On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 03:20:32AM +0100, Johannes Angeldorff wrote:

> I am happy to use FreeBSD for web, mail and applications serving. But 
> when I come to the question about how to upgrade to a newer FreeBSD 
> version, I really could need your expertise!
> We have two FreeBSD 4.5 boxes. Both boxes have been installed with 
> FreeBSD 4.5 from CD, and then tweaked with reconfigured kernels and a 
> few applications installed, mainly qmail (replacing sendmail), 
> mod-php, mysql, pico and a few more. Both boxes have around 25 users 
> each. Both boxes have tweaked settings in /etc/rc.conf and some other 
> /etc/-files.
> My question is, if anyone can give a hint on how to upgrade safely 
> from FreeBSD 4.5 to FreeBSD 5.0...?
> If we download FreeBSD 5.0 and install it on our FreeBSD 4.5 boxes, 
> what will we have to do? Is there risk that all settings, contents 
> and installed applications will be erased?

First of all, FreeBSD-5.0 isn't ready to be used on production systems
yet.  It won't be ready for that until the RELENG_5 tags are laid down
and 5-STABLE is created, and that won't happen for some months yet.

If these boxes are generating income for you, or if any of their users
are relying on them to provide vital services, then you should stop
and think really carefully before you go ahead with upgrading to 5.0.
This page: http://www.freebsd.org/releases/5.0R/early-adopter.html has
a good discussion of the pros and cons.

You may well be better served by upgrading to the latest 4-STABLE or
4.7-RELEASE-pN version. You might even consider 4.5-RELEASE-pN if
you'ld prefer minimal changes.  However, there have been some nasty
security bugs present in 4.5-RELEASE that have been fixed in RELENG_4
and also RELENG_4_6 and RELENG_4_7, which are the supported release
branches, but those fixes may not have been back-ported to RELENG_4_5
or earlier.  If all this RELENG_x_y stuff seems like gibberish to you,
read appendix A6 of the handbook:


If you haven't ever updated a FreeBSD system before, upgrading to one
of those versions will provide you with useful experience when it
comes to doing the rather harder 4.x to 5.0 jump.  General
instructions for performing the update may be found in
/usr/src/UPDATING, but that pre-supposes you've managed to download
the appropriate versions of the sources.  The most popular method for
getting hold of the up-to-date sources is discussed in appendix A5 of
the handbook:


On the other hand, take a look at the 'To upgrade from 4.x-stable to
current' section near the end of:


It's certainly possible to do what you ask without having to blow away
all of your existing configuration, given certain caveats.  If you're
sure that's what you want to do, then get yourself some good backups
and go for it.

        Good luck.


Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK

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