kernel panic at boot on any 6.x OS

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Mon Feb 26 13:02:54 UTC 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joe Auty" <joe at>
To: "Ted Mittelstaedt" <tedm at>
Cc: "Daan Vreeken [PA4DAN]" <Danovitsch at>; "Kip Macy"
<kip.macy at>; <freebsd-questions at>;
<freebsd-hackers at>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007 10:39 PM
Subject: Re: kernel panic at boot on any 6.x OS

> Hash: SHA1
> On Feb 25, 2007, at 7:56 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Joe Auty" <joe at>
> > To: "Daan Vreeken [PA4DAN]" <Danovitsch at>
> > Cc: "Kip Macy" <kip.macy at>; <freebsd-questions at>;
> > <freebsd-hackers at>
> > Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007 8:14 AM
> > Subject: Re: kernel panic at boot on any 6.x OS
> >
> >
> >>
> >> Any idea how this could have happened after disabling everything in
> >> my /etc/loader.conf, and simply running a:
> >>
> >> make buildworld
> >> make buildkernel KERNCONF=myconfig
> >> make installkernel KERNCONF=myconfig
> >>
> >
> > well your supposed to do this single-user, run mergemaster and a
> > few other
> > things.
> > I also don't see a make installworld.
> >
> I usually perform those steps after I've rebooted to ensure that my
> system will boot off the new kernel, as per the instructions in the
> FreeBSD handbook.
> > Joe, please try booting from a 6.2-release install ISO.  If it
> > works without
> > panicing,
> > then you did something wrong during the upgrade.
> >
> Downloading the image now, I'll let you know if I'm able to boot from
> it...
> > Since by your own admission your not an expert, you would be well
> > advised
> > to simply back up your files the old fashioned way, reformat your
> > hard disk,
> > install from a 6.2 boot ISO, then restore your files.  Leave the fancy
> > in-place
> > updating to someone else.  It's a big PIA and doesen't work half
> > the time
> > anyway.
> >
> How well does simply upgrading with the CD work (as opposed to wiping
> clean)? I've upgraded several times to new releases simply by
> rebuilding world, it has never failed me in the past. I don't doubt
> what you are saying here, but since I will have to change how I work,
> assuming that I can boot off of the 6.2 CD, I'd appreciate any
> general upgrade tips that don't involve wiping the disk clean (which
> is not really an option).

If wiping the disk really isn't an option then you have one or more of the

1) Production system with a lack of hardware spares

2) inadequate backup plan and execution.

People who state that wiping the disk isn't an option are screaming
at the top of their lungs for the hardware gremlins to explain what MTBF is
all about.

The gremlins will visit you, I guarentee.  And they always pick the very
times for it too.  I just hope (if this is your workplace) that your job

> For instance, is rebuilding world between point releases (e.g. 5.4 to
> 5.5) an okay idea, compared to across major releases (e.g. 5.5 to 6.2)?
> I'll do my own homework regarding this too, but I appreciate any
> nuggets of wisdom you might have! As far as me being an expert, I
> guess I'd categorize me somewhere in between complete newb and
> FreeBSD developer =)

The problem is that all of the ports and packages that you put on a server
change from release to release.  The developers of openssl, for example,
don't give a tinkers damn about how FreeBSD's upgrade process works,
when they are making changes in their code.

I run a number of FreeBSD servers and what I do is simply keep them patched
with security updates.  Every once in a while a security hole will be
discovered in a non-core program and if it's serious enough I'll go into the
and do a "make deinstall" followed by downloading and compiling the program
the "old fashioned way"  I shoot for a min of 3 years on the OS before even
thinking about updating, and when it's time to update the hardware has
generally reached the old rag stage anyway.


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