Should I Upgrade 5.4 -> 6.2?

Kris Kennaway kris at
Fri Mar 16 05:14:47 UTC 2007

On Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 08:46:45PM -0700, Garrett Cooper wrote:
> 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.

s/slight/major/ ;)


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