Upgrading to FreeBSD 3.2 etc

Charles Brewster ecliptica.ww at virgin.net
Mon Aug 30 17:28:12 BST 1999

Hi folks!!

It being the Bank Holiday weekend, I decided to push the boat out and make
the change from 2.2.7 to 3.2, and, moreover, to risk doing it with FTP.

Well, I'm happy to report that after 13 hours of downloading (via a 56K
modem) at 4.30 am this morning I was able to re-boot to a working system!!
(thanks due incidentally to Brian Somers' ppp man pages for guidance on
configuration and how to talk to the modem direct from the keyboard).
Caution prevailed in that I didn't install 3.2 over my existing 2.2.7, but
rather used a couple of Gigs partition at the high end of my HD which had
recently been trashed in an abortive attempt to install Windoze NT (NT4
doesn't like a HD configuration which has a non-MS partition somewhere in
the middle of the drive  - doesn't work, ****s up the partition table, and
subsequent attempts to repair did the trashing).

A few observations for anyone else who may be comtemplating the move to
FreeBSD 3.2. -- Perhaps naively, I assumed that I would just be able to
copy various installed ports, shells, utils etc across from the 2.2.7
partition, so I didn't specify any ports to be included in the FTP install
of 3.2. This may have been a mistake, because (as far as I can figure it)
the old applications have "a.out" binaries and 3.2 requires "ELF" binaries,
so programs like "bash" or "mcopy" from 2.2.7 won't run on 3.2. Would this
be the case if I had installed 3.2 over the existing 2.2.7?? Does anyone

A point perhaps relevant to FreeBSD advocacy which was discussed here a few
months back. Why oh Why does a bare-bones install of FreeBSD not boot up
(as Linux does) with a shell which has the equivalent of the MSDOS $p$g
prompt so the user can at least see where s/he is in the directory
structure?? When I first installed FreeBSD about a year ago I recall that
it took me most of a day to get what I (and many others) would regard as a
usable command prompt. This time, partly because the "bash" from 2.2.7
won't work in 3.2, I've spent most of today trying to accomplish the same

I can't seem to figure out any straightforward or intuitive way to get a
$p$g type prompt in the default "csh" shell, and a new "bash" (2.03) fresh
downloaded from www.freebsd.org and installed in 3.2 with pkg_add delivers
the singularly unhelpful response:

/usr/libexec/ld-elf.so.1: Shared object "libhistory.so.3" not found

a visit to the FAQ and a search on "libhistory.so.3" reveals nothing. Does
anyone know anything about this mystery object?? Can anyone attach a copy
of it to an email for me please?? Alternatively can anyone please suggest a
patch or a download source for a version of "bash" which will install and
work in 3.2 or tell me what the workaround is.

There was some discussion a while back about "badge-ing" or whatever a UK
oriented FreeBSD distribution set to raise a bit of beer money for the UK
users goup ... IMHO something with a few mods to the install script which
would deliver a user interface tailored to a user with a UK keyboard and
some familiarity with MS keyboard shortcuts would be the ticket. Like an
.emacs script for those non-fluent in lisp which lets you do shift+arrow
highlighting and ctrl+c ctrl+v cut-and-pasting ... and which makes the
backspace key work like it does on just about every other PC application I
have ever used (including the version of emacs which ships with RedHat Linux).

With apologies for long-windedness & the ranting tone, and of course thanks
in advance for any kind assistance with the specific problems.

Cheers .... and happy Bank Holiday .... Charlie B

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