FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE Installation Instructions

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Last modified on 2016-03-24 by hrs.

This article gives some brief instructions on installing FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE and upgrading the systems running earlier releases.

Table of Contents
1. Installing FreeBSD
2. Upgrading FreeBSD
2.1. Upgrading from Source
2.2. Upgrading Using FreeBSD Update

1. Installing FreeBSD

The Installing FreeBSD chapter of the FreeBSD Handbook provides more in-depth information about the installation program itself, including a guided walk-through with screenshots.

2. Upgrading FreeBSD

If you are upgrading from a previous release of FreeBSD, please read upgrading section in the Release Notes for notable incompatibilities carefully.

2.1. Upgrading from Source

The procedure for doing a source code based update is described in and .

For SVN use the releng/10.3 branch which will be where any upcoming Security Advisories or Errata Notices will be applied.

2.2. Upgrading Using FreeBSD Update

The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of i386 and amd64 systems running earlier FreeBSD releases. Systems running 9.3-RELEASE, 10.3-RC[12] can upgrade as follows:

# freebsd-update fetch
# freebsd-update install

Now the freebsd-update(8) utility can fetch bits belonging to 10.3-RELEASE. During this process freebsd-update(8) will ask for help in merging configuration files.

# freebsd-update upgrade -r 10.3-RELEASE

Due to changes in the way that FreeBSD is packaged on the release media, two complications may arise in this process if upgrading from FreeBSD 9.3:

  1. The FreeBSD, which previously could appear in either /boot/kernel or /boot/GENERIC, now only appears as /boot/kernel. As a result, any kernel appearing in /boot/GENERIC will be deleted. Please carefully read the output printed by freebsd-update(8) and confirm that an updated kernel will be placed into /boot/kernel before proceeding beyond this point.

  2. The FreeBSD source tree in /usr/src (if present) will be deleted. (Normally the freebsd-update(8) utility will update a source tree, but in this case the changes in release packaging result in the freebsd-update(8) utility not recognizing that the source tree from the old release and the source tree from the new release correspond to the same part of FreeBSD.)

# freebsd-update install

The system must now be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before the non-kernel components are updated.

# shutdown -r now

After rebooting, freebsd-update(8) needs to be run again to install the new userland components:

# freebsd-update install

At this point, users of systems being upgraded from FreeBSD 9.3-RELEASE or earlier will be prompted by freebsd-update(8) to rebuild all third-party applications (e.g., ports installed from the ports tree) due to updates in system libraries.

After updating installed third-party applications (and again, only if freebsd-update(8) printed a message indicating that this was necessary), run freebsd-update(8) again so that it can delete the old (no longer used) system libraries:

# freebsd-update install

Finally, reboot into 10.3-RELEASE

# shutdown -r now

This file, and other release-related documents, can be downloaded from

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <>.

All users of FreeBSD 10.3-STABLE should subscribe to the <> mailing list.

For questions about this documentation, e-mail <>.