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
backup.

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;
http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/freebsd/index.html 

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