kernel panic at boot on any 6.x OS

Joe Auty joe at
Mon Feb 26 18:01:26 UTC 2007

On Feb 26, 2007, at 8:01 AM, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

> ----- 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
> following
> problems:
> 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
> best
> times for it too.  I just hope (if this is your workplace) that  
> your job
> survives.

My production system is backed up daily to two different sites,  
that's not an issue. The system I'm thinking of upgrading to 6.2 is  
my test server I run out of my house that stores movie files and  
other non-essential files. Technically, wiping it clean *would* be an  
option if it came down to it, just an inconvenience. Perhaps I should  
invest in another HD to use for instances such as this.

>> 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
> port
> 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.

Do you run any non-production machines where you test running newer  
OSes and test software updates and such?

Joe Auty
NetMusician: web publishing software for musicians
joe at

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