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FreeBSD Security Information


FreeBSD takes security very seriously and its developers are constantly working on making the operating system as secure as possible. This page will provide information about what to do in the event of a security vulnerability affecting your system

Table of Contents

Reporting FreeBSD security incidents

FreeBSD security issues specific to the base system should be reported via email to the FreeBSD Security Team or, if a higher level of confidentiality is required, via PGP encrypted email to the Security Officer Team using the Security Officer PGP key. Additional information can be found at the reporting FreeBSD security incidents page.

Recent FreeBSD security vulnerabilities

A full list of all security vulnerabilities affecting the base system can be found on this page.

Understanding FreeBSD security advisories

Advisories affecting the base system are sent to the following mailing lists:


The list of released advisories can be found on the FreeBSD Security Advisories page.

Advisories are always signed using the FreeBSD Security Officer PGP key and are archived, along with their associated patches, at the web server in the advisories and patches subdirectories.

The FreeBSD Security Officer provides security advisories for -STABLE Branches and the Security Branches. (Advisories are not issued for the -CURRENT Branch, which is primarily oriented towards FreeBSD developers.)

  • The -STABLE branch tags have names like stable/10. The corresponding builds have names like FreeBSD 10.1-STABLE.

  • Each FreeBSD Release has an associated Security Branch. The Security Branch tags have names like releng/10.1. The corresponding builds have names like FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE-p4.

Issues affecting the FreeBSD Ports Collection are covered separately in the FreeBSD VuXML document.

How to update your system

For users that have previously installed a binary version of FreeBSD (e.g., 11.2 or 10.4), commands:

# freebsd-update fetch
# freebsd-update install

If that fails, follow the other instructions in the security advisory you care about.

Note that the above procedure is only for users who have previously installed a binary distribution. Those who have built from source will need to update their source tree to upgrade.

Supported FreeBSD releases

Each release is supported by the Security Officer for a limited time only.

The designation and expected lifetime of all currently supported branches and their respective releases are given below. The Expected EoL (end-of-life) column indicates the earliest date on which support for that branch or release will end. Please note that these dates may be pushed back if circumstances warrant it.

Older releases are not supported and users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to one of these supported releases:

Branch Release Type Release Date Expected EoL
stable/12 n/a n/a n/a December 31, 2023 (anticipated)
releng/12.0 12.0-RELEASE n/a n/a 12.1-RELEASE + 3 months
stable/11 n/a n/a n/a September 30, 2021
releng/11.2 11.2-RELEASE n/a June 28, 2018 11.3-RELEASE + 3 months

In the run-up to a release, a number of -BETA and -RC releases may be published for testing purposes. These releases are only supported for a few weeks, as resources permit, and will not be listed as supported on this page. Users are strongly discouraged from running these releases on production systems.

The FreeBSD support model

Under the current support model, each major version's stable branch is explicitly supported for 5 years, while each individual point release is only supported for three months after the next point release.

The details and rationale behind this model can be found in the official announcement sent in February 2015.

Please note, the Core Team, in consultation with the Release Engineering, Security, and Port Manager teams, has decided that the FreeBSD Project needs to reevaluate the 5-year support guarantee along stable branches, starting with stable/12.

For more information, see the official annoucement sent in November, 2018.