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Date:      Wed, 23 Nov 2011 15:48:43 +1100 (EST)
From:      Ian Smith <>
To:        William Bulley <>
Cc:, Edward Martinez <>
Subject:   Re: where to ask about problems with bsdinstall in 9.0RC2?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:40:45 -0500, William Bulley wrote:
 > 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.

Sorry William, this arrived not long after I crashed, 18-hour odd time 
difference .. I've since seen Frank Shute advise how to csup from 8.2-S 
to RELENG_9_0 and in your case that's likely the easiest way to go.

As you see, you got exactly the same error I got with BETA1, and for the 
same reason - bsdinstall isn't running newfs on your existing partitions 
before trying to extract the distribution.  I thought that was going to 
be fixed before release, but clearly not yet.  It really needs the newfs 
toggle option of sysinstall/sade before it'll be useful as sysinstall.

You'd have to boot your DVD1, go into Live CD (formerly Fixit) mode and 
run newfs manually - if running sysinstall from there doesn't work?  I 
recall your 8.2 system was on slice 1, so likely:

# newfs /dev/ad0s1a			# /
# newfs /dev/ad0s1e; newfs /dev/ad0s1f	# /usr, /var

Then probably have to reboot DVD1 - I don't know if you can get back 
into the installer from fixit mode? - then the install should work, but 
of course you've by then lost your 8.2 system entirely.

 > 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.

The docs are very much a work in progress.  Even sysinstall requires you 
to at least enter the mountpoints for your existing partitions (within a 
slice); they're needed for install and of course to build /etc/fstab.  

In my case, wanting to preserve /home, seems I'll have to NOT supply a 
mountpoint for that partition in order for it to be left alone, and then 
add it into fstab afterwards, probably having to merge any newly created 
user there from /usr/home, revert the symlink etc.  Messy.

 > 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.  

Did you try running sysinstall (or sade), just to do the slicing + 
partitioning / newfs'ing from Live CD mode, only on DVD1 I guess?

 > 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.

In your case I think a source upgrade and building is probably the way 
to go.  In my case, my 8.2 is on another slice (s4), but I want 9.0 on 
s2, over an existing 7.4-RELEASE, because that slice has enough space 
for a decent ongoing 9.x system, and because I'd hoped to contribute to 
debugging bsdinstall - but then I moved and had no net access for nearly 
a month.  Still, I'm persisting with that plan and I'll keep hassling 
until this regression in functionality is fixed, for 9.1 now I guess.

cheers, Ian

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