> I know that pkg_create command will create packages for the other 3 boxes.
> if I am going to rebuild all of my ports from scratch, can I somehow
> tell FreeBSD
> to create a package all the time and store it in a directory?

In addition to what the others have mentioned, you can also use
"portmaster -g" to create the packages.

> also what file do I modify to tell the other local machines where to
> find the packages?
> can this be a sftp url? it would be convenient cause sshd is installed in 
> base.

That depends upon how you are going to manage the package installation
on the other machines.  If you are using pkg_add(1), then you can
either use full URLs like:

pkg_add ftp://packagemachineipaddress/packagedirectory/www/firefox-3.5.1,1.tbz

or you can define either PKG_PATH, PACKAGEROOT, or PACKAGESITE in the
environment in which you're going to call pkg_add:

env PACKAGEROOT='ftp://packagemachineipaddress/packagedirectory/'
pkg_add -r firefox35

You can test your settings with "pkg_add -nvr" to see from where it is
trying to fetch packages. See the pkg_add(1) manpage.  Note that if
you use pkg_add(1), you are limited to schemes supported by fetch(3)
for remote packages.  I don't think this includes sftp:// or ftps://,
although I think it does support http:// with basic authentication and
password-protected ftp. Of course, you could perhaps tunnel your ftp
through ssh; or you could turn remote packages into "local" packages
by mounting the remote package directory via Samba or NFS, protected
by Kerberos or IPSEC if you wish.

If you use portupgrade/portinstall -PP, then you can define
PACKAGESITE and PKG_FETCH in the environment, where PKG_FETCH is an
sftp-aware client like curll(1) from ftp/curl, with the appropriate
flags.  See the portupgrade(1) manpage.

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