Subject: Re: solaris pkgsrc, gcc, and bulk builds (fwd)
To: Alistair Crooks <>
From: Laurent DAVERIO <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 02/08/2005 13:34:49
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> And, over time, pkgsrc has evolved to run on a number of different
> platforms, not just NetBSD - Interix, and Solaris are probably two
> ends of the spectrum there.

I run several FreeBSD web servers myself, and I also have to administer a couple
of exotic/legacy servers, mainly under Solaris 7/8 and AIX 5.1.

I'm by no means not a pkgsrc expert, but I sometimes get the impression that the
besic concept of a "universal" package system is overstretched, and on the verge
of breaking. Two examples from my experience :

On Solaris : after several years of trying to manage third-party software using
different methods (SunFreeware repository, pkg-get script, installation "by
hand"), I found out (Slashdot, if I remember correctly) about pkgsrc, and it's
by far the best (i.e. most complete/coherent) package system for Solaris,
period. I've had my share of trouble with it, partly due to my FreeBSD habits
(Note to self : NEVER use 'make update' !), and partly to Solaris-specific
pkgsrc problems (lots of minor to medium annoyances with Xpm, Apache, Python,
...). Currently I'm stuck with a dependency problem in which pkgsrc seems to mix
up the two version of Perl, perl5 and perl58 (it looks for Perl 5.8.6 when
trying to determine if package lang/perl5 is already installed). I sent a
message about it to tech-pkg several days ago, but have received no answers yet.

On AIX : if found pkgsrc completely useless, and was unable to install even the
most basic apps (pkgsrc insists on compiling its own gcc, and fails to compile
either gcc 2.95 or 3.3 ; perl won't be compiled by gcc ; python and apache fail
as well, etc.). I had to resort to a hodge-podge of sources (mainly AIX PDS
library, IBM's repository) to get a minimal Apache working.

I'm aware that these two platforms may not be the best way to get introduced to
pkgsrc, and in fact I'm going to install NetBSD/amd64 on a test server today or
tomorrow to see how pkgsrc runs in the best possible conditions (also, I'm not
quite happy with the current state of FreeBSD 5.3, and I want to explore a
possible way out, just in case).

I'm not trying to be negative about pkgsrc, but It would help newcomers like me
to state clearly that all supported platforms are not supported equally by
pkgsrc, and indicate which ones are the "Tier 1" platforms.




     Laurent DAVERIO
     Centre de Recherche en Informatique
     de l'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (CRI-ENSMP)
     35, Rue Saint-Honoré
     FRANCE                               Tel:    (+33|0)
                                          Fax:    (+33|0)
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