How to upgrade to FreeBSD 11 from FreeBSD 10.3

FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE is due for Wednesday, September 28, 2016, however I can see the final stable version was already uploaded to the FreeBSD FTP mirrors. So, I decided to give it a try. Since, I already had FreeBSD 10.3 on my system, I tried to upgrade to FreeBSD 11.0 from 10.3. If you ever wondered how to upgrade to the latest FreeBSD version, read on. It was not that hard!

If you want to to install FreeBSD 11.0 using ISO, you can download FreeBSD 11.0 final version from the link given below.

After downloading the ISO, create a bootable USB or DVD, and install fresh FreeBSD OS as described in the following link.

Upgrade to FreeBSD 11.0

Note: Backup your important files and folders before upgrading to the new version.

First, let us check the installed FreeBSD version using command:

freebsd-version -k

Sample output:


Or, you can use the following command to find out the installed version.

uname -mrs

Sample output:

FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p7 amd64


As you see above, the installed version is FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE. Let us upgrade to the latest available version.

To do so, first update FreeBSD 10.3 using the following commands as root user:

freebsd-update fetch
freebsd-update install

Then, run the following command to upgrade to FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE from FreeBSD 10.3.

freebsd-update upgrade -r 11.0-RELEASE

Sample output:

Looking up mirrors... 4 mirrors found.
Fetching metadata signature for 10.3-RELEASE from done.
Fetching metadata index... done.
Fetching 2 metadata patches.. done.
Applying metadata patches... done.
Inspecting system... done.

The following components of FreeBSD seem to be installed:
kernel/generic src/src world/base world/doc world/games world/lib32

The following components of FreeBSD do not seem to be installed:

Does this look reasonable (y/n)? y

Fetching metadata signature for 11.0-RELEASE from done.
Fetching metadata index... done.
Fetching 1 metadata patches. done.
Applying metadata patches... done.
Fetching 1 metadata files... done.
Inspecting system... done.
Fetching files from 10.3-RELEASE for merging... done.
Preparing to download files... 


The above command will start to download all packages. Sit back and relax. It will take a while depending upon the speed of your Internet connection.

Once the download completed, run the following command to install the downloaded upgrades:

freebsd-update install

Sample output:

Installing updates...
Kernel updates have been installed. Please reboot and run
"/usr/sbin/freebsd-update install" again to finish installing updates.


Reboot your system:

shutdown -r now

After rebooting, you must again run the following command to finish installing updates.

freebsd-update install

Sample output:

Installing updates...
Completing this upgrade requires removing old shared object files.
Please rebuild all installed 3rd party software (e.g., programs
installed from the ports tree) and then run "/usr/sbin/freebsd-update install"
again to finish installing updates.


Once again, reboot your system and log in to the newly upgraded FreeBSD 11-RELEASE.

shutdown -r now

Let us check whether FreeBSD is upgraded to 11. To do so, run:

freebsd-version -k

Or, simply run:

uname -mrs

Sample output:

FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE amd64


That’s it. We have successfully upgraded FreeBSD 10.3 to 11.0.

After upgrading to FreeBSD 11.0 version, You might want to install different desktop environments in it. If so, check the following links.

For additional help, refer the following FreeBSD links:

That’s all for now. If you find this tutorial helpful, please share it on your social networks and support OSTechNix.


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4 Responses

  1. mvanbaak says:

    Good article, only thing is missing is the last two steps:

    – Reinstall all packages/ports
    – Run ‘freebsd-update install’ after that


  2. llaszlo1980 says:

    After upgrade i did this:
    pkg-static install -f pkg
    pkg update
    pkg upgrade

  3. Just want to point out, need package reinstall. Otherwise services might break after reboot.

    pkg upgrade -f

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