Friday, August 05, 2011

The FreeBSD portupgrade -a trap

Well, I hadn't used FreeBSD for quite a while so I got back to it yesterday.
FreeBSD 8.2-Release that I have installed on my Dell E520 booted without problem and everything seemed to work on the Desktop including Compiz 3D effects, AWN, Yakuake and Conky.
So, after ascertaining that everything was working fine, I think I sub-consciously went looking for how to mess things up.
What better than "portupgrade -a" for which I've seen several warnings in the FreeBSD forums.

pkg_version -vl "<"

showed about 40 apps out of date.
Indeed, running "portupgrade -a" seemed to go fine without errors, but when I rebooted, Compiz didn't start so neither did AWN. In addition, new windows were unmovable and stuck in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
Running "compiz --replace" gave an error about no manageable screens which pointed to the nVidia GeForce 7300 LE driver.
So, I downloaded the 280.13 driver and installed it as directed under the Additional Information tab.
However, after a reboot, I could no longer get to the Desktop and had to settle for a TTY.
At this stage pkg_version -vl "<" still showed very many apps that needed updating.
But, now portupgrade didn't seem to work anymore.
So, undaunted, I tried portmanager for the first time using this command
portmanager -ui

I liked the look of this as it's supposed to upgrade all dependencies before installing the main app.
For me it ran to completion, apparently without errors but, nevertheless, running the pkg_version command afetrwards shows a huge number, maybe 80, apps that were still out of date.
I haven't tried to reboot to a Desktop yet because, right now, I'm installing chromium browser from the www/chromium port and that seems to be going well.
Overall, however, I believe that I'll be reinstalling FreeBSD as I have doubts about what's happening.
IOf so, I'm really going to have to find out how to safely update FreeBSD as my many attempts over the years have mainly led to severe problems.

No comments:

Post a Comment