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Updating FreeBSD using freebsd-update

FreeBSD provides the ‘freebsd-update’ tool to allow for easy checking/downloading/installation of security patches. Updating FreeBSD is a two stage process. You need to first download (or ‘fetch’) the updated packages, and then you need to actually install the updated packages. This two stage process allows you to set up a cron job to routinely check and download updates, while still leaving the actual installation of the updates for when the administrator wants to install them.

Note: These commands must be run from an account that has root privileges.

To check and download any updates that are available:

# freebsd-update fetch

To install the downloaded updates:

# freebsd-update install

If you wish to perform both commands in one go, you can run the following:

# freebsd-update fetch && freebsd-update install

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