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Use Subversion if custom patches to the ports tree are needed. Refer to <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/svn.html">Using Subversion</link> for details.
Why can I not build this port on my 11.<replaceable>X</replaceable> -, or 12.<replaceable>X</replaceable> -STABLE machine?
If the installed FreeBSD version lags significantly behind <emphasis>-CURRENT</emphasis> or <emphasis>-STABLE</emphasis>, update the Ports Collection using the instructions in <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/ports-using.html">Using the Ports Collection</link>. If the system is up-to-date, someone might have committed a change to the port which works for <emphasis>-CURRENT</emphasis> but which broke the port for <emphasis>-STABLE</emphasis>. <link xlink:href="https://bugs.FreeBSD.org/submit/">Submit</link> a bug report, since the Ports Collection is supposed to work for both the <emphasis>-CURRENT</emphasis> and <emphasis>-STABLE</emphasis> branches.
I just tried to build <filename>INDEX</filename> using <command>make index</command>, and it failed. Why?
First, make sure that the Ports Collection is up-to-date. Errors that affect building <filename>INDEX</filename> from an up-to-date copy of the Ports Collection are high-visibility and are thus almost always fixed immediately.
There are rare cases where <filename>INDEX</filename> will not build due to odd cases involving <varname>OPTIONS_SET</varname> being set in <filename>make.conf</filename>. If you suspect that this is the case, try to make <filename>INDEX</filename> with those variables turned off before reporting it to <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-ports">FreeBSD ports mailing list</link>.
I updated the sources, now how do I update my installed ports?
FreeBSD does not include a port upgrading tool, but it does have some tools to make the upgrade process somewhat easier. Additional tools are available to simplify port handling and are described the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/ports-using.html">Upgrading Ports</link> section in the FreeBSD Handbook.
Do I need to recompile every port each time I perform a major version update?
Yes! While a recent system will run with software compiled under an older release, things will randomly crash and fail to work once other ports are installed or updated.
When the system is upgraded, various shared libraries, loadable modules, and other parts of the system will be replaced with newer versions. Applications linked against the older versions may fail to start or, in other cases, fail to function properly.
For more information, see <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/updating-upgrading-freebsdupdate.html#freebsdupdate-upgrade">the section on upgrades</link> in the FreeBSD Handbook.
Do I need to recompile every port each time I perform a minor version update?
In general, no. FreeBSD developers do their utmost to guarantee binary compatibility across all releases with the same major version number. Any exceptions will be documented in the Release Notes, and advice given there should be followed.
Why is <command>/bin/sh</command> so minimal? Why does FreeBSD not use <command>bash</command> or another shell?
Many people need to write shell scripts which will be portable across many systems. That is why <trademark class="registered">POSIX</trademark> specifies the shell and utility commands in great detail. Most scripts are written in Bourne shell (<citerefentry><refentrytitle>sh</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry>), and because several important programming interfaces (<citerefentry><refentrytitle>make</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry>, <citerefentry><refentrytitle>system</refentrytitle><manvolnum>3</manvolnum></citerefentry>, <citerefentry><refentrytitle>popen</refentrytitle><manvolnum>3</manvolnum></citerefentry>, and analogues in higher-level scripting languages like Perl and Tcl) are specified to use the Bourne shell to interpret commands. Because the Bourne shell is so often and widely used, it is important for it to be quick to start, be deterministic in its behavior, and have a small memory footprint.
The existing implementation is our best effort at meeting as many of these requirements simultaneously as we can. To keep <command>/bin/sh</command> small, we have not provided many of the convenience features that other shells have. That is why other more featureful shells like <command>bash</command>, <command>scsh</command>, <citerefentry><refentrytitle>tcsh</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry>, and <command>zsh</command> are available. Compare the memory utilization of these shells by looking at the <quote>VSZ</quote> and <quote>RSS</quote> columns in a <command>ps -u</command> listing.
Kernel Configuration
I would like to customize my kernel. Is it difficult?
Not at all! Check out the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/kernelconfig.html">kernel config section of the Handbook</link>.
The new <filename>kernel</filename> will be installed to the <filename>/boot/kernel</filename> directory along with its modules, while the old kernel and its modules will be moved to the <filename>/boot/kernel.old</filename> directory. If a mistake is made in the configuration, simply boot the previous version of the kernel.
Why is my kernel so big?
<literal>GENERIC</literal> kernels shipped with FreeBSD are compiled in <emphasis>debug mode</emphasis>. Kernels built in debug mode contain debug data in separate files that are used for debugging. FreeBSD releases prior to 11.0 store these debug files in the same directory as the kernel itself, <filename>/boot/kernel/</filename>. In FreeBSD 11.0 and later the debug files are stored in <filename>/usr/lib/debug/boot/kernel/</filename>. Note that there will be little or no performance loss from running a debug kernel, and it is useful to keep one around in case of a system panic.
When running low on disk space, there are different options to reduce the size of <filename>/boot/kernel/</filename> and <filename>/usr/lib/debug/</filename>.
To not install the symbol files, make sure the following line exists in <filename>/etc/src.conf</filename>:
WITHOUT_KERNEL_SYMBOLS=yes
For more information see <citerefentry><refentrytitle>src.conf</refentrytitle><manvolnum>5</manvolnum></citerefentry>.
If you want to avoid building debug files altogether, make sure that both of the following are true:
This line does not exist in the kernel configuration file:
makeoptions DEBUG=-g
Do not run <citerefentry><refentrytitle>config</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry> with <option>-g</option>.

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