Update Manager provides a graphical interface for updating the version of PC-BSD® and for applying security updates. This utility can be started from Control Panel or by typing pc-updategui. It can also be accessed from its icon in the system tray, if you are logged into a desktop that provides a system tray.
The status of the icon lets you determine at a glance if any of your installed applications are out-of-date, if a system update is available, or if a new version of the operating system is available. Table 7.3a summarizes the possible statuses of this icon.
Table 7.3a: Update Manager Status
If you right-click the icon, you will see the menu shown in Figure 7.3a. As seen in the menu, Update Manager will automatically track updates to software installed using either the graphical or command line equivalents of Package Manager, AppCafe®, and Warden®.
By default, updates are checked every 24 hours or whenever you boot the system. You can check for updates at any time by selecting "Check for updates". To disable the update check when the system boots, uncheck the "Run at startup" box. To disable the pop-up message over the icon when an update becomes available, uncheck the "Display notifications" box. To remove Update Manager from the system tray, click "Quit". You can put the icon back into the tray by typing pc-systemupdatertray.
Applying a System Update
Occasionally, the PC-BSD® project releases a system update which addresses a fixed security vulnerability or a bug which impacts the use of the operating system. To install a system update, open Update Manager. Figure 7.3b shows an example of an available system update within Update Manager.
If your system is fully up-to-date, there will not be any entries in Update Manager. If you click the entry for a listed update, the “Update Details” box will provide some details about the update.
To install an update, highlight its entry and click the "Install selected updates" button. A progress bar will indicate the progress of the update.
If the update requires a reboot, you will be notified to do so after the update has been installed. If a reboot is needed, clicking the "OK" button at the informational message will not automatically reboot the system, meaning you can continue to use your computer for other tasks while the system is being updated. Finish whatever you are doing and reboot the computer at a time that is convenient for you.
Upgrading the Operating System
If you are running a rolling release, Update Manager can be used to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system.
IMPORTANT NOTE--README BEFORE ATTEMPTING AN UPGRADE!
PC-BSD® has switched to ZFS-only. This means that you can not upgrade a system that is either 32-bit or formatted with UFS. If the hardware supports 64-bit, you will need to backup your important data to another system or external drive and then perform a new installation. The new installation will perform format the selected disk(s) with ZFS.
The boot loader and default ZFS layout changed with the July 23, 2013 rolling release. This change was needed to support boot environments and ZFS snapshot management with Life Preserver. This means that you can not upgrade from a release prior to that date. If you are running PC-BSD® 9.1-RELEASE or a rolling release prior to July 23, you will need to backup your important data to another system or external drive and then perform a new installation. The new installation will create the required ZFS layout.
The ZFS version changed between 9.2 and 9.1 and ZFS does not support downgrading to an earlier version of ZFS. This means that you cannot downgrade a 9.2 installation to a 9.1 installation.
Before performing an operating system upgrade, always back up the data that is important to you. Life Preserver can be used to backup your home directory to a remote system. It is also recommended to use Boot Manager to backup your current boot environment before performing the upgrade.
Before attempting an upgrade, you should also be aware of the following caveats:
- it is not possible to upgrade from FreeBSD to PC-BSD®. However, you can convert a FreeBSD system to PC-BSD®.
- the temporary files used by the upgrade process require 2GB of free space in /usr/. If you receive an error message indicating that you do not have enough free space to perform the upgrade, you will need to delete some files or move them elsewhere in order to create enough free space.
- an upgrade will preserve the data in the home directories, any installed PBIs, and user accounts. It also preserves common configuration files and will merge any customizations you have made into the new versions of the following files: boot/loader.conf, /etc/rc.conf, and /etc/sysctl.conf.
Once you have backed up your data and confirmed that your version of PC-BSD® is older than July 23, you can use Update Manager to upgrade the operating system. In the example shown in Figure 7.3c, the "Base System Updates" indicates that a system advisory is available, as well as an update to 9.2-RC3 and then 9.2-RC4. The "Update Details" section lists the files that will be changed if the system is upgraded.
If you know that a new release is available and it is not showing in Update Manager, make sure that any updates that do show are applied first. That way, the system will be fully patched and ready for the system upgrade.
To perform the upgrade, check the box for the "Base System Updates" entry and click the "Install selected updates" button. A progress bar will indicate the download status of the files that changed with the upgrade.
Once the downloads are finished and applied, Update Manager will indicate that the system is fully updated. Close any applications that you have open, then reboot in order to load the latest version of the operating system.