OpenBSD Upgrade Guide: 3.7 to 3.8

[FAQ Index] | [3.6 -> 3.7] | [3.8 -> 3.9]

Note: Upgrades are only supported from one release to the release immediately following it. Do not skip releases.

It is highly recommended that you read through and fully understand this process before attempting it. If you are doing it on a critical or physically remote machine, it is recommended that you test this process on an identical, local system to verify its success before attempting on a critical or remote computer.

Upgrading is a convenient way to bring your OpenBSD system up to the most recent version. However, the results are not intended to precisely match the results of a wipe-and-reload installation. Old library files in particular are not removed in the upgrade process, as they may be required by older applications that may or may not be upgraded at this time. If you REALLY wish to get rid of all these old files, you would probably be better off reinstalling from scratch.

Before upgrading...

Before upgrading, some users choose to remove all packages, and installing new versions after upgrade.

To quickly remove all packages from your system:

pkg_delete -q /var/db/pkg/*
After the upgrade, install the new versions of these applications.

Note that, with OpenBSD 3.8, the pkg tools now support in-place updating using pkg_add -r. This has been checked to work with most packages, in particular with the CD packages available in 3.6 or 3.7. Some important points apply:

tx(4) driver is now epic(4). If your system has a tx(4) based card (such as SMC EtherPower II 10/100 cards), it will be supported by a different driver on OpenBSD 3.8 than it was on 3.7. BEFORE doing the upgrade, copy your /etc/hostname.tx* file(s) to corresponding /etc/hostname.epic* files, otherwise you will not have functioning network during and after the upgrade process.

Upgrading by install media

The easiest and safest way to upgrade from binary files is to boot from install media and follow the upgrade steps, which are very similar to the install process. Afterwards, do the /etc updates below.

Upgrading without install media

This is not the recommended process. Use the install media method if at all possible!

Sometimes, one needs to do an upgrade of a machine when one can't easily use the normal upgrade process. One can usually do this by carefully following a process similar to a source-based upgrade:

During this process, sendmail(8) may produce some error messages like the following:
    Nov 1 12:47:05 puffy sm-mta[16733]: filesys_update failed: No such file or directory, fs=., avail=-1, blocksize=380204
These messages can be safely ignored, or you may wish to halt sendmail(8) during the upgrade process.

Updates to /etc

Whether you upgrade by using an install media and doing a formal "upgrade" process, or do a "in-place" binary upgrade, there are certain manual steps that have to be performed.

New users and groups

An HostAP daemon has been added, so new users and groups are required. As root, add the following users and groups, using useradd(8):
useradd -u86 -g=uid -c"HostAP Daemon" -d/var/empty -s/sbin/nologin _hostapd
This step will add both the new user and its corresponding group. Your environment may allow you to copy/paste those commands.

Userland Applications

/etc file changes

You will want to extract the etc38.tgz files to a temporary location:
cd /tmp
tar xzpf /path/etc38.tgz
Files that can probably be copied from etc38.tgz "as is":
Note that it IS possible to locally modify these files, if this has been done, manual merging will be needed. Here are copy/paste lines for copying these files, assuming you unpacked etc38.tgz in the above recommended place:
cd /tmp/etc
cp hostapd.conf netstart pf.os rc services /etc
cp mtree/* /etc/mtree/

Files that must be manually merged, respecting any local changes made to them, if they were modified from the default, otherwise, just copy them over, too:

The changes to these files are in this patch file. You can attempt to use this by executing the following as root:
cd /
patch -C -p0 <upgrade38.patch
This will test the patch to see how well it will apply to YOUR system, to actually apply it, leave off the "-C" option. Note that it is likely that if you have customized files or not kept them closely updated, or are upgrading from an snapshot of 3.7, they may not accept the patch cleanly. In those cases, you will need to manually apply the changes. Please test this process before relying on it for a machine you can not easily get to.

Note that since the /etc/mail/aliases file has been changed, you need to run newaliases(8) to have them take effect.

The following files have had changes which should be looked at, but it is unlikely they should be directly copied or merged (i.e., if you are using pf.conf, look at the suggested change of strategy, and decide if it is appropriate for your use).

Finally, use mtree(8) to create any new directories:
mtree -qdef /etc/mtree/4.4BSD.dist -p / -u

[FAQ Index] | [3.6 -> 3.7] | [3.8 -> 3.9]

$OpenBSD: upgrade38.html,v 1.34 2019/05/28 01:53:11 bentley Exp $