Lowell Gilbert said:
> In FreeBSD, a "port" is a third-party application ported to be built from
source on your system.  A "package" is a pre-compiled binary of that port. 
Once installed, they are both tracked (and removable) by the same database,
usually referred to as the "package database".  See the FreeBSD Handbook
section on "Installing Applications: Packages and Ports" for a full

Just out of curiosity, is it incorrect to simply say that ports build
packages? That is, once a piece of software is installed with 'make install',
is it treated the same as any package that was installed from the installation
CD? (If not, or if the relationship is really a whole lot more complex than
that, then my rant below doesn't apply.)

A lot of new users can't readily tell the difference between a port and
package and frequently use the two terms interchangably. The handbook gives an
overview of both ports and package but stops short of clearly spelling out
this important distinction. But at the same time, it also implies that ports
and packages are two completely separate ways of installing software when in
reality they are actually two parts of the same system. The phrase "ports
build packages" is a neat and efficient way of rectifying the
misunderstandings that can occur when trying to give a proper explanation of
FreeBSD package management.

Charles Ulrich
System Administrator
Ideal Solution - http://www.idealso.com

Charles Ulrich
System Administrator
Ideal Solution - http://www.idealso.com
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