Victor Sudakov wrote:
Colleagues,

I have been updating 6.2-RELEASE with freebsd-update. Recently I
upgraded it to RELENG_6_3 from source. Can I continue using
freebsd-update or must I upgrade only from source from now on?


I don't see why not. freebsd-update will download binary updates to the system as well as the relevant sources for them (look at /etc/freebsd-update.conf to verify).

I conducted an experiment and got inconclusive results. I had upgraded
to RELENG_6_3-p2 where the problems with libpthread and ssh are
already fixed. However, when I ran freebsd-update, it did replace
libpthread and libssh. It also replaced the kernel, downgrading it
from 6.3-RELEASE-p2 to 6.3-RELEASE-p1!

Don't be so sure. If you are running a GENERIC kernel, freebsd-update simply downloaded the latest. If -p2 did not have any kernel updates (it did not IIRC) you got the kernel for -p1. The fact it replaced your GENERIC (which had a -p2 deisgnation in uname) is probably because this was compiled on your system so freebsd-update did not recognize the version. These two should be functionally identical. In fact if you just recompile the kernel now, it will report -p2 (but this is only a cosmetic change, if the kernel sources have not been changed by freebsd-update).
Have a look at this file:

/usr/src/sys/conf/newvers.sh

look at the "BRANCH"

if it says "RELEASE-p2" this is what you will get if you recompile the kernel.



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