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Date:      Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:40:45 -0500
From:      William Bulley <>
To:        Ian Smith <>
Cc:, Edward Martinez <>
Subject:   Re: where to ask about problems with bsdinstall in 9.0RC2?
Message-ID:  <>

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According to Ian Smith <> on Sat, 11/19/11 at 13:29:
> Unfortunately that concentrates on creating a GPT layout, encouraging a 
> Linux-like single (plus a boot) partition - forget using dump/restore -
> and says nothing much about installing over an existing setup with MBR 
> partitioning and multiple slices, a not uncommon setup on many existing 
> laptops .. eg here I want to install over a previous 7.2-RELEASE 60GB 
> slice partitioned as I want it - 1GB /, 4GB /var, 16GB /usr and ~37GB 
> /home.  Further, I want to preserve /home as is, despite having backups.
> sysinstall's partitioning is more sophisticated; you get to specifically 
> toggle on or off newfs'ing each partition, as well as specifying newfs 
> options if you want.  So it's clear whether you'll be newfs'ing / and 
> which other partitions, and which you'll be leaving alone, eg /home.
> On BETA1 I recorded "Extract Error while extracting base.txz: can't set 
> user=0/group=0 for /var/empty Can't update time for /var/empty .." which 
> someone/s else also reported, which turned out to be misleading .. the 
> basic problem is that the filesystem isn't empty, ie as after newfs.

I hate to be a pest about this, but bsdinstall just isn't working for me.
I grabbed the 9.0RC2 bootonly ISO for i386 and tried again to load this
onto this Dell laptop.  This time the *.txz files had to be gotten over
the network which took longer that with the DVD1 ISO.   :-(

The files were fetched, and checked/verified, then the actual installation
(extraction) began.  Unfortunately, I got the same error pop-up message.
This time I have the exact text of that error message:

   "Error while extracting base.txz: Can't
    set user=0/group=0 for var/emptyCan't
    update time for var/empty"

Note the missing space or CR before the second "Can't"

What confused me at first was the missing slash ("/") character before the
two "var" pathnames.  But I now understand that is because I am updating
(not installing) from a previously working (was 8.2-STABLE in this case)
system where the four partitions (root, swap, /var, and /usr) are present
and full of FreeBSD files, etc.

If this is a "feature" of bsdinstall, then it should be mentioned in the
documentation somewhere.  I used the "Manual" configuration method where
I was asked to name the mount points for root, /var and /usr.  My question
is this: "if bsdinstall can't handle installing over top of an already
existing system on disk, then why ask the user for mount points on those
already existing partitions?"  This seems weird to me.

So now I am back to square one.  I want to load 9.0RC2 onto this laptop
for reasons that aren't relevant to this thread, yet I am unable to do
so because as of 9.0 sysinstall has been replaced by bsdinstall.  

For the record, how do I upgrade to 9.0RC2 (or any 9.0 variant) from a
system already running 8.2-STABLE?  Had this attempt been using the
sysinstall method, I would have long since been up and running FreeBSD
9.x on this laptop.  Please advise.  Thanks in advance.



William Bulley                     Email:

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