SUMMARY: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...

From: Howie Modell (
Date: Tue Sep 07 1993 - 17:33:01 CDT

I want to *thank* all the people who responded to my query ...

[original posting]
>I'm relatively new at being a sysadmin, and I'm hoping I can get "sage
>wisdom" from my much more experienced peers.
>I have a SPARC 1+ that is currently running 4.1.1 and I want to upgrade
>it to 4.1.3. Unfortunately, the way it is configured (I inherited it
>this way) "sunupgrade" tells me that I don't have enough room in root
>and /usr to do the upgrade.
>It has an small (apx 100MB) internal HD and a larger (>500MB) external
>HD and root and /usr are both on the internal drive (root ~~ 8MB, /usr
>~~ 74MB, and the rest is swap, and /etc -> /usr/etc and /bin ->
>Am I better off:
>1. trying to re-size and re-map the partitions around so as to
> make / and /usr big enough and do it as an upgrade, or ..
>2. simply erase everything and do a "from scratch" 4.1.3 install,
> and hope that I can edit in all the local mods I need to
> (instead of just watching for the "volatile" files)?
>If I do #1, is there any advice/suggestions (besides doing a full
>backup!!) on *how* to do it? Can I do a "remote restore", for
>example? How do I move the root partition?

The majority of the responses centered on option #2 as my Best Choice.
[I will include response at the end of this.]

As it happens however, *after* I'd posted to original request in
frustration at "what I wanted to do" versus "what it didn't seem like I
could do", I took a deep breath, and another look at what was in root
and /usr, and found things I could move to /usr2, and I also
deeper/longer into the SunOS 4.1.3 upgrade section and found the notes
on how to cut down what was touched in the upgrade (things like
-nobackup). The end result was that, by modifying my
"media_file.sun4.sun4c.sunos.4.1.3" file so that (just a few) things I
had loaded didn't get upgraded (like user-diags), and by moving things
from root and /usr to /usr2, I found the room to do the upgrade.

HOWEVER! I found that afterwards, I was still loading/invoking
OpenWindows 2.0 ... OW 3.0 didn't get loaded during the upgrade, even
though it was(?) selected in the "media_file.sun4.sun4c.sunos.4.1.3"

I copied the OW3.0 sub-tree from one of my other suns (a SPARC 10) and
*everything seems to work* ...

* have I done something hopeless stupid (if so, how badly hosed am I?)

* have I merely made an even number of mistakes? (only an odd number of
mistakes hurt you .. an even number of mistakes cancel each other out,
right?(-: ) or ...

* am I ok now??

editted responses follow:

>From Tue Sep 7 11:05:17 1993
>Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 11:31:57 EDT
>From: (Mark S. Anderson)
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>Content-Length: 2756
>X-Lines: 60
>Howard -
>This is a common problem caused by the fact that SunOS 4.1.3 is bigger than
>My personal preference is for #2. Be sure to make TWO complete backups,
>and CHECK THEM (try to restore some files from EACH filesystem that you
>backed up. Also, before you install 4.1.3, copy all your locally changed
>files to some place (like /tmp/local), and then back those up in addition
>to your regular backup. After installing the OS, you can easily restore
>these files to a temporary location to make it easier to incorporate them
>into the new OS.
>The reason I would do an entire new installation is that it is very
>difficult to resize / and /usr. To do that, you would have to create
>temporary / and /usr partitions, copy all the files over to them, install
>a bootblock on /, and reboot (telling the prom monitor which device to
>boot off of -- and you only have one other device). If you made a mistake,
>you will have to boot off of the cdrom and do a complete install. If you
>are able to reboot, then you will have to resize the original / and /usr
>partitions so that they will hold 4.1.3, copy the stuff from the temporary
>directories back to the resized partitions, install a bootblock, and reboot
>again. If all goes well, you can resize the other partitions as needed,
>and delete the temporary / and /usr files. Only then can you run the
>upgrade program.
>I will have to deal with the same problem, too. Just haven't has the time.
>Good luck!
>Mark Anderson
>The MITRE Corporation
>7525 Colshire Drive, MS W747 voice: (703) 883-6439
>McLean, VA 22102 FAX: (703) 883-1905

>From Tue Sep 7 11:06:33 1993
>Date: Tue, 7 Sep 93 07:08:01 EDT
>From: Larry Chin <>
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>Content-Length: 1868
>X-Lines: 45
>I don't think that a full installation of 4.1.3 will fit on a 100 MB hard
>drive, at least not with swap, answerbook etc.
>I would put either put the OS on the 500 MB hard drive or get a larger
>internal drive. A 424 MB will do.
>I know this is not much help, but there's my two cents worth.
>Tue Sep 7 07:07:58 EDT 1993
>Larry Chin {} CCH Canadian Ltd.
>System Administrator 6 Garamond Court
>Research and Development North York, Ontario.
>(416) 441-4001 ext. 349 M3C 1Z5

>From tpm@Anat.UMSMed.Edu Tue Sep 7 11:06:35 1993
>Date: Mon, 6 Sep 93 10:59:45 CDT
>From: Terence P. Ma <tpm@Anat.UMSMed.Edu>
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>Content-Length: 1304
>X-Lines: 26
>I am NOT an expert sysadmin. I, too, have a SS1+ that was on 4.1.1. I
>have upgraded it to 4.1.3 with NO real problems (except chasing down a
>few minor configuration problems). It took me a total of 12 hours from
>start to finish. It took me 2 hours to get a stable system while I
>chased things down for 12 hours. An experienced sysadmin would probably
>have taken only a couple hours.
>It is my experience that the 105 internal drive that came with the SS1+
>is totally useless. The root (/) space is okay (but should be at least
>16 MBytes) and I currently have a 380 MB partition for /usr. I also
>have kept /var and /usr on the same partition for now. My personal
>suggestion is to dump and then restore after newfs on the larger disk.
>Have suninstall do the disk formatting, etc.
>Terence P. Ma, Ph.D. Department of Anatomy
>VOICE: 601-984-1654 University of Mississippi Med. Ctr.
>FAX: 601-984-1655 2500 North State Street
>INTERNET: tpm@anat.UMSMED.EDU Jackson, MS 39216-4505
>--> If it were easy, some one would have done it already. Anon. <--

>From trdlnk! Tue Sep 7 11:06:36 1993
>Date: Sun, 5 Sep 93 15:02 CDT
>From: (Michael Sullivan)
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>Content-Length: 404
>X-Lines: 7
>I would do an install from scratch. I could be mistaken (maybe I'm thinking
>of 4.1.2), but I seem to recall that the upgrade fails to upgrade some
>portions of the filesystem (such as the stuff needed to build kernels).
>When reapplying your customizations, be careful not to wipe any of Sun's
>changes to the configuration files, for instance, there is a new console
>gettytab entry which is 8 bit clean.

>From ups!! Tue Sep 7 11:06:37 1993
>Date: Mon, 6 Sep 93 09:06:52 EST
>From: (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services)
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>Content-Length: 2735
>X-Lines: 66
>I'd suggest just doing a backup and then reinstalling from scratch.
>Since you've got a 500Mb disk as well, why not use that to backup your
>old root partition, eg:
> dump 0f - / | /big/root.dump
>Then after the upgrade you can restore the parts you need (usually
>things like passwd, printcap, hosts, ttytab, fstab, etc.) using the
>interactive mode of restore:
> restore if /big/root.dump
>When you do the install just go for / and /usr on the 100Mb disk. It'll
>be a tight fit, but should be possible. Don't select the 500mb disk for
>anything and it will be left alone during the install. Afterwards you
>can add it to /etc/fstab and mount the original partition(s) from it.
>Glenn Satchell | "This is a unix system.
>Uniq Professional Services Pty Ltd ACN 056 279 335 | I can do this easy."
>PO Box 70, Paddington, NSW 2021, (Sydney) Australia |
>Phone 02 360 7434 Pager 016 287 000 Fax 02 331 2572 | - Jurassic Park
> "Sun Accredited System Consultants" |

>From Tue Sep 7 11:06:39 1993
>Date: Mon, 6 Sep 93 08:42:24 BST
>From: Mike Cross <>
>Phone: +44 923 854722
>Organisation: IGE Medical Systems Ltd, Colney Street, St. Albans, Herts, AL2 2ER, U.K.
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>Content-Length: 833
>X-Lines: 23
>This may be a silly question, but why dont you just load SunOs4.1.3
>onto the external winch, and boot from it instead?
>If you want to upgrade the internal, I think there is an option to
>sunupgrade which will reduce the space needed by NOT saving the
>original files.
>If that fails the SunOS4.1.3 load from CD-Rom is very easy, it all
>depends on the number of changes made to the base system, and if you
>have records of the changes.
>If you are unsure of the system configuration (ie what has been
>changed) I'd recommend that you backup it all up and re-install from
>scratch, then see which bits are not working as expected, and recover
>the original files involved (/etc/rc.*) etc and see what needs
>changing. It will take a little longer BUT
> you will know what has been changed any why, which is very inportant.

>From Tue Sep 7 11:06:46 1993
>To: (Howie Modell)
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>Date: Sun, 05 Sep 93 22:12:10 +0100
>X-Mts: smtp
>Content-Length: 543
>X-Lines: 10
>> 1. trying to re-size and re-map the partitions around so as to
>> make / and /usr big enough and do it as an upgrade, or ..
>> 2. simply erase everything and do a "from scratch" 4.1.3 install,
>> and hope that I can edit in all the local mods I need to
>> (instead of just watching for the "volatile" files)?
>* 3) the size of the new OS is the same as the old one. Just pick off the files
>* that you really want, over the existing ones, or if you're a coward [ :-) ]
>* then onto the external dic, and then ZAP them over.

>From Tue Sep 7 11:06:47 1993
>Date: Sun, 5 Sep 93 19:43:49 +0200
>From: (Birger A. Wathne)
>Subject: Re: I want to upgrade my SPARC 1+ but ...
>X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
>Content-Length: 861
>X-Lines: 19
>If there is enough room on your 500Mb drive, you could build the
>volatile-file, make backups of the listed files on the 500Mb disk, do a
>full install, and update manually.... I think it will be faster and
>cleaner than mucking around moving partitions. Another possibility is
>to boot single-user (without using the -w flag), dump / and /usr to
>tape, reboot from CD, partition, reboot from mini-unix on the swap
>partition and restore / and /usr from there. If /usr is small this
>should be ok. Big restores tend to fail because restore runs out of
>memory (no virtual memory in the mini-unix). If you manage to restore /
>but not /usr, export /usr from another host, 'boot-swa' and tell it to
>use local / (/dev/sd0a or whatever) and remote /usr. Then restore the
>local /usr.
>As I said, I would prefer a full install. And a few patches on top of that ;)

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