If you have a system running FreeBSD 4 (4.9 was the most recent release at the time this document was written), it is possible to switch to DragonFly "in-place" through downloading the DragonFly source and compiling it.

  1. First, make sure you are running FreeBSD 4.9-RELEASE or later. uname -a will tell you what version you are running. Note: FreeBSD 5 versions will not work for this upgrade.

  2. Remove any FreeBSD source files from your machine. All commands after this point should be run as root.

    rm -rf /usr/src
    rm -rf /usr/obj
    mkdir /usr/obj

  3. If you do not have cvsup installed, these commands will download and install it for you:

    pkg_add ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packages-4-stable/Latest/cvsup-without-gui.tgz

  4. Fetch a configuration file for cvsup and run cvsup using that file:

    fetch http://www.dragonflybsd.org/community/dragonfly-cvs-supfile

    Comment out the lines that say:

    *default prefix=/home/dcvs
    *default release=cvs

    and uncomment the lines that say:

    #*default prefix=/usr
    #*default release=cvs tag=.

    Run cvsup using that config file.

    cvsup dragonfly-src-supfile

    You now will have the DragonFly source files in /usr/src.

    Note: the newly created file /usr/src/UPDATING will have the most up-to-date instructions on updating your system; double-check it before proceeding.

  5. You will now want to compile the userland and the kernel.

    cd /usr/src
    make buildworld
    make buildkernel

  6. Delete existing FreeBSD include files; having them available may cause conflicts later on.

    rm -rf /usr/include
    mkdir /usr/include

  7. Now, install the new DragonFly userland and kernel:

    make installworld
    make installkernel

  8. You will want to make sure your /etc directory is cleaned up:

    make upgrade

  9. You now can sync your disk and reboot your machine.


  10. Congratulations! Your computer will boot into DragonFly! Make sure to check the forums semi-regularly. If you have trouble booting, the bugs forum is the first place to go.

    You can repeat the cvsup/build/install steps on this page to keep your system up to date with the changing DragonFly codebase. (You will not have to repeat the make upgrade_etc step.)