How to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to 13 in 3 steps
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What is FreeBSD?

FreeBSD is an operating system used to power modern servers, desktops, and embedded platforms. A large community has continually developed it for more than thirty years. Its advanced networking, security, and storage features have made FreeBSD the platform of choice for many of the busiest web sites and most pervasive embedded networking and storage devices.

What’s new in FreeBSD 13?

  1. The bhyve utility works reliably with more VNC clients including the macOS “Screen Sharing” application. See the release note for all features.
  2. They added the qat driver, supporting some of the Intel QuickAssist (QAT) device’s cryptographic acceleration functions.
  3. FreeBSD 13 features a rewritten routing stack. It is based on the introduction of next hops – objects holding all necessary states to pass a packet to the desired destination.
  4. The NFS client and server now support NFSv4.2 with extended attributes.
  5. Also, the NFS client and server now support NFS over TLS for security and privacy reasons.
  6. FreeBSD 13 removed several network drivers for obsolete Ethernet adapters such as Crystal Semiconductor CS8900/CS8920 and others.
  7. Multipath routing support has been rewritten in a more scalable fashion.
  8. Additional boot loader changes for EFI system partition.
  9. OpenZFS now provide the ZFS implementation on FreeBSD 13. In other words, you will get the same ZFS version on Linux and FreeBSD.
  10. The 64-bit ARM architecture known as arm64 or AArch64 is promoted to Tier-1 status for FreeBSD 13.

You can see the full change log in the official FreeBSD website here.

How to upgrade from 12 to 13?

First things first. The most important step in any general upgrade is to BACKUP ALL YOUR CONFIG FILES AND DATA.

Now lets make sure that we are upgrading from version 12

# Check FreeBSD version freebsd-version
Code language: Bash (bash)
how to check freebsd version?
checking FreeBSD version

Okay here we can see that we are using version 12.2-RELEASE-p6 so everything is ok so we can continue our upgrade. The next step is going to be to update everything to its latest version.

# Check and upgrade all apps in FreeBSD freebsd-update fetch freebsd-update install pkg upgrade
Code language: Bash (bash)
how to upgrade all apps in FreeBSD?
upgrading all apps in FreeBSD 12

After finishing all updates and upgrades we are ready to start the main event, but for security reasons here is a good warning for you.

Now lets start upgrading type the following code:

# How to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to 13? freebsd-update -r 13.0-RELEASE upgrade
Code language: Bash (bash)

you will se the following screen:

How to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to 13?
are you sure you want to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to FreeBSD 13?
patching freebsd 12 to 13
here FreeBSD is downloading the new files for version 13

Select Y and press ENTER. The installation will continue as following

How to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to 13?
select yes by pressing the Y and ENTER buttons on your keyboard

After a little waiting for the inspecting of the system FreeBSD is going to download all it needs, now we have to apply the downloads by typing the following:

# Apply patch changes freebsd-update install
Code language: Bash (bash)

You will se the following output:

src component not installed, skipped Installing updates... Kernel updates have been installed. Please reboot and run "/usr/sbin/freebsd-update install" again to finish installing updates.
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Therefore we have to reboot the system:

# How to reboot FreeBSD? reboot # Or shutdown -r now
Code language: Bash (bash)

After FreeBSD has started, enter in the console and check if you are running the new version 12 🙂

# How to check FreeBSD version freebsd-version
Code language: Bash (bash)

You will be surprised to see that you are running still version 12 😀 To finish the upgrade run upgrade again….

# Apply after restart # Apply patch changes freebsd-update install pkg update freebsd-version
Code language: Bash (bash)

Now you will see version 13

what to do after upgrading FreeBSD 12 to 13 after the restart to have version 13
what to do after upgrading FreeBSD 12 to 13 after the restart to have version 13

Here is a video tutorial on the article to see the steps in real time

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