Newbie Question About System Update

Kevin Oberman oberman at
Tue Apr 19 09:39:00 PDT 2005

> Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 09:28:39 -0400
> From: Bill Moran <wmoran at>
> Sender: owner-freebsd-stable at
> Jim Campbell <jim-c at> wrote:
> > I've been away from *NIX a few years.  I have been playing with FreeBSD 
> > for a week or so now with mixed results.  I am using release 4.11 
> > because for some reason 5.3 has problems seeing my hard drives.  4.11, 
> > Red Hat Linux and NetBSD have no such trouble.
> > 
> > This afternoon I used the "Updating Sources with CVSup" in the FreeBSD 
> > Cheat Sheets and everything worked as advertized.  I believe that it 
> > advised against using "make world" and suggested that I use "19.4.1 The 
> > Canonical Way to Update Your System" in the Handbook.  I went through 
> > the following steps with no problem:
> > 
> >  # make buildworld
> >  # make installworld
> >  # mergemaster
> >  # reboot
> This is not correct, and this is not what 19.4.1 says.  The correct
> procedure is as Mike Schultz described.  Please review that section of
> the handbook.
> If you did, indeed, do as you described, then you have a world that's
> out of sync with your kernel.  Try this:
> 1) Boot in to single user mode
> 2) fsck
> 3) mount -a
> 4) cd /usr/src
> 5) make buildkernel
> 6) make installkernel
> 7) reboot
> If you're unable to complete those steps, then you may be better off
> reinstalling and trying again - write it off as part of the learning
> process.  There are ways to restore your system if you've made this
> mistake and the above doesn't work, but it's rather advanced stuff.

The right answer is to read and follow the instructions in
/usr/src/UPDATING. (They are near the bottom of the file.)

The list above missed adjkerntz (not needed if the hardware clock is
running UTC). Adding swapon -a is a good safety net, too. I was
recently bitten when I forgot.

But rather then generate more poor or incomplete examples for people to
trip over, the canonical answer should be to follow the instructions in
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at			Phone: +1 510 486-8634

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