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osabi and x11-links: for NetBSD only, or other (quasi-)Unixes also?

from Ian D. Leroux <>:

> To be fair, it's not always that bad.  Debian does a pretty good job
> of enforcing the (implicit) dependency of all packages on the core
> "Essential" packages (including the kernel).  I'm hazy on the details,
> but I think the basic idea is that any given Debian version has a
> specified ABI (linux kernel version) and there are solid tools for
> upgrading the system across Debian versions.  The dependence on the
> Essential packages is usually kept implicit specifically in order to
> allow automated handling of the transition between ABIs:


> I've never heard of *needing* to reinstall from scratch to upgrade a
> Debian system across Linux kernel versions, though I'm sure some
> people do (heck, I used to do that on FreeBSD, before I learned to
> make world).

> That said, I still prefer the osabi package mechanism.  It seems
> simpler, requires less infrastructure, and when it occasionally forces
> lots of packages to be rebuilt I consider that it's doing its job.

> Ian Leroux

I guess I have to read up on Linux From Scratch and Gentoo to see how they 
handle kernel upgrades.

In FreeBSD they advise portupgrading all ports (comparable to packages in 
NetBSD/pkgsrc) when the major version is upgraded, such as 7.x to 8.x or 8.x to 
9.0 (not released yet), but not for minor-version upgrades, when the first 
number in the version stays the same, such as 8.0 to 8.1 or 8.1 to 8.2.  An 
alternative to portupgrading everything is to make a list of all packages, from 
/var/db/pkg, remove all packages, and rebuild all: something I don't intend to 
do on my present computer with 256 MB RAM (so I won't upgrade to FreeBSD 9.0 
when that is ready).

I'm rather new to actually using pkgsrc so I don't really know what there is 
comparable to FreeBSD portupgrade (pkg_rolling-replace?)

Slackware (Linux) is not so friendly to building one's own packages.  Official 
package upgrades from Slackware people are in most cases only for a security 

It did seem strange that NetBSD-5.1_STABLE would be not compatible with 

I see NetBSD-current has been keeping version number 5.99.44 for several 
consecutive builds, from


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