On Tue, 19 Apr 2016, Russell L. Carter wrote:

What is missing from this debate is some perspective from the POV of
actually existing packaging systems.  I've been maintaining
debian-stable + debian-testing systems for over 15 years.  The number
of packaging glitches I've had I can count on one hand.  (I've been
running FreeBSD systems since the *very* beginning.)

It is much easier to maintain my debian systems than my FreeBSD
systems.  Actually, pkg + poudriere is like a dream.  Better than
apt-get, actually.  Except right now it doesn't maintain the base

So, how many packages are actually installed on one of my debian

debian-testing box with fvwm (ie no gnome/kde) userland:

rcarter@aristotle> dpkg --list | wc --lines

FreeBSD-10/stable with the same userland packaged from ports:

rcarter@feyerabend> pkg info | wc -l

The debian system, for basically identical functionality, installs 738
more packages.  Obviously the FreeBSD box has no packages for the base
system, so that is probably a significant part of the difference in
installed packages.  And the debian box is dramatically easier to
maintain.  I typically will drag a debian box across several debian
release cycles, i.e., 6+ years, w/o ever doing anything more
complicated than doing apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade every week
or so.

For one of our Solaris 11 boxes, which also serves as a VNC
thin client server and NFS server, we have:

  [sol11] $ pkg list | wc -l

That server includes the gnome desktop, firefox, thunderbird,
perl, python, wireshark, CDR tools, etc.  So arguably, it is
comparable to my FreeBSD desktop at home with KDE, firefox,
thunderbird, and similar tools.  For that FreeBSD box, and
just for ports packages (since I don't have base pkg'd):

  [freebsd11] $ pkg info | wc -l

[And it really bothers me that FreeBSD 'pkg list' behaves
 like 'pkg files' or similar should.  It seems intuitive
 that 'pkg list' should list the packages, not all the files
 in all the packages.]

If you add in 750+ FreeBSD base packages (1600+), that seems
like a very large number of packages.  And upgrading ports
packages is not always painless.  For the 865 FreeBSD packages
I have installed, only 27 of them are explicit - the rest are
dependencies.  I do not look forward to updating my packages,
even with poudriere.  There is usually manual intervention
required.  So it is with this experience that I do sort of
cringe at having 750+ FreeBSD base packages.

I do like maintaining Solaris 11 boxes much better with their
pkg management, much better than the old patchadm.

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