Buffy gets an upgrade

I had my office desktop (buffy) upgraded yesterday to a shiny new HP Compaq DC5800 (1 x Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00GHz, 2GB) with a wide screen 24″ HP LP2465. The move process worked like this:

1. Remove the old 80G IDE and 40G SATA from the old HP desktop
2. Install the 40G SATA along with the new 160G SATA into the new desktop
3. Boot from the 40G SATA into my existing FreeBSD 7.0 installation
4. Fix drivers for Network and Graphics (Xorg)
5. Convert the 160G SATA into a dedicated ZFS pool
6. Use an external IDE to USB connector and move the data off the 80G IDE into the ZFS pool
7. Enjoy

GRUB had to make things complicated going “GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB….” after the disk swap. I fixed this by downloading the FreeBSD 7.0 livecd, chrooting to my root disk and rerunning grub as below:

root (hd0,0,a)
setup (hd0)

[buffy] ~> sudo zpool status
pool: tank
state: ONLINE
scrub: none requested

tank ONLINE 0 0 0
ad2 ONLINE 0 0 0

errors: No known data errors

[buffy] ~> df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Capacity Mounted on
/dev/ad0s1a 3.9G 2.7G 848M 77% /
devfs 1.0K 1.0K 0B 100% /dev
/dev/ad0s1e 9.7G 8.7G 231M 97% /home
/dev/ad0s1f 22G 17G 3.2G 84% /usr
procfs 4.0K 4.0K 0B 100% /proc
tank/movies 123G 1.1G 122G 1% /mnt/movies
tank/music 145G 23G 122G 16% /mnt/music
tank 122G 0B 122G 0% /tank
tank/obj 123G 532M 122G 0% /usr/obj
devfs 1.0K 1.0K 0B 100% /var/named/dev
/dev/da0s1a 2.0G 804M 1.0G 43% /mnt/old/a
/dev/da0s1e 70G 67G 1.5G 98% /mnt/old/e

What I really liked about the whole process is that my installation has survived 4 years (for as long as I have been with the company FWIW) without a single re-installation of the OS. My upgrades have worked seamlessly from FreeBSD 4.8 onwards to my currently updated latest and greatest FreeBSD 7.1. Of course, every time there is a GCC major version bump I have to recompile the entire ports collection via a simple portupgrade command which happens like once a year.

Barring the GRUB incident, it could not have gone any smoother.

By Shanker Balan

Shanker Balan is a devops and infrastructure freelancer with over 14 years of industry experience in large scale Internet systems. He is available for both short term and long term projects on contract.

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