Build world on your fast box, install on your slow boxThe build world process is used to upgrade FreeBSD from one version to another (e.g. 4.2-RELEASE to 4.2-STABLE). This process involves downloading source code, compiling it, installing it, and resolving any configuration file issues, although not necessarily in that order. The best place to read about this process is the FreeBSD Handbook (just search for NFS).
In my case, I have a fast dual Xeon box, and a much slower 486 box (see "my first" at the bottom right of this page). When I first did a build world, it took 57 hours on my 486 with 16MB of RAM. That’s not something I’m likely to do very often. Fortunately, the build world process is divided up nicely into distinct sections which will me to build world on the Xeon, and then install to the 486.
This process uses NFS, so we’ll assume you have NFS configured on both boxes. I’ve configured my Xeon box as an NFS server and my 486 as an NFS client. Full instructions on how to do these configurations are included in the NFS link above
13 March 2000 – I updated the script file and modified this article
accordingly. Things have changed in the kernel building arena, so I’ve added
KERNCONF to the makefile. For more information on
the man page for
I also added three new options to the makefile:
I also changed the format of the log files:
The value of <action> depends on what you did:
Action Description update cvsup results bw build world iw install world kernel build and install kernel kernelbuild build kernel kernelinstall kernel install merge mergemaster
You can also delete the logs with make cleanlogs.
A few warningsYou must ensure that you use the same settings for building as for installing . If you don’t, you could be asking for trouble.
- Any -D variables defined in the buildworld must also be supplied in the installworld
just like the makeworld handbook
page says. In short, any options you use on the make buildworld must also be used on
the make installworld. There will be tears if you don’t.
- Don’t set CPU specific optimization flags and then do the installworld on a other-than
- Read /usr/src/UPDATING. It contains the latest information about building. The information on build world can quickly become dated.
Those are the primary things you should consider. But some recent talk has been
/etc/make.conf on each box contain similar settings. Remember to
take into account
/etc/defaults/make.conf. Most people will not have
to worry about this. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you probably
don’t need to be concerned.
The other thing to note is that I am using a custom makefile for this process. You don’t have to use this makefile, but I’ve found it quite useful. See the Resources section for details on this makefile. As much as is possible, I will give both sets of commands: the command for my makefile and the command the makefile actually issues. I use this makefile because it is easy, convenient, saves typing, and automatically creates logs for me. I normally put this makefile in /root/make but it can reside anywhere. I merely find that location convenient so I can easily do this:
[dan@xeon:~] $ su -l
[root@xeon:~] # cd make
From there, I can issue all the commands which appear in the following sections…unless otherwise stated.
NOTE: I put this makefile on both boxes, the XEON and the 486. I configured each box accordingly:
- on the XEON box, I put MYKERNEL=XEON
- on the 486, I put MYKERNEL=DUCKY
If you don’t set them correctly on each box, you might wind up installing the wrong kernel. That’s no big deal. Just follow the instructions in the handbook for booting from an alternative kernel. Here’s the short version: press space at the booting countdown, then enter unload, then enter boot kernel.old (or whatever kernel you want; type ls for a list).make world script (originally from Jim Mock), which isn’t necessary, but keeps the commands handy and keeps nice logs. I will assume you have already downloaded this script, installed it, and configured it.
I found out how to do this type of install by reading the FreeBSD Handbook (available both online and in book form). In the handbook, I found this section on make world. Search the page for a reference to NFS (it’s under 188.8.131.52. Version 2.2.5 and above).
NFS exports – on the Xeon (server)Here are the NFS exports I put on my Xeon box. 10.0.0.45 is the IP address of my 486.
[root@xeon:~] # more /etc/exports
/usr/src /usr/obj 192.168.0.20
Note that all exported directories within the same file system must appear on one line.
/usr/obj are on the same file
NFS imports – on the 486 (client)My 486 already had a
/usr/obj. But I didn’t worry about that. These commands will not overwrite these files. You may have to create these directories before issuing the following mounts.
Here are the NFS mounts which I issued on the 486. These will allow the 486 to see the files on the Xeon.
# mount -v xeon:/usr/src /usr/src
xeon:/usr/src on /usr/src (nfs)
# mount -v xeon:/usr/obj /usr/obj
xeon:/usr/obj on /usr/obj (nfs)
xeon, you could use the IP address of the server or the name of
the box. Use whatever works and what you normally use.
The quick and easy guideThis section outlines the steps which are detailed below. This intended to be a quick reference for those who are familiar with the steps and just need a quick reminder of what to do. Again, this assumes you have installed the makefile in ~/make when you were su’d to root.
Remember to create your kernel configuration file first and set the name of this file within the Makefile (see MYKERNEL).
- su to root
- cd ~/make
- make update (updates your sources)
- make build – does a build world.
- make kernelbuild MYKERNEL=DUCKY on the fast box
- make kernelinstall MYKERNEL=DUCKY on the slow box
- /usr/src/UPDATING recommends a reboot here just to make sure the kernel you just built is operational. If it is not you can still reboot to kernel.old and still have your world and kernel in sync. For what it’s worth, I don’t usually do this reboot.
- make install – installs the results of the above builds
- make merge – merges the configuration file changes
update sources and build world – on the XEONThe build world is always done on the fast box. This involves several steps:
# make update
# make world
These two steps update your source code and does a make world (compiles the base system). If you were issuing these commands manually, this is what you would type:
# cd /usr/src
# cvsup -g -z -L2 supfile
# make buildworld
where supfile is the name of your cvsup configuration file.
My elapsed time: 2.5 hours.
I suspect it’s my disks which are slowing me down. I know it takes only about an hour on a Pentium III (compared to the dual XEON I have) box a client has. But I know they have faster disks.
Build the 486 kernel on the XEONI upgraded the XEON first to 4.2-stable first. Mostly so I could use it to build the kernel for the 486. I didn’t want to do anything on the 486 which I didn’t have to do. I copied the 486 kernel configuration file to
/usr/src/sys/i386/confon the Xeon.
# make kernelbuild MYKERNEL=DUCKY
This assumes the kernel configuration file for the 486 is named DUCKY and has been copied to the XEON box (i.e. /usr/src/sys/i386/conf).
These are the commands you would type manually:
# make buildkernel KERNCONF=DUCKY
Now that doesn’t look like much saving on keystrokes, but the script does create a log for you.
Note that I did not do an install. The above commands were issued on the Xeon, not the 486. The install will be done on the 486.
My elapsed time: 18 minutes.
kernel install on the 486I’ve already built the 486 kernel on the Xeon. I copied the configuration file from the 486 to the XEON via FTP. Then I moved it into
/usr/src/sys/i386/conf/and build a kernel as normal. Remember: I had my custom makefile on both boxes! This time, I’m issuing the commands on the 486.
# make kernelinstall MYKERNEL=DUCKY
Remember: this directory actually resides on the XEON, because of the NFS mount. But it will install the kernel on the 486.
The manual command for this is:
# cd /usr/src
# make installkernel
My elapsed time: 2 minutes.
Optional rebootThis is where you can reboot to make sure you have a working kernel. If the box doesn’t reboot, follow the instructions in the handbook for booking an old kernel. Basically, you press the space bar during the boot countdown, then type unload, then boot kernel.old.
install world on the 486In a previous section, I set up the NFS mounts on the 486. This allows me to install the files from the Xeon onto the 486. This will still take quite some time (the 486 isn’t very fast, but at least it’s not compiling world).
# make install
Actually, I had the make world script on the 486,
so all I did, as root, was
cd ~/make ; make install.
The manual commands would be:
# cd /usr/src
# make installworld
My elapsed time: 30 minutes.
Since this was a production box, I actually did a
nice 15 make install so
that it ran at a lower priority.
mergemasterThe next step was do to the mergemaster run on the 486. mergemaster I used my script for that:
# cd ~/make
# make merge
If you’re not using my script, I suggest you follow the normal mergemaster instructions for upgrading. But here’s the extract from my makefile:
# mergemaster -w 120 -t
My elapsed time: 10 minutes.
reboot timeAfter a
shutdown -r nowon the 486, it came up with FreeBSD 4.2-STABLE.
Note: I do remember a problem with
may have been my fault, but I didn’t get the new file during the upgrade. I may have
screwed up with my merge. The symptoms turned up when I tried to used SSH.
Sorry, but I didn’t record the details. I think it had to do with system keys being
in a different format.
Errors I have known (added on 15 August 2003)I got this error when I forgot to mount the NFS volumes on the slow box.
>>> Installing everything..
cd /usr/src; make -f Makefile.inc1 install
creating osreldate.h from newvers.sh
setvar PARAMFILE /usr/src/include/../sys/sys/param.h; . /usr/src/include/../sys/conf/newvers.sh; echo "$COPYRIGHT" > osreldate.h;
echo "#ifdef _KERNEL" >> osreldate.h; echo '#error "osreldate.h must not be used in the kernel, use sys/param.h"' >> osreldate.h; echo "#else"
>> osreldate.h; echo \#'undef __FreeBSD_version' >> osreldate.h; echo \#'define __FreeBSD_version' $RELDATE >> osreldate.h; echo "#endif"
touch: not found
*** Error code 127
Stop in /usr/src/include.
*** Error code 1
Stop in /usr/src.
*** Error code 1
I solved the problem by mounting the NFS volumes and trying again. On the slow box, I actually had a fully
/usr/obj from a previous build world.
When I first saw this error, I thought it was
caused by the clocks on the two boxes not being set to the same time. After fixing that issue, the problem
still occurred. It wasn’t until later that I noticed I had not remounted the NFS volumes.