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Staying current with FreeBSD - using CVSup to upgrade FreeBSD 14 January 1999
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FreeBSD is not a static operating system.  It is changing all the time.   Changes eventually make their way from one -current to -stable to -release.   For more detail, please see The Cutting Edge: FreeBSD-current and FreeBSD-stable of the FreeBSD Handbook.

I have decided to follow the -stable branch.  And as the -stable instructions say, the first thing I did was subscribe to the freebsd-stable and cvs-all mailing lists.  Then I followed the instructions for Synchronizing Your Source.

Disk space
I think you need about 180M free if you haven't already installed the sources.  I came to this figure by issuing the following command after I had completed the make world process.

[root@ns:/usr/src] # du -s
175236 .

Installing CVSup
There are three options for CVSup.  I chose the statically linked executables.   This avoids the need for the Modula-3 libraries, which are rather large and compiling them is a lengthy process.

As I already had all the ports installed, here's what I did to install CVSup.  But if you don't, see getting cvsup installed.

[root@ns:/usr/ports/net/cvsup-bin] # cd /usr/ports/net/cvsup-bin/
[root@ns:/usr/ports/net/cvsup-bin] # make
>> cvsup-bin-15.4.2.tar.gz doesn't seem to exist on this system.
>> Attempting to fetch from
fetch: Not logged in
>> Attempting to fetch from
Receiving cvsup-bin-15.4.2.tar.gz (1099198 bytes): 100%
1099198 bytes transfered in 28.0 seconds  (38.40 Kbytes/s)
===>  Extracting for cvsup-bin-15.4.2
>> Checksum OK for cvsup-bin-15.4.2.tar.gz.
===>  Patching for cvsup-bin-15.4.2
===>  Configuring for cvsup-bin-15.4.2
cd /usr/ports/net/cvsup-bin/work/cvsup-bin-15.4.2; gunzip 
[root@ns:/usr/ports/net/cvsup-bin] # make install
===>  Installing for cvsup-bin-15.4.2
cd /usr/ports/net/cvsup-bin/work/cvsup-bin-15.4.2;  
install -c  -o bin -g bin -m 555 cvsup /usr/local/bin
install -c -o bin -g bin -m 444 cvsup.1 /usr/local/man/man1
===>   Generating temporary packing list
===>   Compressing manual pages for cvsup-bin-15.4.2
===>   Registering installation for cvsup-bin-15.4.2
I urge you to read the FreeBSD Handbook instructions at Synchronizing Your Source before following what I've done below.  On that page you'll find a link to the stable sup file which they recommend.  I copied the this file to /usr/home/stable-supfile from:

You can also get this file from:


Then I modified the stable sup file to suit my preferences.  First, I changed my cvsup host.


I changed the base directory where the status files will be maintained.  Don't forget to create this directory.

*default base=/usr/local/etc/cvsup

The source tree is divided up into collections.  Some collections are not for direct export beyond USA and Canada.  However, these collections are available from international servers.  See the bottom of your configuration file for details.

Running CVSup
I'm behind a firewall, so I used the following command to start my update (you need to do this as root).
cvsup -P - stable-supfile

Then I waited for a few hours for the source code to download.

If you want to know how to run a test of the above, without changing any files, you can do this instead:

mkdir /var/tmp/dest
cvsup supfile /var/tmp/dest

For this, you don't have to be root.  You just need read access to /usr/src.   The files will be placed in /var/tmp/dest.

Using the sources
Always be prepared for disaster.  This is especially true before you rebuild your system.  Please see Before the disaster and use that a guide.   Only then should you attempt the remainder of this diary note.

Once the above steps have been completed, you will have a local copy of the source tree.  The next step is to rebuild the system using those sources.  According to the Using make world to rebuild your system of the FreeBSD Handbook, the best resource for this process is found at:

I suggest you read that guide before doing anything I did.

Changes made to system
I uncommented the CFLAGS and NOPROFILE definitions in /etc/make.conf.
Making it
Section 5.4 of the above URL refers to versions 2.2.5 and above.  In these versions, the "world" has been split into two: buildworld and installworld.   Here's what I did:
script /var/tmp/mw.out
cd /usr/src
make buildworld

The script command puts a copy saves all output to the specified file.   If anything goes wrong, you will have a copy of all the error messages and what led up to the problem.  This will be useful in diagnosing the problem.  You might want to save it for others to review.  See section 5.2 of  Using make world to rebuild your system for more information.

After starting the above, I waited.

And waited.

Well, it's been over 24 hours now.  I'll publish this and come back to it later.

It finally finished.  I'm not sure, but I estimate that this process took about 56 hours.  The output file was about 5.5 Megabytes.  I did a grep to find any errors, but I didn't find any.  So on to the next step.

After the compile
I recommend you follow section 6 of Using make world to rebuild your system in order to update your /etc directory.  For my own documentation, I will list the commands I used, but please don't blindly follow these instructions.
# cp -Rp /etc /etc.old
# mkdir /var/tmp/root
# cd /usr/src/etc
# make DESTDIR=/var/tmp/root distrib-dirs distribution
# cd /var/tmp/root
# find -d . -type d | /usr/bin/perl -lne \
      'opendir(D,$_);@f=readdir(D);rmdir if $#f == 1;closedir(D);'
Merging the differences
After the above is run, you must compare the old and the new files to see what changes have occurred.  This will allow you to retain your original settings.  To do this, I created from the script provided in the above URL.   Then I ran it from /var/tmp/root.

Then I carefully checked the results and decided which files to retain, and which ones to throw away.

The following is a list of files which I decided required action.  I either modified the incoming file or deleted it, depending on the differences found.


You must decide what action must be taken for your own situation.

After ensuring I had merged the files correctly, I then copied the new stuff over the old stuff:

cp -Rp /var/tmp/root/etc/ /etc

-R does a recursive copy, -p preserves times, ownerships on files, etc.  And that trailing / is necessary.  If you omit it, your changes will wind up in /etc/etc.

Install world
Now that I've done I did a make buildworld so now it's time to do the install:
cd /usr/src
make installworld
New kernel
Now is the time to compile a new kernel.  For instructions on how to create a new kernel, refer to Configuring the FreeBSD Kernel section in the FreeBSD handbook.   Pay special attention to the section on Building and Installing a Custom Kernel
The reboot
Now that I've rebooted, I get the following on login:
Copyright (c) 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994
        The Regents of the University of California.  All rights 

FreeBSD 2.2.8-STABLE (IPFILTER3) #0: Tue Jan 19 11:18:37 NZDT 1999

Welcome to FreeBSD!  You will find security advisories and updated
information on this releases posted at
What I missed
After the reboot, I had some problems.  First of all, I couldn't ping from my NT box to the outside world but I could ping everything on my subnet.  That means to me that NAT isn't working.  So I checked the start up messages on the console.  IP Filter failed to load.   So I recompiled IP Filter.  I should have known to do that before I rebooted.  My mistake.  For a description of the errors I was getting , please see IP Filter won't load.

I also had problems with sendmail.  Here's the errors from the log:

NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): /etc/ line 138: readcf: map
                           checkaddress: class regex not available
NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): /etc/ line 848: Inappropriate
                                                  use of $# on LHS
NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): /etc/ line 879: Inappropriate
                                                  use of $# on LHS
NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): /etc/ line 943: Inappropriate
                                                  use of $# on LHS
gethostbyaddr( failed: 4 
NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): Warning: .cf version level (8) exceeds
                          sendmail version 8.8.8 functionality (7)

So I did this to reinstall sendmail

cd /usr/ports/mail/sendmail-8.9.2/
make clean
make install
/usr/sbin/sendmail -bd -q15m

Then I found this in the logs:

Jan 19 16:18:31 ns sendmail[3484]: gethostbyaddr(
                                                         failed: 4 

Bah!  That's enough for today.  Another time.  The above isn't that serious.  I'll deal with it another day.

If cvsup is interrupted, it will restart where it left off if you run it again.  This is useful to know if your connection is dropped or if you only have a certain time period to stay connected.  I have tried this more than once.  It restarts just fine.

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