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Part I. Getting Started
Chapter 4. Installing Applications: Packages and Ports
Installing Applications: Packages and Ports
Synopsis
FreeBSD is bundled with a rich collection of system tools as part of the base system. In addition, FreeBSD provides two complementary technologies for installing third-party software: the FreeBSD Ports Collection, for installing from source, and packages, for installing from pre-built binaries. Either method may be used to install software from local media or from the network.
After reading this chapter, you will know:
The difference between binary packages and ports.
How to find third-party software that has been ported to FreeBSD.
How to manage binary packages using pkg.
How to build third-party software from source using the Ports Collection.
How to find the files installed with the application for post-installation configuration.
What to do if a software installation fails.
Overview of Software Installation
The typical steps for installing third-party software on a UNIX(R) system include:
Find and download the software, which might be distributed in source code format or as a binary.
Unpack the software from its distribution format. This is typically a tarball compressed with a program such as man:compress[1], man:gzip[1], man:bzip2[1] or man:xz[1].
Locate the documentation in [.filename]#INSTALL#, [.filename]#README# or some file in a [.filename]#doc/# subdirectory and read up on how to install the software.
If the software was distributed in source format, compile it. This may involve editing a [.filename]#Makefile# or running a `configure` script.
Test and install the software.
A FreeBSD _port_ is a collection of files designed to automate the process of compiling an application from source code. The files that comprise a port contain all the necessary information to automatically download, extract, patch, compile, and install the application.