Call For Testers: New Major Upgrade Methodology

Hello everyone!

Kris just posted a call for testers for a new methodology for major system upgrades (such as  9.2 -> 10.0 -> 10.1, etc..) and we are looking for people who are still running 9.2  to try it out. The full text of the call for testers is at the bottom of the post, but to give a bit of background we have been generally unimpressed with the reliability of the “standard” FreeBSD update tools (freebsd-update and pkg) when it comes to fetching uncorrupted update files through the internet. This new methodology takes those two utilities out of the general preparations for an update (download/verification of files), as well as a couple other upgrade steps so that there should no longer be an issue with starting an upgrade when only some of the upgrade files were actually retrieved successfully.


Please test it out and let us know how it goes!

Remember, always backup your data before doing any major upgrade like this!  The new methodology should automatically create a boot environment for you before doing the upgrade, but better safe than sorry!


Here is the full text of request from Kris to the developer mailing list:

I've just finished up some work on a major re-write of our updating
system when "upgrading" between major releases, I.E. 9.2 -> 10.0, 10.0
-> 10.1.


It seems to work well here, but it needs some additional testing from
any users still running 9.2 who want to update to 10. To test this,
first grab the latest from git:

# git clone https://github.com/pcbsd/pcbsd.git pcbsd
# cd pcbsd/src-sh/pc-updatemanager
# make install

Then run:

# pc-updatemanager install fbsd-10.0-RELEASE

This should start the download / upgrade process. If anything fails
during the process, logs are kept in /root, which will assist me in


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Written by Ken Moore. Posted in 10.0, 9.2, new features, testers

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Comments (10)

  • John
    February 20, 2014 at 7:31 pm |

    One update I would love to see happen is that pcbsd be able to pull updates from kde or gnome themselves thus bypassing freebsd. One of the updates for KDE was from July 2013 and no updates since then. It would be nice to have some thing in place that when security or bug fixes get released that pcbsd can use these and not have to wait for freebsd to finally update these.

    • Ken Moore
      February 21, 2014 at 5:47 am |

      John » Unfortunately, both KDE an GNOME are primarily designed for Linux, and require porting/adjustments in order to work properly on FreeBSD. This would be a massive amount of extra work for the PC-BSD team, so instead we defer to the team(s) that primarily focus on that porting process for FreeBSD. There are a couple repositories that are the development branches for the KDE/GNOME porting process, and we do pull from those as necessary (getting updates before the official FreeBSD ports tree), but we always need to be careful about stability when pulling from those repositories because it is still a work-in-progress.

  • Mike
    February 21, 2014 at 6:54 am |

    Any chance that might work with 9.1, too?
    I guess no one has given it a try yet, but would it be theoretically possible or is the system change that happened between 9.1 and 9.2 to big a hurdle?

    • Ken Moore
      February 21, 2014 at 7:05 am |

      Mike » It depends which version of 9.1 you are running. If you are running the original 9.1 (Isotope) with UFS, then no. If you are running the later 9.1 (Isotope Infusion) with ZFS, then it might work.

      • Mike
        February 21, 2014 at 9:13 am |

        It’s definitely ZFS but I’m also pretty sure it’s Isotope. I have to check the p-number later on when I’m able to boot it up.

        It would be great if it would work because the v10’s installer iso doesn’t load properly, neither from dvd nor from flash drive.

        • Mike
          February 21, 2014 at 2:28 pm |

          I just checked. It’s “9.1-RELEASE-p10 FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE-p10”. Using ZFS as said before.

          Should I try or rather not?

          • Mike
            February 22, 2014 at 1:22 am |

            Never mind.

            After successfully ruining my 9.1 installation (pkg upgrade -f added gnome wihtout my consent :-)), I thought of a last option I haden’t tried yet to install v10.

            I was successful, so no 9.x->10 upgrade for me. 🙂

            Thanks anyway!

  • […] (i.e 9.2 > 10).  For more information on the new PC-BSD update system, check out the article here.  To view Kris’ address to the testing mailing list click here.  Our goal is and has always […]

  • […] PC-BSD CFT and weekly digest […]

  • q/pa
    March 23, 2014 at 5:25 am |

    Any news about this? Will it come with one of the next 9.2 updates, eventually?

    Since I have not updated my two installations of 9.2 to 10 I am quite interested in this new methodology. Tested it in VirtualBox and it worked well.

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