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how to upgrade a whole machine ...
For some reason, I feel like an idiot posting this, but I gotta say, I
just don't get pkgsrc... I feel like I'm having a newbie moment but
I'm not a newbie... I've been using NetBSD since it was founded
(obviously) but always been rather behind the curve on 'how to do
things the NetBSD-way'...
I decided I needed to upgrade an old 3.0 machine to 4.x with a fairly
modern pkgsrc.. I upgraded the kernel and userland ok (after some
teething issues with postfix)... Then it came time to do pkgsrc...
After much anguish, I took one of agc's pkg_comp files and some notes
he sent me, and tried to learn how to use pkg_comp to build all the
binary packages I needed in hopes I could clear-cut my /usr/pkg and
reinstall updated packages... Well, after letting pkg_comp churn for
about 15 hours, I was left with a bunch of binary pkg's.. I then used
pkg_chk -ab to install them into my fresh new /usr/pkg, but it turns
out I didn't put dependancies for my top-level packages into my
pkg_comp config file, so, for example, it built a binary package for
postgrey but didn't build any of the postgrey dependancies (p5-* and
db4)... I'm not sure how it managed to convince itself that it could
install postgrey into the chroot without building the dependancies but
that's an aside...
My whole point of writing this, is that I couldn't have done any of
this without the help of other long-time NetBSD developers...
I tried reading http://www.netbsd.org/docs/pkgsrc/index.html because
there's a lot of instructions there and surely what I want to do is in
there.. But it's not... The closest thing I could find in there was
'doing a bulk build' but the top of that doc says "don't do this. this
document is old and not relevant anymore." leading one to look at the
docs for 'pbuild' which has a big "TODO, look at the wiki". ... But
it doesn't really look like that's what I want to do anyway ...
Now it could be that I'm just not looking in the right spot for the
"how to upgrade an old NetBSD machine to a new NetBSD machine with new
versions of all of your packages" document, or it could be that it
just doesn't exist ... Querying a few other NetBSD devs in icb, it
seems everyone has a different way of doing this...
I work in a lab with about 20 developers working on an embedded NetBSD
product.. Everyone has at least one or 2 NetBSD machines on their
desktop as development boxes, plus their target rigs (which run
NetBSD)... Everyone in that lab is afraid of pkgsrc... Some of these
people are penguinistas who, after having been forced to use NetBSD,
can't wait for the project to end so they can go back to penguix..
Whenever someone needs to update a NetBSD machine, they burn it down
and rebuild it from scratch because pkgsrc is intractable...
I'm writing this prematurely because I'm on my 3rd attempt at building
the binary packages I need for my mail server. My mail server is
colocated somewhere. It doesn't even have a DVD drive... I can't just
burn it down to the ground and rebuild it from scratch... I need to
upgrade it in-situ and I need to do it remotely... Why isn't there an
obvious way to do this? Why is this black magic?
I'm frustrated, think about the less experienced NetBSD users who
we're trying to attract and ask how they're supposed to figure this
out? Not everyone is a pkgsrc developer.
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