Revisiting Windows IoT

I was cleaning up my workspace this morning and my Raspberry Pi 3 device caught my eye. I haven’t messed with Windows IoT since the summer when I gave up due to the immaturity of the platform. I decided to check to check up on the state of things–after all, I still have a project in mind. It looks like Microsoft finally made an official release for Windows IoT: Windows 10 Build 10.0.14393.693. I downloaded the image and thought I would give this platform another shot.

Once again I could not get the Raspberry Pi 3 to boot. I had issues with the Raspberry Pi 2 as well. So next I reformatted the SD card, and tried again. No luck with the Raspberry Pi 3. However, the Raspberry Pi 2 was able to come up, and I could ssh into the device as well as control it through IoT Dashboard. I tried again and again with the Raspberry Pi 3 for quite awhile, and just when I was ready to give up, I noticed the LEDs. After applying power, there is some flashing green (ACTIVE) LEDs. After a few seconds though, there was no more green (ACTIVE) LEDs flashing, but the red power LED flashed once every couple of seconds. The Raspberry Pi documentation is not very easy to navigate for technical details, but after some searching it appears that the this happens when the power supply dips too far below 5.0 V.

I tried a few different wall-wart adapters from various phones or adapters, but no luck. Instead of using a wall-wart power supply, I decided to use the USB 3.0 port on the front of my PC as the power supply. And sure enough, within a few seconds, I was able to see the Raspberry Pi 3 in the IoT dashboard. It’s alive~~~~!

With the device working, now it was time to tackle Visual Studio. I probably should not have done so, but I am in the midst of upgrading to Visual Studio 2017. The upgrade is not going well either. I installed, rebooted the system as was requested at the end of the install, then tried to start Visual Studio 2017, but I have had a screen for hours now saying “We’re getting things ready…thanks for your patience.” I am going to have to kill the process and try again. Nothing ever upgrades smoothly in Windows land.

To be determined….as usual. I have read good things about C++ enhancements in Visual Studio 2017. I hope things are better in the Windows IoT world too.

Applied FreeBSD: Basic iSCSI

iSCSI is often touted as a low-cost replacement for fibre-channel (FC) Storage Area Networks (SANs). Instead of having to setup a separate fibre-channel network for the SAN, or invest in the infrastructure to run Fibre-Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI runs on top of standard TCP/IP. This means that the same network equipment used for routing user data on a network could be utilized for the storage as well. In practice, to get high-levels of performance, it is advised that system designers consider iSCSI Host Bus Adaptors (HBAs) for each iSCSI participating team, and that the network at a minimum have a separate VLAN for iSCSI traffic–or more ideally, have separate physical network.

My disclaimer: this article does not cover any of the above performance enhancements! The systems in this article are setup and configured in a VMWare Workstation virtualized environment so that I don’t have to physically procure all of the hardware just to learn about iSCSI.

This article will cover a very basic setup where a FreeBSD server is configured as an iSCSI Target, and another FreeBSD server is configured as the iSCSI Initiator. The iSCSI Target will export a single disk drive, and the initiator will create a filesystem on this disk and mount it locally. Advanced topics, such as multipath, ZFS storage pools, failover controllers, etc. are not covered.  Please refer to the following documentation on iSCSI for more information:

Now to get started…

iSCSI Target Test Setup

The disk drive which should be shared on the network is /dev/ada0, a 5G SATA disk created in VMWare that I attached to the system before starting it up. With FeeBSD, iSCSI is controled by the ctld daemon, so this needs to be enabled on the system. While at it, why not go ahead and enable it at boot time too?

root@bsdtarget:~ # echo ‘ctld_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
root@bsdtarget:~ # service start ctld
Starting iscsid.

The real magic is the /etc/ctl.conf file, which contains all of the information necessary for ctld to share disk drives on the network. Check out the man page for /etc/ctl.conf for more details; below is the configuration file that I created for this test setup. Note that on a system that has never had iSCSI configured, there will be no existing configuration file, so go ahead and create it.

root@bsdtarget:/dev # less /etc/ctl.conf
auth-group test{
chap “iscsitest” “bsdforthewin”
}

portal-group pg0 {
discovery-auth-group no-authentication
listen 192.168.22.128
}

target iqn.2017-02.lab.testing:basictarget {
auth-group no-authentication
portal-group pg0
lun 0 {
path /dev/ada0
size 5G
}
lun 1 {
path /dev/ada1
size 5G
}
}

For this setup, LUN 0 will be used by a FreeBSD iSCSI Initiator. I have LUN 1 configured for experimenting with Windows Server at a later time. Before starting ctld, it is a good idea to make sure that the /etc/ctl.conf file is not readable by all users (ctld will complain). At a later point it might be necessary to add iSCSI authentication for the sessions, and it would not be wise to have all users able to look at the authentication secret password.

root@bsdtarget:~ # chmod 640 /etc/ctl.conf
root@bsdtarget:~ # service start ctld

If there are any syntax errors or warnings, ctld will complain about it on the console. The ctladm tool can be used to query the system for more information, for example:

root@bsdtarget:/dev # ctladm lunlist
(7:0:0/0): <FREEBSD CTLDISK 0001> Fixed Direct Access SPC-4 SCSI device
(7:0:1/1): <FREEBSD CTLDISK 0001> Fixed Direct Access SPC-4 SCSI device
root@bsdtarget:/dev # ctladm devlist
LUN Backend Size (Blocks) BS Serial Number Device ID
0 block 10485760 512 MYSERIAL 0 MYDEVID 0
1 block 10485760 512 MYSERIAL 1 MYDEVID 1

 

That’s really it for the iSCSI Target configuration. The real effort is in setting up the /etc/ctl.conf file. And for a real production system, there would be more configuration with the exported disks, such as using ZFS shares, RAID-1 mirroring, et cetera.

iSCSI Initiator Test Setup

In order for a FreeBSD host to become an iSCSI Initiator, the iscsd daemon needs to be started. It doesn’t hurt to go ahead and add the instruction to /etc/rc.conf so that iscsid is started when the system comes up.

root@bsdinitiator:~ # echo ‘iscsid_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
root@bsdinitiator:~ # service start iscsid
Starting iscsid.

Next, the iSCSI Initiator can manually connect to the iSCSI target using the iscsictl tool. While setting up a new iSCSI session, this is probably the best option. Once you are sure the configuration is correct, add the configuration to the /etc/iscsi.conf file (see man page for this file). For iscsictl, pass the IP address of the target as well as the iSCSI IQN for the session:

root@bsdinitiator:~ # iscsictl -A -p 192.168.22.128 -t iqn.2017-02.lab.testing:basictarget

The command returns silently, but a look at /var/message/logs shows that the remote disk was recognized and is now recognized by the Initiator as /dev/da1.

da1 at iscsi3 bus 0 scbus34 target 0 lun 0
da1: <FREEBSD CTLDISK 0001> Fixed Direct Access SPC-4 SCSI device
da1: Serial Number MYSERIAL 0
da1: 150.000MB/s transfers
da1: Command Queueing enabled
da1: 5120MB (10485760 512 byte sectors)

The iSCSI session connection status can also be verified with iscsictl:

root@bsdinitiator:~ # iscsictl -L
Target name                                                 Target portal          State
iqn.2017-02.lab.testing:basictarget    192.168.22.128       Connected: da1

Once the disk is recognized by the iSCSI Initiator system, it can be configured for use on the Initiator like a regular SCSI/SATA disk attached to the system physically. The commands below create a partition and UFS filesystem on /dev/da1.

root@bsdinitiator:~ # gpart create -s gpt /dev/da1
root@bsdinitiator:~ # gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -l 1m /dev/da1
root@bsdinitiator:~ # newfs -U /dev/da1p1
/dev/da1p1: 5120.0MB (10485688 sectors) block size 32768, fragment size 4096
using 9 cylinder groups of 626.09MB, 20035 blks, 80256 inodes.
with soft updates
super-block backups (for fsck_ffs -b #) at:
192, 1282432, 2564672, 3846912, 5129152, 6411392, 7693632, 8975872, 10258112
root@bsdinitiator:~ # mkdir /iscsi_share
root@bsdinitiator:~ # mount -t ufs -o rw /dev/da1p1 /iscsi_share

If there is already a filesystem resident on the device, it only needs to be mounted after the iSCSI session is connected. Back on the iSCSI Target machine, it is possible to see all of the iSCSI Initiators connected

root@bsdtarget:/dev # ctladm islist
ID   Portal                   Initiator name                                                 Target name
6    192.168.22.136   iqn.1994-09.org.freebsd:bsdinitiator      iqn.2017-02.lab.testing:basictarget

Finally, if for some reason it is necessary to disconnect the system, unmount the filesystem and use iscsictl to disconnect the iSCSI session.

root@bsdinitiator:~ # umount /iscsi_share
root@bsdinitiator:~ # iscsictl -R -t iqn.2017-02.lab.testing:basictarget

There is much more to explore with iSCSI, this is just the very beginning, but it serves a a model and a starting point for this work. More to come in the future!

Update: Windows iSCSI Initiator

I am not a very savvy Windows user, and I am very new to Windows Server. I have just started to learn some of the basics. As such, I thought I’d try setting up a Windows Server 2016 host as an iSCSI Initiator. I won’t go into much detail other than what is required for setting up the iSCSI parts. Go ahead and fire up Server Manager.

initiator1

From the “Tools” menu, select iSCSI Initiator. It is also possible to start this application from the Windows search tool by searching for “iSCSI Initiator”. As shown below, when running it for the first time, Microsoft’s iSCSI service may not be running. If not, start it up!initiator2

There are many options for configuring the iSCSI Initiator, but for demonstration purposes we’ll cover the basic case. In the Target box, enter the IP address of the iSCSI Target machine and click on the Quick Connect button.

initiator4

A screen should pop-up window finding the IQN for the iSCSI Target service, and it should also state somewhere that the Login was successful.

initiator6

After closing out the pop-up window, the target should now be in the Discovered targets area of the Targets tab.

initiator5

Next go to the Volumes and Devices tab. Unless you know the exact mount point for the iSCSI volume, the best bet is to click the Auto Configure button which will get the data from the iSCSI Target, as shown below.

initiator7

I bet you wouldn’t have memorized that!  Both LUN 0 and LUN 1 are recognized by Windows. Press OK to exit out of the iSCSI Initiator application. Next, open up the Disk Management application on the Windows Server.

initiator8

Notice that two new 5 GB disks are present. The tricky part here is that I am not sure which is LUN 0 and which is LUN 1. My best guess is that the disk that is recognized as a healthy primary partition is LUN 0 which contains a GPT label and is UFS formatted.  Thus the unrecognized disk must be LUN 1, which was not modified by the FreeBSD iSCSI Initiator. In reality I would deploy two iSCSI portal groups, one for the FreeBSD iSCSI Initiators and one for Windows iSCSI Initiators. I might have a third portal group for shared volumes.

For the unrecognized volume, create a MBR partition with the Disk Management tool, and then create a FAT32 partition on this disk as well. I decided to name the partition ISCSI_BSD. As shown below, on this Windows Server, the E: drive is now LUN 1, or /dev/ada2 back on my FreeBSD iSCSI Target machine.

initiator9

The iSCSI drive shows up as a regular drive in Windows Explorer, as shown below.

initiator10

Inside I created a special message for viewing from the FreeBSD side:

initiator11

Finally, it is possible to verify the Windows access using the FreeBSD iSCSI Initiator. Reload the iSCSI Target session data, and now /dev/da2 is available on the FreeBSD Initiator. Even nicer, the FAT32 partitions are recognized by FreeBSD–less work to do! On Windows Server an MBR partition was created, which shows up as /dev/da2p1 in FreeBSD, and the actual FAT32 data partition is /dev/da2p2.

root@bsdinitiator:/iscsi_win_edrive # iscsictl -R -t iqn.2017-02.lab.testing:basictarget
root@bsdinitiator:/iscsi_win_edrive # iscsictl -A -p 192.168.22.128 -t iqn.2017-02.lab.testing:basictarget

root@bsdinitiator:~ # ls -l /dev/da2*
crw-r—– 1 root operator 0x72 Mar 4 22:32 /dev/da2
crw-r—– 1 root operator 0x77 Mar 4 22:32 /dev/da2p1
crw-r—– 1 root operator 0x78 Mar 4 22:32 /dev/da2p2
root@bsdinitiator:~ # mount_msdosfs /dev/da2p2 /iscsi_win_edrive
root@bsdinitiator:~ # cd /iscsi_win_edrive/
root@bsdinitiator:/iscsi_win_edrive # ls
$RECYCLE.BIN hello.txt
System Volume Information
root@bsdinitiator:/iscsi_win_edrive # cat hello.txt
Hello FreeBSD! This is Windows Server!
I made your /dev/ada1 into a FAT32 partition.
I call it E: Drive. Thank you!

It works! I can see the message from Windows land.

Configuration of DB2 CLI/ODBC Driver

IBM provides a CLI/ODBC driver for DB2 which is a light-weight shared library providing a basic ODBC API for accessing DB2. The driver is delivered in its binary form with shared libraries and header files, and it is available from IBM’s website. I recently downloaded the following version: ibm_data_server_driver_for_odbc_cli_linuxx64_v11.1.tar.gz. This post will cover setting up the driver for use with C++ programs. The SAMPLE database provided with DB2 will be used for testing out the connectivity.

DB2 installs in /opt/ibm on Linux, so I will install the driver to the same location and give ownership to the db2inst1 user which owns the instance of DB2 that is running on my system.

$   gzip -d ibm_data_server_driver_for_odbc_cli_linuxx64_v11.1.tar.gz
$   tar -xf ibm_data_server_driver_for_odbc_cli_linuxx64_v11.1.tar
$   sudo mv clidriver /opt/ibm/
$   sudo chown -R db2inst1 /opt/ibm/clidriver
$   sudo chgrp -R db2iadm1 /opt/ibm/clidriver

For each database that will be accessed via the CLI/ODBC library, a configuration for the libraries is required in the db2cli.ini file in the /opt/ibm/clidriver/cfg directory. Use the sample provided by IBM in the cfg directory to create the configuration.

$   cd /opt/ibm/clidriver/cfg
$   cp db2cli.ini.sample db2cli.ini
$   vim db2cli.ini

For example, to access the SAMPLE database provided with DB2, add the following configuration to db2cli.ini:

[SAMPLE]
Database=SAMPLE
Protocol=TCPIP
Port=50000
uid=db2inst1
pwd=db2inst1

If this is not done, there will be errors when calling SQLConnect() in C++ code later. Also make sure to copy db2cli.cfg to the instance user’s cfg directory.

$   su db2inst1
$   cp /opt/ibm/clidriver/cfg/db2cli.ini ~/sqllib/cfg/db2cli.ini

DB2 also provides a utility to validate the configuration file: db2cli with the validate option. Use this to make sure that db2cli is using the right configuration file, and that the tool can read the configuration for the SAMPLE database.

$   cd ~/sqllib/bin
$   ./db2cli validate -dsn SAMPLE

===============================================================================
Client information for the current copy:
===============================================================================

Client Package Type : IBM DB2 Express-C
Client Version (level/bit): DB2 v11.1.1.1 (s1612051900/64-bit)
Client Platform : Linux/X8664
Install/Instance Path : /opt/ibm/db2/V11.1_01
DB2DSDRIVER_CFG_PATH value: <not-set>
db2dsdriver.cfg Path : /home/db2inst1/sqllib/cfg/db2dsdriver.cfg
DB2CLIINIPATH value : <not-set>
db2cli.ini Path : /home/db2inst1/sqllib/cfg/db2cli.ini
db2diag.log Path : /home/db2inst1/sqllib/db2dump/db2diag.log

===============================================================================
db2dsdriver.cfg schema validation for the entire file:
===============================================================================

Note: The validation utility could not find the configuration file
db2dsdriver.cfg. The file is searched at
“/home/db2inst1/sqllib/cfg/db2dsdriver.cfg”.

===============================================================================
db2cli.ini validation for data source name “SAMPLE”:
===============================================================================

[ Keywords used for the connection ]

Keyword Value
—————————————————————————
DATABASE SAMPLE
PROTOCOL TCPIP
PORT 50000
UID db2inst1
PWD ********

===============================================================================
db2dsdriver.cfg validation for data source name “SAMPLE”:
===============================================================================

Note: The validation utility could not find the configuration file
db2dsdriver.cfg. The file is searched at
“/home/db2inst1/sqllib/cfg/db2dsdriver.cfg”.

===============================================================================
The validation is completed.
===============================================================================

Now it is possible to test out connection to the SAMPLE database via CLI/ODBC using the same tool. [Kudos to Easysoft for this tip!]

$   cd ~/sqllib/bin
$   db2 activate SAMPLE                  # set the active DB in the DB2 instance
$   echo “SELECT * from staff” | ./db2cli execsql -dsn SAMPLE
IBM DATABASE 2 Interactive CLI Sample Program
(C) COPYRIGHT International Business Machines Corp. 1993,1996
All Rights Reserved
Licensed Materials – Property of IBM
US Government Users Restricted Rights – Use, duplication or
disclosure restricted by GSA ADP Schedule Contract with IBM Corp.
> SELECT * from staff
FetchAll: Columns: 7
ID NAME DEPT JOB YEARS SALARY COMM
10, Sanders, 20, Mgr , 7, 98357.50, –
20, Pernal, 20, Sales, 8, 78171.25, 612.45
30, Marenghi, 38, Mgr , 5, 77506.75, –
40, O’Brien, 38, Sales, 6, 78006.00, 846.55
50, Hanes, 15, Mgr , 10, 80659.80, –
60, Quigley, 38, Sales, -, 66808.30, 650.25
70, Rothman, 15, Sales, 7, 76502.83, 1152.00
80, James, 20, Clerk, -, 43504.60, 128.20
90, Koonitz, 42, Sales, 6, 38001.75, 1386.70
100, Plotz, 42, Mgr , 7, 78352.80, –
110, Ngan, 15, Clerk, 5, 42508.20, 206.60
120, Naughton, 38, Clerk, -, 42954.75, 180.00
130, Yamaguchi, 42, Clerk, 6, 40505.90, 75.60
140, Fraye, 51, Mgr , 6, 91150.00, –
150, Williams, 51, Sales, 6, 79456.50, 637.65
160, Molinare, 10, Mgr , 7, 82959.20, –
170, Kermisch, 15, Clerk, 4, 42258.50, 110.10
180, Abrahams, 38, Clerk, 3, 37009.75, 236.50
190, Sneider, 20, Clerk, 8, 34252.75, 126.50
200, Scoutten, 42, Clerk, -, 41508.60, 84.20
210, Lu, 10, Mgr , 10, 90010.00, –
220, Smith, 51, Sales, 7, 87654.50, 992.80
230, Lundquist, 51, Clerk, 3, 83369.80, 189.65
240, Daniels, 10, Mgr , 5, 79260.25, –
250, Wheeler, 51, Clerk, 6, 74460.00, 513.30
260, Jones, 10, Mgr , 12, 81234.00, –
270, Lea, 66, Mgr , 9, 88555.50, –
280, Wilson, 66, Sales, 9, 78674.50, 811.50
290, Quill, 84, Mgr , 10, 89818.00, –
300, Davis, 84, Sales, 5, 65454.50, 806.10
310, Graham, 66, Sales, 13, 71000.00, 200.30
320, Gonzales, 66, Sales, 4, 76858.20, 844.00
330, Burke, 66, Clerk, 1, 49988.00, 55.50
340, Edwards, 84, Sales, 7, 67844.00, 1285.00
350, Gafney, 84, Clerk, 5, 43030.50, 188.00
FetchAll: 35 rows fetched.
>

The connection is looking good!  Finally, when building C++ software that uses the driver, be sure to link to add the following compile and link options to g++ or clang++:

-I/opt/ibm/clidriver/include
-L/opt/ibm/clidriver/lib
-ldb2

The relevant include file is “sqlcli1.h” and the primary library of interest is libdb2.so.1.

 

 

Installing DB2 on Debian/Ubuntu

IBM’s DB2 product is delivered as a binary installer for the Linux platform in a tarball format. It would be nice if IBM produced rpm or deb packages for distributing DB2, but I will complain no further. The installer has gotten *much better* since when I first battled with installing DB2 on Linux back in 2006. After downloading the binary, unpack it and kick it off!

root#   mkdir -p /opt/ibm/db2expc_installer
root#   cp v11.1_linuxx64_expc.tar.gz /opt/ibm/db2expc_installer
root#   cd /opt/ibm/db2expc_installer
root#   tar -xfz v11.1_linuxx64_expc.tar.gz
root#   cd expc
root#   ./db2_installer

This failed of course, no binary delivered in this form ever works out of the box. This was good though, as I really wanted to run db2_setup instead of the installer. The setup program is a Java GUI that makes it very simple to go through the configuration, including creating user accounts required by the DB2 RDBMS.

 Requirement not matched for DB2 database “Server” . Version: “11.1.1.1”.

Summary of prerequisites that are not met on the current system:

DBT3514W The db2prereqcheck utility failed to find the following 32-bit library file: “/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libpam.so*”.
DBT3520E The db2prereqcheck utility could not find the library file libaio.so.1.
DBT3514W The db2prereqcheck utility failed to find the following 32-bit library file: “libstdc++.so.6”.

Ugh…32-bit binaries required.

root#   dpkg –add-architecture i386
root#   apt-get update
root#   apt-get install libaio1 libstdc++6:i386 libpam0g:i386

Now it is possible to run the installer, this time with the GUI to make the job easy.

root#  ./db2setup

DBI1190I  db2setup is preparing the DB2 Setup wizard which will guide
you through th6:ie program setup process. Please wait.

The GUI setup program holds one’s hand the whole way, allowing one to setup db2inst1 and db2fenc1 users. After the installation is complete, I ran visudo to add my user account to the sudoers file for DB2 management:

bryan ALL=(db2inst1) /opt/ibm/db2/V11.1_01/bin/*
bryan ALL=(db2fenc1) /opt/ibn/db2/V11.1_01/bin/*

Finally, I usually like to create the SAMPLE database so that I can test out SQL commands and other IBM tools on a test database that actually has a good amount of data and tables.

db2inst1$   ./db2sampl

Creating database “SAMPLE”…
Connecting to database “SAMPLE”…
Creating tables and data in schema “DB2INST1″…
Creating tables with XML columns and XML data in schema “DB2INST1″…

‘db2sampl’ processing complete.

Now to install the CLI/ODBC library for C++ programs, and maybe IBM Data Studio…

 

 

FreeBSD Major/Minor Version Upgrades

Last year at some point I installed FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE on an old i686 computer. In the time between now and then, there was a 10.3 minor release as well as an 11.0 major release. I am not in a hurry to get to FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE yet, but I thought it was time to make the minor version upgrade to 10.3-RELEASE. Fortunately, upgrading FreeBSD is an easy process.

The current version of FreeBSD installed on the machine is shown below.

root@bsdbox:~ # uname -a
FreeBSD bsdbox 10.2-RELEASE FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE #0 r286666: Wed Aug 12 19:31:38 UTC 2015 root@releng1.nyi.freebsd.org:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC i386

To upgrade to the next minor version, use the freebsd-update command with the upgrade option and the release version.

root@bsdbox:~ # freebsd-update -r 10.3-RELEASE upgrade

Depending on your system, this command could take a while to run while it inspects the system. On this i686 machine, I just let the command run and came back after an hour or so to check on its progress.

Looking up update.FreeBSD.org mirrors… 4 mirrors found.
Fetching metadata signature for 10.2-RELEASE from update6.freebsd.org… done.
Fetching metadata index… done.
Fetching 1 metadata files… done.
Inspecting system…

The following components of FreeBSD seem to be installed:
kernel/generic src/src world/base

The following components of FreeBSD do not seem to be installed:
world/doc world/games

Does this look reasonable (y/n)?

After inspecting the system, the upgrade process is just making sure I am happy with the parts that will be upgraded. Enter “y” to continue, and then if you have an i686 machine, walk away and give it some time to fetch the updates.

Fetching metadata signature for 10.3-RELEASE from update6.freebsd.org… done.
Fetching metadata index… done.
Fetching 1 metadata patches. done.
Applying metadata patches… done.
Fetching 1 metadata files… done.
Inspecting system… done.
Fetching files from 10.2-RELEASE for merging… done.
Preparing to download files…
…(output truncated for the sake of sanity)…
590….39600….39610….39620….39630….39640….39650….39660….39670….39680….39690….39700….39710….39720….39730….39740….39750….39760….39770….39780….39790….39800….39810….39820….39830….39840….39850….39860….39870….39880….39890….39900….39910….39920….39930….39940….39950….39960….39970….39980….39990….40000….40010….40020….40030 done.
Applying patches… done.
Fetching 873 files… done.
Attempting to automatically merge changes in files… done.

The following file could not be merged automatically: /etc/ssh/ssh_config
Press Enter to edit this file in vi and resolve the conflicts
manually…

I had made some modifications to /etc/ssh/ssh_config on my baseline system, so rather than just overwriting the file, FreeBSD is offering me the opportunity to look at a diff of my original and the new version that FreeBSD needs to install. Luckily for me, I had just added one line, and I no longer needed it, so I edit out the changes and let FreeBSD move onward. Once you save the changes and exit out of the editor, the upgrade process continues.

…(truncated)…
/var/db/etcupdate/current/root/.k5login
/var/db/etcupdate/current/root/.login
/var/db/etcupdate/current/root/.profile
/var/db/etcupdate/log
/var/db/mergemaster.mtree
/var/yp/Makefile.dist
To install the downloaded upgrades, run “/usr/sbin/freebsd-update install”.

Excellent! The updates have been downloaded, my system has been examined, and all of the necessary modifications have been merged into the software to install. To initiate the actual install:

root@bsdbox:~ # freebsd-update install
Installing updates…
Kernel updates have been installed. Please reboot and run
“/usr/sbin/freebsd-update install” again to finish installing updates.

At this point, the system is ready to be rolled over to the next version of FreeBSD. Reboot the system:

root@bsdbox:~ # shutdown -r +1

Once the system comes back up, check out the version:

root@bsdbox:~ # uname -a
FreeBSD bsdbox 10.3-RELEASE-p11 FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p11 #0: Mon Oct 24 18:47:18 UTC 2016 root@amd64-builder.daemonology.net:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC i386

Nice! To finalize the install, run the freebsd-update command with the install option as directed in the output before the last system reboot.

root@bsdbox:~ # freebsd-update install

That is it, the system is now upgraded from FreeBSD 10.2 to 10.3! An upgrade to a major version is no different from the above, just specify the proper version. For example, to upgrade to FreeBSD 11.0:

root@bsdbox:~ # freebsd-update -r 11.0-RELEASE upgrade

Easy!

FreeBSD and Iomega ZIP Drives

Iomega ZIP drives and disks are dead technology, but I have an old box from 1999 that has a fully functioning 100MB ZIP drive. Out of the box, FreeBSD supports these devices through the SCSI subsystem. During the boot process, FreeBSD recognizes the drive as /dev/da0.

da0 at ata0 bus 0 scbus0 target 1 lun 0
da0: <IOMEGA ZIP 100 12.A> Removable Direct Access SCSI device
da0: 11.100MB/s transfers (PIO3, ATAPI 12bytes, PIO 65534bytes)
da0: Attempt to query device size failed: NOT READY, Medium not present

The last line is not a critical failure, it just means that there is no ZIP disk inserted in the drive. Rebooting the machine with a ZIP disk inserted results in the following output:

da0 at ata0 bus 0 scbus0 target 1 lun 0
da0: <IOMEGA ZIP 100 12.A> Removable Direct Access SCSI device
da0: 11.100MB/s transfers (PIO3, ATAPI 12bytes, PIO 65534bytes)
da0: 96MB (196608 512 byte sectors: 255H 255S/T 3C)

The last line shows that the ZIP disk media was recognized, and the number of 512-byte blocks is listed. A disk can be inserted at any time, and interestingly enough, when a disk is inserted into the driver, there are no messages in /var/log/messages indicating which partition the media is listed as. Running a listing on the devices in /dev can reveal some hints though.

root@bsdbox:/media # ls /dev
acpi consolectl kbd0 pci ttyv4
….
… da0 …
… da0s4 …

The drive represents the ZIP media on /dev/da0s4. According to older documentation from FreeBSD 6, slice 4 is where the device driver places the media partition.  To access the ZIP disk, first create a mount point on the filesystem, such as /media/zipdisk, and then mount the device using the mount(8). The zip disks I have are FAT formatted, so I need to use the “-t msdosfs” option.

root@bsdbox:/meda # mkdir /media/zipdisk
root@bsdbox:/meda # mount -t msdosfs /dev/da0s4 /media/zipdisk

This disk is now available on /media/zipdisk for reading and writing.  When finished with the disk, before physically ejecting it, be sure to unmount the filesystem first.

root@bsdbox:/meda # umount /media/zipdisk

Now it is safe to press the disk eject button on the drive. Of course for frequent use of a ZIP drive, entries should be added to /etc/fstab to make things easier. For infrequent use, however, the above methodology should work just fine!