Display “real” FreeBSD version

Typically when you want to find the current version of FreeBSD you type the following:

$ uname -r

That’s great but it doesn’t tell the full story. If updates were made that do not affect the kernel, than it will not be reflected here. For instance, if the system had been upgraded to patch 12 I would not know that from looking at this. It makes it look like its only been updated to patch 4. Enter the “/usr/src/sys/conf/newvers.sh” file. This file gives a more clear picture of the system’s current state of affairs. I wrote a quick script that grabs the relevant info from this file and displays it similarly to the uname output.


use strict;
use warnings;

my $file = "/usr/src/sys/conf/newvers.sh";
my $cnt = 0;
my ($type, $rev, $branch);

open (FILE, "$file") or die "File $file does not exist!";
while (<FILE>) {
 chomp ($_);
     if ($_ =~ /^TYPE="(.*)?"/) {
         $type = $1;
    if ($_ =~ /^REVISION="(.*)?"/ && $cnt == 1) {
         $rev = $1;
     if ($_ =~ /^BRANCH="(.*)?"/ && $cnt == 2) {
         $branch = $1;
close (FILE);

print "$type $rev $branch\n";

I put this script in /usr/local/sbin/hostver on all the systems I administer.

$ hostver
FreeBSD 10.3 RELEASE-p12

Now I always know the current patch level of the system. There are other ways to get this info (freebsd-version) but this works fine for me.


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