help me understand latest->quarterly pkg.conf switch

Glen Barber gjb at
Fri Jul 24 21:28:00 UTC 2015

On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 05:15:52PM -0400, Nikolai Lifanov wrote:
> I noticed that in stable/10, /etc/pkg/FreeBSD.conf was switched from using
> latest package set to whichever one that is "quarterly" word is pointing to
> at the moment. What is the motivation for this change?

This was not done in the stable/10 branch, it was done in releng/10.2.

> Quarterly package sets are useful if the end-user is able to pick which one
> to pull from and there is some amount of time of support overlap so that the
> user has time to validate the new package set and switch his systems to it
> (like what is done with pkgsrc). As-is, "quarterly" works just like "latest"
> from end-user perspective, but for most of the lifecycle packages are
> outdated and there is a massive update bomb four times per year.
> Port branches are still valuable to those building their own packages, since
> they can support the previous (unsupported by the project) branch,
> backporting fixes manually, while validating and upgrading to the new one.
> But, what is the value of the quarterly package set as-is and what is the
> value of switching to this set by default?

In general, the quarterly package set is less prone to having build
failures, since the changes in the branch are (by intent) less
intrusive, while still receiving security updates.  It is analogous to
the stable or releng branches in src, and how they compare to head.

(This will be noted in the final 10.2-RELEASE announcement, as well as
the release notes, and will also include instructions on how to switch
to the 'latest' branch if that is what is desired.)


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