Note on Extreme Sloth: By extreme application of the 'slothful' method of maintenance you could find yourself more that one major version behind (say, using 6.x when the current version is 9.x).
There is no attempt to analyze the reasons - it just works.But one is left with that vaguely uncomfortable feeling that if anything goes wrong the only solution will be a panicky google search and a lot of hope. As a minimum you should back up /etc and if it's a web server /usr/local/www (or wherever you keep your webs) and then anything else that is unique to this system (check-list).Here are your real choices for upgrade: The handbook says it, every HOWTO in the world says it, so we're gonna say it too. Most folks get kinda nervous when it comes time for an upgrade and postpone the fateful day as long as possible.This is a survival guide to keeping Free BSD up-to-date ('ish).This note covers the automated tools (freebsd-update and portsnap) and manual methods for updating Free BSD.
In general, the automated tools should be the preferred method.The manual methods are included for the sake of completeness, because some people prefer them and because sometimes - TINA (there is no alternative). As a passing observation if you were using entirely automated tools (freebsd-update and portsnap) you would not need be aware of this change - and might not even know about it. Note on Sloth: We generally follow the 'slothful' theory of OS maintenance.While the Free BSD Handbook is generally a terrific resource - always check it first - but it can either make assumptions about background knowlege or it keeps things as simple as possible to minimize errors. We check the security advisories, nod sagely when we read 'em, and using the new automated tools (portsnap and freebsd-update) we keep our systems updated.As we all know Free BSD, like Perl, provides at least 8,000 ways to do the same thing. And occasionally even upgrade the ports we have installed. A major version upgrade only when it gets to a minimum of x.1.Note on the move from CVS to subversion: The notes on manual methods have been updated to reflect the Free BSD change from CVS to subversion that from March 2013 covers both source upgrades and the ports system. We do nothing exciting, nothing even remotely interesting and if it smacks of risk, we lie down in a dark room for a couple of hours, then check that we have access to emergency medical assistance, before doing anything. Free BSD finally stops maintaining our release and we gotta do something. Hell can freeze over before we break that last rule.This survival guide was written because we suspect we are not alone and besides, the down-side of the 'slothful' maintenance theory is we are not constantly doing stuff and so forget....a lot....frequently.