Upgrade from i386-8.0 to amd64-8.0 possible?

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 23 00:12:18 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 04:16:53PM -0600, LoH wrote:
> I've got a system currently running FreeBSD-i386-8.0, and was wondering 
> whether or not it's possible to move the system to FreeBSD-amd64-8.0 
> without bringing it down for more than a reboot or two 

It is possible, but not recommended. First of all, you'll need a free
(root) partition to install the new amd64 kernel and world into. And you need
to rebuild not only the kernel, but the userland binaries ("world") as well.

> (and avoid reinstalling all of the client software on the box itself).

Realize that if you _ever_ want to update a port (which is still a i386 binary), those
ports will be rebuilt as amd64 binaries, and linking (to libraries that are
still i386) will fail.

Likewise, is you update a library, all i386 binaries that depend on it will
stop working because the library becomes amd64. Unless you copy the old
library to a lib32 directory which you then have to tell ldconfig how to find.

> The box itself will be undergoing a hardware change from a dual xeon 
> (P4, not 64bit) to a dual opteron. I think I can boot i386, set up a 
> amd64 cross-compile, then compile a new kernel with it, or do a binary 
> change to the new arch and then reboot.

Do yourself a big favor. Back up your data, configuration files and a list of
your ports, en delete all ports. Then install amd64 cleanly on the new
machine. Restore your data. Re-build your ports from scratch, or install packages.

R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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