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Using gitsync to Update pfSense Between Snapshots

Most often, upgrading to a new snapshot is the best way to get updated code when tracking a prerelease version of pfSense® software (alpha, beta, RC, etc).

However, since it does take some time to generate new snapshots, one can often get by with pulling new code from the pfSense git repository instead of reloading a whole new snapshot. This process is known as a gitsync.


This syncs only PHP changes, without any binary changes. At times, PHP changes require associated binary changes that only come from an upgrade using a snapshot or other upgrade image. Unless development is followed closely and the ramifications of all changes are understood, or unless system breakage is not a concern, do not use this! For most users, this action should only be taken if directed to do so by a developer.

This only works with code or files that are not compiled. For example: PHP Code, configuration files, Web GUI pages, etc.

There are two ways to perform a gitsync, both perform the same function:

Method 1: From the console menu, press option 12 to start a developer shell, then type:

> playback gitsync master

Method 2: From a normal shell (console menu option 8), type the following command:

# pfSsh.php playback gitsync master

The “master” part of the command tells the gitsync process to grab the code for the “master” branch, a.k.a. HEAD, which as of this writing is the development code for 2.3. That can be replaced with RELENG_2_2 for 2.2.x.

For example, on 2.2.4, to sync post-release code changes for 2.2.x, use:

# pfSsh.php playback gitsync RELENG_2_2


The gitsync script will attempt to install git automatically. However, if an error occurs that git was not found and a gitsync has never been performed before, the git package may need to be added manually. This can be done from the GUI using the ‘Available Packages’ list, or from a shell prompt:

pfSsh.php playback installpkg git

Git URL Moved

If gitsync was run prior to the pfSense repository moving to github, and the default 2.0 URL was used, one of the following must be performed before the next gitsync: 1:

rm -rf /root/pfsense/


cd /root/pfsense/pfSenseGITREPO/pfSenseGITREPO; git remote set-url origin git://


There have been times where a gitsync is not enough to bring a system up to date and could leave the system in a broken state. Read the commit logs from after the last snapshot update until the most current code to be sure.