freebsd-update not updating kernel?

Steve O'Hara-Smith steve at
Thu Sep 22 11:49:21 UTC 2016

On Thu, 22 Sep 2016 07:27:40 -0400
Ian Jefferson <ijeff at> wrote:

> It doesn’t seem like freebsd-version is backported to 9.3 but I’m not
> sure that would fix the freebsd-update problem nor the lsof issue either.

	It was part of a fix for that problem - in 9.3 the kernel version
is all there is later a userspace version was added along with

> I also found this:
> "The updates distributed by freebsd-update do not always involve the
> kernel. It is not necessary to rebuild a custom kernel if the kernel
> sources have not been modified by freebsd-update install. However,
> freebsd-update will always update/usr/src/sys/conf/ The
> current patch level, as indicated by the -p number reported by uname -r,
> is obtained from this file. Rebuilding a custom kernel, even if nothing
> else changed, allows uname to accurately report the current patch level
> of the system. This is particularly helpful when maintaining multiple
> systems, as it allows for a quick assessment of the updates installed in
> each one. “

	Yep that's the full version.

> Indeed it looks to me like /usr/src/sys/conf/ on my system
> “knows” that I am at patch level 45 but freebsd-update doesn’t nor does
> uname. 

	Right - so if you do a kernel build and install then the whole
system will know about it otherwise it's just tucked away in an unused
source file.

> I think you are saying that uname get’s its information from the
> kernel but that is contradicted by the handbook points above so I’m
> unclear and regardless freebsd-update seems broken in this patch.

	Yep uname gets the version data from the kernel, which gets it from when the kernel is built - which is what that handbook section
is telling you in a roundabout and not entirely clear way.

> I suppose the ultimate answer is we need to move off 9.3 since it is just
> about EOL anyway but I wonder… if freebsd-update is confused will it
> perform the upgrade correctly?

	Yes it will.

Steve O'Hara-Smith <steve at>

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