Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

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Jim Comfort
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2022 2:26 am

Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

Post by Jim Comfort »

So, I posted a few weeks ago about trying (and failing) to revive a 32 bit ghostBSD as a hobby project. I'm not too worried about security issues, I just want to give this perfectly good 32 bit system a repurposing rather than haul it to the dump because it's a few years old.

I first tried with a 10.3-RELEASE, and got nothing but frustration. I then downloaded a prealpha 11.0 release, but the installer essentially installed the installer, and had no good functionality. Then I noticed another, more recent version of the prealpha, and downloaded it. I ran the install, but I couldn't get ports or packages working because of the lack of repositories for old release free/ghost bsd's. I tried several times to run version upgrades, but upgrading to any 12.x releases resulted in not being able to login.

Then I discovered the virtues of VirtualBox snapshots, and did a fresh install of the prealpha. I let the ghost updater do it's thing, then once it updated, I ran a freebsd-update. It gave me the now-familiar "your system sucks, we don't like you anymore" message. But I'd found a repository mirror site at pk0.nyi.freebsd.org, and pointed to that in a /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos conf file. At first, trying to run a pkg update failed, complaining about pkg version. So, I found a pkg.txz from the 11.1 folder, downloaded it, and did a sudo pkg install, and it upgraded the pkg to a higher version, and suddenly I had packages working, so I installed a few things, and everything was great.

Alas, I then tried to get ports working as well, and things fell apart. Somewhere along the way, probably running the pkg2ng program, the pkg version shifted back to the old version.

So, I'm getting ready to restore the vbox snapshot to the 11.0 release after the updates and try to get packages up again. Am I missing a trick to get the ports working after I get pkg up? And is this still a ghostBSD install after all the freebsd updates?

If this is off-topic, I apologize, but I've seen other posts about EOL systems, and this seems to be a way to rejuvenate an old "useless" machine.
Jim Comfort
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2022 2:26 am

Re: Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

Post by Jim Comfort »

I restored the snapshot, and uname -a reports it as 11.0-RELEASE-p15. I ran a freebsd-update, and got the expected "screw you". I then created a /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/ghostBSD.conf file and copied and pasted the freeBSD.conf file contents and edited the http site to https://pkg.freebsd.org/FreeBSD:11:i386/release_0/, then ran pkg update, and it found 25,364 packages. Then I ran pkg upgrade, and it ran, too. Both the update and the upgrade complained about "meta has wrong version 2", but ran.

Then, testing out the packages, I ran a pkg install chromium, and it worked. I may have to be happy with the packages working and skip the ports option, but I'd like to be able to compile ports as well (again, this is a hobby machine that doesn't need to be really secure, as its behind VBox and my host, Windows 7 firewall. As such, mixing ports and packages shouldn't ought to cause me too much grief. oh, and the version of pkg is 1.8.8. I'm assuming that newer pkg is needed for newer packages, but that's just a guess.

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
RodMyers
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:16 pm

Re: Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

Post by RodMyers »

you can not "upgrade" using FreeBSD centric upgrade methods. as you see, they will mess the system up.

If you want a 32bit freebsd system, stick with freebsd proper
Jim Comfort
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2022 2:26 am

Re: Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

Post by Jim Comfort »

Sure, I realize that I can't upgrade this ghostBSD version to a good one, mainly because from what I've seen, ghostbsd has gone 64 bit, leaving 32 bit users without many options. As this particular install is a hobby only, I figured I'd play with it and get as much of it as possible functional and usable. On that count, I'd say it's working, as I'm typing this in Chromium running on the updated system that still reports itself as FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE-p15.

As I said, it'd be nice to get ports working, too, so I could practice compiling, too, but right now, I'm just glad that I can install anything. Before finding that mirror with the old releases, all "pkg install x" would give me was a "you need to upgrade". Which I found somewhat ironic, since Linux for years on the ability to run on old hardware. Now, they want to throw out the old machines and go 64 bit only. I don't understand the logic.

From what I can tell, I've got a ghostBSD front-end for a freeBSD, since I'm also currently looking at an XFCE4 desktop that I just installed from packages.

One other thing I may try is upgrading from the freebsd 11.0-release to 11.4, then trying incremental upgrades until I reach a version that's currently supported. I found out the "hard" way that a single jump from 11.0 to 12.3 blows it up. But I'll be sure to take another snapshot in VBox before I try that.
RodMyers
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:16 pm

Re: Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

Post by RodMyers »

ghostBSD has followed FreeBSD into the 64-bit world.

GhostBSD defaults to MATE, but you can always change after you get installed.

Understand about the jump. From my understanding, the incremental upgrades keep things in sync
Jim Comfort
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2022 2:26 am

Re: Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

Post by Jim Comfort »

For what it's worth, I found out that it didn't so much break the ghost install, but I think it must be down to the .Xauthority, .serveraccess.xxx, and .xauth that's keeping me from getting a gui back after an upgrade of freeBSD. I updated, then upgraded packages, and I can get to a Mate login screen, but the login fails. I can still Ctrl-Alt-F1 to the system shell and login, but I can't get it into Mate yet.

I'll keep dinking with it. It's a fun project, actually.

Jim
RodMyers
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:16 pm

Re: Reviving an old ghostBSD 32 bit install in Virtualbox

Post by RodMyers »

try creating a new user, and seeing if that works. then compare
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