On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 03:20:32AM +0100, Johannes Angeldorff wrote:
> Dear FreeBSD:ers,
> 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?
> Very thankful for all help on this matter...!

Do I understand from your mail that you use the machines for business
purposes?  If so, I would really think twice before upgrading to 5.0.
It is good, but not yet as stable as the more mature 4.x branch.  If 
you want to upgrade, then go as far as 4.7, and no further yet.

You will find good instructions on how to do this at 


Following these instructions will ensure you have few problems, and all
your app configs will be safe.  But still, take a backup.  To upgrade to
4.7-STABLE, use the CVS tag RELENG_4.  To follow the 4.7 security branch,
use the tag RELENG_4_7.

If, however, your machines are not critical, then by all means try 5.0,
but be prepared for teething troubles.  See the Early Adopter's Guide at


for more details of what to look out for.  I have never tried an upgrade
from 4.x to 5, so can't comment on how easy it is (I would think, though,
it would be fairly straightforward).  Your application configs _should_ be
safe, but take a backup.  Take a backup, sing it with me, take a backup!

I would probably go for a comletely fresh install, though, as there are
some fairly fundamental architectural changes between 4.x and 5.0.  A new
install (i.e. reworking your partition scheme, doing newfs, etc) will 
ensure there is no "old" stuff lying around to get in the way and confuse


Daniel Bye

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