I run FreeBSD on a Raspberry Pi 3. This computer is permanently installed in a server room I do not have easy access to. Once FreeBSD 12 comes out, I want to update the computer to the new system release. According to the handbook, there are two ways to do so:

  1. use freebsd-update(8) to do a binary update
  2. compile and install FreeBSD from the source tree

Option (1) is unavailable as arm64 is not a tier 1 platform. Previously I went with option (2), but ever since LLVM was updated to 6.0, the system does not have enough RAM to compile FreeBSD. Adding more swap interestingly did not help very much. Compiling LLVM was always the most annoying part of the compilation process and now it's what breaks option (2) entirely.

What other options do I have to update the system? Previously I tried the following ways:

  • Download the tar balls of the FreeBSD 12 distribution and unpack them over the running system. While this seems to have worked, it was a huge pain in the ass to make sure no configuration was overwritten and I have no way to ensure that no old files remain.
  • Compile the source tree on a different system, transplant it over and install that. As I do not have another arm64 computer I tried to cross-compile from amd64 FreeBSD. Transplanting this source tree didn't seem to work but I don't remember what the problem was.

How can I solve this problem?

  • 1
    Maybe a solution can be the PkgBase (wiki.freebsd.org/PkgBase) - it seems it should work (forums.freebsd.org/threads/freebsd-update-on-raspberry-pi.57911/…).
    – uzsolt
    Nov 11, 2018 at 14:34
  • @uzsolt I thought so too, but then the description of package base begins with how to make these packages yourself—if I could do so, I could also build the system from source.
    – FUZxxl
    Nov 11, 2018 at 15:01
  • But maybe the next update doesn't need building :)
    – uzsolt
    Nov 11, 2018 at 19:06
  • 1
    Cross-compiling on a system with more RAM is likely the best fix. You'll need to be a whole lot more specific about the issues you have with that to get help there. Nov 12, 2018 at 1:08
  • 1
    If someone else does the builds and you download them. You made it sound like that's not an option. Nov 12, 2018 at 16:52


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