Should I Upgrade 5.4 -> 6.2?

Garrett Cooper youshi10 at
Fri Mar 16 03:46:46 UTC 2007

Kris Kennaway wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 05:09:57PM -0400, Jerry McAllister wrote:
>> On Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 04:47:06PM -0400, alex at wrote:
>>> First off, I want to thank the people who responded to my thread 
>>> "Stability Issues on a 5.4-RELEASE box" a couple of weeks ago; after 
>>> disabling hyperthreading, getting a clean run of Memtest back, and 
>>> doing some serious fsck'ing of the disks, the box appears to now be 
>>> completely stable. I'm still not sure which of the above fixed the 
>>> problem...but I'll take a stable system at this point. :-)
>>> That said, in that thread I had asked about the advisability of 
>>> upgrading to 6.2, and it was intelligently pointed out that doing so in 
>>> pursuit of stability was a bad idea. Now that the box is stable, 
>>> though, I'm back to the same question: should I make the upgrade, and 
>>> if so, how should I do it?
>>> My primary driver for doing so would be to keep current enough that I'm 
>>> still getting security and other patches on a regular basis, and that I 
>>> can upgrade my applications from ports as necessary. If this is not an 
>>> issue, then my only remaining concern would be that it's usually easier 
>>> to get support on lists like this if you're running a modern version of 
>>> the OS (that's certainly the case with the OpenBSD folks).
>>> My primary concern with upgrading is that the box is in Portland, OR, 
>>> and I'm in Arlington, VA...and while the ISP is friendly, I doubt that 
>>> I could count on them for major system recovery if I botch something 
>>> during the upgrade. My other worry is that I don't want to break 
>>> existing apps if possible (the main one I'm concerned about is 
>>> Zope/Plone). This is a production box with moderate traffic, and it 
>>> would be a problem if there was extensive downtime.
>>> Is it worth upgrading? If so, what's the best way to do so -- CVSup, or 
>>> some other way? Are there any major caveats if I do choose to upgrade 
>>> (or choose to stay with the existing OS)?
>> You should if you can reasonably do it, for the reasons you give plus
>> improvements in performance and in some utilities.  
>> My sentiment is usually to do a clean install over major version numbers. 
>> It tends to leave less dross laying around.  but I do not have to worry 
>> about down times very much, a couple of hours at night is not terribly
>> noticable in my stuff.  It does require more time down to do a clean 
>> from scratch install.   But, I think you can get away with a cvsup upgrade 
>> from 5.4 to 6.2.   Then your downtime is just the reboot and stuff at single 
>> user (mergemaster), plus probably some for upgrading various ports.
> Yes, a source upgrade from 5.x to 6.x (followed by portupgrade -fa)
> isn't too bad.  As with any upgrade you do need a recovery strategy
> though.
> Kris

I agree with both Kris and Jerry. Besides, if you run 6.2 you're running 
a supported version of FreeBSD whereas 5.4 isn't supported anymore (5.5 
is the last supported version in the legacy 5.x branch). Plus there are 
slight improvements from 5.x to 6.x.


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