cvsup'dating several machines

David Robillard david.robillard at
Fri Jan 12 16:47:14 UTC 2007

> I will soon update FreeBSD on several machines from 4.11 to 5.5, they
> are all at the same level of 4.11.
> I would like to save network bandwidth, would it be OK/enough if I
> cvsup one machine and then copy /usr/src from that opne to the others?

Hi Olivier,

If you run an infrastructure of multiple FreeBSD machines, then you
should consider building a local CVSup mirror.

This way, you'll prevent the error-prone and tedious process copying
/usr/src from one machine to the others by hand.

Plus, with a local update server, you make sure all your machines have
the exact same FreeBSD sources. You can also use this machine not only
for CVSup, but for all your ports repository, thus saving even more
bandwith. Not to mention the speed increase every time you run cvsup.
It's way faster to cvsup on the local LAN then from the internet.

To get you started, check out this article from O'Reilly ONLamp's
author Michael Lucas at

Now, we've made several modifications to the above article to include
a generic update user on our machines which uses scponly(8) and
sudo(8) with ssh keys to encrypt all of our CVS and porteasy(8)
updates. It also permits you to delegate the cvsup(1) of the machines
to other admins without giving them the root password. If you're
interested, I can send you the documentation.

Have fun!

David Robillard
UNIX systems administrator & Oracle DBA
CISSP, RHCE & Sun Certified Security Administrator
Montreal: +1 514 966 0122

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