freebsd-udapte upgrade.

Jim Pingle lists at
Thu Nov 6 14:31:54 UTC 2014

On 11/06/2014 08:52 AM, Paul Mather wrote:
> On Nov 5, 2014, at 5:40 PM, Peter Ankerstål <peter at> wrote:
>> But its too easy to corrupt your setup completely. This is much worse than mergemaster. And I haven’t seen any instructions on this in the handbook.
> I agree.  I am more used to and more comfortable with source-based updates, but I have fairly recently started using freebsd-update on quite a few servers to help out co-admins newer to FreeBSD, who might be put off by updating from source.
> I'm more accustomed to mergemaster, and I like its merge options and way of merging changes to config files.  I'm not too familiar with

It is definitely too easy to leave a file in a state that is
corrupt/broken which can cause a subsequent boot to fail in various
ways, depending on which file was broken.

I would love to see this work more like mergemaster. Having it
(optionally) ignore ID tag changes and use the much more user-friendly
merge choices would be a big win. That, and mergemaster's database of
unmodified files that can be auto-upgraded if it hasn't already been
addressed somehow.

Recently I was upgrading some older systems and on two of them,
freebsd-update wanted to touch nearly every file in /etc. I ended up
tarring the merge dir up and copying it over to another system and doing
some search/replace to fix things manually, then copying back over to
the system being upgraded. It was an ugly dance, but it saved time over
hand editing 300+ files during the freebsd-update process.

The details of that system elude me at the moment but that may have been
partially self-induced by moving from source-based updates to
freebsd-update after a specific release.

When it works and goes smoothly, freebsd-update is great and a real time
saver vs source updating, especially on older systems. Mergemaster works
great (especially using custom settings for merging) for source
upgrades. Getting the two together (to me) seems like a classic
chocolate/peanut butter moment. But perhaps there is some other drawback
I'm not seeing.


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