"sudo port upgrade outdated" fills HDD

Sam Kuper sam.kuper at uclmail.net
Wed Feb 17 18:29:09 PST 2010

On 18 February 2010 01:53, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at macports.org> wrote:

> On Feb 17, 2010, at 17:31, Sam Kuper wrote:
> > On 17 February 2010 22:38, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
> >> Yes, this is normal. I was surprised by this too last time I upgraded
> boost, but boost seems to need about 5-6GB free hard drive space to build
> and install. After it's all built and installed, it occupies about 1.3GB.
> > OK, it hadn't occurred to me that I'd need an OS's worth of space just to
> upgrade some C++ libraries. Now I know better. Thank you for clueing me in.
> Some software is big and requires a lot of time and space to build. I used
> to think the gcc ports (e.g. gcc43, gcc44) fell under this category, but
> they're pretty small compared to ports like boost, InsightToolkit, and
> qt4-mac. I don't particularly like it either, but it's difficult to file a
> bug report with such projects that says "your software is too big, make it
> smaller".

Maybe so. I wasn't aware of boost before it made my Mac fall over, so I
can't claim any intimate knowledge of it. My gut instinct, though, is that
especially for packages handled by a package manager and intended to provide
limited functionality and to work with other such packages, small is
beautiful. Isn't that the first principle of the Unix philosophy?

Can't boost be broken up into smaller packages and offered that way, so that
only the needed parts of boost are fetched and installed when needed?

> [...]
> > So what's the solution? [...]
> > It will also involve pruning as many unneeded ports as possible from my
> system.
> Yes, I run port_cutleaves on occasion to do this. Of course in my case I
> test so many ports that usually the ports I've uninstalled that I didn't
> think I needed get reinstalled almost immediately as a dependency of
> something new I'm testing. :-/

I'm using port_cutleaves now. It's a bit like playing whack-a-mole. As soon
as you cut off a leaf you no longer want, there's another one (or two, or
three...) just below it in the dependency graph. Hence my question here:


though I now realise that an assumption I had been making - that it's only
leaf nodes and their dependencies that one cares about - is false. Using
port_cutleaves for long enough, one comes across newly-revealed leaves which
one wants to keep! (Thanks for your answer to that question, btw!)

I guess a better solution would be to somehow have MacPorts or
port_cutleaves be aware of which ports had had their installation requested
by a user, and to have port_cutleaves have the option only to list those
leaves and to automatically uninstall them and everything below on the
dependency branch, if requested.

> > But I wonder, isn't there some way that MacPorts could provide
> pre-built/compiled software? I mean, it's not like Mac users are running on
> an especially diverse range of hardware...
> This topic comes up fairly often. It's a long-term goal of MacPorts to
> offer this but it hasn't been created yet.

OK, good to know it's in the pipeline :)

> >> What error did you see when trying to log in to the issue tracker?
> >
> > "Unknown username email or password"
> >
> > I tried several times, and I'm pretty sure I typed the correct password.
> Then I tried resetting the password via the "Lost password" form and
> attempted to login with the new password that generated. This also resulted
> in the message:
> >
> > "Unknown username email or password".
> Ok, I'm afraid I don't know what's wrong. I'm not that familiar with Trac's
> inner workings. Perhaps if you email our admin, admin at macosforge.org, he
> can help you.

It sounds like the problem I was having with boost wasn't a typical "bug"
after all (except insofar as boost is, as you say, too big), so I'll skip
this for now. MacPorts ports have saved me time on many occasions, but
they've come to reclaim that time from me today :)

Thanks again for your time and all your help,

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