Choosing the right FreeBSD branch to test and maintain ports and docs

Dewayne Geraghty dewayne at
Wed Nov 25 18:51:50 UTC 2020

On 25/11/2020 6:31 pm, sasha vigole wrote:
> Hi, to test ports (/usr/ports) and docs (/usr/doc),
> should I build a testing FreeBSD machine, and maintain them on:
> 1. base/head branch
> 2. base/stable/12 branch
> 3. base/releng/12.2
> or it's irrelevant.
> Thanks
> Sasha Vigole
Release is well tested, having gone through multiple of each: alpha,
beta, release candidate phases before being "released" to the world.
You can be pretty confident that the system is functional and reliable.

Stable receives some changes from head or "current".  This will depend
on the perspective of the committer (whether its immediately useful
because it fixes a problem or enhances a non ABI change; or because the
author would like wider testing results, after some preliminary use on

Current should be viewed as the development branch.  Generally code that
ends up here has experienced a peer review, but probably lacks full
integration testing.  Also sometimes code is reverted because it doesn't
behave as expected, or a better approach has been agreed.

If you're new to FreeBSD and have equipment that is supported (refer to
hardware support list), then Release would be recommended for your
purposes.  If you find that something isnt working for you and the
developers are aware of the problem, its likely to be fixed in Stable.
Regards, Dewayne.

Resources: - for hardware and errata (known
issues and references) - advises changes to
a release, extremely low volume -
the stable branch, for anything that might relevant, moderate volume - the
development branch with high volume

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