upgrade FreeBSD home : internet : mail : toaster : upgrade : upgrade FreeBSD : portupgrade upgrade programs

Is portupgrade -a safe?

Simple answer: No.

Long answer. I never recommend portupgrade -a on a production server. There are a variety of reasons for this:

  • Broken Binaries
    • Read the portupgrade man page for details.
  • Overwrites custom binaries
    • The toaster setup installs some customized binaries such as the heavily modified qmail package. If you let portupgrade "update" qmail, then the special anti-spam features go away. Ouch.
  • Does not remember make options
    • You'll note that toaster-watcher.conf has lots of options for configuration how certain toaster components are installed. We'll take MySQL for example. You might want it installed with ssl or linuxthreads. The toaster setup script honors those settings, but after portupgrade "updates" your MySQL, those special features are gone.

Because of the aforementioned reasons, many folks end up breaking their mail systems after running portupgrade. The best advise is have a development server to test on first. If it doesn't break your dev server, then it'll probably work fine on your production one.

Be very careful updating any programs installed via toaster_setup.pl. If you do upgrade something and break your toaster, run through the setup again, and it should repair the damage.

UPDATE: install contrib/pkgtools.conf in /usr/local/etc to help prevent portupgrade related breakage.

When running portupgrade, use the -ai flags, and avoid upgrading anything the toaster installs manually. If you choose to neglect this advise, read /usr/ports/UPDATING and look for anything related to that port that you might have to contend with.

Last modified on 4/14/05.