These classnotes are depreciated. As of 2005, I no longer teach the classes. Notes will remain online for legacy purposes

UNIX02/Introduction To FreeBSD Ports

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Under FreeBSD, you can install applications from source just like you can on all other UNIX OSes. You can run autoconf/automake scripts and build and install whatever you need.

However, the FreeBSD native installation type is to use the ports system.

What is FreeBSD ports?

On its surface, ports seems very much like a package system similar to Red Hat's RPM. However, it is far more powerful than that.

Using FreeBSD's ports, you can pick a particular application to install, have FreeBSD intelligently track down and install any dependancies for that application, and finally install the application itself. Oh, and did I mention it will compile all these things custom to your system, thus enabling further hardware accerlation?

You can simply use pkg_add, or the Makefiles in the ports system to install whatever you want.

The downsides to this procedure, of course, are:

  • It can take a while to install something with many dependancies. If you try and install KDE this way, it will take a very long time (especially if you do not already have XFree86 installed!)
  • You must either have the source code for the ports on a CD or have a reasonable fast internet connection to allow you to download them.

cd to /usr/ports and do an ls. You will see many sub-directories refering to specific application categories. If you wanted to install 'wget', then you would cd into /usr/ports/ftp and issue a 'make install'.

Find Nano, and install it so that we can use it to edit files under FreeBSD. If you would like to, you may also install another editor of your choice (such as emacs).

See also:

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Last edited May 10, 2003 1:56 am (diff)
(C) Copyright 2003 Samuel Hart
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