Unable to boot FreeBSD 8.0

Christopher Key cjk32 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Mar 24 17:33:27 UTC 2010

Christopher Key wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm using FreeBSD 7.2, and am attempting to update to 8.0.
> I've been through the standard,
> make buildworld
> make buildkernel
> make installkernel
> but cannot get the newly installed kernel to boot.  The system freezes
> as soon as the loader tries to boot the kernel.  It doesn't even get as
> far as the copyright message:
> Type '?' for a list of commands, 'help' for more detailed help.
> OK boot -Dd
> \
Problem solved.  Hopefully the answer might be of use to others, as it
doesn't seem too uncommon a situation.

I'm using a serial console.  By default, FreeBSD 7 had both uart and sio
compiled into the kernel, but device.hints gave configuration info for
sio only.  FreeBSD 8 removed sio support completely, leaving uart only. 
As device.hints contains nothing about uart, there was no serial device
available for the console.  The system was infact starting to boot quite
happily, albeit without any console output, but wasn't completeing due
to geom_mirror not having been loaded.  The solution was simply to
change hint.sio.[01].* to hint.uart.[01].* in device.hints, and to
change ttyd0 to ttyu0 in /etc/ttys.

Christopher Key

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