Upgrading from 6.x to 7.x

Rudi Kramer - MWEB rkramer at mweb.com
Wed Aug 6 12:22:51 UTC 2008

> Warren Liddell 
> I have read a lot of ways an issues with upgrading to 7.x from 6.x ...
> main place that seemd ot have someewhat simple guidelines was
> http://people.freebsd.org/~rse/upgrade/freebsd-upgrade-6x-7x.txt  ..
> i wanted to know if that is the most simplest an efficent way to go
about the
> process ?
> The reason i ask as this machine is a production system and cant
afford for
> any down time or in theory anything to break to cause down time in the
> system.
> Any thoughts etc are always welcomed.

We have upgraded quite a few FreeBSD 6.2 and 6.3 servers to 7.0 and the
only problems we've had have been caused by admin-input :-)

!!!ACHTUNG !!!! DANGER!!! !!!GEWAAR !!! INKOZI!!!!

Any upgrade or patching can potentially lead to a non-functioning
server. The best way to do an upgrade is pre-test the upgrade on similar
hardware, same software and also the same FreeBSD version.

So load up a FreeBSD 6.2 server, install all the apps you use on your
production server  and then go through the upgrade steps and make sure
that everything is working before you go ahead with the live update.
This also gives you good practice. Backups are also essential in case
the sever dies and you need to get it back in a hurry.

Now back to updating:

The doc by Ralf looks very comprehensive but also very complicated; it
also differs slightly from the FreeBSD handbook.

The easiest way to do the upgrade (if you are using a GENERIC kernel) is
to use Freebsd-update (http://www.daemonology.net/freebsd-update/)

It's a pretty powerful tool which allows you to do binary updates for

To upgrade between major versions you would want to check out this page:

The second more difficult method which is recommended by the FreeBSD
handbook and slightly tweaked by me is as follows:

1) Get the latest source 

# cp /usr/share/examples/cvsup/stable-supfile /usr/local/etc/

2) Edit the supfile, replace CHANGE_THIS.FreeBSD.org with your closet

#csup /usr/local/etc/stable-supfile

3) less /usr/src/UPDATING and check for any warnings, notes, letters to
the editor etc.

4) Perform Update:

#  cd /usr/src
# make buildworld
# make buildkernel
# make installkernel
# reboot
# cd /usr/src
# mergemaster -p
# make installworld
# mergemaster - (all files except those that have been manually edited)
# reboot


If you have a custom kernel you would change Step #4 to the following:

#  cd /usr/src
# make -j10 buildworld
# make buildkernel KERNCONF=kernelname
# make installkernel KERNCONF=kernelname
# reboot
# cd /usr/src
# mergemaster -p
# make installworld
# mergemaster - all files except /etc/hosts, /etc/motd, /etc/passwd,
# reboot



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