Posts Tagged ‘DragonflyBSD’

Dports vs. Pkgsrc

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

I’m running DragonflyBSD 3.4.2 in VirtualBox. It was updated just today from 3.2.2, which worked like crap mainly due to the fact ┬áthat the host box is an Athlon 64 x2 box with 2G of RAM running Linux. I merely wanted to test some Perl stuff, got frustrated and ended up reinstalling the whole thing. So far 3.4.2 runs noticeably better. And the installer is fast. I can’t recall any OS install being as fast as dfly on a real machine, let alone in vbox.

DragonBSD traditionally came with pkgsrc for package management. If you wanted, say vim, you couldn’t install it directly if there wasn’t a binary package available for your platform. You would need to compile it from source. Needless to say, compiling anything in vbox on this machine is overkill. So is a bmake search which may take a while to extract the dependency database. In truth is it takes way too long, because I gave up along the way at 500 packages (out of 5k) and several cups of tea.

Since 3.4, the FreeBSD ports collection was ported to dfly. It’s called Dports. Being used to ports on FreeBSD, I gave it a try. For this task dfly uses the pkgng tool by default, which is really cool. With a single command you can do just about anything concerning packages, in a fashion similar to pw(8). The result? I checked out the dports collection and downloaded a package index in about five minutes. You only need to do this once. Then I was able to install zsh, vim, rsync and perl from binary packages in practically no time.

At this point DragonflyBSD is a very usable server OS. In some ways I like it better than FreeBSD.