Getting to know your portmgr-lurker — Alexy Dokuchaev

March 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In this latest edition of Getting to know, we interview senior ports committer Alexy Dokuchaev as one of our newest portmgr-lurkers.


Alexey Dokuchaev

Committer name


TLD of origin

.ru (technically should be .su, but it’s now defunct)


Software engineer and contractor

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

Wanted a Unix system that I could understand and that would not get bloated
as time goes by. In 1998 Linux was popular mount local folks, but I just
could not get it (trying to switch from DOS). Someone mentioned FreeBSD;
and it all started to make sense pretty much immediately. And even after
some 15 years, FreeBSD still feels like back in those good days.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

Max Khon (fjoe@), I guess…

Who was your mentor(s)

fjoe@ and krion@

vi(m) / emacs / other


What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

That in 2014 I can have a modern Unix system which I still can work with
like it’s 1999 again. I can still have text console. And start X11 with
startx(1). Configure things by editing /etc/rc.conf, but have support for
the latest hardware. Play sound via OSS, yet enjoy low-latency in-kernel
mixer. We’re so lucky to not have Lennart Poettering with his PulseAudio
and systemd crap…

coffee / tea / other

Both (but tea preferred) + beer

What is your favourite TV show

The X Files, I guess…

What is your .sig at the moment

./danfe (making it both answer and a sig this time)

portmgr-lurkers@ March 1 edition

March 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The first intake of portmgr-lurkers@ is complete, and it is now time to start with the second round of our -lurkers.  Please join us in welcoming Alexey (danfe@) Dokuchaev and Frédéric (culot@) Culot to our ranks.

During this -lurker round, culot@ will be the shadow portmgr-secretary@, learning the finer points of the roles and responsibilities of the job.

on behalf of portmgr@

Time to bid farewell to the old pkg_ tools

February 3, 2014 by · 14 Comments 

There comes a time in the life cycle of just about every software package that it has bee re-evaluated, refreshed, deprecated or just retired.

It is time that we bid farewell to the old pkg_* software that has been part of FreeBSD since the beginning, and has served us well. After years of development, testing, and playing, pkg(8) has become a suitable replacement.

Pkg is the Next Generation package management tool for FreeBSD. It is the replacement for the current pkg_info/pkg_create/pkg_add tools that ports use to register local packages and which provide remote packages. Its main goals are to facilitate remote binary package upgrades. It also works with ports without remote binary packages.

Pkg, combined with the quarterly release package sets, enables easy installation and safe upgrades for binary packages. Signed, binary packages are available for all supported FreeBSD releases on the i386 and  amd64 platforms from Additionally, for those compiling ports from source, pkg’s new database format gives more fine-grained querying and management of installed software.

New features on the drawing board, like automatic pkg-plist generation, sub-packages, creating multiple packages containing different parts of a port from one build process, and flavours, being able to ask for e.g. a webserver, without directly specifying a specific one, cannot be implemented in the old pkg_* tools and those plans are currently on hold.

You are not obligated to switch to binary packages, if you still prefer to compile your own ports, it is a simple matter of installing ports-mgmt/pkg, run pkg2ng, add WITH_PKGNG=yes to your make.conf and use pkg <action> instead of pkg_<action>.

You can read more about pkgng on the FreeBSD wiki,

The decision has been made to allow the old pkg_* software to be EoL’d 6 months from now, at September 1, 2014 in all active FreeBSD branches.

Please start testing pkg(8) in your test environments before taking it live, you will find the benefits of full binary updates for your ports to be beneficial in a very short amount of time. Even if you prefer to compile from source, you will still reap the benefits of the modern packaging system.

Ion-Mihai Tetcu steps down from duties on portmgr@

January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ion-Mihai Tetcu, aka itetcu@, aka ionut, has stepped down from his duties on the FreeBSD Ports Management Team.

Ion-Mihai was the one who initially gave us Ports QAT, which gave almost immediate response to a problematic commit, then he enhanced with with other tests, such as installation of all ports to a non-standard DESTDIR. These combined efforts paved the way for cleaner commits to the ports tree.

On behalf of the Ports Management team, we would like to thank Ion-Mihai for his many years of service and dedication.
on behalf of portmgr@

portmgr-lurkers@ promoted to voting members of portmgr@

January 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The FreeBSD Ports Management team is pleased to announce that Mathieu Arnold (mat@) and Antoine Brodin (antoine@) have been promoted to full voting members of the team after a successful launch of the portmgr-lurkers pilot project.

Each of them brings new skills and vast experience to the team. Please join me in welcoming them aboard.
on behalf of portmgr@

Joe Marcus Clarke steps down from duties on portmgr@

January 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Joe Marcus Clarke, aka marcus@, has stepped down from his duties on the FreeBSD Ports Management Team.

Joe was our longest serving member of the team. Among his many accomplishments was being the repocopy source of authority, instrumental in championing tinderbox development and maintaining portlint.

On behalf of the Ports Management team, we would like to thank Joe for his many years of service and dedication.
on behalf of portmgr@

Blanket approval to modernize the Ports Tree

January 7, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

In years gone by, and I am thinking of FreeBSD 7.0 specifically, portmgr@
gave some latitude to *ALL* committers to “just fix things” to get a port
into shape. In the case of 7.0, it was making ports build for gcc4.

What we have laying ahead of us is a ports tree in various states of modern
preparedness (new style USES=, stagefication, etc) and the old way of doing
ports (boo!).

We would like committers, and contributors to generate a PR and/or “just
fix” the old ports to update them to the new way of doing things regardless
of maintainership. We are looking for fixes in the following areas

- Convert to LIB_DEPENDS
- stagify ports
- convert things like USE_GMAKE -> USES=gmake USE_DOS2unix -> USES=dos2unix

This can be done with implicit portmgr@ blanket approval, and without
maintainer approval.

Please, however, respect some boundaries, do not change ports belonging to
kde@, gnome@ or x11@. These teams work in private repos that may have
changes pending.

Also, cross reference GNATS, to see if a port has an open PR that you can
factor into the fix. It is important to stress here that we *DO NOT* want
to invalidate existing patches that a maintainer has offered up or already

If the change is very trivial AND has been tested, “just fix it”. One of
the strengths of the Ports Collection is it’s volunteer maintainers, if you
make a change, regardless of how trivial, just send a courtesy email to the

Getting to know your portmgr@ — Bryan Drewery

December 24, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In this interview, we talk to the newest member of the team, Bryan Drewery.  Bryan first came to the attention of many by adopting portupgrade and friends, and then jumping into pkgng and poudriere.


Bryan Drewery

Committer name


TLD of origin


<Editor’s note: while Bryan claims to be a netizen, it is believed he is originally from .us :)>


Software Engineer

When did you join portmgr@

March 2013. Joined FreeBSD as a committer in August 2012. As a contributor
in March 2012.

Blog is my blog. I have not made much effort on it yet but
have a lot of ideas and content to add eventually.

Inspiration for using FreeBSD

It took a long time for me to discover FreeBSD. I wish I had 10 years
sooner. My first experience with a computer was with MS-DOS 5. Then I worked
up through Windows 3.1, 95, 98, XP. Somewhere around here I discovered Redhat
5 and shortly after Debian and Gentoo. In high school I took an AP CS class
that used FreeBSD 4, which was my first introduction to it. My first
introduction to ports was in the same class where not having root and wanting
to install an application I went into /usr/ports/irc/BitchX and tried to ‘make
install’ and failed of course. I still wish this worked. Shortly after that I
started doing work for a Shell Hosting company that used FreeBSD 4.10. At this
time I was still much more fond of Linux though. When I met my Wife, she was
also doing Shell Hosting with FreeBSD. That’s when I started doing actual
development on it and customizing the system. I found that with FreeBSD I
could customize the system far more than I could with any Linux distribution.
This is what sold me the most and led me away from Linux. Though I do still
use Linux for Xen dom0 and some development.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

Probably garga@ qmail patches I sent in years ago. Once I discovered pkgng
though it was bapt@. That’s what led me to becoming a committer. I actually
knew zi@ outside of FreeBSD too from when I was an EFNet oper.

Who was your mentor(s)

Baptiste Daroussin (bapt@) and Eitan Adler (eitan@)

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

Wiping systems of course. One of which was someone else’s system who ran my
bad code!

vi(m) / emacs / other

I was a longtime (6 years) pico/nano poweruser (haha) until I discovered vim
in my first real job.

What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

I just like to write code. It’s hard for me to let go of things I put a lot
of effort into! I got into this with the intent to help get packaging working
for my own servers and to takeover ports that were abandoned that I felt were
critical for my servers.

Favorite musician/band

There’s so many. Lately I’ve been listening to metalcore and post-hardcore
bands. has all of the music I listen to.

What book do you have on your bedside table

Design and Implementation of FreeBSD, Kindle, C++ Standard Template Library

coffee / tea / other

I used to drink insane amounts of diet Mt. Dew. Not anymore though, no
caffeine for me.

Do you have a guilty pleasure

I get into games every now and then. Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii. I love Windows
7. I’ve been a Mac user for a few months now as well.

sendmail / postfix / other

qmail. My mail server is something that I setup years ago, hacked at quite a
bit with custom patches and never want to redo again.

What is your favorite TV show

Breaking Bad, Lost, The Wire, Dr. Who, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter.

What sports team do you support

I’m not really into rooting on sports teams. I enjoy playing much more than

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

I maintain upstream for portupgrade and poudriere, help with pkgng, qmail,
openssh-portable. I also am starting to work more in the src world. I maintain
portmaster but have not put much real effort into it. For portmgr I help test
Mk/ patches, I do exp-runs, help manage the package building systems, and fix
Mk/ bugs as I run across them.

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

I was involved with the eggdrop IRC bot project and have been maintaining a
pretty popular fork of my own for the past 10 years.

Any parting words you want to share

Getting involved with Open Source is really easy. We’re all volunteers like
you. Just start helping. Send patches, bug reports, code, documentation,
translations, typo fixes. Everything helps.

What is your .sig at the moment

Bryan Drewery

The FreeBSD Ports Mangement team has a Google Community

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I am pleased to announce that portmgr@ now has a Google Community. We have
very slowly been building up membership through our Circles, and now it
it time to announce it to all!

You can find us at

Come join our Community and G+1 us :)

Getting to know your portmgr@ — Baptiste Daroussin

December 9, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In this week’s interview, we talk to Baptiste Daroussin, who brought us such things as poudriere, pkgng, etc.


Baptiste Daroussin

Committer name


Inspiration for your IRC nick

Baptiste is too long to type

TLD of origin



Unix system engineer in general

When did you join portmgr@

May 2011

<Editor’s note: here is the video of bapt getting recruited, >


Inspiration for using FreeBSD

I started using FreeBSD as a student in 2001/2002 and never left it since

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

According to ports/86401 barner@ was

Who was your mentor(s)

In the ports land: jadawin@ and tabthorpe@
In the src land: des@

What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

There are too much of them to be able just pick one like this.

Boxers / Briefs / other


What is your role in your circle of friends

Depend on the circle

vi(m) / emacs / other


What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

FreeBSD is a fantastic Operatic System with a crappy package system
The ports needs lots of cleanup and modernization,
The package system still need lots of love.

Favourite musician/band

I like lots of different kind of music, if I have to choose just one band I
would say Metallica from before they mess up (I let fan decide themself when
they started to mess up)

What book do you have on your bedside table

The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills

coffee / tea / other


Favourite whisky

Old Pultney

Do you have a guilty pleasure

Add french words to the FreeBSD user vocabulary

How would you describe yourself


sendmail / postfix / other


Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD

I do play rugby on a regular basis, I love reading books (real books not
e-something), party with friends etc.

What is your favourite TV show

I do not watch much television

Claim to Fame

pkgng, poudrière, USES, new options framework for the ports tree, staging area
support for the ports tree, more to come :)

What did you have for breakfast today

Chocapics :)

What sports team do you support

I love practicing but I not particularly supporting any team.

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

I’m trying to lean pf code and see how complicated it is to sync features from
OpenBSD’s version (I said trying :))

I maintain some contrib code in base: mostly m4 and byacc

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

I keep refraining myself from forking the ports tree into a portsng thing :)
(not sure most people don’t know that)

Any parting words you want to share

Any volunteer to document my work?

What is your .sig at the moment


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