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Backport OpenBSD 7.3 pkg_add enhancement

Written by Solène, on 30 May 2023.
Tags: #openbsd

Comments on Fediverse/Mastodon

1. Introduction §

Recently, OpenBSD package manager received a huge speed boost when updating packages, but it's currently only working in -current due to an issue.

Fortunately, espie@ fixed it for the next release, I tried it and it's safe to fix yourself. It will be available in the 7.4 release, but for 7.3 users, here is how to apply the change.

Link to the commit (GitHub)

2. Fix §

There is a single file modified, just download the patch and apply it on /usr/libdata/perl5/OpenBSD/PackageRepository/Installed.pm with the command patch.

cd /usr/libdata/perl5/OpenBSD/PackageRepository/
ftp -o /tmp/pkg_add.patch https://github.com/openbsd/src/commit/fa222ab7fc13c118c838e0a7aaafd11e2e4fe53b.patch
patch -C < /tmp/pkg_add.patch && patch < /tmp/pkg_add.patch && rm /tmp/pkg_add.patch

After that, running pkg_add -u should be at least 5 or 10 times faster, and will use a lot less bandwidth.

3. Some explanations §

On -current, there is a single directory to look for packages, but on release for architectures amd64, aarch64, sparc64 and i386, there are two directories: the packages generated for the release, and the packages-stable directory receiving updates during the release lifetime.

The code wasn't working with the two paths case, preventing pkg_add to build a local packages signature to compare the remote signature database in the "quirks" package in order to look for updates. The old behavior was still used, making pkg_add fetching the first dozen kilobytes of each installed packages to compare their signature package by package, while now everything is stored in quirks.

4. Disclaimer §

If you have any issue, just revert the patch by adding -R to the patch command, and report the problem TO ME only.

This change is not officially supported for 7.3, so you are on your own if there is an issue, but it's not harmful to do. If you were to have an issue, reporting it to me would help solving it for 7.4 for everyone, but really, it just work without being harmful in the worse case scenario.

5. Conclusion §

I hope you will enjoy this change so you don't have to wait for 7.4. This makes OpenBSD pkg_add feeling a bit more modern, compared to some packages manager that are now almost instant to install/update packages.