Manually upgrading PC-BSD v1.4 to using FreeBSD 7 underneath

It can be done although I don’t actually recommend it lol, I did this solely for fun. Here is what I recored in the ~/fun-log file on my Samba server. A copy of my kernel configuration and a screen shot of the first GUI enabled boot is at the end of the post:

Enabled SSH login to my test machine, since I don’t use the default port 22 for SSH I had to open ssh_config and sshd_config in /etc/ssh/ and uncomment the ‘Port’ line and change the port number.

A quick restart of the SSH Daemon from a root shell:

/etc/rc.d/sshd restart

I also disabled the firewall (pf) since I was in no mood to sort it out or port my laptops pf.config over.

and from my own shell

ssh # s/ ip/g

I accepted the finger print and logged in, then ssh’d to this machine from that ssh connection doing like wise.

I’d recommend taking back ups of the system before proceeding, since this is a test machine I can skip it. I would suggest using either tar or dump in conjunction with a mounted recovery partition (or other storage device) or SSH if you have another system to use for storing the backups. Some people prefer Optical disks (cd/dvd) but I only use these for perm. backups.

rebooted with the FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE install cd in the drive and chose the upgrade option from sysinstall. I chose to upgrade ‘custom’ and selected all sets except the profiled libraries and source code: every thing worked perfect except that X.Org failed to upgrade due to already installed packages, unexpected yes but no problem as I was not planning on using X until after KDE was upgraded.

Completed the upgrade and chose the ‘Fixit’ option in the main menu dropping to a shell on ttyv4 which I used to edit /etc/ttys and disable the start of X.Org on boot up.

Located the ttyv4 line that starts /PCBSD/bin/pdm on an xterm and change the ‘on’ to an ‘off’. Saved the file and gave a ‘reboot’.

I forgot that FreeBSD’s GENERIC kernels detect my hard drives wrong because the kernel uses the ATA_STATIC_ID option. I have a SATA drive for ad0 and with ATA_STATIC_ID in the kenrel config it detects ad0 as ad4, PC-BSD’s kernel builds have the ‘right’ option commented out to fix that so I had to manually select a root disk at boot:


While I could easily fix this with changing the lines in /etc/fstab that would defeat the point of merging PC-BSD’s SMP Kernel configuration with FreeBSD’s GENERIC kernel. Which I could have done before rebooting any way.

I Inserted my install disk and ran /usr/sbin/sysinstall, using the ‘Configure’ option I chose to install the source code for every thing through the distribution sets. As far as I know you need the full system source to build a kernel.

I set PACKAGEROOT and did a pkg_add of lynx so I could view the installed version of the FreeBSD handbook without reading HTML source code. I like to have access to the handbook when building a kernel so that I can check if any new notes have been made in the section on the kernel configuration file. I also did a pkg_add of the mg editor, much smaller then vim but easier for me to work with then FreeBSDs /usr/bin/vi when I wish to view two files at once.

mkdir ~/kernel-config; cd ~/kernel-config
cp /PCBSD/conf/PCBSD-SMP.i386 ./
cp /usr/src/sys/i386/conf/GENERIC ./
pkg_add -r mg
vi ~/.mg # set a few options I like for emacs

Then I used MicroGNUEmacs (mg) to merge PCBSD-SMP.i386 into GENERIC saving it as mykernel with the ^x^w command, the basics of using mgh you can find in the man page; if you choose to use mg but don’t know emacs. In point of fact, I have not used emacs regularly to edit files in over 2 years!

touch ./mykernel; ln -s /root/kerne-config/mykernel /usr/src/sys/i386/conf/mykernel; mg ./mykernel
cd /usr/src
make buildkernel KERNCONF=mykernel

You know, I wish I remembered to use the -j 8 option to make… Because last time I did that on my Pentium D it only took ~45 minutes to compile a kernel on 6.1-RELEASE or so.

Build started at: Sun Mar 2 21:19:14 UTC 2008
Build finished at: Sun Mar 2 21:40:51 UTC 2008

And to top it off, when I got up to do a few chores when I got back the console ‘screen saver’ kicked in. Which just happened to be the PC-BSD splash screen that comes up when ever the system boots kicked in during my kernel compile. This appears to have been some thing I broke with the upgrade, unless there is a difference because my laptop uses a Beastie image for the console screen saver.

I’m standing here like WTF? Did I crash or are they joking. Sure enough the system was playing a mean joke on me haha. And I know the system shouldn’t go down during a buildkernel even with what I’ve been ‘doing’ to the system without some serious problems. Right now it looks like the NIC drivers are compiling so it shouldn’t take to much longer.

While I wait, I’ll start merging the configuration files in /etc with those in /etc/upgrade.

A quick look to see if there are any config files from PC-BSD with pcbsd mentioned in them:

find /etc/ -type f -exec grep -ni ‘pcbsd|pc-bsd’ ‘{}’ ;

Of course they are *never* so nice as to denote what files are explicitly changed from the base FreeBSD installs 8=). Used lynx to browse PC-BSD’s SVN Repository online, looking at the system overlay in the 1.4 branch. I don’t see any any thing here that should effect me seriously — if any one tries this after me, check PC-BSDs SVN -> pcbsd/branches/1.4/system-overlay/etc (some thing like that) and look at the commit messages, if you see some thing that might effect you. Carefully compare the relevant files in /etc/ and /etc/upgrade unless like me, there is nothing you can seriously break that you will ever want to fix later.

There are two ways of doing this part, manual and mergemaster. If you have never done a buildworld/installworld before read the manual page for mergemaster and run it in a more user friendly mode. I usually do this any way because I use mergemaster only a few times a year at the most.

Some switches to mergemaster you might want to look up are: -a, -i, -v, -U

If you are going manually, I suggest you move the files from /etc/upgrade to /etc/ but pay special attention to files such as group and rc.local -> You don’t want to be unable to login as any thing but root on your reboot now do you? Hehe.

mv /etc/upgrade /root/etc-upgrade
mergemaster -viU

I installed most files but merged several others, among them:

ssh_conf and sshd_conf I merged to keep my port settings

group I merged to keep the various groups PC-BSD has setup for HAL’d and friends as well as having my user in wheel, operator, and its own group 😉

login.conf because I use ‘blf’ for the pass word format rather then the default md5. At the end of my mergemaster’ing I was happy to see that mergemaster was already a step ahead of me and promped for the login.conf database to be rebuilt for fool proof safeties sake:

*** You installed a login.conf file, so make sure that you run
'/usr/bin/cap_mkdb /etc/login.conf'
to rebuild your login.conf database

Would you like to run it now? y or n [n] y
Running /usr/bin/cap_mkdb /etc/login.conf

Some files that I chose to delete, the extra rc scripts which may have broken one of the Intel Wifi drivers. Also I decided not to install the *new* printcap file -> which if I had installed would have overwritten any printer setup I have done on my test machine.

One nice advantage is I have PC-BSD’s kernel stored in /boot/kernel.prev from the FreeBSD upgrade proceedure and the GENERIC FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE kernel in /boot/kernel.old after installing my newly compiled custom kernel.

For extra safety, I’ll archive these in roots home directory with more normal names in case I need them later:

tar -cf - /boot/kernel.old | bzip2 -9 > /root/kernel-FreeBSD7.0-RELEASE.g
tar -cf - /boot/kernel.prev | bzip2 -9 > /root/kernel-PCBSD1.4.2.smp.tar.

I don’t know how to get BSD tar to adjust the compression level for gzip/bzip2 (-z,-j), assuming there is a switch for it. So I redirected tar’s output to bzip2 directly to enable maximum compression.

Sadly, on reboot my system would lock up when ever the kernel tried to probe /dev/da3. No matter how many times I try to boot it, it locks up on this. I booted the Windows XP installation on the machine, rebooted into PC-BSD again and it boots perfectly — This is a *standing* issue with this test machine.

Often FreeBSD will lock up during boot while probing my (internal) USB Card Reader when it gets to the memory stick slot and refuse to boot until I have booted another operating system on the machine. I have had this problem since FreeBSD 6.0-RELEASE, never tried any earlier ones.

Yes I hate this computer.

But otherwise my system however works bloody perfect 🙂

pcbsd# uname -ai
FreeBSD pcbsd 7.0-RELEASE FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE #0: Sun Mar 2 16:27:13 EST 2008
root@pcbsd:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/mykernel i386 TERRYP

Now to get X.Org and KDE back online, installed the ports tree from the FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE CD-ROM, new enough for my needs. While that goes, lets back up a few things of interest:

tar -czf /root/old-ports.tgz /usr/local/etc /usr/local/share/{icons,config,config.kcfg,apps,applnk}
tar -cjf /root/linux-fc4.tar.bz2 /compat

These files are essentially our KDE icons and a few directories we might want to keep handy for later. Also I chose to backup the /compat directory that houses the linux files.

Now for the portupgrade business:

After telling the pkgdb what to do with it self, I checked the help and gave this a go after I got tired of the interactive:

pkgdb -fFi

The one thing I hate about dealing with portupgrade and friends on FreeBSD is the packages database — it’s a royal pain in the arse to deal with when you are not in the mood! After sorting out all of the crap that pkgdb had to shout at including the mother ****ing **** load of fonts mentioned in the sale dependencies I know I will __never__ do this again.

In fact, if I ever go back to maintaining a standard FreeBSD system for my workstation I’ll do this my way — use a list of programs needed, and do upgrades with out mucking with pkgdb and it’s friends lol -> less trouble I think to do it by hand the way my mind is thinking of it now hehe.

Now to fetch every thing needed before we start and prefer binary packages where possible to save on some compile time. -> Warning!!! Not my reccomendation, done here out of my lack of concern for breaking the test machine.

portupgrade -FDParR

Now to upgrade every thing preferring packages, go to splitsvile and read the log later.

portupgrade –batch -faPrR –results-file /root/portupgrade.log

Whether -a impiles -rR or not I don’t know, never really read the source code that much but I’m used to using all three switches at once for this. Portupgrade also crashed about 3 times during the installation, mostly from upgrading ruby and missing stuff in /tmp. It also fragged /var/db/pkg/pkgdb.db once or twice and shouted at /usr/ports/INDEX-7.db’s format. So I had to run the command several times taking about a day and a half to complete the entire operation as described here.

Now I remember why I don’t use portupgrade or mass software upgrades a lot on my stable machines.

I had to create a new xorg.conf so I did an

X -configure
X -config /root/

and it worked, a reboot and I was soon greated by KDE 3.5.8 running on X.Org 7.3 😉

I know I broke the PBReg program so I would expect most other custom programs that PC-BSD has needs a recompile from the source code. I also used as many packages as possible during the upgrade procedure to save time, not what I normally do on FreeBSD but it actually worked well enough. Tomorrow after work I’ll test out a few of the PC-BSD programs and the Firefox PBI I have installed on the test machine, and installing a PBI to see if any thing survived without a recompile needed. I also want to test the Linux ABI’s new abilities and see what happens when installing linux-flock binaries.


Screen shot:

Free Image Hosting at

Here is a copy of my kernel configuration:

# My PC-BSD v1.4.2 + FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE kernel configuration

cpu I686_CPU
ident TERRYP

# To statically compile in device wiring instead of /boot/device.hints
#hints "GENERIC.hints" # Default places to look for devices.

makeoptions DEBUG=-g # Build kernel with gdb(1) debug symbols

#options SCHED_4BSD # 4BSD scheduler
options SCHED_ULE # ULE scheduler instead ;-)

# options from PC-BSD that I'll keep handy
options LIBICONV
options CD9660_ICONV
options NTFS
options NTFS_ICONV
options UDF
options UDF_ICONV
options GEOM_UZIP
device iwi # intel wireless adapters
device ipw # intel wireless adapters

#### I want to use PF.
device pf
device pflog
device pfsync

options ALTQ
options ALTQ_CBQ
options ALTQ_RED
options ALTQ_RIO
options ALTQ_HFSC
options ALTQ_CDNR
options ALTQ_PRIQ
options ALTQ_NOPCC

# Memory card drivers I want to test:
device mmc
device mmcsd

# options in GENERIC
options INET # InterNETworking
options INET6 # IPv6 communications protocols
options SCTP # Stream Control Transmission Protocol
options FFS # Berkeley Fast Filesystem
options SOFTUPDATES # Enable FFS soft updates support
options UFS_ACL # Support for access control lists
options UFS_DIRHASH # Improve performance on big directories
options UFS_GJOURNAL # Enable gjournal-based UFS journaling
options MD_ROOT # MD is a potential root device
options NFSCLIENT # Network Filesystem Client
options NFSSERVER # Network Filesystem Server
options NFS_ROOT # NFS usable as /, requires NFSCLIENT
options MSDOSFS # MSDOS Filesystem
options CD9660 # ISO 9660 Filesystem
options PROCFS # Process filesystem (requires PSEUDOFS)
options PSEUDOFS # Pseudo-filesystem framework
options GEOM_PART_GPT # GUID Partition Tables.
options GEOM_LABEL # Provides labelization
options COMPAT_43TTY # BSD 4.3 TTY compat [KEEP THIS!]
options COMPAT_FREEBSD4 # Compatible with FreeBSD4
options COMPAT_FREEBSD5 # Compatible with FreeBSD5
options COMPAT_FREEBSD6 # Compatible with FreeBSD6
options SCSI_DELAY=5000 # Delay (in ms) before probing SCSI
options KTRACE # ktrace(1) support
options SYSVSHM # SYSV-style shared memory
options SYSVMSG # SYSV-style message queues
options SYSVSEM # SYSV-style semaphores
options _KPOSIX_PRIORITY_SCHEDULING # POSIX P1003_1B real-time extensions
options KBD_INSTALL_CDEV # install a CDEV entry in /dev
options ADAPTIVE_GIANT # Giant mutex is adaptive.
options STOP_NMI # Stop CPUS using NMI instead of IPI
options AUDIT # Security event auditing

# To make an SMP kernel, the next two lines are needed
options SMP # Symmetric MultiProcessor Kernel
device apic # I/O APIC

# CPU frequency control
device cpufreq

# Bus support.
device eisa
device pci

# Floppy drives
device fdc

# ATA and ATAPI devices
device ata
device atadisk # ATA disk drives
device ataraid # ATA RAID drives
device atapicd # ATAPI CDROM drives
device atapifd # ATAPI floppy drives
device atapist # ATAPI tape drives
#### XXX:
#### This option must be commented out for SATA drives to be
#### detected properly, e.g. ad0 not ad4 on boot up!
#options ATA_STATIC_ID # Static device numbering

# SCSI Controllers
device ahb # EISA AHA1742 family
device ahc # AHA2940 and onboard AIC7xxx devices
options AHC_REG_PRETTY_PRINT # Print register bitfields in debug
# output. Adds ~128k to driver.
device ahd # AHA39320/29320 and onboard AIC79xx devices
options AHD_REG_PRETTY_PRINT # Print register bitfields in debug
# output. Adds ~215k to driver.
device amd # AMD 53C974 (Tekram DC-390(T))
device hptiop # Highpoint RocketRaid 3xxx series
device isp # Qlogic family
#device ispfw # Firmware for QLogic HBAs- normally a module
device mpt # LSI-Logic MPT-Fusion
#device ncr # NCR/Symbios Logic
device sym # NCR/Symbios Logic (newer chipsets + those of `ncr')
device trm # Tekram DC395U/UW/F DC315U adapters

device adv # Advansys SCSI adapters
device adw # Advansys wide SCSI adapters
device aha # Adaptec 154x SCSI adapters
device aic # Adaptec 15[012]x SCSI adapters, AIC-6[23]60.
device bt # Buslogic/Mylex MultiMaster SCSI adapters

device ncv # NCR 53C500
device nsp # Workbit Ninja SCSI-3
device stg # TMC 18C30/18C50

# SCSI peripherals
device scbus # SCSI bus (required for SCSI)
device ch # SCSI media changers
device da # Direct Access (disks)
device sa # Sequential Access (tape etc)
device cd # CD
device pass # Passthrough device (direct SCSI access)
device ses # SCSI Environmental Services (and SAF-TE)

# RAID controllers interfaced to the SCSI subsystem
device amr # AMI MegaRAID
device arcmsr # Areca SATA II RAID
device asr # DPT SmartRAID V, VI and Adaptec SCSI RAID
device ciss # Compaq Smart RAID 5*
device dpt # DPT Smartcache III, IV - See NOTES for options
device hptmv # Highpoint RocketRAID 182x
device hptrr # Highpoint RocketRAID 17xx, 22xx, 23xx, 25xx
device iir # Intel Integrated RAID
device ips # IBM (Adaptec) ServeRAID
device mly # Mylex AcceleRAID/eXtremeRAID
device twa # 3ware 9000 series PATA/SATA RAID

# RAID controllers
device aac # Adaptec FSA RAID
device aacp # SCSI passthrough for aac (requires CAM)
device ida # Compaq Smart RAID
device mfi # LSI MegaRAID SAS
device mlx # Mylex DAC960 family
device pst # Promise Supertrak SX6000
device twe # 3ware ATA RAID

# atkbdc0 controls both the keyboard and the PS/2 mouse
device atkbdc # AT keyboard controller
device atkbd # AT keyboard
device psm # PS/2 mouse

device kbdmux # keyboard multiplexer

device vga # VGA video card driver

device splash # Splash screen and screen saver support

# syscons is the default console driver, resembling an SCO console
device sc

device agp # support several AGP chipsets

# Power management support (see NOTES for more options)
#device apm
# Add suspend/resume support for the i8254.
device pmtimer

# PCCARD (PCMCIA) support
# PCMCIA and cardbus bridge support
device cbb # cardbus (yenta) bridge
device pccard # PC Card (16-bit) bus
device cardbus # CardBus (32-bit) bus

# Serial (COM) ports
device sio # 8250, 16[45]50 based serial ports
device uart # Generic UART driver

# Parallel port
device ppc
device ppbus # Parallel port bus (required)
device lpt # Printer
device plip # TCP/IP over parallel
device ppi # Parallel port interface device
#device vpo # Requires scbus and da

# If you've got a "dumb" serial or parallel PCI card that is
# supported by the puc(4) glue driver, uncomment the following
# line to enable it (connects to sio, uart and/or ppc drivers):
#device puc

# PCI Ethernet NICs.
device de # DEC/Intel DC21x4x (``Tulip'')
device em # Intel PRO/1000 adapter Gigabit Ethernet Card
device ixgb # Intel PRO/10GbE Ethernet Card
device le # AMD Am7900 LANCE and Am79C9xx PCnet
device txp # 3Com 3cR990 (``Typhoon'')
device vx # 3Com 3c590, 3c595 (``Vortex'')

# PCI Ethernet NICs that use the common MII bus controller code.
# NOTE: Be sure to keep the 'device miibus' line in order to use these NICs!
device miibus # MII bus support
device bce # Broadcom BCM5706/BCM5708 Gigabit Ethernet
device bfe # Broadcom BCM440x 10/100 Ethernet
device bge # Broadcom BCM570xx Gigabit Ethernet
device dc # DEC/Intel 21143 and various workalikes
device fxp # Intel EtherExpress PRO/100B (82557, 82558)
device lge # Level 1 LXT1001 gigabit Ethernet
device msk # Marvell/SysKonnect Yukon II Gigabit Ethernet
device nfe # nVidia nForce MCP on-board Ethernet
device nge # NatSemi DP83820 gigabit Ethernet
#device nve # nVidia nForce MCP on-board Ethernet Networking
device pcn # AMD Am79C97x PCI 10/100 (precedence over 'le')
device re # RealTek 8139C+/8169/8169S/8110S
device rl # RealTek 8129/8139
device sf # Adaptec AIC-6915 (``Starfire'')
device sis # Silicon Integrated Systems SiS 900/SiS 7016
device sk # SysKonnect SK-984x & SK-982x gigabit Ethernet
device ste # Sundance ST201 (D-Link DFE-550TX)
device stge # Sundance/Tamarack TC9021 gigabit Ethernet
device ti # Alteon Networks Tigon I/II gigabit Ethernet
device tl # Texas Instruments ThunderLAN
device tx # SMC EtherPower II (83c170 ``EPIC'')
device vge # VIA VT612x gigabit Ethernet
device vr # VIA Rhine, Rhine II
device wb # Winbond W89C840F
device xl # 3Com 3c90x (``Boomerang'', ``Cyclone'')

# ISA Ethernet NICs. pccard NICs included.
device cs # Crystal Semiconductor CS89x0 NIC
# 'device ed' requires 'device miibus'
device ed # NE[12]000, SMC Ultra, 3c503, DS8390 cards
device ex # Intel EtherExpress Pro/10 and Pro/10+
device ep # Etherlink III based cards
device fe # Fujitsu MB8696x based cards
device ie # EtherExpress 8/16, 3C507, StarLAN 10 etc.
device sn # SMC's 9000 series of Ethernet chips
device xe # Xircom pccard Ethernet

# Wireless NIC cards
device wlan # 802.11 support
device wlan_wep # 802.11 WEP support
device wlan_ccmp # 802.11 CCMP support
device wlan_tkip # 802.11 TKIP support
device wlan_amrr # AMRR transmit rate control algorithm
device wlan_scan_ap # 802.11 AP mode scanning
device wlan_scan_sta # 802.11 STA mode scanning
device an # Aironet 4500/4800 802.11 wireless NICs.
device ath # Atheros pci/cardbus NIC's
device ath_hal # Atheros HAL (Hardware Access Layer)
device ath_rate_sample # SampleRate tx rate control for ath
device awi # BayStack 660 and others
device ral # Ralink Technology RT2500 wireless NICs.
device wi # WaveLAN/Intersil/Symbol 802.11 wireless NICs.
#device wl # Older non 802.11 Wavelan wireless NIC.

# Pseudo devices.
device loop # Network loopback
device random # Entropy device
device ether # Ethernet support
device sl # Kernel SLIP
device ppp # Kernel PPP
device tun # Packet tunnel.
device pty # Pseudo-ttys (telnet etc)
device md # Memory "disks"
device gif # IPv6 and IPv4 tunneling
device faith # IPv6-to-IPv4 relaying (translation)
device firmware # firmware assist module

# The `bpf' device enables the Berkeley Packet Filter.
# Be aware of the administrative consequences of enabling this!
# Note that 'bpf' is required for DHCP.
device bpf # Berkeley packet filter

# USB support
device uhci # UHCI PCI->USB interface
device ohci # OHCI PCI->USB interface
device ehci # EHCI PCI->USB interface (USB 2.0)
device usb # USB Bus (required)
#device udbp # USB Double Bulk Pipe devices
device ugen # Generic
device uhid # "Human Interface Devices"
device ukbd # Keyboard
device ulpt # Printer
device umass # Disks/Mass storage - Requires scbus and da
device ums # Mouse
device ural # Ralink Technology RT2500USB wireless NICs
device rum # Ralink Technology RT2501USB wireless NICs
device urio # Diamond Rio 500 MP3 player
device uscanner # Scanners

# USB Ethernet, requires miibus
device aue # ADMtek USB Ethernet
device axe # ASIX Electronics USB Ethernet
device cdce # Generic USB over Ethernet
device cue # CATC USB Ethernet
device kue # Kawasaki LSI USB Ethernet
device rue # RealTek RTL8150 USB Ethernet

# FireWire support
device firewire # FireWire bus code
device sbp # SCSI over FireWire (Requires scbus and da)
device fwe # Ethernet over FireWire (non-standard!)
device fwip # IP over FireWire (RFC 2734,3146)
device dcons # Dumb console driver
device dcons_crom # Configuration ROM for dcons

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