Chuck Swiger wrote:
Yes, all of the above. Basically, ports (or packages) install under /usr/local; everything else under /bin, /usr/bin, etc is part of the core OS.

Okay, I think I understand now.

Applications on a FreeBSD machine are broken into two categories:
1. Applications installed under /bin, /usr/bin, etc
2. Applications installed under /usr/local

The first group is called "core OS applications". The second is called "ports applications." FreeBSD developers think carefully before deciding in which group to place a new application.

Update applications in the first group using freebsd-update but first decide whether you want RELEASE, STABLE, or CURRENT. Update applications in the second group using CVS on the ports tree.

Sometimes applications in the second group will require an update to the first group with a message like "Does not compile on FreeBSD < 7.0"

Some applications are in both groups and can exist simultaneously, such as GCC.

Thank you for your help everyone. I am eager to try FreeBSD -- I had to install it recently and I loved the documentation. Been using Gentoo for many years.

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