I am confused about which version to use for a production server. Nowhere does it say 
"this is the newest version to use for a production server", especially if the STABLE 
branch is still a development branch. I'm not sure if this is a CYA thing, or if I'm 
just not finding the right information. Obviously, this can be a difficult question to 
answer, since there are so many branches to follow. However, people who want to use 
the software (as oppossed to developing it) will need to know what the most recent 
version is that can be used for a production server. 

Several pages, as well as messages posted to newsgroups, say that there are two 
branchs, STABLE and CURRENT. Yet, there seems to be a third branch: RELEASE. Is the 
RELEASE version pre-CURRENT or post-STABLE? 

http://www.freebsd.org/projects/newbies.html#fbsd says, "If you haven't installed yet, 
look for the latest mainstream release. (See the Handbook for why you should not be 
tempted by any of the other branches.)" OK... if you follow the link, it says that the 
latest release is 5.1-RELEASE. The comment about referring to the Handbook "for why 
you should not be tempted by any of the other branches" only confuses the matter, 
since there is no link to tell me where in the Handbook I should go for this 

Here's what I did find in the Handbook:


Again, this page has no mention of the RELEASE version. What makes this even more 
confusing is the FTP. The various README.TXT files indicate that a RELEASE is the 
lates Release from the STABLE or CURRENT branch, depending on the version. 

Because I have the perspective of a newbie, I don't mind writing a brief description 
for other newbies to determine which version they should use and how to get it. 
Unfortunately, I don't know how to determine any of this. Is the Latest Production 
Release shown on the right column as "Production Release: 4.8 (or whatever it is at 
the time)"? If so, why does the newbies page 
(http://www.freebsd.org/projects/newbies.html#fbsd) say to use the latest mainstream 
release, which is 5.1-RELEASE? If I do figure all of this out, please let me know if 
you want me to write something for other newbies. 

Thanks for your help,


P.S. - I've been running a web server with 4.5-STABLE for about 5 months and it's 
great, but old. 
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