I'm probably just being thick, but I'm not sure what cvsup-ing the ports
has to do with availability/installability of packages. What have you
read in the Handbook or elsewhere that gives you the impression one would
interfere with the other?
Maybe we're both being thick. :) I install my packages via portupgrade -NP,
which tends to rely on the port system, AFAIK.
Err, no, you are installing *ports* with *port*upgrade. Packages - which can be installed with sysinstall, pkg_add, and likely other ways I'm not familiar with - are *applications compiled elsewhere* that you simply are installing into the appropriate places in FreeBSD's directory system. Ports - what you use when you run portupgrade or cd into /usr/ports/$SOMEPORT and type "make install clean" - are a scripted/automated system for downloading *source code*, then compiling it (normally with gcc) *on your computer* before it is installed. So using cvsup to update the port "skeleton" - the instructions for downloading the source code and compiling the port for Application Foo on your computer - has nothing to do with fetching the package for Application Foo that has already been compiled somewhere else.
What do you use? /stand/sysinstall?
That will install packages or the ports *system*, which you can then update with cvsup, and use by running portupgrade or cd'ing to a port's directory and typing "make install clean."
What does your cvsup config file look like?
It's just the ports-supfile copied from /usr/share/examples/cvsup.
How often do you run it?
About once every week or two.
I used to run mine every night via cron, and I could never get a package installed because one never existed on ftp.freebsd.org. I'm under the impression that packages are only built/provided for release versions of FreeBSD.
Updating ports tells your system to look for updated source code (*not* packages) somewhere on the Net - not necessarily ftp.freebsd.org - and/or gives your system new instructions for building the application once the source code has been downloaded. It has nothing to do with any precompiled applications that may be available at ftp.freebsd.org or elsewhere (such as the location for the pre-compiled OpenOffice binary).
Let's use an actual example, the one that started this discussion, OpenOffice. It can be installed as a pre-compiled package by typing
# pkg_add http://projects.imp.ch/openoffice/stable/openoffice-1.1RC4.tgz
assuming you're running FreeBSD 4.x (you could also download the package to $SOMEDIR, then pkg_add $SOMEDIR/openoffice-1.1RC4.tgz), or you can
# cd /usr/ports/editors/openoffice-devel
# make install clean
# portupgrade -N /usr/ports/editors/openoffice-devel
and watch as the source downloads and your computer compiles and installs it. (And watch, and watch.... Downloading and compiling OpenOffice takes a looong time, which is why many people will prefer the quicker installation afforded by the 77MB precompiled package.)
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