getting ports updated on an older FreeBSD (5.1)

Warren Block wblock at
Tue Jun 23 15:49:01 UTC 2015

On Tue, 23 Jun 2015, Matthew Seaman wrote:

> On 06/23/15 08:59, Christoph Kukulies wrote:
>> Although you may be right with regard to obsoleteness of 5.0.0 and my
>> 5.1 version in general,
>> I'm wondering whether it would be possible to
>> run a 10.1 executable under 5.1 (possible link it statically?).
> 5.1 Release happened during a particularly difficult period for FreeBSD
> development. As I recall, it was quite quickly superseded by 5.2 release
> due to technical inadequacies, and it wasn't until the 6.x series that
> FreeBSD really got back on track.
>> At the moment I'm urgently in need to update an intranet forum (pbpBB3) to
>> a 3.1.5 version and this requires a newer (>= 5.3.3) version of php.
> Your quickest and most reliable way forward is to upgrade your FreeBSD
> box to something supported.  Given you're starting from such an old
> base, the way I'd approach this is to buy a new hard drive, install it
> in parallel with your old drive (if possible) and then create a new
> install of FreeBSD 10.1, install all the software you need and migrate
> over the configurations, passwd file etc. from the old system.

Agreed, except I would suggest a completely separate computer for the 
new install.  Old stuff that has been running for years can be fragile. 
Moving a cable that has been motionless for years can make it fail, and 
it's somehow a given that these systems are never backed up.

Given the age of the 5.1 system, replacement hardware is probably easily 
available (free), or a VM can be used.  The old system can be imaged 
onto a second drive or partition on the new system for convenience of 
copying configurations, or just copy them from the live old system with 
rsync or scp.

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