Help! Upgrade from fbsd 5.4 to 8.x
skeezix at skeleton.org
Sun Jan 31 04:10:21 UTC 2010
Hello my friends,
I've just noticed one of my beloved headless shell boxen is
FreeBSD 5.4; its a workhorse I've been neglecting far too long and I'd
really like to bring it up to 'current' (say fbsd 8.x). For awhile it was
held back by very specific applications I had to support, but I'm in the
Given the age of the installation, I'm wondering what the
recommended upgrade path would be.
ie: This machine has a lot going on .. wiki's (ie: apache et al),
mysql databases, mailing lists, and a dozen hand rolled applications.
(Hey, someone has to write custom emulators of ancient systems to keep
BBSes alive, right?) Naturally, /etc is modified all to hell, and I'm
terrified of any automated upgrades for fear random things would just not
work later. Especially with the age... Things work great, but I worry
about security naturally, and keeping up with patches or installing
anything new is a nightmare due to dependancies.
o I should be able to identify most important changes and data;
/etc, /home, the kernel build path so I've got the old kernel conf files I
used for this machine (yay!), /usr/local was used instead of polluting
o I'd love if I coudl do an upgrade, and things would still work;
I mean, from samba configuration etc and so on, eveyrthign is great. I
realize this is unlikely though .. upgrading services likely means conf
changes all over the random place, etc.
o Some of the executables on this box are without source but I
still need them to run; short of moving them to a VM and doing some
voodoo, what are the chances a binary built for fbsd 5.x works fine in
8.x? (earlier fbsd's had the break between gcc versions, but I'm rather
hoping thats not a problem here.)
gcc (GCC) 3.4.2 [FreeBSD] 20040728
The obvious options are..
1 - upgrade step by step; go from fbsd 5.4 to 6.4 (say) to 7.2
(say) to 8.0
2 - one big-ass upgrade from 5.4 to 8 (*fear*)
3 - yank the drive, slap a giant new fat drive in there, do a full
fbsd 8.0 install, and then migration from old drive as needed
Strikes me most people will recommend (3) -- nice big new drive,
no risk of destroying a working machine (can always slap old drive back
in), easy migration of service by service, etc and so on. Strikes me as a
PITA, but then again .. the others are probably all PITAs as well given
the age of the box. Something will break, so maybe its best to just start
fresh with a nice new install and go from there.
*ugh* but that'll teach me to stay on top of it more :)
Aside -- whats the recommended way to stay on top of upgrades
anyway? It used to be a tortuous process back 5 years ago, but hopefully
things are much more streamlined now .. nightly 'make upgrade' ftw :)
If everyone would put barbecue sauce on their food, there would be no war.
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