Upgrading FreeBSd when using a zfs-only installation?

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Sun Mar 13 20:40:11 UTC 2011

On 13/03/2011 17:37, Randal L. Schwartz wrote:
>>>>>> "Adam" == Adam Vande More <amvandemore at gmail.com> writes:
> Adam> On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM, Randal L. Schwartz
> Adam> <merlyn at stonehenge.com>wrote:
>>> http://forums.freebsd.org/showpost.php?p=94557&postcount=19
> Adam> Well those are his modified upgrade instructions, they seem
> Adam> relatively sound but the extra steps aren't required.  The gpart
> Adam> stuff is to update the boot loader which is only necessary if you
> Adam> upgrade the file system or pool eg zfs/zpool upgrade.  You should
> Adam> probably run this just to prevent potential severe pain later.
> No, this was *absolutely* necessary for the 8.1 upgrade, because the
> binary-installed boot loader was still ZFS ignorant.
> I'm just asking if it's *still* necessary for 8.2.  Does the 8.2 boot
> loader now know about ZFS if I install it from freebsd-update?
> Keep in mind, I'm booting straight from ZFS.  There are no UFS
> partitions on my disk.

A system update via freebsd-update or otherwise won't touch whatever
bootblocks you have installed.  So if you have already installed
gptzfsboot and your system already boots ZFS v12 then it will continue
to boot ZFS v12 without your touching anything to do with boot blocks.

However, with the 8.1 -> 8.2 upgrade, you get (inter-alia) ZFS v13
support (I think it's v13 -- all my personal kit is running the stable/8
v28 patchset...) plus equivalent zpool version bump.  The 8.1 bootblocks
don't understand ZFS v13.  If you wish to update the on-disk formats of
your ZFS stuff: 'zpool upgrade -a' or 'zfs upgrade -a' then you *will*
need to reinstall the gptzfsboot boot-blocks.

You don't have to update the ZFS formats, but you'll miss out on various
performance and bug-fixes if you don't.

Given that the gptzfsboot boot blocks are backwards compatible to older
ZFS versions, highly recommended to update the boot blocks even if you
aren't intending to upgrade the ZFS bits just yet.  Just as an
anti-foot-shooting measure.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey     Ramsgate
JID: matthew at infracaninophile.co.uk               Kent, CT11 9PW

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