Portupgrade Package Question

Steven Friedrich FreeBSD at insightbb.com
Sun Jul 10 15:31:42 UTC 2011

> On Sun, 10 Jul 2011 00:35:28 -0400
> b. f. articulated:
> > This is the tag that you would use on src collections to update your
> > base system sources (usually in /usr/src) to 8-STABLE.  You would use
> > RELENG_8_2 for the 8.2-STABLE security branch, RELENG_8_2_RELEASE for
> > 8.2-RELEASE, and so on.
> Reading through the archives, several years worth, it appears that this
> is one of the most frequently asked questions. Many users, both new
> (obviously) and some not so new get confused as to what is the proper
> tag to use for each branch; ie "Stable" "Current", etc.Maybe there
> should be some way to make it easier to understand. For example:
> 8.2-RELEASE: original release of code sans any updates, etc.
> 8.2-STABLE: released version plus security updates
> 8.2-CURRENT: All updates, security & otherwise to the original version
> ?-CURRENT: The absolute latest release of FreeBSD irregardless of what
> version it is.
> Anyway, it is just a suggestion. In any case I think it might be easier
> for some to comprehend. Anything that eliminates confusion is a plus.

I have 34 years experience as a Data Systems technician, system admin, 
developer, and tech writer, yet I till won't claim I know everything, so 
please don't flame me. Constructive, polite criticism is welcome. I began my 
career before Unix or MicroSucks even existed.

It is a misnomer to attach a release number to current or stable.  CURRENT is 
called HEAD in source code control vernacular.  CURRENT's "number" is 
transient.  It is often incorrectly referred to as 9.  Please refrain from 
such usage.  It is technically incorrect and confuses users who have no 
knowledge of source code control.  Same goes for STABLE.

In my opinion, the real confusion is in ascertaining what you SHOULD be using.

If you want to run FreeBSD, KDE, gnome, etc., as a PRODUCTION machine, yo 
should NOT be using CURRENT or STABLE.  You should be installing a RELEASE on 
a TEST machine, verify that ALL your user applications have no showstopper 
anomales, and DEPLOY the release AFTER testing has given you a great dela of 
confidence in the software.  You should JUMP from a release to the next 
release, using the testing and deployment mentioned.

You WILL get security updates if you track a release, such as 8.2.  But again, 
don't just update your sources and deploy.  TEST it on a test machine, before 
exposing your end users to it.  This is referred to as PROFESSIONALISM.

The ONLY people that should be tracking STABLE or CURRENT are the people who 
DON'T need their hand held for system administration.  If you violate this 
protocol, you will be taking developers time away from development to TRAIN 
you in system admin.  PLEASE don't.

Hope this helps and if it offends you, please take the time to think about it 
before you flame me.

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