Which FreeBSD For A Production System

Bill Moran wmoran at potentialtech.com
Wed Sep 29 18:21:35 PDT 2004

"Michael G. Goodell" <michael2043 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Which release of FreeBSD is best for a production environment? I am aware of
> the different branches of development: CURRENT, STABLE, RELEASE and I
> *think* I understand the meaning of each from what I have read. Perhaps not
> since I am writing this question! But, what I would like to know is when I
> am setting up a production system, or desktop for that matter, which is
> considered *THE* most stable of the choices in versions. Is it in the 4.x
> branch, 5x etc...
> Where can I get clarification on this topic - any direction would be
> welcome.

You can't, because it's a moving target.  FreeBSD is under constant
development, so the answer today is different than it was some months
ago, and may be different again in a few months.

Right now, I'm thinking that 5.3 is the way to go.  It's not quite
considered stable yet, but unless you can set up a server damn fast,
it'll be announced as stable before you're ready to go live.  Even
if it's not yet, it's already damn close.

If you want the absolutely best FreeBSD, the 4 series has been a rock
solid performer.  The only problem is that 5 is ready to become _the_
FreeBSD, and in a year or so, you'll be wanting to upgrade to 5, which
will be a bit of a chore from what I can see.

So, if you don't think that server will be online for longer than a
year, but you want it to be reliable, install 4, and when you replace
the machine, use 5.  Otherwise, you'll probably want 5 so you're up
with all the latest stuff.

Some might argue that 5 is not officially for production use yet, but
the announcement that it is ready for production use seems as if it
will be coming within the next few weeks.  Just use cvsup to keep
the system updated.

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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