On Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 09:11:01PM +0000, neal wrote:
> I've checked out all the main functions I want from FreeBSD and had them 
> all working (hehe, but since broke some) so I'm happy it will do the things 
> I want so far.
> First question, what is recommended regarding doing updates. Is it best to 
> just do all of them?

It depends. If the update of the base system concerns something that you
use, I would definitely install it.

The best way to keep the base system up-to-date is using csup (which is
still referenced in the Handbook in §20.3 as cvsup).

For updating the ports tree I can recommend portsnap. For updating the
ports themselves I use portmaster.

> I have always had problems doing this e.g. with 
> Mandrake and other Linuxs and so am reluctant, but if it is usual I'll give 
> it a try.

The upgrade tools on FreeBSD work quite well. But if you're rebuilding
your own ports it can take quite some time depending on your machine.

> (I'm also reluctant as I assume a full update will update xorg to 
> 7.3 and I have 7.2 installed with the latest nvidia 9# driver and it works 
> beautifully so would rather stay with that.

There is a new beta driver available.

> I have read the Handbook, but still have a problem understanding how to map 
> my ext2 and ext3 partitions to the UFS notation. e.g.

The notation is a BSD thing, it has nothing to do with UFS.

> I have a drive hda, 
> it has a swap an unused space and four partitions one of which is my home 
> partition hda7. How do I refer to this home partition using ad0???
> notation 

If you do 'ls ad0*' you'll see what is available. Remember that what DOS
and Linux calls partitions are called slices in FreeBSD. Partitions in
FreeBSD are subdivisions of a slice. E.g. ad0s1a is partition a of slice
1 of ad0. Customarily, slice b is used for swap, and slice c is
unused. You can see this with the 'bsdlabel' command.

> (as this is what I understand I need to do, if not please enlighten). I 
> have installed the ext2fs utilities/drivers and can mount an ext2 fs 
> written on dvd without problems.

I would recommend converting the disk to native UFS2 filesystems. I'm
not sure if mounting an ext2 slice read/write is such a good idea. Make
(in Linux, e.g. Knoppix) a tarball of your data and seve it to another disk or
CD,DVD. Reslice and format the disk with sysinstall, and restore your

You might find §16.3 of the Handbook enlightening.

> I intend to do a completely fresh install and would like to compile for my 
> specific pc kit. Would I be best doing this following installation and 
> initial setting up?

Yes. Read Chapter 4 of the Handbook about ports. My FreeBSD page has
some tips about setting port variables in make.conf;

R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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