Graham Bentley wrote:

You've confused STABLE with RELEASE. 6.2 has not reached RELEASE. 6-STABLE is the latest "these changes worked fine in CURRENT (right now, aka 7) and have been MFCed (merged from current) so that more people can try them out", which right now corresponds to the version of FreeBSDthat is just about to be released which also happens to be called6.2-RC1 (release candidate 1)). When 6.2 is ready to go, a new RELEASE branch is created (6.2-RELEASE) which only gets security fixes.

So, if I want the 'latest version' that 'isnt a work in progress' (or at least tested to the point where it is know to be working correctly in the majority of scenarios)
always use the RELEASE branches ?


There are situations where you would *consider* -STABLE even in a production box, but they are rare. Some examples:

1) You have some brand new hardware which is only supported on -STABLE. I do my best to avoid this by rarely if ever following the bleeding edge of hardware development, but that's not always possible.

2) Some serious bug, which wasn't caught before, crops up with a piece of hardware, and the fix is only in -STABLE.

Obviously, the nearer that -STABLE is to the next release version, the smaller the risk that you are taking. For example, I would have far fewer qualms about running 6.2-RC1 (or even any of its -BETA predecessors), than I would about switching to -STABLE mid-way between release cycles. At the point of a release cycle starting, -STABLE will have had as much testing as it's ever going to (except for the release cycle itself).

If I did have to run -STABLE on some "production" machine, then I would be *very* conservative about how I upgraded it. I would only try upgrading to a newer -STABLE if there was an actual problem which I believed would be fixed; and I would fix all security issues using patches, as far as possible, not by cvsup-ing. And the second the next -RELEASE came along, I'd be on to it.

Of course, if you have the time and less-critical machines then running -STABLE is a good thing as you would be contributing to the debugging effort. But you will have to be prepared to deal with things breaking now and again, so a familiarity with how to upgrade and downgrade (as well as the time) are very helpful.



PS I'm a very conservative upgrader; I still have 5.4 on all my "production" boxes and am just waiting for 6.2.

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