Subject: basic release questions
To: None <>
From: Chuck Yerkes <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 12/22/2002 11:16:31
Feel free to trim this when replying.

Just getting familiar with the habits and such of NetBSD.
I've been running 1.5.3 for a bit and -current on a machine
that hasn't been unpacked yet.

On what basis do NetBSD releases occur?  1.6 just came out, but
1.5.3 was a while ago, and 1.5 was LONG LONG ago.

How do you keep reasonably up to date without going into the
mire  and risks that come with -current?

Releases are done by the BSDs for different reasons:
- OpenBSD releases every 6 months, like clock work.
  Has some plusses, has some minus.
  Security patches come out for 1 year, then that
  release is abandoned.

- FreeBSD releases updates for the current and previous
  major trees fairly regularly, with features targetting
  and planned for the next major release.  I get an update
  to a minor release every 4-8 months. But I can get fixes
  for machines running 18 month old code bases.
  A -stable is maintained and you can pretty easily keep
  a system working with low risk by keeping that.

- BSD/OS is being driven into more obscurity by a company
  that doesn't really seem to know why people use BSD/OS.

NetBSD seems to do a release on very long timelines.
-current is always a little dangerous, but the previous
release can start to get very old.

I ask because I have some machines out there that won't get full
updates every 2 months or even every year.  They are sometimes far
away; sometimes they are embedded appliance type things in production
and require a screwdriver to make changes.  Yes, things like SSH
can get fixed when needed (what a summer - ssh&ssl&bind), but the
kernel and userland can't get updated without a big pain.