Subject: Re: Seeking pkgsrc guru.
To: Jeremy C. Reed <>
From: Alistair Crooks <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/21/2004 08:48:57
On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 01:40:24PM -0700, Jeremy C. Reed wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Jul 2004, Peter Seebach wrote:
> > I'm going to be writing about pkgsrc.  I'd like a guru to offer
> > advice, suggest things I've overlooked, and so on.  My goal is to make sure
> > that pkgsrc is well-represented in this article, which is intended for
> > publication.  I'm sort of looking along the lines of the article I did
> > a while back for OSDN about the rc.d system.
> >
> > In particular, I am very curious about the history of pkgsrc, and my initial
> > poking around has found very little documentation about this.  I know it's
> > a NetBSDism, but I can't find a Design & Implementation document, or anything
> > entirely similar.  (Although the pkgsrc documentation is, indeed, wonderful.)
> By the way, I also have a contract to write a pkgsrc article for a
> print Linux magazine.
> You may want to post to the tech-pkg list to reach a wider pkgsrc
> audience.
> The history of pkgsrc is basically an import of FreeBSD ports in October
> 1997. (OpenBSD started with the same ports, I think, in September.)

The pkg_install tools were imported to the main source tree earlier -
in June 1997.  The main pkgsrc module was started in October 1997,
although we moved the main .mk file from src/ to pkgsrc later still.
pkgsrc/sysutils/top was the first package added, IIRC, and we went on
to add more piecemeal, except for the archivers category.

OpenBSD had 3 attempts to start a ports tree; IIRC, the one that
started just after ours was replaced by a later effort.
> FreeBSD ports was started around August 1993. I think Jordan Hubbard wrote
> the initial pkg_* tools around July 1993.

The FreeBSD ports tree was initially a repository for binary packages. 
I know, because I produced their boehm-gc and vile binary packages,
cross-compiling from NetBSD.  I still have mail from jkh saying "you
know, it really would be better if you used FreeBSD".  The reason that
the FreeBSD Makefiles (used to) have "new ports collection Makefile"
springs from the switch to source-based compilation.

Alistair Crooks                    <>