Resolving Plex Update Failure in FreeNAS Jail “repository FreeBSD contains packages for wrong OS version”

plex-logo-e1446990678679I’ve been happily running Plex in a FreeNAS (FreeBSD) Jail for a while, picking up the periodic updates via “pkg update”. But now there’s a snag. Apparently a breaking change was introduced in a recent FreeNAS update and now binaries in the old jail are out of sync with the underlying operating system. The visible symptom is the following error message trying to run pkg update.

pkg: repository FreeBSD contains packages for wrong OS version: FreeBSD:11:amd64
Processing entries: 100%
Unable to update repository FreeBSD  
Error updating repositories!

Thankfully we get a detailed and specific error message. A web search using that error output found this discussion thread on FreeNAS user forums, which points to ixsystems issue tracker #27904. Reading the information, this break is not considered a bug in FreeNAS that will be fixed. Instead, the onus is on the user to manually update the jail (pointing to this page on how to do so) or to create a new jail.

After reading over the instructions on updating a jail, it seems easier to create a new jail and migrate my Plex server over to the new instance. None of the media need to be moved because they were a read-only mapping between directories on NAS volume and jail running Plex. It is simple to recreate the mapping after following FreeNAS manual for creating a new jail.

The only parts that needed moving were Plex server’s internal data, which Plex has documented here. Thankfully there are no tricky database operations involved – it is a straightforward copy operation to transfer from the old jail to the new one.

Once the new jail completed running pkg install plexmediaserver, a quick browse through Plex library seems to show everything is in order. The old Plex jail will be kept around in a non-running state for a while, just in case there’s something left behind in the move that we might want retrieve later.

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