One of the most useful and unique features of FreeBSD compared to most Linux distros is the Ports Collection. It can be found under /usr/ports and contains the Makefiles for a vast amount of software.

Getting the ports collection

If you did not choose to install the ports collection during the FreeBSD installation then you will need to get it through Cvsup.

The ports collection can also be accessed by ftp using

# /stand/sysinstall

Once you are in the FreeBSD configuration tool go to Configure and then Packages. Here you will want to choose FTP. Select the packages you wish to install and go to Install at the end and FreeBSD will use the pkg_add tool on each one to quickly add it.

Updating the ports collection

# cvsup -L2 -g -h /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile

The -g flag tells cvsup to run without a gui, the -h refers to the host of the cvs server. The host can be set within ports-supfile

Updating the FreeBSD source

# cvsup -L2 -g -h /usr/share/examples/cvsup/stable-supfile

The standard-supfile can also be used. To obtain a certain version of FreeBSD the supfile should be editted and the tag=RELENG_5 to the desired version of FreeBSD. For example if the latest version of 5.4 is needed it can be set by


Finding the fastest CVS server

The Fastest CVS server can be found by install the port at

# cd /usr/ports/sysutils/fastest_cvsup/
# make install

To find the fastest server in the US you would type

# fastest_cvsup -c us

Scheduling cvsup to run weekly

Cvsup can be schedule to run weekly using crontab


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