Upgrading very old installation

krad kraduk at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 17:19:05 UTC 2011

On 15 July 2011 16:25, Steven Friedrich <FreeBSD at insightbb.com> wrote:

> On 7/15/2011 9:38 AM, Matthew Seaman wrote:
>> On 15/07/2011 13:20, Jaime Kikpole wrote:
>>> I'm running a FreeBSD 6.x server that hasn't been updated in about 1.5
>>> years.
>>> atlas:~>uname -mprs
>>> FreeBSD 6.4-RELEASE-p8 i386 i386
>>> What is the recommended way to upgrade it to something current?
>>> Should I upgrade it to the most recent 6.x and then to 7.x and then to
>>> 8.x?  Or should I use a more direct route, upgrading it straight to
>>> the 8-RELEASE branch?
>> You'll almost certainly find it quicker and less painful to just
>> reinstall using an up to date version of FreeBSD.  Personally, I'd go
>> and buy a new hard drive for the machine, install the latest OS and
>> applications on that and then copy over data etc.  It helps if you can
>> have both drives mounted in the same machine at once.
>> There are variations on this theme -- for instance if your server has
>> mirrored HDDs then you can split the mirror, re-install on one half,
>> reconcile configurations, data, user accounts between the two halves
>> and ultimately resynch the old drive to the new one.
>> The big advantage of this sort of approach is that you get your new
>> install up and running and tested before you need to commit to the
>> potentially irreversible step of overwriting your last copy of the old
>> one.
>>        Cheers,
>>        Matthew
>>  Excellent advice, Matt.  You rock.
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You need to do your risk analysis to decide what route to take.The safe way
is to do the 2nd drive method mentioned previously. If you decide to upgrade
I would advise you to do the make world method. Its older and therefore more
tested, and as you have said you are more familiar with it.

I have done about 40+ upgrades from 6.x to 8.x. I did a step to 7 in the
middle, and all worked fine. The only oddity I found was that when I went
from 7.x to 8.x dangerously dedicated disks devices were presented

In 7.x you had ad0a, ad0b etc under /dev, but you also had ad0s1a, ad0s1b
etc as well
In 8.x you only had ones of the format ad0a.

the oddity was the ad0s1a format ones being present prior to 8 being
present, as I wouldn't have expected these.
This was only and issue as whoever had built to box i inherited had used the
ad0s1a format ones so on rebooting to 8.x we had issues. A quick edit of
fstab fixed the issue though.

Also make sure you have mergemaster configured proply as it will take a load
of work out of the upgrades. Here is my rc for it. You may need to tune it a

cat /etc/mergemaster.rc

PRESERVE_FILES_DIR=/var/mergemaster/preserved-files-`date +%y%m%d-%H%M%S`

IGNORE_FILES="/etc/crontab /etc/fstab /etc/group /etc/hosts /etc/inetd.conf
/etc/make.conf /etc/master.passwd /etc/motd /etc/newsyslog.conf
/etc/ntp.conf /etc/ntp.drift /etc/profile /etc/rc.conf /etc/resolv.conf
/etc/services /etc/shells /etc/syslog.conf /etc/ssh/sshd_config
/etc/ssh/ssh_host_key /etc/ssh/ssh_host_key.pub /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
/etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key.pub /etc/passwd /etc/rc.conf.local
/etc/zfs/exports /etc//namedb/named.conf /etc/periodic.conf /etc/hosts.allow
/etc/hosts /etc/pf.conf /etc/sysctl.conf /etc/make.conf /etc/src.conf
/etc/mail/aliases /etc/mail/mailer.conf /etc/remote"

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