Booting a FreeBSD 5.4 amd64 kernel on root filesystem populated with i386 binaries

Brooks Davis brooks at
Mon Aug 8 20:13:55 GMT 2005

On Mon, Aug 08, 2005 at 03:00:49PM -0500, Guy Helmer wrote:
> Should it be possible to boot a FreeBSD 5.4 amd64 kernel (built with 
> IA32 compatibility) using a root filesystem that contains i386 
> binaries?  I'm trying to upgrade systems in-place where the first step 
> is installing an amd64 kernel, /sbin/init, /libexec/ and 
> populating /lib32 with a copy of the 32-bit libraries, and then 
> rebooting.  However, after the kernel boots, it gives a signal 10 when 
> trying to invoke /bin/sh to run /etc/rc.
> Am I way off base trying to do this?  It seems like it should work but 
> I'm missing something that isn't easy to diagnose.  Do I need to replace 
> /libexec/ with an amd64 binary also?

I'm pretty sure it's not supported under 5.x.  The i386 support just
isn't good enough.  I'm not sure about 6.x.  Support is supposed to be
a lot better there, but I don't recall any word of people testing this
so at that point I suspect not.  I would suspect a jailed root will work
before a real root file system does.

-- Brooks

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