13.1 upgrade

I tried to upgrade to 13.1 and it says couldn’t merge automatically to edit /etc/groups.

what command have you used to upgrade to 13.1 ?

Freebsd-update -r 13.1-RELEASE upgrade install.
Freebsd-update install

You should follow these instructions:
The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64, i386,
and aarch64 systems running earlier FreeBSD releases. Systems running
earlier FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:

    # freebsd-update upgrade -r 13.1-RELEASE

During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
performed merging was done correctly.

    # freebsd-update install

The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before

    # shutdown -r now

After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
userland components:

    # freebsd-update install

It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
FreeBSD 12.x. Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat12x and
other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
into the new userland:

    # shutdown -r now

Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
stale files:

    # freebsd-update install

Follow the upgrade instruction provided in the upgrade.

When you come to the merge instructions for /etc/groups, just hit [enter], like it says, and it will put you into an editor to merge those files. It will show what you currently have, then the new 13.1 file. The editor uses vim commands. I just had to delete one line in the new file, which was a duplicate of the old, but the old had my configuration in it (in my configuration, I had my username added to the video group and the upgrade did not). After you have made your edits, type


to exit the editor (vim) and it will save the merged file and continue with the upgrade.

At the end of the upgrade, there will be further instructions and you will need to reboot then continue the upgrade, as noted in the response by Maurizio.

This does not preclude you from going back and editing /etc/groups after the upgrade is finished, like you would normally do to edit your groups configuration in FreeBSD.

I highly recommend you backup your data before doing the upgrade. It worked flawlessly on my Nomad laptop, but killed my NAS, which uses older hardware. I’m still trying to rescue my NAS from a kernel panic page fault issue.


Don’t make the release upgrade at this time, because for the kernel modules there is no compatibility guarantee. They are build on 13.0 and it is not sure if they are compatible with 13.1.

I upgraded with no problem.

xxxx@NomadBSD$ uname -a
FreeBSD NomadBSD 13.1-RELEASE FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE releng/13.1-n250148-fc952ac2212 GENERIC amd64

@Raymond_Sickler: I like, you went on and upgraded your system - good one! :+1:

For other users wanting to upgrade their system, here’s the official documentation with full detail:
FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE Installation Instructions

RoboNuggie just released a video about FreeBSD 13.1 (link with timestamp)
Last part is about upgrading a system, but he brushes over the merging of /etc/groups - look at @tthenrie’s post above for that part.

Now, this is interesting:

tony@NomadBSD$ zfs list
NAME                                        USED  AVAIL     REFER  MOUNTPOINT
zroot                                      23.4G   868G       24K  none
zroot/ROOT                                 21.5G   868G       24K  none
zroot/ROOT/13.1-RC6_2022-05-23_135036         1K   868G     13.8G  /
zroot/ROOT/13.1-RELEASE_2022-05-23_143128     1K   868G     13.9G  /
zroot/ROOT/220501-161254                      1K   868G     8.65G  /
zroot/ROOT/220502-215921                      1K   868G     8.64G  /
zroot/ROOT/nomadbsd-5806f915               21.5G   868G     13.9G  /
zroot/usr                                  1.96G   868G       24K  /usr
zroot/usr/home                               27K   868G       27K  /usr/home
zroot/usr/obj                                24K   868G       24K  /usr/obj
zroot/usr/ports                              72K   868G       24K  /usr/ports
zroot/usr/ports/distfiles                    24K   868G       24K  /usr/ports/distfiles
zroot/usr/ports/packages                     24K   868G       24K  /usr/ports/packages
zroot/usr/src                              1.96G   868G     1.96G  /usr/src
zroot/var                                   666K   868G       24K  /var
zroot/var/audit                              24K   868G       24K  /var/audit
zroot/var/crash                              24K   868G       24K  /var/crash
zroot/var/log                               528K   868G      528K  /var/log
zroot/var/mail                               30K   868G       30K  /var/mail
zroot/var/tmp                                36K   868G       36K  /var/tmp
tony@NomadBSD$ uname -a
FreeBSD NomadBSD 13.1-RELEASE FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE releng/13.1-n250148-fc952ac2212 GENERIC amd64

There is a separate zfs ROOT dataset for every upgrade I have done. The one actually mounted is the /ROOT/nomad-58xxxxx dataset. The “REFER” size matches the 13.1-RELEASE size, so I assume it is linked to the nomad ROOT dataset. I guess that’s why Nomad is still working after the upgrade. This stuff is above my pay grade, as I’m just scratching the surface with zfs, but I found it interesting.

[ For ZFS-disk only - not the standard USB-stick-install (UFS) ]

the upgrade-process makes a new boot-environment, BE (a bootable snapshot), before your system is upgraded.
That makes it possible to revert to the (old) BE from before the upgrade, if anything goes wrong.
NB. This is a ZFS-feature, not available on UFS

You can see the available BE’s with:

> bectl list

(this command will only work, if you have installed NomadBSD to ZFS / are using a ZFS-filesystem)

1 Like

The NomadBSD-image can be tricky to upgrade to FreeBSD 13.1 because the layout on the disk is lean and optimized for maximum user-space.
So I experienced problems upgrading a vanilla NomadBSD 130R-20210508 on a 16 GB USB-stick. It ran out of disk-space on /ROOT/ and choked.

During upgrade the old 13.0 kernel is kept and renamed to /boot/kernel.old. But you can change this behaviour (and instead delete the old kernel during upgrade) in freebsd-update.conf - and that gives the system juuust enough disk-space to complete the upgrade.

So before running freebsd-update, you have to open the freebsd-update.conf (with root privileges)

> sudo vim /etc/freebsd-update.conf

and (near the bottom) uncomment and change the line # BackupKernel yes to:

BackupKernel no

or simply use this command:

sudo sed -i.old 's/# BackupKernel yes/BackupKernel no/' /etc/freebsd-update.conf

Happy upgrading :slight_smile:

Please chime in with corrections and addition :slight_smile:


Do you mean, the automation that’s now integral to FreeBSD?

At a glance, I have just one problem, post-upgrade. Some docked items no longer have icons:

Any suggestions?


Sorry about coming to ask more transparency, this thread is very interesting but could get more and more useful if I and all basic-users like me could understand if we are talking about upgrading FreeBSD as it seems in the first post or how to reverse it to NomadBSD like discussed in the following posts.
Talking about FreeBSD, upgrading to 13.1 is affordable but still a little tricky for users like me also after read the man pages, then I’ve been asking help on FreeBSD Forum and received the right instructions to correct my trivial mistakes, here’s the thread:

Solved - cannot upgrade from 13.0 to 13.1 | The FreeBSD Forums

Talking back on how to upgrade NomadBSD to 13.1, I read some point of view but not clear indications. It would be good that users having succeeded in this task could state their “how-to” in the more clear-understandable way as possible, awaiting some of developer give an ultimate guide as needed.
Thank you



  • a lazy switch from quarterly, to latest, for packages.

Also, I found some packages still locked for modules for DRM, and for GPU firmware modules. Weird, I thought I previously unlocked those. Unlocked, then pkg upgrade

… Press Enter to edit this file in /usr/bin/vi …

vi(1) is too often a stumbling block. Related, in a fork:

tl;dr without changing source code, you can edit a file or two (then log out, and back in) for this to become the norm:

… Press Enter to edit this file in /usr/bin/ee …

ee pictured (top left) with aee and nano: https://forums.freebsd.org/attachments/1632184023708-png.11397/


Hi there,

I moved NomadBSD SSD from my notebook to a workstation and got this error.

Best wishes and thanks again,

Not upgrade-related.

Duplicate of Help with mountroot!, let’s continue there.