Online / 5 & 6 February 2022


Keeping old Unix/Linux up-to-date with pkgsrc

Keeping software on unsupported Unix-ish operating systems up-to-date

Sometimes good working hardware is obsoleted by missing update support for the operating systems. Using outdated networking software from these systems on today's Internet is a security risk (to the user and the Internet as a whole), and old software might fail altogether (old SSH clients can't connect to modern SSH server, Webbrowser can't load websites using modern transport encryption, TLS).

pkgsrc is a cross-platform package manager maintained by the NetBSD project. With pkgsrc, it is possible to compile and install modern Linux/Unix tools and applications on Unix systems that were abandoned by their makers.

In this talk, I will give my experience, tips and tricks with keeping old Unix systems up-to-date:

  • MacOS X PowerPC 10.4 "Tiger"
  • MacOS X i686 10.9 "Mavericks"
  • Ubuntu 10.04 on ARM (old Linux 2.6.x kernel with special hardware patches that never got upstream)
  • Slackware Linux on Pentium 2
  • Solaris 9 on SUN Ultra 5


Photo of Carsten Strotmann Carsten Strotmann