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FreeBSD Errata Notice FreeBSD-EN-23:09.freebsd-update [REVISED]

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FreeBSD Errata Notices

Oct 3, 2023, 8:00:10 PM10/3/23
Hash: SHA512

FreeBSD-EN-23:09.freebsd-update Errata Notice
The FreeBSD Project

Topic: freebsd-update incorrectly merges files on upgrade

Category: core
Module: freebsd-update
Announced: 2023-09-06
Affects: FreeBSD 13.2
Corrected: 2023-05-16 21:34:10 UTC (stable/13, 13.2-STABLE)
2023-09-06 16:56:24 UTC (releng/13.2, 13.2-RELEASE-p3)
2023-09-28 13:42:18 UTC (stable/12, 12.4-STABLE)
2023-10-03 22:15:35 UTC (releng/12.4, 12.4-RELEASE-p6)

For general information regarding FreeBSD Errata Notices and Security
Advisories, including descriptions of the fields above, security
branches, and the following sections, please visit

2023-09-06 Initial Revision
2023-10-03 Updated to include the patch for 12.4-RELEASE.

I. Background

freebsd-update provides binary updates for supported releases of FreeBSD on
amd64, arm64, and i386.

II. Problem Description

freebsd-update incorrectly deleted files in /etc/ in the event the file to be
updated matched the new release and was different than the old release. This
has not been an issue previously because the $FreeBSD$ tag expansion from
subversion virtually guaranteed the existing file was going to be different
from the new release. With the conversion to git in the 13.x releases,
$FreeBSD$ is no longer expanded, making it much more likely that a file would
find this issue.

III. Impact

Unmodified files in /etc/ may be deleted on running freebsd-update upgrade.

IV. Workaround

No workaround is available.

V. Solution

Upgrade your system to a supported FreeBSD stable or release / security
branch (releng) dated after the correction date.

Perform one of the following:

1) To update your system via a binary patch:

Systems running a RELEASE version of FreeBSD on the amd64, i386, or
(on FreeBSD 13 and later) arm64 platforms can be updated via the
freebsd-update(8) utility:

# freebsd-update fetch
# freebsd-update install

2) To update your system via a source code patch:

The following patches have been verified to apply to the applicable
FreeBSD release branches.

a) Download the relevant patch from the location below, and verify the
detached PGP signature using your PGP utility.

# fetch https://security.FreeBSD.org/patches/EN-23:09/freebsd-update.patch
# fetch https://security.FreeBSD.org/patches/EN-23:09/freebsd-update.patch.asc
# gpg --verify freebsd-update.patch.asc

b) Apply the patch. Execute the following commands as root:

# cd /usr/src
# patch < /path/to/patch

c) Recompile the operating system using buildworld and installworld as
described in <URL:https://www.FreeBSD.org/handbook/makeworld.html>.

VI. Correction details

This issue is corrected by the corresponding Git commit hash or Subversion
revision number in the following stable and release branches:

Branch/path Hash Revision
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
stable/13/ 866e5c6b3ce7 stable/13-n255386
releng/13.2/ 0b39d9de2e71 releng/13.2-n254628
stable/12/ r373221
releng/12.4/ r373231
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------

For FreeBSD 13 and later:

Run the following command to see which files were modified by a
particular commit:

# git show --stat <commit hash>

Or visit the following URL, replacing NNNNNN with the hash:


To determine the commit count in a working tree (for comparison against
nNNNNNN in the table above), run:

# git rev-list --count --first-parent HEAD

For FreeBSD 12 and earlier:

Run the following command to see which files were modified by a particular
revision, replacing NNNNNN with the revision number:

# svn diff -cNNNNNN --summarize svn://svn.freebsd.org/base

Or visit the following URL, replacing NNNNNN with the revision number:


VII. References


The latest revision of this advisory is available at


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