This tutorial by Tobias Feldhaus will show you how to create your own FreeBSD update server, eliminating the need to manually update each one individually.

FreeBSD is an operating system that we use to power various things at work. Its most significant advantage lays in the advanced filesystem ZFS and it’s proven stability. As of this writing we run 39 servers with FreeBSD and we update them regularly. While normal patches are quite fast to fetch and install, the upgrade from version 9.2 to 9.3 took a significant amount of time to fetch all the necessary files from the official servers.

That is why we started to run our own internal FreeBSD update server. There exists some documentation for this inside the official handbook which formed the basis for this blog post.


Important to know is that the update server has to run a newer version than the version you are trying to distribute. Thus I first upgraded the update server machine to 9.3 via the freebsd-update -r 9.3-RELEASE upgrade command as described in point 24.2.3 in the handbook.

When running on the newest version, proceed with checking out the SVN repository that holds all the configuration and scripts for the update server via:

cd /usr/local/
svn co freebsd-update-server

I suggest to use /usr/local as this is the ‘standard’ path of most scripts within the repository.

Check out the full tutorial: