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Re: how to upgrade a whole machine ...

On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 9:20 AM, Herb Peyerl <> wrote:
> 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 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.

I think your life would be easier if you stuck to the quarterly
releases and just used pkg_chk.  (you should even be able to mirror
those pre-bulk-built pkgs in-house)

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