I have an old PC with FreeBSD 8.4 on it. I would like to install software from the ports collection but the computer doesn’t have the hardware necessary to access the internet. Is there a way to download a single port (or even the whole ports collection) on on another device that is running macOS or Linux, and then install it on the old computer via a USB drive?


[edit in response to Jim L.] At the moment, I’d like to install xorg, a window manager (probably Blackbox), emacs, and bash. My hard disk size is 8GB, and I don’t think that I’ll ever install more than 50MB of new software.


As of June 2019, version 8.4 is almost four years beyond end-of-life. While what you describe is possible, it is fraught with numerous obstacles that make it infeasible. Although the ports tree is under version control and therefore you can clone the ports repository and roll your ports tree back in time to any arbitrary moment, the numerous third-party source code files you will need to download have almost certainly either moved or vanished altogether.

For a system that old, my first option would be to re-install. Back it up carefully, perhaps to two separate devices, and test your backups to your satisfaction. Then re-install a supported version from installation media of your choice (which is feasible to do on a machine without direct internet access), and review the data in your backup to see what data you want to restore, and what applications you wish to run against your data.

If you can edit your question to cite certain specific applications that are of key importance to you, and the volume of data involved (hard disk size?), that may narrow the question sufficiently to provide a more targeted answer.

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