cvsup stable

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Mon Apr 19 09:45:57 PDT 2004

On Mon, Apr 19, 2004 at 06:11:27PM +0200, henk at wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'd like to raise a question on cvsup.
> I'm an enthousiastic user of cvsup to keep up to date.
> I always use to stable-supfile
> Last week I installed a 4.9 machine ran a cvsup.
> Rebuilt the whole world and my kernel and ... ended up with
> 4.10 beta.
> A few aday later ran a cvsup again. Same story.
> I know FBSD is stable but do I have to rely beta's.

Ah... It's that time of year again.  We get to do the whole 'what is
4-STABLE' thread for the umpteenth time.

Here's how it works: you're tracking the RELENG_4 code branch, which
gets you system version 4.x-STABLE -- well, most of the time.
Actually, that system version number and tag is pretty arbitrary.
It's just a snapshot out of the ever-evolving set of code which is the
RELENG_4 branch.  Every so often the will be a new release made from
this branch.  Usually something like 3 times a year.  Around that
point the system version will go through all sorts of changes
relatively quickly.  It will start as 4.9-STABLE, then become
4.10-BETA.  After a while it will become 4.10-RC (as in 'Release
Candidate'), and maybe even 4.10-RC2.  Eventually the release
engineering team will be satisfied, and the label will become
4.10-RELEASE.  However, that only lasts for a vanishingly short time:
just long enough to create the RELENG_4_10 branch.  Then the label
becomes 4.10-STABLE again for the next 3 months or so. (Well, actually
in this case, probably for ever after, as 4.10 is the last release
planned to be made from the RELENG_4 branch.)

Do not be alarmed by the what the label says.  There are not massive
changes to the source code happening at the precise instant the the
change from -STABLE to -BETA is made.  Those changes will have been
going into RELENG_4 continually throughout the preceeding months[1].
In fact, what -BETA signifies is an emphasis on testing and bug-fixing
rather than introducing new functionality.  That means the -BETA code
is actually probably a bit more stable that the -STABLE code, although
there's really very little measurable difference.  With all of the
testing being done, the code should reach a peak of perfection right
around the time that 4.10 is released, although (annoyingly) each
release does tend to generate a small flood of PRs and fixes
immediately *after* it happens.



[1] If you find this alarming, then you should be tracking one of the
X.Y-RELEASE branches: those only get security and major bug fixes.

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 187 bytes
Desc: not available
Url :

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list