Upgrade old System

Doug Hardie bc979 at lafn.org
Sun Nov 12 21:03:15 UTC 2017

> On 11 November 2017, at 02:18, Matthew Seaman <matthew at freebsd.org> wrote:
> On 11/11/2017 09:54, Polytropon wrote:
>>>> FreeBSD 8.2-STABLE #1: Wed Aug 24 10:25:44 CEST 2011 :-)
>>> Unfortunately, re-installation is not possible.  Its just not
>>> accessible except via ssh.
>> Okay, this is limiting your options. Maybe you can use source
>> update, but not directly from 8.2 to 11.1, but instead to 9.0,
>> 10.0, 11.0; it's possible that you also need to upgrade each
>> of the major versions to the maximum minor version first, then
>> make the switch to the next major version.
> One thing to check before you start: is the root partition large enough?
> The space required for the root has grown steadily over the years and
> complaints about running out of space used to be a regular refrain on
> the lists when a new major release came out.  Much less of a problem
> nowadays given the installer defaults to a single big partition for
> pretty much everything.

I've been bit by that a few times.  Some of the servers started out on version 3.5 and have been updated until 9.x.  While those have gone away recently, I got hit twice by that issue on each over the years of upgrades.  This machine has only one partition per drive.  For some reason, I don't recall, I put /usr on a separate drive.  It doesn't need to be as this is a demo machine for a client.  It only needs 13 GB total.  Anyway, looking at the effort required to incrementally upgrade vi freebsd-update, it's just not worth the time.  All the production servers went via the upgrade process over the years. This one lost it's internet connection and sat unused for many years.  So I know the upgrade path is viable, but I remember the work involved.  I am currently building a copy of the production system into the demo system and will scp it up when finished.  My main concern is that when the drive has been upgraded via tar, will the kernel still work enough to be able to reboot?  The shutdown binary will have been replaced with the new one.  I suspect I will need to use the shutdown in /rescue to avoid issues with upgraded libraries.

-- Doug

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