Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm new to the FreeBSD release, but am very familiar with many Linux releases. I'm attempting to (1) keep my system updated, and (2) install new packages under FreeBSD 7.2. So is there an equivalent to the yum/yast/apt-get on the other Linux systems on FreeBSD? If so, what is it and how do I use it?


share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

As others have said, there is no substitute for the handbook. In short what you're looking for is portupgrade. With it you can run commands like

portupgrade -Rr     # Upgrade all ports and dependant ports

Read the wiki page on portupgrade. And remember to ALWAYS read /usr/ports/UPDATING.

share|improve this answer

pkg_add -r or the ports tree :)


share|improve this answer
Here's a cheat sheet version of the same version:… – David Aug 13 '09 at 0:54
I have seen that information. However, if I am trying to easily maintain a Linux system say Fedora 11, I just enter: yum upgrade and all my current packages (and kernel) are upgraded. The information you reference is telling me how to basically get a new package, assuming that I know the package name. What do I used to keep all the packages that I have current, like yum for Fedora 11? – mdpc Aug 13 '09 at 1:53

What you are looking for has two pieces. One is updating the base system, and the other is updating the additional packages.

The first can be done with freebsd-update. This command supports both updating with patches to the current release and upgrading to a new release. Look at its man page for details. It's far easier than installing updates from source.

Updating packages also has two pieces -- updating the ports tree, and rebuilding out-of-date ports. The first can be done either with cvs/cvsup/csup or (my preference) portsnap. portsnap works a lot like freebsd-update but is for the ports tree. Again, see its man page. You can use either portupgrade as described in another answer or portmaster (which I prefer due to lower overhead and simplicity, although it probably doesn't have as many features as portupgrade).

share|improve this answer

The freeBSD handbook is your friend for updating...

FreeBSD actually has some very good documentation, since it's not forked into a bazillion distros like Linux is; their site has some really good central documentation for things.

This part talks about installing applications...

The handbook itself is a great place to get up to speed with using FreeBSD.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your information, I have looked at the FreeBSD documentation and did not find out how to keep my systems easily up-to-date like the 'yum upgrade' command in Fedora/Centos. Do you happen to know the equivalent? thanks. – mdpc Aug 13 '09 at 1:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.