using sysinstall upgrade as a repair solution

Joshua Kordani joshua.kordani at
Tue Mar 6 16:44:06 UTC 2007

Hello all!
I was running 5.1 release till pretty much last week when I believe the
machine experienced an unplanned powercycle.  since then i get an error
about being missing, and being required by sh, please input
path to sh or hit enter.  ok, so i know about /rescue/sh, and the fixit
option on sysinstall, but i don't know if libraries are anywhere to be found
on the live cd fixit toolkit (i doubt it, i looked in all the places that
made sense to me).  So i figure I might as well reinstall the OS, as that is
why i made separate partitions for user data and system files (so i think,
this is my first unix based system built by me) to apparently facilitate os
reinstallation.  So here is my understanding of how a reinsall is supposed
to go, with the aim of preserving my user stuff.
I set the system up with a 150 meg partition (more than reccomended in the
handbook at the time, and still to my knowledge) on which I put a, a b swap
part, 256 meg d /tmp, 256 meg e /var, and 200odd gig  f /usr. the system was
oringinally intended to be an anonymous ftp repository for me and my
friends, but due to school req's i had to change it to the sftp
backengine(?) of sshd, and it was in /usr/share/public that i put pretty
much everything.  when my friends added tons of crap I eventually added
another 160 gig drive, put a swap part on that too for kicks, and moved the
/home dir to it too. as of last week i only have 10 gigs remaining on that
drive, and oddly enough i am at 106% capcity for the 250 gig drive according
to df, go figure.  So now I figure id open up sysinstall off a cd and use
the upgrade feature first, for either 5.1 or 6.2.  I set / to mount to a,
/tmp to d, /var to e. and i leave f alone, since i dont want that modified
at all.  well, eventually the tool tells me that the filesystem is full and
quits.  Then I try doing a custom install and choose only the required base
files, or a minimal install, and the same thing happens.  Then I figured
that in the worst case i could choose to mount /usr on the 2nd harddrive on
the partition where there are 10 gigs free in the fdisk-like utility step
that the upgrade feature brings one too, and then i get kernel panics.  So i
figure im not doing something right, or im not understanding something, but
it was my intent to separate the / from /usr(or wherever id put stuff) in
order to make the upgrading(or repairing) of the os easier.
If this topic has already been discussed on the list then please tell me so
I can go look in this lists archives wherever they may be stored.
I am also not adverse to reading and note that I've looked through the
handbooks for 5.1 and 6.2 as well as their install.txts. 5.5 disks are
burning now, and im going to give those a try and see what happens.  Thanks!

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