Stay Current with OpenSolaris The Easy Way: BFU Upgrades

Posted on March 26, 2007

We’re very lucky in the OpenSolaris community to have a variety of ways to stay current. They include:

Thats a lot of choice which is a estimate to the hard work of the guys at Sun and particularly Steve Lau.

Personally I’m big on BFU Archives for quick upgrades and functionality testing, and then using Community Edition for deployment because its all ready for Jumpstart configurations.

Are you BFU upgrading your home dev boxes? Its easy:

  1. Go to the OpenSolaris Download Center and download the BFU Archives and ON Specific Build Tools. Thats all you need.
  2. Unpack and install the SUNWonbld package. If you have an old version, uninstall it first:
    root@aeon $ tar xfvj SUNWonbld-20060828.i386.tar.bz2
    root@aeon$ cd onbld
    root@aeon onbld$ pkgrm SUNWonbld
    root@aeon onbld$ pkgadd -d . SUNWonbld
    root@aeon onbld$ cd ../
  3. Unpack the BFU Archives:
    root@aeon $ tar xfvj on-bfu-20060828.i386.tar.bz2
  4. Now define the following environmental variables:
    export FASTFS=/opt/onbld/bin/i386/fastfs
    export BFULD=/opt/onbld/bin/i386/bfuld
    export GZIPBIN=/usr/bin/gzip
    export PATH=/opt/onbld/bin:/opt/onbld/bin/i386:$PATH
  5. Now shutdown your important apps, be ready to reboot your system, and execute the bfu command with the full path to the archives:
    root@aeon $ bfu /home/benr/OpenSolaris/archives-20070228/i386/
  6. When it completes, run the acr command with full path:
    # /opt/onbld/bin/acr
  7. As soon as this is done, if nothing looks majorly out of place, reboot the system.

This process works well, is easy, and you can upgrade your system while planning your day. Just remember to keep your system fairly up to date. Doing upgrades over long spans of time can cause issues (Find out exactly why here). But, so far in all my upgrades I’ve only had a single BFU upgrade go bad and it was going from B41 to B49 in a “if it fails, oh well” attempt. If your smart and putting all your important data on ZFS you have little to worry about if an upgrade goes bad anyway… just reinstall the system and import your filesystems. All hail ZFS!

If you haven’t tried a BFU upgrade yet I highly encourage you to gather the courage and give it a try. The procedure above is the exactly one I use time after time. I just upgraded this afternoon before putting the kids down for their naps and am happily running B61 now.