The ports collection is great for certain things. I do happen to use it for spam assassin on 4.9 Stable. I have perl 5.8.2 installed from ports and I used use.perl to set it up as default.

Here is the problem with ports, many maintainers are using 5.x now. Since there is only one ports collection, things are OFTEN broken or don't work quite right. Sometimes features just aren't there.. look at the Sendmail -SASL port.. you can't use milter's without installing GCC 3 or upgrading to 5. Sometimes the ports are just plain out of date.

There is nothing wrong with avoiding the ports collection when you need control or recent software. All of my web server related stuff is installed manually because I have a complex setup and i really don't feel like the extra hurdles the ports collection requires for apache 2 + mod jk + php 4.3 + perl + tomcat 4.1.x ... etc

On the flip side, i love it for x11.

If you change your mind on spam assassin, here is a procedure that should work.
Install Perl 5.8.2 from ports (or source)
Install Spam assassin from ports (or source)
Install razor (it helps a lot)

I personally use anomy mail (a script) with procmail to run spam assassin and clam av on incoming mail. I switched over to smapd and spamc for a slight performance improvement. It works fine on my mail server (low traffic).

The real thing to remember about ports is to try to use it all or nothing for a given type of services. Trying to mix and match doesn't work well. Its a lot of work actually.

On Dec 9, 2003, at 8:11 PM, Tony Jones wrote:

Hi Nick.

Thanks for the reply.

I already knew of the FreeBSD stock perl issues and was aware that
under no circumstances should I try to upgrade the stock Perl, but
I appreciate the reminded nontheless!!

I gave up on trying to install the SpamAssassin I obtained manually
from after it bitched that my Bundle::Net (or similar, sorry,
forget the exact package) was out of date. Trying to install it via CPAM
crapped out bigtime and seems to have left my stock FreeBSD perl setup in a
goofy state. Perl would spit out nasty method tracebacks.

Can someone tell me if it is possible to redo just the perl portion of a
"make installworld" so I can reset my stock module config ?

Giving up on this approach, with the help of Jan Grant's earlier reply
I got the ports tree to work. [I needed to unpack the whole ports.tgz, not
just the spamassassin subdir]

First problem was that the MD5 on the downloaded distfile (that the ports
Makefile downloaded from didn't match:

< MD5 (Mail-SpamAssassin-2.60.tar.gz) = 65ece9dec35cc4701d98680d0651afd3
MD5 (Mail-SpamAssassin-2.60.tar.gz) = 46d1db67ed1d860ddb136e0beb5f6ac3

I temporarily updated the MD5 so I could get past this, e-mailed the
maintainer. I wasn't planning on installing until I heard back, but since
the stock make did a bunch of perl module updating foo, if the tar.gz is
trojaned I could already be screwed :-(

Next the make groks when it tries to configure spamd, claims gcc isn't in
the PATH, though it's in roots path once make drops back to the shell.

This is probably easily fixable, but at this point I gave up and started
working on what I get paid to do :-) All of this is on FreeBSD 4.9.

I'm reminded of Greg Lemis's chastisement of me for previously not using
the FreeBSD Ports system. It isn't making my life much easier here :-)))


Hm, well, if you hate perl perhaps you should consider using a spam
filtering package written in some other language!

The problem with FreeBSD and perl is well documented . . . basically the
FreebSD system has perl 5.005_03 which is a very old version nowadays, and
many modules require 5.6.1 at least if not 5.8+.

The simplest and easiest way to clear up these problems is to install a
new perl from source, in a non-standard location, so it creates its own
libraries from scratch. I recommend creating a user perl and installing
everything under /home/perl. Then at the end just change the symlinks to
/usr/bin/perl etc.

Do _not_ try to install a new perl over the 5.005 version that FreeBSD has
installed by default. FreeBSD creates non-standard library locations and
you will have lots of problems.

If you follow this advice you won't have any problem using CPAN to install
libwww, Mail::SpamAssassin and all the other modules you need or currently
use.perl and CPAN are _very_ reliable.

If you upgrade your FreeBSD to 5.1 you will find that the stock perl is
5.6.1 and most stuff Just Works with it. The perl has also been separated
from the base distribution and is now installed as a package (or port) so
it doesn't break when you update it.

On FreeBSD prior to 5.x I always built a new perl from source as I
described, and then built all my applications from source too (including
apache, mod_perl, mysql and a bunch of perl applications like
SpanAssassin). I too have encountered the 'ports or bust' mentality and
while it is good in theory it just doesn't work in practise where perl is
concerned. And there's way too much stuff depends on perl (for me at
least) for it to be flaky.

Hope this helps,
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Lucas Holt [EMAIL PROTECTED] ________________________________________________________ (Jewel Fan Site) (Free blogging)

'Re-implementing what I designed in 1979 is not interesting to me personally. For kids who are 20 years younger than me, Linux is a great way to cut your teeth. It's a cultural phenomenon and a business phenomenon. Mac OS X is a rock-solid system that's beautifully designed. I much prefer it to Linux.'
-- Bill Joy, Wired Article 2003

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