where to ask about problems with bsdinstall in 9.0RC2?

William Bulley web at umich.edu
Sat Nov 19 22:25:36 UTC 2011

According to Robert Bonomi <bonomi at mail.r-bonomi.com> on Sat, 11/19/11 at 10:08:
> IIRC, the error message was "out of inodes".  
> This means something was trying to put *lots* (where 'lots' is  relative
> number, depending on the size of the filesystem :) of little files on the 
> filesystem.  You were _not_ out of 'free space' on the filesystem, just out
> of slots for file 'metadata'.  Newfs, if not told specifically how many
> inodes to allocate, makes a 'guess' based on the size of the slice -- thus
> increasing the size of a partition will have an automatic 'side effect' of
> increasing the total number of inodes.  However, by explicitly stating the
> number of inodes, or the inodes per unit of storage, when running newfs,
> one can get more (or fewer) inodew _without_ having to change partition
> sizes.  Most significantly, one can do this -- change the number of inodes,
> that is -- *without* having to destroy/recreate any other partitions on
> the same physical device.
> SECONDLY, if this happened -during- the install,  and the complaint 
> was about "/var" -- as distinct from something like '/a/var', or '/mnt/var'
> Then the problem is *NOT* on the drives you are installing *ONTO*, but 
> on the media you are installing _from_.  At a guess, the installer is 
> using /var -- probably /var/tmp -- to keep scratchpad files in, and there
> are not enough inodes for the installer.  could it be unpacking tarfiles
> there, move/copy onto the 'target' media?  
> You're installing from a memory stick right?   You may need to rebuild
> the filesystem on the stick, _manually_ specifying a larger number of
> inodes for the filesystem that /var is part of.

No that was not the error.  The error was something along the lines of:

   "var/xxxx xxxx"

but I don't recall the exact text of the error message - the main point
of my previous messages was to point out the missing leading slash, not
"/var", but just "var" - which at the time I thought was most unusual.

This was happening during an "attempted" install of 9.0RC2 from DVD ISO
as in:


and was not an attempt from a memory stick.

Thanks for the reply, but based on another reply, I think my problem
has stemmed from the use of bsdinstall which apparently doesn't do a
very good job of installing a subsequent version of FreeBSD on top of
an existing (prior) version of same.

Had I been able to upgrade using the normal methods (buildworld and
installworld) from 8.2-STABLE to 9.0RC1 or 9.0RC2 I would have, but
during the kernel compile process I got a compile time error (that
was trying to upgrade to RC1 just prior to the arrival of RC2) and
there was no way I could deal with that.  Interestingly enough, in
looking around following that failed upgrade attempt, the RC1 ISOs
and so forth were missing from ftp.freebsd.org which I thought was
odd.  Shortly thereafter RC2 was being seen around *.freebsd.org in
various places, so I must have been making this attempt during the
transition from RC1 to RC2 in all the distribution places.

This convinced me to burn a new DVD (against the RC2 ISO) but then
I got hammered by the not-ready-for-prime-time bsdintall program...  :-(

Thanks again.



William Bulley                     Email: web at umich.edu

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