23.5. Synchronizing Source

There are various methods for staying up-to-date with the FreeBSD sources. This section describes the primary service, Subversion.


While it is possible to update only parts of the source tree, the only supported update procedure is to update the entire tree and recompile all the programs that run in user space, such as those in /bin and /sbin, and kernel sources. Updating only part of the source tree, only the kernel, or only the userland programs will often result in problems ranging from compile errors to kernel panics or data corruption.

Subversion uses the pull model of updating sources. The user, or a cron script, invokes the svn program which updates the local version of the source. Subversion is the preferred method for updating local source trees as updates are up-to-the-minute and the user controls when updates are downloaded. It is easy to restrict updates to specific files or directories and the requested updates are generated on the fly by the server. How to synchronize source using Subversion is described in Section A.3, “Using Subversion.

If a user inadvertently wipes out portions of the local archive, Subversion will detect and rebuild the damaged portions during an update.

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