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I upgraded to Zen to FreeBSD 9.1


  10:09:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 1100 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage, FreeBSD, VirtualBox

I upgraded to Zen to FreeBSD 9.1

I have a number of FreeBSD projects at home on the go that I've been trying to find enough free time each weekend to tackle. Having a recent problem where my system will freeze/panic/reboot whenever I shutdown or saved a VM...I thought maybe upgrading to 9.1 would help. It didn't.

Anyways...I wondered how freebsd-update would proceed, given that checksums on everything had changed...because at one point during things I had rebuilt the world with optimized compile flags, though otherwise still running GENERIC and no other alterations, though later rebuilding kernels so uname would reflect p4 and p5....

But, from what it said it was going to do to get me upgraded, it seemed okay with everything. Though the merge was a bit strange....first time through it didn't present one of the merge conflicts for me to resolve (/etc/login.conf), so I said no when it asked if the file was ok before proceeding. That just stopped it instantly, had hoped that since it didn't ask how to resolve before that it would ask now. But, running the update again....it did ask for that file this time (otherwise I was considering what would happen if I fixed it by hand during or later.... So, then it went and upgraded.

And, then that's where all the fun started. While rebuilding all my ports wasn't necessary. It was necessary to rebuild all the ports that create kernel modules....like nvidia, virtualbox, fuse, webcam....

But, it didn't solve my recent VirtualBox problem. Well, sometime ago...without any notice in UPDATING... emulators/virtualbox-ose went from 4.1.22 to 4.2.6. Since I'm in Test4Theory, which is recommending against 4.2.6...I added it to HOLD_PKGS in /usr/local/etc/pkgtools.conf. To stay at 4.1.22, but had been wondering what I should do if I ever needed to rebuild the port. Also, I wondered what happened to 4.1.24, later I saw that emulators/virtualbox-ose-legacy was that version. So, I used "portmaster -o" to switch it and the associated kmod to that. I also did a pile of other changes to Zen around the same time....

Following SSD Craziness, I had decided to go ahead and move the snapshot directory of one of my VMs over to the 63GB zpool. Though with the freeze/panic/reboot, I then pulled back the move, to see if there was other hardware problem (I had already switched the original Sil3124 card for another Sil3124 card....though was wishing to switch back since now I was wasting ports... The first Sil3124 card has 2 internal and 2 external, which is the right mix for situation. The other Sil3124 had been purchased for lhaven, when I was having trouble with its SSD conversion. The thought was that I might want to hang more 5 bay Port Multiplier Enclosures off of Zen in the future so having another two external ports might be good.

Actually, the original thought was to replace the Sil3132 with the Sil3124...but when it came time, I opted to leave the Sil3132 in. Initially I had moved my existing enclosures to the Sil3124, but later moved them back to the Sil3132. Mainly to get the drives to more or less be in the right places. On the first Sil3124...the it showed up first...so its drives came before the internal drives....but the Sil3132 came later. So, I had my 240G SSD on the Sil3124 as ada0, my mirrored zroot as ada1/ada2 and the mirrored lcldsk as ada3/ada4, and then lraidz/lraidz2 splattered among ada5 - ada14...mainly because I had switched to having half the disks in each enclosure. Though I was thinking that perhaps I should go with all disks in one and then the next....since I had been having a problem where after a power glitch...one of the enclosures would lose it...and I would lose those drives. So far the zpool's recover fine after a reboot, though scrub takes a while to make sure. Worried that it might happen when I'm away, and wanting to keep Zen available as I become more dependent on it as a server than just a desktop (and don't see myself building a separate new server to better Zen anytime soon....though there's indication that I'm going to switch off the desktop part of Zen.... Something that has always been a possibility since I played with XCP. Considering getting a double conversion UPS for Zen.... Have also thought about getting ASM1061 based cards....perhaps a 2 port int and 2 port ext to replace the Sil3124/Sil3132s. I suppose if I really want 2 more ext's....I could lose the USB 3.0 card. Since I haven't connected anything that way, I wouldn't know what I'm missing yet. I do have some USB 3.0 stuff, but they're connected to computers that don't have USB3.0, and there's nothing here yet that I've needed to try connecting to Zen. I would just settle on finding a way to get my USB2.0 into VirtualBox.... (which is one of the reasons why a separate desktop idea is making a come back... )

Anyways...the switch...the internal drives appear first (ada0/ada1 zroot, ada2/ada3 lcldsk) then the Sil3132 (ada4-ada13 lraidz/lraidz2) and then the Sil3124 (ada14 is the 240G SSD) And, things seemed stable.

But, the VirtualBox problem was getting to be really annoying. Wasn't until I switched to console and did a savestate, that I saw that the high spurt of I/O at the 98% mark was actually it panic'ng my system and trying to write a crash dump. Which it apparently fails because the ICH watchdog expires and reboots the system. (I have a 16G SSD partition for dumps.)

So, I caved and switched to 4.2.6, and that solved things. Wonder if I should file a PR or not now....

And, then since then....there have been a lot of port updates involving libraries (libffi, boost-libs, gnutls), requiring lots of rebuilds of ports...so I'm effectively rebuilding all my ports following the upgrade to FreeBSD 9.1. Which is a pain...since it can cause breakage while things are in a mixed up rebuild state. libffi took days to complete, during which most X/Gnome applications lost the ability to communicate with my display. Probably wouldn't be so bad, except that I couldn't fire up IRC during the time.... At least Chromium remained semi functional....KPartsPlugin wasn't.... and of course, HTML5 audio had disappeared back in December...

Wonder when I'll get around to upgrading work computer to FreeBSD 9.1....hopefully the next restore/rebuild will hold. Before I give up on having a FreeBSD workstation at work. There's a 27" iMac on order, that someday I'll have to try to figure out how to squeeze into my tiny cubicle. Even if it finally ousts the Solaris workstation (Ultra 20, since I'll probably move its monitors to have duals on everything...or try triple on the iMac (as others have done).

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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