Yes, you're right. On all counts, I'm afraid.
But, yes, ultimately. And the more I'm reading man pages, the more I'm
thinking that the only solution here will be to reinstall everything. I
was wondering if portmaster or something similar might be able to solve
this, but it looks like /var/db/pkg is what *everything* refers to.
I'm feeling like the least competent user in the world right now. Though
it *does* teach me a valuable lesson about backing up.
Well, first off, be glad you weren't in / with your "rm". :-)
I'll go out on a limb (IANAE), and suggest to you that /var/db/pkg
is very important when installing, removing, and upgrading ports (or
"3rd party software"), but it's not critical to the moment by moment
operating of such ports.
So, it's quite possible that everything can wait until you get
However, you are probably right about "reinstall everything" being
the course of action to take. Another possibility: get another box,
install everything on that, and copy /var/db/pkg over.
You will probably face some issues with consistency in the package
database as a result. This will cause a few problems when you get
ready to update in the future; however, you can't really "get stuck"
too badly as a deinstall/reinstall will usually fix such things.
... then, of course, you have the possibility that a dependency
will not work with the new program. This sort of thing bites in
any number of ways, especially after a reboot.
I'd probably try to wait for a period of relatively low demand
on the box, then do the reinstalling. And get some sleep first ;-)
But, as I said, IANAE.
One way to make your old car run better is to look up the price of a
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