On Mon, 4 Dec 2006, Rachel Florentine wrote:

I entered the following stupid command: cp -R /* /ad2 thinking that would copy the contents of my working HD to my new 1/2 teraflop HD (ad2). What it did was manage to wipe out some very important files (thank goodness I had up-to-date backups) and it appears to have corrupted gcc...my C compiler. I deduce this because when I go to build Zope (as an example) from source I have to run a script afterwards that repairs the broken C files. (This, strangely, is not the case if I build Zope from port.) So, my questions for you programmers more experienced than I, are:

1) Does my assessment make sense? Is gcc corrupt?

No, or the port would not be able to build correctly. That is the main point of the ports system, of course: to correctly build software on FreeBSD.

2) Whether it is or not, how should I troubleshoot/fix my problem? It seems to me I should re-install FBSD, but how?

An additional feature of the ports system is that it makes deinstalling ported software easy. Since you've installed software without using the port, making sure all of the files and side-effects are removed when deinstalling is much more difficult.

My suggestion would be to reinstall FreeBSD from scratch. Do a clean install of FreeBSD, then back it up with dump as shown in the Handbook. In fact, any time a question comes up, check the Handbook first for the preferred way to solve it.

Add applications from ports so they'll be installed correctly for FreeBSD and will be easy to update. Make backups with dump as you go, so you can restore to a known-good setup. Once you get a Zope instance installed, make an additional backup of it by copying the Data.fs file somewhere safe. With all that done, you can start experimenting.

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA
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