the reason of this thread.
 
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