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About FreeBSD Ports
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The FreeBSD Ports and Packages Collection offers a simple way for users and administrators to install applications.
The Ports Collection supports the latest release on the link:{faq}#current[FreeBSD-CURRENT] and link:{faq}#stable[FreeBSD-STABLE] branches. Older releases are not supported and may or may not work correctly with an up-to-date ports collection. Over time, changes to the ports collection may rely on features that are not present in older releases. Wherever convenient, we try not to gratuitously break support for recent releases, but it is sometimes unavoidable. When this occurs, patches contributed by the user community to maintain support for older releases will usually be committed.
Each "port" listed here contains any patches necessary to make the original application source code compile and run on FreeBSD. Installing an application is as simple as typing `make install` in the port directory. If you download the framework for the entire list of ports by installing the link:{handbook}ports/#ports-using[ports hierarchy], you can have thousands of applications right at your fingertips.
Each port's `Makefile` automatically fetches the application source code, either from a local disk, CD-ROM or via link:https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=ftp[`ftp`], unpacks it on your system, applies the patches, and compiles. If all went well, a simple `make install` will install the application and register it with the package system.
For most ports, a precompiled `package` also exists, saving the user the work and time of having to compile anything at all. Use link:https://www.FreeBSD.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=pkg-install[`pkg install`] to securely download and install the precompiled version of a port. For more information see link:{handbook}ports/#pkgng-intro[Using pkg for Binary Package Management]