How To Find Out FreeBSD Version and Patch Level Number

How do I find out my FreeBSD server version and patch level of the installed system using command line option? Can you tell us command to find out FreeBSD version and kernel patch level?

Introduction : You can use any one of the following command to display the FreeBSD operating system version and patch level.
Tutorial details
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges No
Requirements None
Est. reading time 1m

Unix commands to find out FreeBSD Version

Open the terminal and then type:

  1. freebsd-version – Display the FreeBSD version and patch level of the installed system
  2. uname -mrs – Get information about the system including FreeBSD version

Let us see all commands and examples in details .

How to use freebsd-version command

The freebsd-version command appeared in FreeBSD 10.0 and above. To see the FreeBSD server ver and patch level of the installed kernel, run:
freebsd-version -k
To see the version and patch level of the installed userland:
freebsd-version -u

Fig.01: freebsd-version and other commands in action to display FreeBSD version

Fig.01: freebsd-version and other commands in action

How to use freebsd-version command from Live CD

Boot from a live FreeBSD CD/DVD. To see a system being repaired using a live CD:
mount -rt ufs /dev/ada0p2 /mnt ## assuming it is ufs ##
env ROOT=/mnt /mnt/bin/freebsd-version -ku

How to find out if I am using 32 or 64 bit FreeBSD kernel

You can also use the following command to find out if FreeBSD kernel is running in 32bit or 64bit mode:
# getconf LONG_BIT
The 64 means I am using 64 bit kernel on 64-bit hardware either from Intel/AMD:


See FreeBSD CPU Information Command for more info.

Display FreeBSD version using old good uname command

Type the following command (it works on all versions of FreeBSD):
umame -a
uname -mrs

My 11.x version:

FreeBSD 11.2-RELEASE-p4 amd64

When I upgraded to 12.x, I see:

FreeBSD 12.2-RELEASE-p1 amd64

Understanding uname command options on FreeBSD

Table 1 – Command options
Option Description
-a Behave as though the options -m, -n, -r, -s, and -v were specified.
-i Display the kernel ident.
-K Find the FreeBSD version of the kernel.
-m Show the type of the current hardware platform.
-n Write the name of the system to standard output.
-o This is a synonym for the -s option, for compatibility with other systems.
-p Find the type of the machine processor architecture to screen
-r Get the current release level of the operating system.
-s Find the name of the operating system implementation to monitor.
-U Show the FreeBSD version of the user environment.
-v Write the version level of this release of the operating system.


This page showed you several ways to check kernel version and patch level in FreeBSD using the shell prompt. For more info see this page here and here.

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🐧 3 comments so far... add one

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3 comments… add one
  • Andy Jul 29, 2015 @ 23:05

    Sometimes I search and don’t see much on the web; then I come across a site like this. You are a great asset to the IT community, Vivek Gite. Thanks!

  • David May 29, 2016 @ 7:03

    There are typos in the commands..

    freebsd-verion -k => freebsd-version -k

    freebsd-verion -u => freebsd-version -u

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