OpenBSD -> FreeBSD migration

Ivan Voras ivoras at
Mon Apr 21 09:27:12 UTC 2008

Andrew Wright wrote:
> Hi All;
> I want to migrate a system from OpenBSD 4.2 (ie; the current version)
> to FreeBSD (7.0).  I have poked around on the archives a little
> to determine how best to do this, and I want to make sure that
> my understanding (summarized below) is indeed correct.  If I am
> asking these questions on the wrong list (potentially likely for
> the AMD specific questions) then please let me know:
> Filesystem stuff:
>   - it appears that FreeBSD and OpenBSD use the same partition
>     table format.  Is this true?  If so, I can potentially avoid
>     rebuilding an entire disk if I am right that ...

No, I don't think that's true. In any case, you can verify it by booting
a live-CD of FreeBSD and trying it.

>   If both of these are true, I can simply install FreeBSD over
>   top of the OpenBSD /, /var and /usr partitions, and then be
>   able to mount the old /home.  Is this something people do?

If you delete everything from all directories except /home, it might
work. Otherwise, the risk of getting mixed binaries, libraries and
scripts from both systems is too great.

> Processor stuff:
>   - The machine of interest has an AMD64 processor.  I have seen
>     several references to running Linux emulation on an AMD processor,
>     but I would like to confirm that this is true while running the
>     64-bit version of the OS.  In other words:
>       - with a 64-bit installation (amd64) of FreeBSD 7.0, emulation
>         of 32-bit Linux binaries (notably Matlab, but possibly other
>         software as well) is possible, and indeed a reasonably
>         well-known way of proceeding.

I think 32-bit Linux binaries should be supported on 64-bit FreeBSD
alongside 32-bit FreeBSD binaries.

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