FreeBSD is under constant development between releases. Some people prefer to use the officially released versions, while others prefer to keep in sync with the latest developments. However, even official releases are often updated with security and other critical fixes. Regardless of the version used, FreeBSD provides all necessary tools to keep your system updated, and also allows for easy upgrades between versions. This chapter will help you decide if you want to track the development system, or stick with one of the released versions. The basic tools for keeping your system up to date are also presented.
After reading this chapter, you will know:
What utilities may be used to update the system and the Ports Collection.
How to keep your system up to date with freebsd-update, CVSup, CVS, or CTM.
How to compare the state of an installed system against a known pristine copy.
How to keep your documentation up to date with CVSup or documentation ports.
The difference between the two development branches: FreeBSD-STABLE and FreeBSD-CURRENT.
How to rebuild and reinstall the entire base system with make buildworld (etc).
Before reading this chapter, you should:
Properly set up your network connection (Chapter 32).
Know how to install additional third-party software (Chapter 5).
Note: Throughout this chapter, the cvsup command is used to obtain and update FreeBSD sources. To use it, you will need to install the port or the package for net/cvsup (if you do not want to install the graphical cvsup client, you can just install the port net/cvsup-without-gui). You may wish to substitute this with csup(1), which is part of the base system.