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Real life use of pkgsrc from a happy user


I just want to say how nice is pkgsrc to solve the "upgrade hell" of
Linux apps.
I manage a pool of 12 linux workstations, all running Ubuntu.
As apt-get and the like solve very well the "dependency hell" of big
software installations, they do not help you very much with the upgrade
hell which is inherent to many if not all linux distributions.

What I call here the upgrade hell, is, as soon as you want a new version
of an app that is now obsolete in your distribution, you have to upgrade
the whole operating system. This OS upgrade works usually well, thanks
to apt-and-his-friends, but do I really need to update my kernel to get
a newer version of this Time Tracking application ?
You can of course compile by yourself the source code, but it is
tedious for any big size applications, just try anything relying on
gnome libraries for instance. And tracking the library dependencies and
in-which-package-did-they-put-those-headers, no more ...

I needed to have the last subversion, 1.6.x (client requirement ) when
my OS stable release is 1.5.2.
Instead of installing subversion from source without any infrastructure
( the upstream subversion Makefile does even not include a deinstall
target ) I decided to deploy pkgsrc-current on every workstation, and
now I have the double benefit of relatively bleeding edge software on a
stable OS base.

Kudos goes as well to the pkgsrc subversion maintainer, which allowed
setting the desired version with a shell variable, and with a simple
"bmake NO_CHECKSUM=yes install" I get any upstream subversion minor
release with ONE command.

Finally I appreciate the cross-platform nature of pkgsrc, which allows
me to use the same installation instructions on Linux and OS X.
Eventually Unix has a common meaning !



openForce Information Technology GesmbH
It is a book about a Spanish guy called Manual. You should read it.
         -- Dilbert

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