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NetBSD guide, how to install packages
Here is an email to sum up the discussion which happened today in #netbsd
"hramrach" raised a point about the NetBSD guide saying it could be made
clearer about how to install packages on NetBSD once the system is fully
installed, booted up and configured.
First, I must say that indeed all the needed information is there:
- http://www.netbsd.org/docs/ has a link to both "The NetBSD Guide"
*and* "The pkgsrc guide"
- The paragraph "1.5. Applications for NetBSD" of "The NetBSD Guide"
clearly states that NetBSD has a big package collection which is named
"pkgsrc" thus allowing to use a search engine to get more informations
on what is pkgsrc and how it works (and how to install it on NetBSD)
- And indeed the home page of pkgsrc ( http://www.pkgsrc.org/ ) clearly
gives the commands to copy/paste in order to install a binary package on
So, in theory, everything is said and is there.
But, (yes there is a but), maybe "The NetBSD Guide" could be a little
bit more user friendly and contains a paragraph with very basic
informations on how to bootstrap yourself with pkgsrc.
Why? Because usually when you want to install NetBSD and you are a
newcomer, you go in the "Documentation" area, you find "The NetBSD
Guide", you click on it (and therefore lose the pkgsrc link that maybe
you didn't even see because you stopped reading a few lines above).
Then you follow "The NetBSD Guide" to do all the setup and configuration
and then you search for some way of installing applications and if
you're lucky you find the paragraph 1.5., if you're not then you're lost.
So maybe at the end of the install and the basic configuration, a basic
pkgsrc setup could be provided just "for information", followed by a
link to the pkgsrc homepage (or documentation) "for more complete
The idea is not to bring/include the documentation of pkgsrc in "The
NetBSD Guide" which indeed is just a guide to NetBSD and *not* pkgsrc.
The idea is to ease the link between NetBSD and pkgsrc for the user.
Since there is a strong link between NetBSD and pkgsrc (I guess I'm not
wrong if I say almost all NetBSD users use pkgsrc?) I think it's not a
bad idea to have a few lines about basic pkgsrc configuration in "The
So what to include? Where to stop?
I would at least include this:
how to for instance install tmux:
|PKG_PATH="http://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/$(uname -s)/$(uname -m)/$(uname
-r|cut -f '1 2' -d.)/All"
Adding that the two first lines can be written inside the .profile or bashrc or
whatever is sourced automatically at startup.
Then adding an example about compiling a package from source.
And then finally a link to pkgsrc website "for more information".
OR, maybe just add paragraphs with just links to the corresponding section of
the pkgsrc guide like:
X.1. Installing the packaging system (pkgsrc) on NetBSD
[link to http://www.netbsd.org/docs/pkgsrc/getting.html#getting-first]
X.2. Using binary package on NetBSD
[link to http://www.netbsd.org/docs/pkgsrc/using.html#using-pkg]
X.3. Compiling packages froms sources on NetBSD
To summarize, The NetBSD Guide contains the information, but maybe it can be
made easier for the reader to locate it and to bootstrap himself in the
wonderful land of NetBSD with the huge package collection that pkgsrc brings :)
I hope I'm clear enough, what do you think of either proposition?
Best regards :)
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