How To Upgrade FreeBSD 7.0 to 7.1 Stable Release

Q. How do I upgrade FreeBSD 7.0 server to latest 7.1 server with stock GENERIC kernel installed?

A. The freebsd-update utility supports binary upgrades of i386 and amd64 systems running earlier FreeBSD releases. Systems running 7.0-RELEASE, 7.1-BETA, 7.1-BETA2, 7.1-RC1, or 7.1-RC2 can be only upgrade as follows.


Login as root user and type the command:

WARNING! These examples may crash your server if not executed with care. Upgrading system is a complex procedure. Backup your data, config file and make sql dumps before you use the following instructions. If you are using custom kernel configuration, you need to perform source code update using cvsup method.

# freebsd-update upgrade -r 7.1-RELEASE
During this process, FreeBSD Update may ask the user to help by merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically performed merging was done correctly.
# freebsd-update install
The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before continuing.
# reboot
After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new userland components, and the system needs to be rebooted again:
# freebsd-update install
Users of Intel network interfaces which are changing their name from “em” to “igb” should make necessary changes to configuration files BEFORE running freebsd-update, since otherwise the network interface will not be configured appropriately after rebooting for the first time, especially firewall and other networking options in /etc/rc.conf file.
# reboot

Users of earlier FreeBSD releases (FreeBSD 6.x) can also use freebsd-update to upgrade to FreeBSD 7.1, but will be prompted to rebuild all third-party applications (e.g., anything installed from the ports tree) after the second invocation of “freebsd-update install”, in order to handle differences in the system libraries between FreeBSD 6.x and FreeBSD 7.x.

Upgrade all packages

You also need to update all packages, type:
# portsnap fetch update
# pkg_version -vIL=
# portupgrade -a

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3 comments… add one
  • Thomas Jan 7, 2009 @ 11:32

    Really enjoy your website with all this infos and how-tos. Your site is a must!! Have subscribed to your daily e-mail newsletter.

    Hope you will continue this great site.

    With regards

  • Oli Jan 13, 2009 @ 21:54

    “You also need to update all packages”… Well, as you write, “portupgrade -a” will just update outdated packages, I guess you mean “portupgrade -af” ? Or is it *really* required to recompile all packages? On my system, it doesn’t seem to be the case (7.0 -> 7.1, with mysql, php, apache, etc.)

    regards, Oli

  • J. Ruigrok van der Werven Jan 20, 2009 @ 10:31

    Right now I’d hold off on the upgrade a bit longer. Various people, including yours truly, have had vague kernel hangs with 7.1-STABLE that did not occur prior. So if you need it for production runs, be advised. If you have time and debugging efforts to spare, please do. See the stable list of the first 2-3 weeks of January 2009 for more details.

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