Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Tue May 4 02:57:20 PDT 2004

On Tue, May 04, 2004 at 09:53:53AM +0900, Luke Kearney wrote:
> On Mon, 03 May 2004 20:52:30 -0400
> XylonMaster <xylonmaster at> granted us these pearls of wisdom:
> > I am a begginer in unix and would like to know which freebsd version is
> > considered the most stable and reliable. So far i have the freebsd 4.2
> > powerpack, but am wondering if the downloaded version of freebsd 5.1, 5.2
> > will allow me to install freebsd 4.2 third-party software form the 4.2
> > powerpack edition i have puchased 3 years ago.
> If out and out stability is what you are after then 4.9 is probably the
> one you want. 4.2 is a little dated now and is missing some of the new
> drivers that you might like to have available to you. There is nothing
> wrong with 5.X it is very slick and has some nice new features but IMHO
> you might get better mileage from 4.9 to begin with. Dual booting with
> 4.9 is a piece of cake too.

4.2-RELEASE is more than a little dated.  It's also not the best
choice if you're after maximum stability -- 4.2 was the eqivalent in
the 4.x series of the upcoming 5.3 release in the 5.x series: that is
the first release in the series considered properly stable.  In fact,
the whole scheme of 'New Technology' releases seen in 5.x is the
result of the experience gained at that time.

In theory you should be able to install your 4.2 packages on any later
machine -- you'll need to install the 4.x-COMPAT stuff on a 5.x
machine to have a hope of that working.  However, there's no
guarrantee that will work properly -- ports are tested with the
current versions of the OS at the time they are created, and there's
no scheme to test old ports on newer versions of the system (let alone
the time and equipment required to do something like that).  Also you
will very likely be installing software for which various security and
other bugs have since been discovered and fixed.

You should be able to install up to date equivalents of anything you
can find on your PowerPack CDs either from ports or from the
pre-compiled packages on the FreeBSD FTP sites.  Once you've got
network connectivity working this port/package installation over the
net is really very easy indeed to do.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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