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Manual Reference Pages  -  FREEBSD-UPDATE (8)


freebsd-update - fetch and install binary updates to FreeBSD


See Also


freebsd-update [-b basedir] [-d workdir] [-f conffile] [-F] [-k KEY] [-r newrelease] [-s server] [-t address] [--not-running-from-cron] command ...


The freebsd-update tool is used to fetch, install, and rollback binary updates to the FreeBSD base system. Note that updates are only available if they are being built for the FreeBSD release and architecture being used; in particular, the
.Fx Security Team only builds updates for releases shipped in binary form by the
.Fx Release Engineering Team, e.g.,
.Fx 9.3-RELEASE and
.Fx 10.1-RELEASE, but not
.Fx 9.3-STABLE or


The following options are supported:
-b basedir Operate on a system mounted at basedir. (default: /, or as given in the configuration file.)
-d workdir Store working files in workdir. (default: /var/db/freebsd-update/, or as given in the configuration file.)
-f conffile Read configuration options from conffile. (default: /etc/freebsd-update.conf)
-F Force fetch to proceed where it normally would not, such as an unfinished upgrade
-k KEY Trust an RSA key with SHA256 of KEY. (default: read value from configuration file.)
-r newrelease
  Specify the new release to which freebsd-update should upgrade (upgrade command only).
-s server Fetch files from the specified server or server pool. (default: read value from configuration file.)
-t address Mail output of cron command, if any, to address. (default: root, or as given in the configuration file.)
  Force fetch to proceed when there is no controlling tty. This is for use by automated scripts and orchestration tools. Please do not run fetch from crontab or similar using this flag, see: cron
--currently-running release
  Don’t detect the currently-running release; instead, assume that the system is running the specified release. This is most likely to be useful when upgrading jails.


The command can be any one of the following:
fetch Based on the currently installed world and the configuration options set, fetch all available binary updates.
cron Sleep a random amount of time between 1 and 3600 seconds, then download updates as if the fetch command was used. If updates are downloaded, an email will be sent (to root or a different address if specified via the -t option or in the configuration file). As the name suggests, this command is designed for running from cron(8); the random delay serves to minimize the probability that a large number of machines will simultaneously attempt to fetch updates.
upgrade Fetch files necessary for upgrading to a new release. Before using this command, make sure that you read the announcement and release notes for the new release in case there are any special steps needed for upgrading. Note that this command may require up to 500 MB of space in workdir depending on which components of the
.Fx base system are installed.
install Install the most recently fetched updates or upgrade.
  Uninstall the most recently installed updates.
IDS Compare the system against a "known good" index of the installed release.


  • If your clock is set to local time, adding the line

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

    to /etc/crontab will check for updates every night. If your clock is set to UTC, please pick a random time other than 3AM, to avoid overly imposing an uneven load on the server(s) hosting the updates.

  • In spite of its name, freebsd-update IDS should not be relied upon as an "Intrusion Detection System", since if the system has been tampered with it cannot be trusted to operate correctly. If you intend to use this command for intrusion-detection purposes, make sure you boot from a secure disk (e.g., a CD).


  Default location of the freebsd-update configuration file.
/var/db/freebsd-update/ Default location where freebsd-update stores temporary files and downloaded updates.




.An Colin Percival Aq
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