That age old question again

Mel fbsd.questions at
Sun Mar 16 23:41:23 UTC 2008

On Monday 17 March 2008 00:18:27 Robert Chalmers wrote:
> Not quite but close.
> On the front page of, is the download links for
>   a.. Production Release 7.0
> Which I'm assuming is the latest, and commercially useable version.
> Now I still find the situation of CURRENT, STABLE as they relate to RELEASE
> slightly confusing, and no amount of description seems to clear it up.
> Ok, I understand CURRENT is developmental, and becomes the next major
> version as stated below. So the next major version is the one on the
> website? Release 7.0 - or, 7.0-RELEASE ...yes/no?
> Then 7.0-STABLE continues the work to be the bugfix/security blah blah
> tree.
> The question I have is:  For the Production Release shown above -
> 7.0-RELEASE, what is the cvsup tag to keep this version updated ??

Releases are like photos: a momentum in time.
Current and stable are moving targets, where current moves faster then stable. 
As a general rule, if something comitted in -current holds up for x weeks (I 
believe 3, but it ain't written in stone) and it has importance for -stable, 
it will be committed to stable and end up in a the next /minor/ release for 
that branch.
Development in -current ends up in the next /major/ release.
As it stands, 7 is the stable branch, 8 is the current branch and 6 is legacy 
stable, 5 is pray-it-still-works ancient 'stable' and 4 is passed end-of 
So far so good.
Except, there's also the ability to "keep a release up to date with only 
security fixes". That's what you want to use in production and the cvs tag 
contains two version numbers: RELENG_7_0.

Yes, I realize many use -stable branches in production, but there is the 
chance that your system is broken on reboot.
Reading through the dated entries in /usr/src/UPDATING gives you an idea what 
users of -stable can deal with and make your descision accordingly.


Problem with today's modular software: they start with the modules
    and never get to the software part.

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