Subject: Re: errors: on FreeBSD
To: David C. Myers <>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/24/2004 23:10:38
In message <>, "David C. Myers" wr
>On Tue, 2004-02-24 at 19:13, Luke Mewburn wrote:
>> Whilst cross-platform builds are important, I wouldn't consider
>> them to be bugs critical enough to require backporting the fixes
>> to older release branches.
>     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>I'd understand this statement, except that 1.6.2 is in the *future*. 
>It's not an "older release branch"...!  ;-)

I think there's some confusion here.  Every time there's a formal 
release -- 1.5, 1.6, 2.0 (which isn't out yet, of course), the tree is 
"branched".  The release branch gets bug fixes and comparatively minor 
enhancements that are back-ported from the development branch.  Larger 
pieces may be back-ported if someone is willing to do the work *and* if 
those pieces don't break compatibility.  1.6.2 is part of the 1.6 
branch; that entire branch is "older" than the development tree 
leading towards 2.0.  

That sort of generalization is always true, given the definition of 
releases; in this particular case, it's even more true, because 1.6.2 
is probably quite close.  (When I run 'uname -a' on a kernel built from 
the head of the 1.6 branch, it says "1.6.2", and not "1.6.1_RCn".)
>Anyway, the picture is becoming clearer.  I'll summarize: The whole
>cross-building infrastructure was supposed to work in 1.6, but
>it doesn't quite.  For various complicated reasons, the fixes to make it
>work will only show up in 2.0.

It's not clear to me that it was supposed to work in 1.6, but there 
were a lot of changes to that stuff in -current.
>However, assuming I was willing to put up with the long build times on
>my Sparc 5 routerwall box, I could continue to use the "netbsd-1-6" tag
>to pull in the fixes along 1.6.2, 1.6.3, and so on.  I just can't build
>those releases from FreeBSD.

Or install from the binary distributions.
>Sorry for the fuss.  I actually got a number of "me too" emails on the
>side wondering about these same questions, so there are plenty of us out
>there who stand a bit confused by the NetBSD build situation.
>Oh, I guess one last question: is current stable enough to use as a
>firewall/router/maildrop box?

Your mileage may vary -- for me, -current took a major step forward 
about three weeks ago.  Any daily snapshot may have trouble, but at 
this point I'm contemplating upgrading some of my major machines to 
-current.  (I have four 1.6.2 machines and one -current machine.)

		--Steve Bellovin,