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Date:      Sat, 16 May 2020 14:12:23 -0700
From:      Doug Hardie <>
To:        Steve O'Hara-Smith <>
Subject:   Re: [FreeBSD-Announce] FreeBSD 12.0 end-of-life
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

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> On 16 May 2020, at 13:52, Steve O'Hara-Smith <> wrote:
> On Sat, 16 May 2020 13:12:37 -0700
> Doug Hardie <> wrote:
>> I started using FreeBSD somewhere between 2.5 and 2.7 and I remember =
>> confusion of those "labels".  Yes the information is there, but it's =
> 	I started with 1.1 and watched those labels acquire their =
> during a period when every user built from sources and upgraded with =
> world. The terms seemed natural in that context and everyone using =
> seemed to understand them, then as the OS matured and the user base =
> it became clear that they were also confusing to some and the mailing =
> grew noisy on the subject.
>> obvious to the new user.  I was running production systems and the =
>> "stable" seemed like the right one.  However, the descriptions made =
>> think that perhaps that was not the right choice.  I finally settled =
>> "release" but it was quite a difficult decision.
> 	Before the release patches many people did run production =
> on stable because the alternative was no changes until the next =
>> It might be "obvious" to those who
>> know, but it's not for others.
> 	Not so much obvious as natural from some points of
> view, particularly the OS developer point of view, and indeed not =
> from others which I think came as a surprise to some developers.
> 	These days I think most users should be running -release,
> installing packages, using freebsd-update and not going anywhere near
> sources.

Originally, I had to compile from sources as one of the production =
systems needed quotas.  There was no way to use the generic kernel.  It =
was a pain to upgrade a production server.  I went to a single =
development machine which contained the source and built the production =
kernel.  However, you still had to run mergemaster on each system which =
was never fast since you had to figure out the differences between many =
config files to make sure everything would continue to run.

The need for quotas went away and now I only run -release with =
freebsd-update for all but a couple ports which don't seem to have =
packages.  I keep the full source on one development system so that I =
can reference it when I encounter something in my code that doesn't make =
sense.  Often I encounter obtuse errorm messages, and seeing what causes =
them makes it much easier to correct the problem.

-- Doug

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