Lifetime of FreeBSD branches

Simon L. Nielsen simon at
Mon May 23 14:08:21 PDT 2005

On 2005.05.23 16:51:18 -0400, Mike Jakubik wrote:
> On Mon, May 23, 2005 3:42 pm, Colin Percival said:
> >
> >
> > In addition to the material there (which is concerned with existing
> > releases), FreeBSD 5.x is expected to be supported until late 2007
> > (FreeBSD 5.5 plus two
> > years), and FreeBSD 6.x will probably be supported until early 2009 (the
> > last FreeBSD 6.x release plus two years).
> Thanks for the info guys. Does this "security support" also mean that
> current ports will be compatible with the release?

No, there are no guarantees about that.  The ports/ people generally
try to make things work with older releases, but there are no
gurantees there.  It's simply too much work to make such guarantees,
and this is after all an volunteer project (for most parts anyway).
See also for the "official" statement.

> I'm surprised to see that 4.11 will be supported longer than

That is just the current status, RELENG_5 is almost certain to be
supported longer than RELENG_4, but exactly how long isn't determined
until FreeBSD 5.5, but Colin's timeline applies and is probably a very
good estimate, since he is also one of the people that will actually
work on supporting it :-).

> Guess my best bet would be to wait for 6.x.

WRT. to security support there wouldn't be a difference.

> Now, does anyone know if a make buildworld/kernel update will be possible
> for 5.x to 6.x ? I'm assuming that they are similar enough for this to be
> possible.

It's a much smaller step than 4.X -> 5.X was, so it's much more likely
that a the upgrade path will be much less painful, than 4.X -> 5.X

Simon L. Nielsen
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