newby needing help

neal kneel.pardoe at
Fri Sep 28 13:40:12 PDT 2007

Roland Smith wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 09:11:01PM +0000, neal wrote:
>> I've checked out all the main functions I want from FreeBSD and had them 
>> all working (hehe, but since broke some) so I'm happy it will do the things 
>> I want so far.
>> First question, what is recommended regarding doing updates. Is it best to 
>> just do all of them?
> It depends. If the update of the base system concerns something that you
> use, I would definitely install it.

That's the problem though, same with linux, there are 
obvious things that I would update but there are likely 
items that I would never have a clue if I needed them or 
not. As I'm going to do a completely fresh install on a 
clean system I might just try doing all upgrades right from 
the start and see how it goes from there.

> The best way to keep the base system up-to-date is using csup (which is
> still referenced in the Handbook in §20.3 as cvsup).
> For updating the ports tree I can recommend portsnap. For updating the
> ports themselves I use portmaster.
>> I have always had problems doing this e.g. with 
>> Mandrake and other Linuxs and so am reluctant, but if it is usual I'll give 
>> it a try.
> The upgrade tools on FreeBSD work quite well. But if you're rebuilding
> your own ports it can take quite some time depending on your machine.

I've been using the Package Manager so far but will look 
into using a command prompt at some later time.

>> (I'm also reluctant as I assume a full update will update xorg to 
>> 7.3 and I have 7.2 installed with the latest nvidia 9# driver and it works 
>> beautifully so would rather stay with that.
> There is a new beta driver available.

Yes, I've read about it here.
>> I have read the Handbook, but still have a problem understanding how to map 
>> my ext2 and ext3 partitions to the UFS notation. e.g.
> The notation is a BSD thing, it has nothing to do with UFS.


>> I have a drive hda, 
>> it has a swap an unused space and four partitions one of which is my home 
>> partition hda7. How do I refer to this home partition using ad0???
>> notation 
> If you do 'ls ad0*' you'll see what is available. Remember that what DOS
> and Linux calls partitions are called slices in FreeBSD. Partitions in
> FreeBSD are subdivisions of a slice. E.g. ad0s1a is partition a of slice
> 1 of ad0. Customarily, slice b is used for swap, and slice c is
> unused. You can see this with the 'bsdlabel' command.

OK, I've done that.

this is the result for the drive currently being used by linux.
[pineal at localhost /usr/home/pineal]$ ls /dev/ad0*
/dev/ad0        /dev/ad0s2      /dev/ad0s6      /dev/ad0s8
/dev/ad0s1      /dev/ad0s5      /dev/ad0s7      /dev/ad0s9

The number of apparent slices (those with a ad0s[n] 
designation) seen by BSD is one more than the number of 
linux partitions I actually have. No I haven't miss-counted.

I have 1 swapfile partition and five partitions hda5-9 used 
by linux.

btw I tried to run the bsdlabel command but it returns "no 
valid label found" for both ad0 and ad1.

>> (as this is what I understand I need to do, if not please enlighten). I 
>> have installed the ext2fs utilities/drivers and can mount an ext2 fs 
>> written on dvd without problems.
> I would recommend converting the disk to native UFS2 filesystems. I'm
> not sure if mounting an ext2 slice read/write is such a good idea. Make
> (in Linux, e.g. Knoppix) a tarball of your data and seve it to another disk or
> CD,DVD. Reslice and format the disk with sysinstall, and restore your
> backup.

Maybe I didn't make myself clear here. I have an existing 
in-use Linux system. I want to be able to access the /home 
partition as it contains all my personal data that I will 
need to move over to FreeBSD when I do the new install.

> You might find §16.3 of the Handbook enlightening.

did you mean from Ch 16 "3. Why will chmod not change the 
permissions on symlinks?"

>> I intend to do a completely fresh install and would like to compile for my 
>> specific pc kit. Would I be best doing this following installation and 
>> initial setting up?
> Yes. Read Chapter 4 of the Handbook about ports. My FreeBSD page has
> some tips about setting port variables in make.conf;
> Roland

Had a quick look at your 'page', looks useful.

thank you for your help Roland


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