7. Updating FreeBSD

There are two methods for updating a FreeBSD system: from source or binary updates.

Updating from source is the most involved update method, but offers the greatest amount of flexibility. The process involves synchronizing a local copy of the FreeBSD source code with the FreeBSD Subversion servers. Once the local source code is up-to-date, a new version of the kernel and userland can be compiled.

Binary updates are similar to using yum or apt-get to update a Linux® system. In FreeBSD, freebsd-update(8) can be used fetch new binary updates and install them. These updates can be scheduled using cron(8).


When using cron(8) to schedule updates, use freebsd-update cron in the crontab(1) to reduce the possibility of a large number of machines all pulling updates at the same time:

0 3 * * * root /usr/sbin/freebsd-update cron

For more information on source and binary updates, refer to the chapter on updating in the FreeBSD Handbook.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.
Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.