Subject: Re: basic release questions
To: None <>
From: Frederick Bruckman <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 12/22/2002 15:32:58
On Sun, 22 Dec 2002, Chuck Yerkes wrote:

> 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.

Releases are planned on the basis of consensus among developers.
Release Engineering actually creates and announces the schedule on the
authority of core. All steps in the process are subject to
discussion/acrimony/arbitration, but when the wallpaper is finally all
hung and dry, everybody's happy with the result.

My impression -- which is only that -- is that the next major release
after 1.6 will certainly have POSIX threads. There was some hope that
the successor to 1.5 would have pthreads, but it looked like that was
taking too long, hence 1.6 was brought to fruition, to serve in the

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

That easy: run one of the release branches. Building a current
snapshot of a "netbsd-1-5" checkout would yield "NetBSD-1.5.4_ALPHA",
"netbsd-1-6" will give you "NetBSD-1.6_STABLE". Release Engineering
now provides frequent snapshots of both current and netbsd-1-6. Go
to, and follow the links.

> 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.

Perhaps a binary snapshot of NetBSD 1.6_STABLE would be a better deal
than continuing to apply patches to NetBSD 1.5.3? The pullup queue,
viewable on, is nearly empty, which means things are
calming down, but there's not yet even a provisional date for 1.6.1,
so logic dictates that the formal release has to be many months away.