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Upgrading to FreeBSD 4.6.2 using sysinstall

By Jeremy C. Reed

FreeBSD 4.6.2 was released last week. It is a maintenance release for the -STABLE development branch. It includes several fixes, including for the OpenSSH "off-by-one" bug. (According to the release notes, 4.6.1 was not officially released due to some release engineering issues.)

This article quickly overviews some steps used in upgrading to 4.6.2-RELEASE using sysinstall. In this example, the system was running 4.5-RELEASE and was not a production server.

Be sure to have backups of your currently-installed system before doing a major upgrade like this.

The installed /stand/sysinstall's upgrade option does not upgrade to the next version. An easy way to get the 4.6.2 sysinstall is with the boot floppies. So retrieve the kern.flp and mfsroot.flp images from your favorite FTP server from the /pub/FreeBSD/releases/i386/4.6.2-RELEASE/floppies/ directory.

Then use dd(1) to write the image to the floppies, like:

  dd if=kern.flp of=/dev/rfd0
  dd if=mfsroot.flp of=/dev/rfd0 # on a second floppy disk

(You can use fdformat(1) to verify your floppies. We had five bad floppies.)

Boot with the floppy disk with kern.flp and then insert the mfsroot floppy when asked for it.

You can probably skip the kernel configuration setup and then choose the "Upgrade" option from the sysinstall menu. It is important to note that the sysinstall user interface doesn't easily allow you to go back and make changes to previous choices -- so be sure to double-check your answers to save time.

First, it will give you a warning that you should have already made backups.

Then it asks for your disklabel partitioning information, because it needs to know the mount points. So arrow down to the partitions and press "M" and type in the mount point directory for each of your partitions. Then when you "Q" (quit) out of the disklabel, it mounts those partitions and runs fsck on them.

Then a message about /usr/src may be displayed. Basically, it says that it does not fully update the source and to use a different method to upgrade your source.

In addition, the sysinstall upgrade saves your etc/ directory and saves your current kernel to /kernel.prev.

Also, you select the distribution sets and if you want to retrieve the ports collection too.

Then choose your install media. We used "FTP Passive" and then selected the FTP server to use.

The upgrade will then ask you about your network interface, if you want to use IPv6, and if you want to use DHCP.

Then the interface and networking information may need to be entered. This was mostly completed by default. Be sure to press the Enter (Return) key after completing a field, because if you use the arrow key, it may return back to the previous setting.

The download will then begin if everything is configured correctly. A progress bar will be displayed, for example, "Extracting bin into / directory ...". And at the bottom of the screen, it will show total bytes read and how many Kilo-bytes per second that the transfer is averaging. (Ours was around 180 to 200 KBytes/sec.)

When finished, you'll received a message saying "Upgrade Completed!" Your /etc files are restored and new /etc files are placed in the /etc/upgrade/ directory.

Then you can exit sysinstall and it will reboot. Be sure to eject the floppy disk. It should then boot into your new FreeBSD 4.6.2-RELEASE system.

You may need to look at the new /etc/upgrade/ files and merge or replace your current configurations as necessary. For example, we used the new /etc/upgrade/ssh and /etc/upgrade/mail files.


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September 16, 2013 11:24:29

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