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Upgrading opal (APU1D4) to Freebsd 11.0

The upgrade of crimson to Freebsd 11.0 was without incident, but upgrading opal, the wireless hub, based on an APU1D4 was more interesting.

The first problem was that buildworld ran out of space on /usr. The storage needs of /usr/obj must have increased. To work around this, I created an obj directory on /rep (lots of space) and a softlink from /usr/obj to the directory. I added the following line to the build script:

  MAKEOBJPREFIXDIR=/rep/obj

The build of world and kernel succeeded, so I installed the new kernel and attempted a boot.

I could not connect via the local network. Ethernet port lights were flashing, but opal would not talk to me. I dug out the serial cable and conected up via cu -115200 (115200 is the default baud rate of the APU1D4 serial port). No response to my keypressess, not even garbled characters. At this point, I should have thought about trying different speeds, but I didn't. Instead I power-cycled the box, rebooting from the USB stick I had installed FreeBSD from. This booted OK. At at this point I remember that I had made changes to the USB image to run the console at 115200, since the default for FreeBSD is 9600. This has not been copied into the SSD.

The reason the bridge did not come up was that hostapd didn't match the kernel. Once make installworld was run, that was fixed.

So, for the record ...

  [mark@opal:~]% cat /boot.config
  -P -S115200
  [mark@opal:~]% cat /boot/loader.conf
  console="comconsole"
  boot_serial="YES"
  comconsole_speed="115200"

Note to self: if a cu line speed of 115200 fails, try 9600.

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