> I'm using the command 'portsnap fetch update' each time before I do a 'make 
> install clean' hoping that will cover me. I used portupgrade with 5.4 but 
> switched to portsnap with 6.2 because I believed from the Handbook that it 
> was a 'new and improved' way of maintaining my ports tree. Is this correct? 
>  Does portsnap do a better job than portupgrade or portsmanager?  Do they 
> all do the same thing (...in real life as well as on paper...)?  Does 
> portsnap automatically upgrade my programs or just the ports tree?  And if 
> I am using portsnap, can I use portupgrade or portsmanager as well, or will 
> they cause a conflict?

portsnap is the new alternative to cvsup for keeping your ports tree
up to date. It will not keep your installed packages up to date
however. Typically one would use portsnap for the ports tree, and then
some other tool for package upgrades.

The "most official" and traditional tools seems to be portupgrade
(ports-mgmt/portupgrade). If /usr/ports/UPDATING has special
instructions they tend to be for portupgrade. I have personally found
portmanager to work better (ports-mgmt/portmanager), and have recently
began trying out portmaster (ports-mgmt/portmaster).

The redeeming feature of portmanager is that it attempts to recreate
your package installation in such a state as you would have gotten had
you done a clean 'make install' on a fresh ports tree with no packages
installed, while portupgrade and, as far as I can tell also
portmaster, tries to be smart and update only packages that have
actually changed, and honor dependency information. I have found that
in practice trying to be smart just leads to trouble (someone feel
free to flame me). You may want to try both approaches.

> I prefer to do upgrades and installations from outside the GUI.  But I've 
> added 'gdm_enable=Yes' to my rc.conf file so that the graphical login 
> screen appears for most daily use.  In order to get to the pre-GUI terminal 
> as root, I have to log in as root into the GUI, comment out 
> 'gdm_enable=Yes' in my rc.conf file, then reboot the machine so that I can 
> run portsnap (or whatever) in the pre-GUI terminal.  Then after running 
> portupgrade, I have to re-edit my rc.conf in order to re-enable gdm and 
> reboot again.  Is there an easier way to get the pre-GUI terminal without 
> having to reboot after commenting out 'gdm_enable=Yes' in my rc.conf file 
> and then re-inserting it after I do an upgrade?  I've tried 
> Alt-Ctl-Backspace, and that does kill Gnome, but then it just bounces me 
> back into the graphical login screen.

Ctrl-Alt-F1, f2, f3 etc will switch to the respective virtual console
while X is still running. You can then switch back to X (probably at
virtual console 7, 8 or something). If you want gdm to die you have to
actually kill gdm; otherwise it will restart the X server when you
kill the previous instance (thinking you just logged out of your

/ Peter Schuller

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