safest way to upgrade a production server

Bob Johnson fbsdlists at
Mon Sep 8 19:03:03 UTC 2008

On 9/8/08, John Almberg <jalmberg at> wrote:
>>>> uname -a
>>> FreeBSD ***servername*** 6.3-PRERELEASE FreeBSD 6.3-PRERELEASE #1:
>>> Mon Dec  3 09:46:53 EST 2007     root@***servername***:/usr/obj/usr/
>>> src/sys/INET_ON  amd64
>> oooh, that is a bit old I think.
> I chose this server as an example, because it's the oldest one. I
> didn't install the OS on this server, the vendor did. Not sure why
> they chose a prerelease version... perhaps 6.3 was almost ready to go
> and they wanted to put us on the 6.3 branch? I don't know.

I had the same problem, except I was the vendor. Set up a system with
6.3-PRERELEASE for testing, then forgot it wasn't -RELEASE and put it
in production.

> Anyway, I guess what I should do is patch this to the latest 6.3
> version?

My strategy was to do a source-base upgrade to 6.3-RELEASE, and then
use freebsd-update to apply critical patches. Freebsd-update only
works on -RELEASE versions with generic kernels, but I find it much
faster and easier than trying to do upgrades from source. You also
need to keep track of ports that need updating: use portaudit for

> Or should I go to the latest 6.x version? I am pretty sure I don't
> want to experiment with a 7.x upgrade.

I believe 6.3 is the latest 6.x version. For now the thing to do is
get to an up-to-date 6.3 system. Then take your time figuring out the
best strategy for the transition to 7.x.

- Bob

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