Which version of freebsd..

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Sun Apr 25 05:21:04 PDT 2004

On Sun, Apr 25, 2004 at 12:54:56AM +0200, lists wrote:
> Currently were going to reinstall all servers we have from redhat 9 to
> freebsd because redhat 9 is EOL...
> But after reading a few mails here that 4.9 is most likely not supported
> for a long time.. what version should we take then?

4.9-RELEASE will be supported[1] for at least a year from it's release,
as is normal with all the the 4.x series.  However, support for
4.8-RELEASE has been specifically extended until 31 March 2005, and
it's listed EOL is actually later than the one for 4.9 at the moment.


The upcoming 4.10-RELEASE will presumably be supported for the usual
12 months from release, which takes it to an EOL at around the same
time as currently stated for 4.8-RELEASE and 4-STABLE.
> We will be using it for multiple servers (mail, database, app, web
> etc..)

You have two choices: either the conservative one of installing one of
the 4.x releases, or the risky one of installing a 5.x release.  If
your profit margin or job security depends on the performance of those
servers, go with 4.x.  You'll have getting on for another year of
support, at which time you will have a choice of well-tested 5.x
releases to jump to.

Or you can just go to 5.x immediately -- avoiding the effort of a 4.x
to 5.x transition.  However be aware that 5.x releases are still
"Early Adopter", which among other things means that they don't get a
very long support period[2].  In which case, expect to have to do an
upgrade from 5.2.1 to 5.3 in the fairly near future.

That Early Adopter status will change with the creation of the
5-STABLE branch and 5.3-RELEASE, which should happen later this
summer.  After that point the 5.x releases will be recognised as
full-blown FreeBSD releases and receive the normal length of support.



[1] Support in this case means that security bugs in the base system
will be fixed.  It doesn't mean that such things as ports are
guarranteed to work correctly.  The whole ports mechanism is only
thoroughly tested by the routine package building process, which takes
place on the latest 4.x and 5.x release branches. Although it is
generally possible to made the ports system work on older systems,
this cannot be absolutely guarranteed.

[2] There was some consternation after the release of
FreeBSD-SA-04:04.tcp.asc when many people first realised that
5.1-RELEASE was no longer supported.

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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