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On Thu, 6 Feb 2003, Johannes Angeldorff wrote:

> 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...?

You can upgrade them, but it won't be safe.  5.0 is described on
www.freebsd.org as being a "New Technology" release - in other words,
not ready for the kind of production use you want to put it to.

I myself use 4.5 for my two most important machines.  But what they have
on them now is 4.5-RELEASE-p24, because I've updated them using cvsup,
and I specified RELENG_4_5 as the CVS branch to use.  This means there
are only minimal configuration changes to be applied with mergemaster
after updating, and the OS basically stays where it is, while still
getting all the right security updates for the base system.

> 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?

Read the handbook (www.freebsd.org/handbook/) very carefully in the
areas of "The Cutting Edge".  Remember that 5.0 is branched from
- -CURRENT, not -STABLE.  Then decide to cvsup to RELENG_4_5 unless there
is an important feature you really need in later 4.x releases.  Make
sure you practise any updates first on a sacrificial box first too.

I'm reckoning on carrying on with 4.x releases for at least another
year, maybe 18 months for ultra-production stuff.  We'll see.  My
experience of the switch in Linux land between their 2.2 and 2.4
kernels, (my original reason for switching to FreeBSD, BTW) makes me
very cautious of these kind of major changes.

- -- 
W. Palfreman.
Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (FreeBSD)


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