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using make to upgrade your ports 19 November 1999
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Since this article was written the portupgrade tool was written. I think you should use that tool.

This article shows an easy way to upgrade your ports.

See also Ports.

Ports?  What are ports?
If you're reading this and you don't know what a port is, then you shouldn't be reading this.  I suggest you read before you proceed.
Using make
I found out about this tip from IRC.  I often hang out on the #FreeBSD channel on the Undernet IRC network ( and something mentioned that you can upgrade your ports with the following commands:
# cd /usr/src
# make update

So I rushed off to try this.  It failed with:

[root@ducky:/usr/src] # make update 
make: don't know how to make update. Stop

Well.  Let's look at /etc/make.conf.  Here's what you find:

# CVSup update flags.  Edit SUPFILE settings to reflect whichever 
# distribution file(s) you use on your site (see 
# /usr/share/examples/cvsup/README for more nformation on CVSup and 
# these files).  To use, do "make update" in /usr/src.
#SUP_UPDATE=     yes
#SUP=            /usr/local/bin/cvsup
#SUPFLAGS=       -g -L 2 -z
#SUPFILE=        /usr/share/examples/cvsup/standard-supfile
#SUPFILE1=       /usr/share/examples/cvsup/secure-supfile
#SUPFILE2=       /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile

Hmmm, this looks pretty easy to me.  When I first tried Updating the ports collection, I created a supfile for my ports.  So I changed the above entries to meet my requirements:

SUP_UPDATE=     yes

SUP=            /usr/local/bin/cvsup
SUPFLAGS=       -g -L 2 -z
SUPFILE=        /home/ports-supfile

Then I did the make again:

# cd /usr/src
# make update

Well, that seemed to work.  Great!  A bit easier to do than the instructions under Updating the ports collection but uses the same process.

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