Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Sun Sep 21 09:33:27 UTC 2008

Odhiambo Washington wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 2:29 AM, Grant Peel <gpeel at thenetnow.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I am preparing to upgrade all servers from FBSD 6.2 to 6.3 in preperation
>> for 6.4, and some day 7.x
>> One thing I have always found a little confusing is what tag to specify in
>> the supfile.
>> If a machine is running 6.2, and I want to upgrade to the latest production
>> release, would I use:
>> RELENG_6_3 ?

No.  RELENG_6 will give you 6-STABLE.  The OP was quite correct:
RELENG_6_3 will get 6.3-RELEASE-pX which is currently the latest
production release from the 6.x series.  Eventually there will be
a RELENG_6_4 tag, but it hasn't been laid down quite yet.  That
usually happens around when re at .. switches from 6.4-BETA to 6.4-RC
which will probably be fairly soon.

>> Also, What do you all think about jumping from 6.4 straight to 7.1 when its
>> released (cvsup method)?

If the OPs final aim is to track 7.1, then:

   * upgrading 6.2 -> 6.3 -> 6.4 doesn't really get you anything
     except a whole heap of wasted time -- unless you want practice
     at running 'make buildworld' and so forth?

   * Upgrading from 6.2 -> 7.0 directly works just fine.  I expect
     6.2 -> 7.1 would probably work too.

   * It's the 6 -> 7 jump which is the big deal in terms of what you
     have to do while upgrading.  Rebuilding all of your installed ports
     will take a significant amount of time, and you're going to have
     to take the server out of action at least some of that time.

Alternatively, if the aim at the moment is to track 6.4, then upgrading
6.2 -> 6.4 in one step will get you there pretty simply.  Just wait a
few weeks until 6.4 is out.

> Hmm.... In such cases, it will depend on what the server is running.
> I'd prefer a fresh install and migrate services by hand. However,
> upgrade from 6.4 -> 7.x should be doable.

Oh, it depends on how conservative you want to be.  If you must always 
absolutely definitely have a fast back-out path in case of things going 
horribly wrong, then the thing to do is either install a new HDD and set up 
the target version of the OS on that, or split up a RAID1 mirror, update 
one half of the mirror and then resynch in the appropriate direction once 
your testing shows the update to have succeeded or not.

Of course, those are more expensive and time consuming procedures than
are usually justifiable. For general purpose use, the upgrade procedures 
described in /usr/src/UPDATING, the handbook, Colin Percival's 
daemonology.org blog and RSE's web pages at freebsd.org will basically 

> Anyway, see this: http://people.freebsd.org/~rse/upgrade/
> It's some authoritative source for upgrades.

While RSE's account is factual and accurate and well worth the time
of anyone looking into doing an upgrade, I don't believe it's /the/
authoritative source.  He says himself: your systems will be different.
As the perl folk say: TIMTOWTDI.


Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

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