11.1 ISO-IMAGES for alpha, beta and RC builds

Matthew Seaman matthew at FreeBSD.org
Thu Jun 15 22:03:20 UTC 2017

On 15/06/2017 21:17, Ernie Luzar wrote:
> https://www.freebsd.org/releases/11.1R/schedule.html
> Shows no alpha builds. Is it normal to start the release build process
> with beta builds skipping the alpha builds?
> I see ISO-IMAGES for 11.1 beta1. I don't remembering seeing ISO-IMAGES
> for previous alpha, beta and RC build releases. Is this a new change to
> existing procedures?  Are we going to see ISO-IMAGES for alpha, beta and
> RC builds from now on?
> Where does snapshot prerelease fit into the alpha, beta and RC build
> process?
> Is this documented someplace?

The alpha builds are internal to Release Engineering -- they're
essentially just a sanity check that the code to go into the release
doesn't have obvious problems.  The beta builds are the first ones
released to the public for wider testing, once RE is satisfied that they
won't cause your machine to spit chunks of harddrive all over the floor
or other faux-pas.

Yes, pre-release iso images have been released historically for people
to download and do test installs.  It's pretty hard to get people to
test releases in any case, so making it as convenient as possible for
people to install is a good idea.

The 'snapshot' referred to in the release schedule is a tag created in
the code repository so that the precise BETA1 or BETA2 or whatever code
can be checked out in a repeatable way.  The BETAs are built against the
11-STABLE branch in SVN, which is the main and fairly active development
branch for all 11.x code.  So the BETAs could evolve quite rapidly,
although we're in a code-freeze at the moment and all commits to
11-STABLE require RE approval.

Once the BETAs have proven satisfactory, the 11.1-RELEASE branch will be
created.  This means two things: first, and commits to 11-STABLE after
the branch point will not appear in 11.1-RELEASE unless specifically
merged (so the RE lock on commit approvals to 11-STABLE will be lifted).
 Second: the release branch is effectively in feature-freeze at this
point and only fixes for issues discovered during testing will be applied.

This is basically the same process that has been used since around



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