Which Release to Download?

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at clunix.cl.msu.edu
Thu Sep 9 08:14:04 PDT 2004

> On Thursday 09 September 2004 07:07, Younes Al-Hroub wrote:
> > Dear Sir,
> >
> > I am a computer engineer and I want to learn the FreeBSD OS,
> > and I do not have the FreeBSD software and when I have tried
> > to download the FreeBSD software form your website, I found
> > two Releases one called " New Technology Release: 5.2.1 "
> > and the other called " Production Release: 4.10 " ,
> > I got confused which Release to download ???
> At this point, unless you have some critical application that needs the 
> proven stability of 4.x, I don't see a good reason for a new user to 
> start there. Given that you want it for learning, I would say the 
> choice is between 5.2.1  and waiting for 5.3 (which will be a full 
> production release) in a few weeks. 

This is really the opposite of the best official advice that is given.
Unless you have a strong reason for needing 5.xxx, then installing 4.10 
is a good idea.   It is the officially stable production system.   True 
that 5.2.1 is basically quite reliable now, but there is no reason not 
to use the official production release
which is 4.10.   

> If you plan to use FreeBSD as your main desktop OS you might want to 
> wait for 5.3, otherwise the upgrade from 5.2.1 to 5.3 shouldn't be too 
> hard, and it's part of the learning process.

It would also be part of the learning process to move from 4.10
to 5.3 which would be a little more radical move when it comes.

For all practical purposes, at this point the argument is really
almost moot.   4.10 is official, but 5.3 is expected to be official
only a few days hence.  Both are in good shape, but 4.10 has fewer
radical changes from previous versions (none) than 5.2.1 and so
is considered to be more stable and also less likely to have something
overlooked in it.

You should read up on how the branching works.  There have been a couple
of well written explanations posted in the last few months and they
could easily be found by searching I believe.   Then, you would understand
and can make your own decision better.


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