FreeBSD upgrading packages with portmaster

So we’re running our local package repository for our FreeBSD farm. When using FreeBSD, can choose to stick to binary packages for your current RELEASE (which never get patched for security holes), or you could use binary packages for the stable branch of your RELEASE (they’ll be patch’ed for security holes, but they’ll also keep rolling into new versions, e.g. if you got a 100 or so servers you kinda fucked if you want to have consistency with versions of packages on your servers), or you could, like us (and many other FreeBSD admins) run your local repo.
With a local repo you get control on versions of packages, at least, as a bonus you’ll also get all kinds of freakin’ dependency problems, tinderbox doesn’t always cooperate, and so on.
So we configure portmaster on each server to use binary packages only, and point to our package repo server . Then you’ll ‘only’ have to issue portmaster -a to upgrade your packages on a server… I’d say you got about 30% chance of that working out for you on your first run .
Here’s what I usually have to do (kinda pseudo’ish cli):

portmaster -a
(portmaster brakes on package a ... so manually remove that package so that portmaster -a could finish, then reinstall the troublesome package)
pkg_info | grep package a
pkg_delete package a
ERROR: package b depends on package a
pkg_delete package b
pkg_delete package a
portmaster -a
(portmaster brakes on package c ... so manually remove that package so that portmaster -a could finish, then reinstall the troublesome package)
pkg_info | grep package c
pkg_delete package c
ERROR: package d depends on package c
pkg_delete package d
ERROR: package e depends on package d
pkg_delete package e
pkg_delete package d
pkg_delete package c
portmaster -a
(let's say this time portmaster managed to complete)
pkg_add -r [all the packages you manually removed]
(now I suddenly got a)
pkg_version: corrupted record (pkgdep line without argument), ignoring
(google it, mabye you get <a href=http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/pkg_version-corrupted-record-pkgdep-line-without-argument-ignoring/>here</a> so you try)
portmaster --check-depends
you'll mabye reinstall any troublesome packages, and if you're lucky you're done

It’s probably because I got more than 10 years of experience in using Debian, and only about 6 months experience in using FreeBSD that I keep getting myself into these kind of problems, but I’m still getting grumpy about it !

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