How do I determine the FreeBSD "world" revision/version?

Erik Trulsson ertr1013 at
Fri Mar 6 12:54:09 PST 2009

On Fri, Mar 06, 2009 at 03:12:26PM -0500, Ian Bonnycastle wrote:
> Good afternoon everyone,
> I'm asking this question here because I honestly don't know where to turn to
> otherwise. I've looked through forums, Google search results and the FreeBSD
> handbook without a specific answer. I understand the concept that FreeBSD is
> actually an OS, which is a combination of the kernel and the "world". Ports
> are the extraneous userland which is not mandatory for a working system.
> Now, in order to explain my question, I have to use an analogy: In Linux,
> you can have a kernel version, a distribution version and software versions.
> If you're running kernel 2.6.20, CentOS (as an example) 5.1, and bash
> (another example) 3.2, you know that upgrading can occur at any of those
> levels.
> My actual question is this: Is there a way to tell what version of the
> FreeBSD world you're running outside of "uname -a", which tells you what
> *kernel* version you're running? I do know that any of these can be patched
> to different levels outside of what you've installed from scratch (or
> upgraded to at any particular level), but with Linux, when you run the
> respective commands, you get the *base* revision you started from. In
> FreeBSD, "uname -a" gives you the kernel "base", and "pkg_info" will give
> you the software revision base for a particular port/package. If I have a
> particular FreeBSD system, and know its a modified kernel, how can I tell
> what base was originally on it? I've often updated the kernel on a
> 7.1-RELEASE to 7-STABLE to get more recent updates to the kernel, but the
> base as been left at 7.1-RELEASE. Now, it could have been 7.0-RELEASE or
> 7.x-RELEASE and after upgrading the kernel, is this informaiton stored
> anywhere?

No, there is no such information.  The version stored in the kernel applies
to both kernel and userland.
If you do 'mix-and-match' where different parts of your system come from
different versions of FreeBSD you will have to keep track of this yourself.
Having kernel and userland from different FreeBSD versions is not supported
and can somtimes cause problems.

<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr1013 at

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