I'm trying to convince my cow-orkers and my boss to switch to FreeBSD
from Debian GNU/Linux.  The systems we are talking about are
workstations (desktop or laptop PCs), our servers are running Solaris.

So far, my experience with FreeBSD has been running on my home
computer.  There, I use "portupgrade -avR" for upgrading the ports,
and the procedure described in /usr/src/UPDATING for upgrading the
base system.

Some of us will want to just use the machine, without bothering about
the configuration.  Others will act as sysadmins, tweaking the
configuration.  I've already pretty much decided that cfengine will be
our friend -- it allows us to tweak the configuration incrementally,
and all those who don't want to think about it will get the config
changes automatically.

Now comes the issue of upgrading the system.

I understand that this will be fairly easy for the ports collection:
just nfs-mount the right directories, and pass "-pP" to the
portupgrade program.  Maybe those who don't want to think about it can
say "portupgrade -avRPP".  (Is this the right command?)

But for the base system, I'm not so sure.  I've read the chapter in
the handbook talking about nfs-mounting /usr/obj and /usr/src.  But
that still requires people to do

    shutdown now
    cd /usr/src
    mergemaster -p
    make installkernel installworld

Is this correct?

I wonder if this could be made easier.  I'd be surprised if there
wasn't a method of doing binary upgrades already.  For example, if we
decided to track releases, would that enable us to do binary upgrades
using sysinstall, say?  I vaguely remember having seen an upgrade
option in there...

I guess I just haven't read the right documentation, yet.  Normally,
with FreeBSD, one doesn't need to ask the community, one just reads
the documentation ;-)


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