[FreeBSD-Announce] FreeBSD 12.0 end-of-life

John Howie john at thehowies.com
Sat May 16 19:13:30 UTC 2020

Respectfully, the views presented are not in line with desired state. We *should* be able to install s/w and forget it until the hardware eventually fails. We are building a house of cards with tiered dependencies and upgrades are often fatal, resulting in prolonged outages. This leads administrators to just leave systems be. That represents significant risk.

We need to build better software, and that starts with simplicity. We need to stop putting everything, including the kitchen sink, into releases. We need to focus on code quality. Where we absolutely must update a system we should, by now, be able to hot patch it. The fact that as an industry we cannot is scandalous. We need to support distributions for many, many years. 

These are not FreeBSD-specific issues, but these are golden opportunities for FreeBSD to stand out from the crowd by releasing minimalist distributions, with high-quality software that is supported for many years, and includes the ability to hot patch vulnerable code.

BTW - I am running 12.0-RELEASE on a key system with a long running project, and moving or upgrading is going to be a real pain. So much so I am putting it off and investing (heavily) in layered defenses.


On 5/16/20, 11:56 AM, "owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org on behalf of @lbutlr" <owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org on behalf of kremels at kreme.com> wrote:

    On 16 May 2020, at 12:19, Polytropon <freebsd at edvax.de> wrote:
    > And it runs and runs and runs and runs. Older hardware could do this. And older software, in combination with that hardware, could do this. As long as the requirements don't change, it's not a problem, especially not when _not_ connected to the Internet - yes, I'm quite aware that _this_ is a significant problem in considering system security.

    If the computer is not connected to any other computers and no person ever has access to it, that’s fine.

    Otherwise, old OSes are porous insecure botnets-in-wait with dozens or hundreds or thousands of exploits.

    And if your machine is not connected to the Internet and no human uses it, go ahead an run FreeBSD 1.0. Who’s stopping you?

    But that’s an even smaller tiny tiny percentage than desktop FreeBSD users and should have no bearing on the EOL schedule of the current versions of the OS.

    The issue has been (but hopefully is not any lonher?) is that upgrading from one version to another can be … well,  sometimes impossible is the best result. More than once I’ve had to completely setup anew because the upgrade path either did not work or had been shut-off (like version x.4 can be upgraded to only from x.3, but x.3 cannot be installed now because it is EOL so you have no path forward from x.0 x.1 and x.2 but to start afresh and you installed x.2 6 months ago).

    I'm dangerous when I know what I'm doing.

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