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portupgrade in a jail

Until now I've been updating all the ports inside my jails one at a time, and that's worked.

But now, if possible, I'd like to use portupgrade (or something similar) to update them all at once. This doesn't seem to work: I get errors from both portupgrade and from pkgdb, e.g.

root@xeny ~> pkgdb -F
--->  Checking the package registry database
Stale dependency: postfix-2.5.5,1 -> pcre-7.4 (devel/pcre):
Fetching the ports index ... index file directory /usr/ports not writable!

Well, that's right, /usr/ports is not meant to be writeable. I'm not sure what to do about this. Can't find any previous postings that solve this problem. Advice gratefully received.