ivoras’ FreeBSD blog Just another FreeBSD Developer’s weblog

February 19, 2008

Downgrading 8-CURRENT to 7-STABLE (etc…)

Filed under: FreeBSD — ivoras @ 5:59 pm

I found myself needing to downgrade a system with 8-CURRENT to 7-STABLE. It was almost painless but I’d like to outline the procedure that worked for me:

* Get the right version of the sources with cvsup
* Build the kernel, boot it with reboot -k
* Make buildworld
* Make kernel
* Edit /usr/src/Makefile to add /rescue in front of the PATH so the utilities requiring FBSD_1.1 (hey! what’s with the “cp” utility requiring FBSD_1.1??) don’t get used
* Make installworld
* Mergemaster, etc. as needed

I didn’t have any ports on the machine; If I had I’d rm everything from /usr/local or rebuilt them.

This will probably work less and less reliably as 8-CURRENT diverges from 7-STABLE.


  1. THX
    it works

    Comment by Vladimir Ermakov — August 14, 2008 @ 5:32 am

  2. Was this done with physical access to the machine or over the wire?

    I am in need of doing this without access to the machine.

    Comment by Jeremy — March 30, 2010 @ 12:14 am

  3. Depends on how different in time the versions are. I’ve done this when there was relatively little difference between STABLE and CURRENT. It would be harder, for example, to downgrade 8.0 to 7.3. It might work if you are very careful but I wouldn’t do it over the wire if it were critical.

    Comment by ivoras — March 30, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  4. I think it works but missing somthing.
    the box booted but refused to accept my password when I try to ssh.
    done over the wire from bsd8.1 to 7.x
    it is not critical I will check the local screen tomorow and try to login with root :).
    thanks for the steps.

    Comment by Jisri — February 8, 2011 @ 2:57 am

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