FreeBSD Update is the binary update solution [Re: HEADS UP: Release schedule for 2006]

Frode Nordahl frode at
Wed Jan 18 14:09:29 PST 2006

On 22. des. 2005, at 22.17, Jo Rhett wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 17, 2005 at 06:19:25PM -0700, Scott Long wrote:
>> FreeBSD Update was written by, and is continuously maintained by the
>> actual FreeBSD Security Officer.  It's as official as it gets.  If
>> the only barrier to acceptance is that it's not distributed from the
>> domain, then a) that's a silly argument, and b) it's  
>> easily
>> solvable so long as Colin agrees.
> But FreeBSD Update suffers from all of the same limitations that  
> I've been
> describing because of lack of integration with the Core OS.
> 1. modified kernels are foobar
>   ..yet are practically mandatory on production systems
> 2. modified sources are foobar
>   ..yet many common production situations require source  
> compilation options

Modified files cannot be patched, period. No matter what system you  
are on. A nice user-experience of backing up the modified file and  
reinstalling the default could be added on top to resemble other  
systems, but it would not solve your problem.

What you are looking for is enough run-time knobs and a stable ABI  
layer for third party drivers so the need for compiling your own  
kernel disappears.

> 3. FreeBSD Update can't handle updates of jails and other  
> situations that
> package systems deal with just fine.

freebsd-update -b /usr/jail/foo ?

 From the manual:
Act on a FreeBSD world based at the directory
basedir.  This is suitable for updating jails, but
note that the usual rules about updating locally
modified (or compiled) files apply, and the jail
must belong to the same release version as the run-
ning kernel.

Frode Nordahl
frode at

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