freebsd-update and kernels

Adam Weinberger adamw at
Sat Nov 12 07:51:49 UTC 2016

Hi, doc folks. Can someone please take a look at section 23.2.3 of the handbook?

At multiple points in, and in the nextboot instructions, it tells users that the GENERIC kernel will be updated if it lives in /boot/GENERIC. AFAICT, freebsd-update will only update the GENERIC kernel if it lives in /boot/kernel, NOT /boot/GENERIC.

At best, running "nextboot -k GENERIC" after following the instructions will boot an old, non-updated kernel. At worst (i.e., if people follow the instructions given), they will attempt to boot a kernel that doesn't exist.

Shouldn't users be told to keep GENERIC in /boot/kernel, where freebsd-update will actually update it, and to install custom kernels into /boot/SOMENAME?

I'd suggest changing that nextboot line to be "nextboot -k kernel".

Then, I'd suggest replacing the first paragraph of with something like this:

Before using freebsd-update, ensure that a copy of the GENERIC kernel exists in /boot/GENERIC as a backup in case anything goes wrong.

freebsd-update will update the GENERIC kernel, but only if it is installed into /boot/kernel and only if it is completely unmodified. If a custom kernel has only been built once, [... etc]

And in the last sentence of that section, change /boot/GENERIC to /boot/kernel.

# Adam

Adam Weinberger
adamw at // adamw at

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