Getting to know your portmgr-lurker: sunpoet@

December 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

About a month ago Emanuel (ehaupt@) started his term as a portmgr-lurker but due to a lack of spare time he preferred to step down from the program to focus on his real job. Hopefully Po-Chuan (sunpoet@) was ok to start his term earlier and replaced ehaupt as a portmgr-lurker. Here is a short introduction to get to know him a bit better.

Po-Chuan Hsieh
Committer name
Inspiration for your IRC nick
“sunpoet” comes from “晴詩”, a nickname in Chinese.
The first character means sun/sunny and the second character means poem/poetry.
TLD of origin
Student, sysadm
When did you join portmgr@
I wish I could join portmgr@ after my portmgr-lurker term.
Inspiration for using FreeBSD
Simplicity and convenience.
Ports collection is the most attractive part.
Who was your first contact in FreeBSD
Chin-San Huang (chinsan@)
I asked him to take my PRs via gnats-aa.
Who was your mentor(s)
I was mentored by Philip M. Gollucci (pgollucci@).
What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD
The first time to break INDEX. Of course it happened more than once. :(
Boxers / Briefs / other
What is your role in your circle of friends
vi(m) /  emacs / other
What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD
I use FreeBSD. I love FreeBSD. And I want to make it better.
Favourite musician/band
It would be a long list, e.g. Aerosmith, Lara Fabian, Vitas, …
What book do you have on your bedside table
Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
coffee / tea / other
Do you have a guilty pleasure
How would you describe yourself
I’m shy
sendmail / postfix / other
Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD
Reading and travelling
What is your favourite TV show
House of Cards
Claim to Fame
I don’t know if I have any. Maintaining 700+ ports and keeping them up to date?
What did you have for breakfast today
What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD
perl@, python@, ruby@ and office@
Any parting words you want to share
It’s great to be part of the FreeBSD community/family.
What is your .sig at the moment

Martin Wilke steps down from his duties

November 26, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Unless you have  been hiding under a  rock for the past ten  years, you have
likely  heard  about  Martin  (miwi@)  Wilke.  Simply  put,  Martin  is  the
developer who contributed  the largest number of commits to  the ports tree:
more than 20,000 commits since 2006!

Unfortunately for us  Martin decided to step down from  duties at FreeBSD in
order to save time for both his growing family and real job. Let us wish him
all the best in his personnal and professional endeavors, and of course, let
us all thank Martin for his tremendous work and commitment to FreeBSD!

Getting to know your portmgr-lurker: ehaupt@

November 8, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Let us welcome Emanuel, our second lurker who will learn a bit more about portmgr duties for the next four months and who started by answering our usual questionnaire.



Emanuel Haupt

Committer name


Inspiration for your IRC nick

Same as my default UID so that people can find me.

TLD of origin



System Engineer

When did you join portmgr@

Beginning of november 2014 as a lurker.

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

It’s been my primary server/desktop OS since years. I always liked the
documentation and found things generally easier to achieve than with
Linux. I was also fascinated by ports. At the time I was manually
downloading solaris packages from “sun freeware” when someone showed me
ports. I think it is no surprise that I switched to FreeBSD. I always
found the community to be very friendly and helpful. Finally with pkgng
I feel the same sense of excitement all over again.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

Pav Lucistnik (pav)

Who was your mentor(s)

Roman Bogorodskiy (novel)

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

Can’t think of any particular one. In general breaking things tends to
be embarrassing.

Boxers / Briefs / other


vi(m) /  emacs / other

Mostly nvi but more and more vim.

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

pkgng, poudriere, the friendly and helpful community, ZFS, geli,
stability of the OS to name just a few.

What book do you have on your bedside table

Arnaldur Indriðason – The Draining Lake

coffee / tea / other


Do you have a guilty pleasure

Reddit and coin mining.

How would you describe yourself

Sysadmin, traveller, adventurer, motorcycler, dog person.

sendmail / postfix / other


Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD

I am a passionate motorcycler. I love riding my motorcycle in the more
mountainous regions of Europe. After a long day at work you often see
me on my motorcycle riding towards the sunset. I also have a
fascination for the nordic culture and literature. I’m taking Swedish
lessons since 2011.

Claim to Fame

Driving from Oberstaufen, Germany to Amman/Jordan using no highways in
3 weeks in a 20 year old Audi A4. Maintaining 195 ports and keeping
them all up to date and working.

What did you have for breakfast today

Swiss-Muesli with Coffee

What sports team do you support


What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

Porting and maintaining ports that I’m interested in.

Any parting words you want to share

I’m just glad to have the opportunity to work with so many highly
skilled people on the FreeBSD project.

Getting to know your portmgr-lurker: ak@

November 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

From now on and for the next four months the FreeBSD ports team is pleased to welcome two new portmgr-lurkers: ak@ and ehaupt@. Alex was the first to answer our questionnaire so let’s get to know him a bit better.


Alex (Олександр)

Committer name

Inspiration for your IRC nick
Committer name

TLD of origin

Current TLD (if different from above)

Independent contractor

When did you join portmgr@
Just a lurker atm, 2014-11-01


Inspiration for using FreeBSD
I tried linux first.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

Who was your mentor(s)
eadler, itetcu. Thanks, guys.

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD
I broke the INDEX, twice.

vi(m) /  emacs / other

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD
It sucks less.

Favourite musician/band
Ritchie Blackmore/Queen

What book do you have on your bedside table
A Night in the Lonesome October (The Halloween was a few days ago).

coffee / tea / other
Tea, green.

Do you have a guilty pleasure
Sometimes I watch The Muppets instead of doing something useful.

How would you describe yourself
Too lazy.

sendmail / postfix / other

Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD
Tons. The bikes, skydiving, amateur Martial Arts, poetry.

What is your favourite TV show
The Muppets

Claim to Fame
Nothing so far.

What did you have for breakfast today
Fried rice with mushrooms

What sports team do you support
I don’t support teams, I play when I can (regrettably, not that often lately).

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD
Fiddling with portlint, xorg, zfs filestorages, various odd jobs.

Any parting words you want to share
Have more fun.

What is your .sig at the moment

pkg(8) is now the only package management tool

September 1, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

The ports tree has been modified to only support pkg(8) as package management system for all supported version of FreeBSD.

if you were still using pkg_install (pkg_* tools) you will have to upgrade your system.

The simplest way is

cd /usr/ports/ports-mgmt/pkg
make install

then run


You will have lots of warning, don’t be scared, they are expected, pkg_*  databases used to get easily mangled. pkg2ng is most of the time able to deal
with it.

If however you encounter a problem then please report to [email protected]

A tag has been applied to the ports tree if you need to get the latest ports tree before the EOL of pkg_install:

A branch has been created if some committers want to provides updates on the for pkg_install users:

Please note that this branch is not officially maintained and that we strongly recommend that you do migrate to pkg(8)

The ports tree is now stage only

September 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The ports tree is now fully staged (only 2% has been left unstaged, marked as broken and will be removed from the ports tree if no PR to stage them are pending in bugzilla).

I would like to thank every committer and maintainers for their work on staging!
It allowed us to convert more than 23k packages to support stage in only 11 months!

Staging is a very important state, it allows us to right now be able to run quality testing scripts on the packages (which already allowed to fix tons of hidden problems) and it allows use to be able to build packages as a regular user!

It also opens the gates to new features that users have been requesting for many years:

  • flavors
  • multiple packages

Expect those features to happen in the near future.

Happy 20th birthday FreeBSD ports tree!

August 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It all started with this commit from Jordan Hubbard on August 21, 1994:

Commit my new ports make macros
Still not 100% complete yet by any means but fairly usable at this stage.

Twenty years later the ports tree is still there and actively
maintained. A video was prepared to celebrate the event and to thank
all of you who give some of their spare time and energy to the project!

Farewell beloved Canadian

August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Last month, our beloved Canadian Thomas Abthorpe decided to step
down from his portmgr-secretary position. While I suspect this is secretly
related to his pool of Canadian jokes having dried up, the official reason is
that Thomas wants to focus more on his private and professional lives for the
moment. Needless to say, the whole ports community is in mourning.

pkg 1.3.0 out!

July 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi all,

I’m very please to announce the release of pkg 1.3.0
This version is the result of almost 9 month of hard work

Here are the statistics for the version:
– 373 files changed, 66973 insertions(+), 38512 deletions(-)
– 29 different contributors

Please not that for the first time I’m not the main contributor, and I would
like to particularly thanks Vsevold Stakhov for all the hard work he has done to
allow us to get this release out. I would like also to give a special thanks to
Andrej Zverev for the tons of hours spending on testing and cleaning the bug

So much has happened that it is hard to summarize so I’ll try to highlight the
major points:
– New solver, now pkg has a real SAT solver able to automatically handle
conflicts and dynamically discover them. (yes pkg set -o is deprecated now)
– pkg install now able to install local files as well and resolve their
dependencies from the remote repositories
– Lots of parts of the code has been sandboxed
– Lots of rework to improve portability
– Package installation process has been reworked to be safer and handle properly
the schg flags
– Important modification of the locking system for finer grain locks
– Massive usage of libucl
– Simplification of the API
– Lots of improvements on the UI to provide a better user experience.
– Lots of improvements in multi repository mode
– pkg audit code has been moved into the library
– pkg -o A=B that will overwrite configuration file from cli
– The ui now support long options
– The unicity of a package is not anymore origin
– Tons of bug fixes
– Tons of behaviours fixes
– Way more!

Thank you to all contributors:
Alberto Villa, Alexandre Perrin, Andrej Zverev, Antoine Brodin, Brad Davis,
Bryan Drewery, Dag-Erling Smørgrav, Dmitry Marakasov, Elvira Khabirova, Jamie
Landeg Jones, Jilles Tjoelker, John Marino, Julien Laffaye, Mathieu Arnold,
Matthew Seaman, Maximilian Gaß, Michael Gehring, Michael Gmelin, Nicolas Szalay,
Rodrigo Osorio, Roman Naumann, Rui Paulo, Sean Channel, Stanislav E. Putrya,
Vsevolod Stakhov, Xin Li, coctic

Bapt on behalf of the pkg@

BSDCan 2014 – Ports and Packages WG

July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Baptiste Daroussin started the session with a status update on package building. All packages are now built with poudriere. The FreeBSD Foundation sponsored some large machines on which it takes around 16 hours to build a full tree. Each Wednesday at 01:00UTC the tree is snapshot and an incremental build is started for all supported released, the 2 stable branches (9 and 10) and quarterly branches for 9.x-RELEASE and 10.x-RELEASE. The catalogue is signed on a dedicated signing machine before upload. Packages can be downloaded from 4 mirrors (us-west, us-east, UK, and Russia) and feedback so far has been very positive.

He went on to note that ports people need better coordination with src people on ABI breakage. We currently only support i386 and amd64, with future plans for ARM and a MIPS variant. Distfiles are not currently mirrored (since fixed), and while it has seen no progress, it’s still a good idea to build a pkg of the ports tree itself.

pkg 1.3 will include a new solver, which will help 'pkg upgrade' understand that an old packages needs to be replaced with a newer one, with no more need for 'pkg set' and other chicanery. Cross building ports has been added to the ports tree, but is waiting for pkg-1.3. All the dangerous operations in pkg have now been sandboxed as well.

EOL for pkg_tools has been set for September 1st. An errata notice has gone out that adds a default pkg.conf and keys to all supported branches, and nagging delays have been added to ports.

Quarterly branches based on 3 month support cycle has been started on an evaluation basis. We’re still unsure about the manpower needed to maintain those. Every quarter a snapshot of the tree is created and only security fixed, build and runtime fixed, and upgrades to pkg are allowed to be committed to it. Using the MFH tag in a commit message will automatically send an approval request to portmgr and an mfh script on Tools/ makes it easy to do the merge.

Experience so far has been good, some minor issues to the insufficient testing. MFHs should only contain the above mentioned fixes; cleanups and other improvements should be done in separate commits only to HEAD. A policy needs to be written and announced about this. Do we want to automatically merge VuXML commits, or just remove VuXML from the branch and only use the one in HEAD?

A large number of new infrastructure changes have been introduces over the past few months, some of which require a huge migration of all ports. To speed these changes up, a new policy was set to allow some specific fixes to be committed without maintainer approval. Experience so far has been good, things actually are being fixed faster than before and not many maintainers have complained. There was agreement that the list of fixes allowed to be committed without explicit approval should be a specific whitelist published by portmgr, and not made too broad in scope.

Erwin Lansing quickly measured the temperature of the room on changing the default protocol for fetching distils from MASTER_SITE_BACKUP from ftp to http. Agreement all around and erwin committed the change.

Ben Kaduk gave an introduction and update on MIT’s Athena Environment with some food for thought. While currently not FreeBSD based, he would like to see it become so. Based on debian/ubuntu and rolled out on hundreds of machines, it now has it’s software split into about 150 different packages and metapackages.

Dag-Erling Smørgrav discussed changes to how dependencies are handled, especially splitting dependencies that are needed at install time (or staging time) and those needed at run time. This may break several things, but pkg-1.3 will come with better dependency tracking solving part of the problem.

Ed Maste presented the idea of “package transparency”, loosely based on Google’s Certificate Transparency. By logging certificate issuance to a log server, which can be publicly checked, domain owners can search for certificates issued for their domains, and notice when a certificate is issued without their authority. Can this model be extended to packages? Mostly useful for individually signed packages, while we currently only sign the catalogue. Can we do this with the current infrastructure?

Stacy Son gave an update on Qemu user mode, which is now working with Qemu 2.0.0. Both static and dynamic binaries are supported, though only a handful of system call are supported.

Baptiste introduced the idea of having pre-/post-install scripts be a library of services, like Casper, for common actions. This reduces the ability of maintainers to perform arbitrary actions and can be sandboxed easily. This would be a huge security improvement and could also enhance performance.

Cross building is coming along quite well and most of the tree should be able to be build by a simple 'make package'. Major blockers include perl and python.

Bryan Drewery talked about a design for a PortsCI system. The idea is that committer easily can schedule a build, be it an exp-run, reference, QAT, or other, either via a web interface or something similar to a pull request, which can fire off a build.

Steve Wills talked about using Jenkins for ports. The current system polls SVN for commits and batches several changes together for a build. It uses 8 bhyve VMs instances, but is slow. Sean Bruno commented that there are several package building clusters right now, can they be unified? Also how much hardware would be needed to speed up Jenkins? We could duse Jenkins as a fronted for the system Bryan just talked about. Also, it should be able to integrate with phabricator.

Erwin opened up the floor to talk about freebsd-version(1) once more. It was introduced as a mechanism to find out the version of user land currently running as uname -r only represents the kernel version, and would thus miss updates of the base system that do no touch the kernel. Unfortunately, freebsd-version(1) cannot really be used like this in all cases, it may work for freebsd-update, but not in general. No real solution was found this time either.

The session ended with a discussion about packaging the base system. It’s a target for FreeBSD 11, but lots of questions are still to be answered. What granularity to use? What should be packages into how many packages? How to handle options? Where do we put the metadata for this? How do upgrades work? How to replace shared libraries in multiuser mode? This part also included the quote of the day: “Our buildsystem is not a paragon of configurability, but a bunch of hacks that annoyed people the most.”

Thanks to all who participated in the working group, and thanks again to DK Hostmaster for sponsoring my trip to BSDCan this year, and see you at the Ports and Packages WG meet up at EuroBSDCon in Sofia in September.

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