Keeping FreeBSD uptodate with svn, freebsd-update complaining

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Fri Apr 12 09:12:12 UTC 2013

On 12/04/2013 09:19, Melanie Schulte wrote:
> [I wasn't sure what the most appropriate list for this issue is...]
> Hello!
> Recently (after the latest OpenSSL security issue) I have updated my
> FreeBSD install from source. i.e., I have updated my source tree
> (under /usr/src) with svn and did the
> buildworld/buildkernel/installkernel/mergemaster/installworld/mergemaster
> procedure. For completeness: My source tree contains this code
> revision:
>   URL:
>   Repository Root:
>   Repository UUID: ccf9f872-aa2e-dd11-9fc8-001c23d0bc1f
>   Revision: 249029
> This was my first time, but I was following the handbook closely and
> everything seems to have worked just fine.
> # uname -a
> FreeBSD XXX 9.1-RELEASE-p2 FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE-p2 #5 r249029: Wed Apr  3
> 12:29:28 CEST 2013     root at XXX:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/FUGLOS  amd64
> But what I don't understand is the following. Whenever I execute
> 'freebsd-update fetch' (I had added a 'freebsd-update cron' to my
> crontab), the output below(!) is generated.
> It's not clear to me what this actually means:
> * Why does freebsd-update want to update my system to 9.1-RELEASE-p2,
>   although I _am_ running that version already?
> * Why does it want to update that specific list of files? This is just
>   a subset of of the the binary files which should have been installed
>   from installworld. What is special about this subset?
> * What is the proper way to 'resolve' this situation?
> I would be happy about some insights/pointers/help here!
> Thank you very much,
> melanie

Hi, Melanie,

Your main problem here is trying to mix usage of SVN with usage of
freebsd-update.  You can use either one of those methods but not both.

Unless you prefer to build your own, I'd recommend sticking with
freebsd-update.  It's much simpler and quicker to keep your systems up
to date than the alternative.

To recover from the mix of files you have from freebsd-update and
self-compiled, it should be sufficient to run 'freebsd-update install'
This is going to rewrite all the files that freebsd-update knows about
that were altered by your self-built update: ie. most of the OS.
Definitely make sure you have good backups before doing that.

Yes, it may say 'upgrading to 9.1-RELEASE-p2' but that's because it is
comparing against the previous version you got from freebsd-update, not
what you compiled yourself.

The list of files it shows are specifically the files that were changed
between FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE-p1 and 9.1-RELEASE-p2.  freebsd-update is
fast largely because it only installs the changed bits onto your system.



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