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

Doug Hardie bc979 at lafn.org
Sat May 16 21:12:25 UTC 2020

> On 16 May 2020, at 13:52, Steve O'Hara-Smith <steve at sohara.org> wrote:
> On Sat, 16 May 2020 13:12:37 -0700
> Doug Hardie <bc979 at lafn.org> wrote:
>> I started using FreeBSD somewhere between 2.5 and 2.7 and I remember the
>> confusion of those "labels".  Yes the information is there, but it's not
> 	I started with 1.1 and watched those labels acquire their meaning
> during a period when every user built from sources and upgraded with make
> world. The terms seemed natural in that context and everyone using FreeBSD
> seemed to understand them, then as the OS matured and the user base widened
> it became clear that they were also confusing to some and the mailing lists
> grew noisy on the subject.
>> obvious to the new user.  I was running production systems and the name
>> "stable" seemed like the right one.  However, the descriptions made me
>> think that perhaps that was not the right choice.  I finally settled on
>> "release" but it was quite a difficult decision.
> 	Before the release patches many people did run production systems
> on stable because the alternative was no changes until the next release.
>> It might be "obvious" to those who
>> know, but it's not for others.
> 	Not so much obvious as natural from some points of
> view, particularly the OS developer point of view, and indeed not natural
> from others which I think came as a surprise to some developers.
> 	These days I think most users should be running -release,
> installing packages, using freebsd-update and not going anywhere near
> sources.

Originally, I had to compile from sources as one of the production systems needed quotas.  There was no way to use the generic kernel.  It was a pain to upgrade a production server.  I went to a single development machine which contained the source and built the production kernel.  However, you still had to run mergemaster on each system which was never fast since you had to figure out the differences between many config files to make sure everything would continue to run.

The need for quotas went away and now I only run -release with freebsd-update for all but a couple ports which don't seem to have packages.  I keep the full source on one development system so that I can reference it when I encounter something in my code that doesn't make sense.  Often I encounter obtuse errorm messages, and seeing what causes them makes it much easier to correct the problem.

-- Doug

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