FreeBSD has serious problems with focus, longevity, and lifecycle

John Kozubik john at
Tue Jan 17 17:56:39 UTC 2012

On Tue, 17 Jan 2012, Tom Evans wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM, Ivan Voras <ivoras at> wrote:
>> I've concluded very early that because of what I've said above, the only way
>> to run FreeBSD effectively is to track -STABLE. The developers MFC-ing stuff
>> usually try hard not to break things so -STABLE has become a sort of
>> "running RELEASE" branch. Since -STABLE is so ... stable ..., there is less
>> and less incentive to make proper releases (though I think nobody would mind
>> it happening).
>> The next question is: what do releases from a -STABLE branch bring in that
>> simply tracking the original -STABLE tree doesn't? Lately, not very much.
> Sorry to just pick out bits of your email Ivan?
> Ability to use freebsd-update. It would be better to have more
> frequent releases. As a prime example, ZFS became much more stable
> about 3 months after 8.2 was released. If you were waiting for an 8.x
> release that supported that improved version of ZFS, you are still
> waiting.


It's amazing how many people are in the exact same boats - waiting for 
8.3, getting locked out of new motherboards because em(4) can't be 
"backported" to even the production release...

> You say that snapshots of STABLE are stable and effectively a running
> release branch, so why can't more releases be made?
> Is the release process too complex for minor revisions, could that be
> improved to make it easier to have more releases, eg by not bundling
> ports packages?

Thanks, Tom.  I'm calling for some changes that, culturally, might be 
impossible, but a lot of pain would be avoided if more regular minor 
releases (3 per year) were made.

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