FreeBSD Update updatesIn the recent FreeBSD 6.2 release announcement, the FreeBSD release engineering team was kind enough to link to my earlier post about using FreeBSD Update to upgrade between FreeBSD releases. At last count based on my server logs, about 350 systems have been upgraded using FreeBSD Update over the course of five days, compared to about 500 upgrades using my earlier FreeBSD 6.0 to FreeBSD 6.1 upgrade script (over about seven months).
The increased testing has uncovered a few points which should be noted:
- While my earlier blog post concerned upgrading to FreeBSD 6.2-RC1, the same sequence of commands can be used to upgrade to FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE providing that you replace "6.2-RC1" with "6.2-RELEASE". If you simply replace it with "6.2", the script will error out after complaining that it cannot fetch files -- as far as FreeBSD Update is concerned, "FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE" exists but "FreeBSD 6.2" does not.
- FreeBSD Update never installs anything until after it has finished downloading everything (this applies to fetching security updates as well as the new release upgrading mode). If the fetching fails for some reason, don't worry; just run it again.
- FreeBSD Update normally stores its working files (e.g., downloaded updates/upgrades) in the /var/db/freebsd-update directory; but since this directory does not exist prior to FreeBSD 6.2, in my "walkthrough" of upgrading a system I told FreeBSD Update to put its working files into /usr/upgrade/ (this is controlled by the -d option to FreeBSD Update). Whatever directory you use, make sure you don't create any files or directories in it manually -- you're likely to confuse FreeBSD Update if you do.
Finally, some news from a week ago which I forgot to post: Thanks to a new buildbox, FreeBSD Update is now supported on the AMD64 architecture, at least for systems running the FreeBSD Update client in the FreeBSD 6.2 base system. Considering the statistics on FreeBSD architecture usage from the bittorrent tracker -- of the FreeBSD 6.2 ISOs downloaded, 83% were i386, 13% were amd64, and the other platforms (alpha, ia64, pc98, and sparc64) totalled 4% of the downloads -- I doubt that the Security Team will be building updates for other architectures any time soon; but if there is enough demand and hardware can be found, it's certainly possible.
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