Thanks for the education Sergey. This makes a lot more sense now.Hello,
I'm making plans to upgrade from 4.7 RELEASE to 4.8 RELEASE. My previous attempt was a binary upgrade from 4.5 to 4.7 which did not go very well. I eventually purchased the 4.7 CD.
The FreeBSD Handbook stresses backing up the system and implies that /dump/ is a better backup program. Chapter 22.214.171.124 of the handbook recommends having a copy of the boot and fixit floppies available and making sure they have all your devices, otherwise you'll need to prepare two bootable custom floppies that contain /fdisk, disklabel, newfs, mount, /and your backup program. It goes on to say that these programs must be statically linked. I understand hard and soft links but I'm not familiar with static links. The handbook also provides a script for creatinng a bootable floppy.
A static link is a firm link:) Seriously, static linking has nothing to do with filesystem links. A statically linked program just uses no shared libraries. AFAICT the programs in /stand (and /bin and /sbin) are statically linked (note that those in /stand are also a "crunchbox", that is, a single "monolithic" program which runs differently depending on the name it was run as). You really have to mess with this only if you are going to write your own program to run from a boot floppy.
You can use file(1) if you want to see if a program is staticlally linked:
$ file /usr/bin/find /usr/bin/find: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (FreeBSD), for FreeBSD 4.8, dynamically linked (uses shared libs), stripped
$ file /stand/find /stand/find: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (FreeBSD), for FreeBSD 4.8, statically linked, stripped
I never prepared a boot floppy when I initially installed 4.7 so I thought the handbook was suggesting a necessary alternative (?). If it's not absolutely necessary, I'll skip it.
Any suggestions relative to the upgrade process is also appreciated.
That's what I've heard and I suspect you're right. However, AFAICT, past failures have usually come as a result of not following the handbook. Maybe this floppy is a bit of overkill though.
In fact, a source update isn't as dangerous as you expect.
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