freebsd releases?!?!?!(confused)

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sun Jun 6 11:03:21 UTC 2010

Hash: SHA1

On 06/06/2010 11:27:19, Giorgos Tsiapaliokas wrote:
> hello,
> i was using gentoo linux and i have install FBSD 8.0 in my second machine..
> i have read the handbooks but i cannot understand which version of FBSD i
> have.
> i mean i know that i have 8.0 but i have the stable or the unstable
> version???
> and what is going on with the mirrors?

Well, look at the output of 'uname -r'

If it says '8.0-RELEASE' then you're running 8.0 release, straight from
the install media.

If it says '8.0-RELEASE-p3' then you're still running 8.0 release, but
you've applied all of the currently available security patches.  (Which
you should do -- see freebsd-update(8) for one way of doing that, or use
csup(1) to grab the latest RELENG_8_0 branch sources.)

If it says '8.0-STABLE' or '8.1-PRERELEASE' then you're running 8.0
STABLE: in order to have this you would either have had to install a
snapshot, or you would have had to use eg. csup(1) to grab sources from
the RELENG_8 branch, and recompile the system.

Note that the choices in FreeBSD are RELEASE, STABLE or CURRENT.  There
is no 'UNSTABLE' in the sense that many Linux distributions use it, nor
does 'STABLE' mean the same thing.

RELEASE are the release branches: these are suitable for production use,
having been through various QA procedures and plenty of testing.
RELEASE branches only get updates for *) Security patches *) Significant
Bugs that would affect normal operation.

STABLE is a development branch: it's called 'STABLE' because it is
expected to run stably.  STABLE generally receives continual fixes and
updates, but these will previously have been tested in the bleeding edge
CURRENT development branch.  The exception to this is during the release
process (as we are in at the moment), when this code branch is prepared
for branching off the next RELEASE version, which will be 8.1-RELEASE.

CURRENT is the bleeding edge of development.  It usually works and can
be compiled smoothly, but not always.  People running this are expected
to be capable of dealing with debugging, patching and rebuilding the
system and to contribute to the FreeBSD development process.  CURRENT's
major version is always one more than the latest major release branch.
Periodically, there will be a new .0 release version and everything
bumps up one.  The next update like that is 9.0-RELEASE scheduled for
some time late this year.

Note: the terms 'RELENG_8' or 'RELENG_8_0' relate to the branch names
from CVS.  They still apply, but CVS is nowadays automatically populated
from Subversion, which is the project's principle version control system
nowadays and where the equivalent terms are 'stable/8', 'releng/8.0' or
'release/8.0.0' You may see these mentioned on various mailing lists.
Just some more confusing terminology.

What problems are you seeing with the mirrors?



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Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
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