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Date:      Fri, 17 Aug 2012 07:37:23 +0100
From:      Matthew Seaman <>
To:        KK CHN <>
Subject:   Re: Few queries FreeBSD upgrade
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On 17/08/2012 07:13, KK CHN wrote:

> I observe the following error while installing from ports collection
> for any ports  in an old FreeBSD server
> "/usr/ports/Mk/", line 90: Malformed conditional
> (!defined(OPTIONS_DEFINE) || empty(OPTIONS_DEFINE:Monly)"))

Yes.  That's the result of a bug fix to make(1) which has allowed the
ports generally to use code patterns that formerly used to fail.  If you
don't upgrade the OS to get the make(1) fixes, then you get the fail.

> 1) Is there any solution for  this issue other than   upgrade ?

No.  Or at least, nothing that isn't less work than simply upgrading.

> 2) Please guide me:
> I must upgrade this  old release.   Can any one tell  me which order I
> need to upgrade?
> I mean from  6.2 Release to which next version and next  ?  please
> mention the sequence  to reach 9.0 Release
> 3)  Which  upgrade method I have to follow ?     Source upgrade or
> binary upgrade?
> I am ready to do  source upgrade  please shed some light on  the pros
> and cons of both ways of upgrade.
> 4) Which all are those system files & directories  I need to backup bef=
> doing any of the upgrade to retrieve the system in case anything goes
> wrong?

For an upgrade over so many major versions, what I'd recommend is
actually to start out with a fresh hard drive and install a brand new
system from scratch.  Port over all your local customizations and data.

This is a pretty inherently safe operation, as you'll always have your
old hard drive available as fall-back.  (But you should backup
everything in any case.)  It also lets you rethink the design of your
systems -- everything from the partition layout to the choice of
software used.  The best way of doing this is to have a spare machine so
you can have both the old and new systems running at once.  Failing
that, install both drives into the same system so you can access the old
drive while working on the new one.

Given that you started from 6.2-RELEASE your current drive must be
several years old, and quite likely to be getting towards the end of its
usable life.  Pre-emptively moving to newer disk hardware is a good way
to dodge potential problems there.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

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