Question About Tracking the Stable Branch

Jamie Paul Griffin jamie at
Tue Aug 28 22:34:16 UTC 2012

[ Freddie Cash wrote on Tue 28.Aug'12 at 14:12:10 -0700 ]

> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM, Kevin Oberman <kob6558 at> wrote:
> > In all cases, if you rebuild the kernel, be sure that the old kernel
> > is saved to kernel.old so you can go back to it if there si a problem.
> > 'make installkernel' does this) and, should you fix a problem and
> > re-link the kernel, be sure NOT to overwrite the working kernel ('make
> > reinstallkernel' does this.
> It's not mentioned often on the lists, but KODIR and nextboot(8) are
> wonderful things:
>   # make <whatever options> buildworld
>   # make KERNCONF=MYKERNEL <whatever other options> buildkernel
>   # make KERNCONF=MYKERNEL KODIR=/boot/MYKERNEL <whatever other
> options> installkernel
>   # nextboot -k MYKERNEL
>   # shutdown -r now
> That will install your new kernel into /boot/MYKERNEL, leaving
> /boot/kernel alone.  nextboot configures the boot process to use
> /boot/MYKERNEL, again leaving /boot/kernel along.  If anything goes
> wrong, a simple reboot of the box returns you to using /boot/kernel as
> before.
> If the new kernel works correctly, then you can manually copy/moves
> things around as needed:
>   # mv /boot/kernel /boot/kernel.old
>   # cp -Rvp /boot/MYKERNEL /boot/kernel
> Especially useful when testing new kernels on remote systems, as "hit
> the reset switch" on a locked up box puts things back to the way they
> were before.  No loader commands required.  :)

OK, thanks for each response, some really useful info for me.

I've always updated my -RELEASE systems using the traditional method so it seems it's no different other than perhaps updating more frequently and deciding whether or not both kernel code and userland code needs to be rebuilt together.

It certainly seems a bad idea for me as someone with a lot to learn, to patch specific parts of the source tree and rebuild those parts as something is bound to go wrong at some point for me. 

I want to be able to test the new code and report issues to help in that way with a view to adding code fixes to the project. 

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