Bsd updating binary packages
The usual recommendation applies to stick to the most stable version for the base system unless there is a good reason not to.
It is important to understand that Free BSD security support is only available for the base system, not for the ports collection..
While the jailed approach is a good one, it isn’t exactly what I was looking for since the Free BSD system I have running in a VM roughly mirrors my requirements for one that I’m intending to install on my desktop.
As it turns out, I had forgotten about Edit May 25th, 2010: The link above now returns a 404 Not Found error, and I’ve long since forgotten what its contents were. I’m not sure when it was taken down, and it’s possible that the version (above) doesn’t contain some newer, more interesting information.
Net BSD already contains the necessary tools for managing binary packages, on other platforms you need to pkgsrc to get the package management tools installed.
This is the purpose of pkgin, to provide the user a convenient way to handle binary packages, using the same working mechanisms than tools like apt-get.
You can find some tips here on how to do exactly that (scroll down to the second post).
The well-written chapters on Installing Applications: Packages and Ports (in particular Using pkgng for Binary Package Management for binary packages and Using the Ports Collection for source-base ports) and Updating and Upgrading Free BSD in the Free BSD handbook are authoritative sources on the Free BSD package system, ports. The version and branch of the base system can be selected by freebsd-installer: While there are different branches for the port collection as well, it is uncommon to change this setting. I have not seem enough reports on changing this setting, so my recommendation is just to go with the default, since that most likely leads to fewest problems.
The recommended course of action is to only upgrade ports when there are security upgrades.
The tool queries the Vulnerability database (Vu XML) to check for known security vulnerabilities, even for ports installed as source (this is a new feature of the pkg tools, the pkg_* tools in Free BSD 9 did not have this feature, and the portaudit tool was used instead).
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It is used to enable freely available software to be configured and built easily on supported platforms.