messed up upgrade 7.0 & 7.1 to 7.2

PJ af.gourmet at
Wed Jul 29 17:34:34 UTC 2009

I have been struggling for about 4 days trying to prepare 2 computers to
update to 7.2 with no success whatsoever.
The more I read the instructions, the less I understand.
And almost nothing works as it should
Some background:
I have been using FreeBSD as a LAN server (for files storage & web
development/backup etc. and part desktop for more than 10 years. I have
never had great success when it comes to installation but have managed
to get it running and have even kept on v. 4.10 for archiving older
sites I have had.
The older methods of upgrading worked well enough even though they were
somewhat lengthy.
Last week I finally managed to set up an Acer Travelmate 4400 amd64 with
FreeBSD 7.2 and even got everything right. For the first time I was able
to get Flash & Shockwave to work on a FreeBSD installation.
With a bit of help from this list. Thanks, guys.
However, I have not been able to figure out how a custom kernel could be
set up nor how the new modular system works. Haven't found any coherent

But now I have the following problems:
PROBLEM 1. I freebsd-update fetch did not get the security patches or
whatever else it should - all I got was error: configuration file not found

PROBLEM 2. There seems to be some confusion about how to update and keep
current the ports - portsnap seems to work in concert with portversion;
there are some problems when one uses portsnap as there are with cvsup.
The two seem necessary since some errors inn installing cannot be
handled by both...
If, for example, it is necessary to delete the port completely and
reinstall it, portsnap just does not do it. I does not see that the port
direcotry is empty; cvsup does and fills it in so the error can be
correcte and the port properly installed.
And if you use cvsup and the try to update (portupgrade -af), the
upgrading never stops... I just stopped it with ctl+c after more than 30
hours... it was getting ridiculous.
The manual instructions say some like or can doe the portupgrade -af -
but, frankly, it isn't clear on why it should or could be done? It
implies it is a form of testing.  Nonsense... the instructions are
really not clear at all, at least for a dummy like me... (of course, my
studies in English literature and philosophy don't qualify me for
understanding anything, I guess...)

PROBLEM 3. I always have been running with a custom kernel. So, to
upgrade I am supposed to provide the GENERIC kernel in /boot. Ok, I went
through that process as per manual instructions. Had to reboot as I
needed to transfer some downloaded files from the 7.1 box to the 7.0 box
for port upgrading. That was a mistake. Nothing indicated that I could
not reboot without screwing things up... of course, I should have known
better; but I'm prone to that kind of error. But I'm pretty sure that
the automatic upgrade would not have worked anyway as it doesn't work on
the machine with 7.0 installed.
Booting on this 7.1 machine is now impossible. I tried to boot from the
install CD but that only made it worse. As I understood the instruction
it would upgrade the machine, but I understand now that it just doesn't
work that way... it has to be upgraded from a 7.2 CD. That I don't have
at the moment.
So the boot now just says:
Invalid format
FreeBSD/i386 boot
Default: 0:ad(0,a)/boot/kernel/kernel
Now, what do I do? How can I fix this machine so I can either just boot
and access my files or also upgrade to 7.2 (which was my original intent)?

PROBLEM 4. The machine with 7.1 - after a complete ports upgrade, I tried
# freebsd-update -r 7.2-RELEASE upgrade
and I get the famous no configuration file found.
Somehow, I don't recall that being indicated anywhere in the manual. Oh,
I did read it... several times... and the more I read it, the more I
didn't understand anything - from mergemaster to the configuration file
to the modular kernels ...
Maybe someone could explain to me just exaclty how is one supposed to
deal with the upgrading and customizing the kernel. Should one (I) be
simply using the GENERIC kernel and then expect the upgrading to be as
simple as it seems to sound?
And just what advantage (speed wise I suppose) is there to use the
custom kernel?
Maybe the easiest is to just install the 7.2 fresh; but that would take
the fun out of beating my head against an already cracked wall for
upgrading and would take probably as long to reinstall all the 644 or so
On the 7.1 machine, I don't really want to lose all the files I have on
there... most have been saved and none are really that important... but
"just in case".

If this seems too long to post as is, perhaps I should break it up and
make several posts?

Please help, I am totally confused, disappointed and terribly distressed.
But I still bear no love for that shitpile of MS.

Hervé Kempf: "Pour sauver la planète, sortez du capitalisme."
Phil Jourdan --- pj at

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