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My home FreeBSD system seems to have some hardware issues with one of its network cards. Fortunately the box has a second network card which however is not supported in the FreeBSD release running right now (9.3-RELEASE) but works with the most recent 12.0 system (checked with a live system from an installation USB - BTW, no CD/DVD in the box).

Updating to 12.0 would solve my problems but with my current FreeBSD version I'm stuck with 2 non-functioning ethernet cards.

Is there any way to update (not reinstall) the system to 12.0 without a network connection?

  • Is the version 9.3 box networked to the 12.0 box? – Rob Jan 26 at 3:29
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    Maybe you can download the latest 12.0 version, burn it to DVD (or pendrive), boot from it and use it as a LiveCD - with network connection. Maybe you can mount your 9.3 and chroot into it - I think you've a chance to use internet and run freebsd-update. – uzsolt Jan 26 at 6:28
  • @uzsolt He said the box doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. – Rob Jan 26 at 12:32
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    @Rob but (s)he has USB so can use pendrive (as I wrote). – uzsolt Jan 26 at 12:53
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You can always copy the FreeBSD 12.0 installation image that is intended for USB sticks.

In theory, you could also upgrade to FreeBSD 12.0 using the same USB stick, however, as you probably know, a direct upgrade from 9.3 to 12.0 won´t be successful.

I also pretty much think that trying to find out which hops you need to do, at most 9.3->9.x->10.x->11.x->12.x, and also the probability of something going wrong, is not worth the hassle over reinstalling FreeBSD 12.0 anew.

  • Thank you @Rui F Ribeiro. Indeed I would prefer to fire up the USB installer and directly reinstall 12.0 anew. I have however a rather complex partitioning scheme (plus ZFS configuration on some disks) and don't wan to loose it. Any way to preserve partitions and ZFS conf when reinstalling to a clean system? Thanks! – George Jan 27 at 0:15
  • @George The installer gives you a choice to preserve or delete partition, – Rui F Ribeiro Jan 27 at 8:51
  • Of course I can keep the same partition scheme but... the newly installed system will not have the ZFS configuration. Indeed the partitions will be preserved but the system will not know how to access them, missing the configuration files. I guess the question becomes which config files to backup (except fstab) to keep the ZFS... In any case, thanks, discussing this makes understandable. – George Jan 27 at 18:36

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