OpenBSD Journal


Contributed by jose on from the upgrades-the-el-debarge-way dept.

tom hensel writes: "About Every six months one runs into it: RELEASE TIME of OpenBSD.

Real hackers will say: "So what? 'cvs up' 'make build' 'vipw' .. and done. But, what about people having machines without compilers, not enough disk space, slow CPU, "impossible" source upgrade paths (like a.out to ELF on i386) or whatever reason cannot follow this way? What about all the installed packages/ports and so on. What about "leftovers" in /usr/lib and thelike?

Reinstall from scratch? Annoying, boring and time-wasting, too.

Enough of it: debardage aims to help one out of this situation. Upgrade your OpenBSD system without lots of hassle or boring repetitive tasks from one version to the next (or downgrade it.. ).

Upcoming features:

  • Update all installed core system files (baseXX.tgz, compXX.tgz, ...)
  • Merge /etc (and no, it's not using mergemaster)
  • Update all installed packages/ports (since W^X, one should do that every time)
  • Take care of existing 3rd party software, which was not installed as a package
  • Remove unneeded/outdated binaries/libraries
  • New bootloader/kernel
  • ...
It is intended that all of this happens without interaction of the admin while upgrade time. Most "issues" will be resolved at creation of the CDROM (or bsd.rd), so one can reduce the downtime to an absolute minimum. If debardage will run into problems anyway, it will prompt the admin for help. It will logfile anything it does (pretty verbose) to a file on disk. "

Now's a perfect time to test this as we approach 3.4's release. Go forth and test, and report your findings to the authors.
Update Spoke to the author of the software, and this project is at a very alpha stage. This simply means that you shouldn't be surprised to see unimplemented functionality or bugs. Looks like the tool was announced a bit too early.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Tim Kornau () on

    Gonna try this new tool and learn


    1. By Michael Anuzis () on

      same. sounds like a very useful tool.

  2. By Nick () on

    I dont know if such a tool will take off in the paranoid security world. If you are paranoid enough to run openbsd, I seriously doubt that you are the type that would trust such a tool no matter how much feedback it gives you.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on


      > If you are paranoid enough to run openbsd

      That's not why I am using OpenBSD.

      To the author of the tool:
      "Copyright (c) 2003 GmbH" is not a valid copyright notice.

      1. By Philipp () pb@ on mailto:pb@

        aha? and why not?

        cause it has 'Copyright' and '(c)' *sigh*

        And now you think I've lost my copyright? go home ;)

        Fixed anyway.. pend ants ...


      2. By grey () on

        >> To the author of the tool:
        "Copyright (c) 2003 GmbH" is not a valid copyright notice.

        Umm, you really might want to provide further elucidation when you state things like that. My guess is you didn't because you're just repeating what someone else has stated. Sooooo, in an attempt to find other people stating similar things I did some oracle consultation. After a bit of googling, I found a whole -FOUR- (one repeat, so really three) instances of the phrase "not a valid copyright notice" all apparently written by pedants none of whom appear to be a lawyer, who seem to think that (C) is not a close enough approximation to the actual copyright symbol. I think one even went so far as to say that such an approximation would never hold up in court. (Note, they didn't cite any case where such a problem actually arose)

        On the contrary, I think that a court has much better things to do than deal with frivolous crap like that.

        IANAL(BIPOOSMB), but if I recall correctly, under Berne and most similar (e.g. USA, Canadian) copyright provisions - you don't even need to explicitly claim copyright in order for that work to have copyright. However, the converse, namely - disclaiming rights provided by copyright (publish, modify, etc.) need to be explicitly stated. Moreover, even for the pedants out there the use of Copyright are perfectly valid. Tossing in a (C) or other additional information (e.g. OpenBSD rocks) somewhere within the document I would wager is not grounds for invalidating the copyright.

        Now, while Disney might lobby some other insane changes to copyright enforcement in the future - I sincerely doubt that this approach will be one of them. It really sounds about as sensical as SCO's claims of invalidating the GPL due to copyright only allowing for one copy... Hey, I know - maybe SCO's lawyers should try this false claim on for size too since I'm sure there's plenty of (C) to be found in Linux (er... I mean misappropriated & stolen SCO code).

        I really think that rumours and BS like this should die, or at the least - be backed up by some actual court cases if people are going to start claiming that such practices should be avoided.

        1. By Anonymous Coward () on

          you don't understand...

          I will rephrase:

          " GmbH" is not a valid copyright holder. You need a {company}name there.

          You can not say "copyright", but you can say "copyright Google, Inc. whatever".

          1. By Philipp Buehler () pb@ on


            hehe.. well. the company name *IS* ""
            and a GmbH is like Ltd.

            Hamburg District Court: HRB 75948

            Satisifed now?


            1. By Anonymous Coward () on

              > Satisifed now?


              My mistake - should've checked what 'GmbH' stands for...

              1. By Alejandro Belluscio () on

                Haven't you ever seen GmbH like in SAP GmbH? Or the Sweede AB like in MySQL AB? Or the Finish Oy like in BitBoys OY? Or the French S.A.? Or the Spanish S.R.L? Or the Italian Spa? I think you should know that "outside" there are other "countries" which might not speak English (yes! it's true! and they are not all commies and mud farmers!).

                1. By tedu () on

                  "yes! it's true! and they are not all commies and mud farmers!"
                  right. they are all commies _or_ mud farmers. :)

                  1. By Anonymous Coward () on


              2. By Anonymous Coward () on

                GmbH == Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung == Corporation of Limited Liability

                1. By whoever () on

                  GmbH corresponds to smaller copropartions, while giants use AG (Aktiengesellschaft) = stock corporation; Corp. Not being German myself, I believe it has to do with share capital.

                  1. By krh () on

                    IANAL, but the translation of "GmbH" makes it sound like the equivalent of "LLC".

          2. By Anonymous Coward () Wim on mailto:Wim

            Wel eh, that means bvba is also a phantom company? ;-)

            (of course to a certain extend, it is! ;)

            Strange to see the whole world is considered to be US oriented.... there are more companies out there that don't have INC behind their name...

        2. By Anonymous Coward () on

          What is BIPOOSMB???

          1. By grey () on

            sorry... I was making up acronyms.

            I Am Not A Lawyer (But I Play One One Silly Message Boards).

            I think my first iteration of BIPOOSMB was actually BIPOOSD or BIPOO/. but, I don't really post to /. so that didn't seem accurate.

            1. By Anonymous Coward () on

              bleh, "But I play One _ON_"

            2. By Anonymous Coward () on

              ... But I Spell Like One

    2. By Philipp () pb@ on mailto:pb@

      Ohh, come on.

      It's a lousy bunch of shell scripts.

      It wont touch anything you do NOT have under
      better control if you use the official OpenBSD

      You dont like it? Your thing. :)


  3. By ansible () ansible at xnet dottage commage on mailto:ansible at xnet dottage commage

    Though it is a hassle, I do prefer to re-install every time.

    This is a good chance to document your system building. Make notes of all the files you had to tweak, what additional packages you had to install, etc.

    If you have copies of these files in multiple, safe places, that can make disaster recovery much, much easier.

    Also can help when deploying a new system that is similar to an existing one.

    1. By Philipp () pb@ on mailto:pb@

      That's a point debardage can do for one, also.

      All the collected data for building the upgrade
      ISO can be used for documenting the current installation.

      Actually - piece of cake :)

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