Updating the source tree

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When updating your FreeBSD system, you'll first want to sync your sources to the live sources. This was previously offered via cvs. If you hail from a Windows environment, you may think of keeping your sources updated as about the first half of the FreeBSD procedure which corresponds to Windows Update. There are two major systems that most users will want to keep up to date, the source tree (described here), and the ports tree (described in Updating the ports tree).

The source tree is the actual code for the kernel and the fundamental system programs (collectively known as the 'world') for the FreeBSD operating system.

CVS for updating FreeBSD sources, ports and base is depreciated. This function has been replaced by subversion and CTM. FreeBSD: Source code repositories


An easy way to update through subversion is to install svnup; edit its configuration file; then run the command with the option set in /usr/local/etc/svnup.conf.

Partial svnup.conf file:

host=[choose server]  # uncomment one of these lines

The command to run with arguments in this example is:

% svnup release


Ctm is another way to update source files. It appears that this method has security issues. Please see the FreeBSD Handbook (Appendix A), and ctm's man page for more details.

It's updated. Now what?

Well... since you ended up here in the first place... I'm guessing you either came from Upgrading_the_base_system, Custom Kernel or Updating the system. Usually you update the source to do one of the first two.

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