What is the difference between the three FreeBSD versions (CURRENT, STABLE and RELEASE)?

  • 5
    If you're going to use FreeBSD you have to read the manual
    – SailorCire
    May 22, 2015 at 15:29
  • 1
    Incidentally, the index of the FreeBSD Handbook does not mention CURRENT. An Updating and Upgrading chapter is not where I'd expect to find an answer about what I should install Jan 15, 2021 at 9:15

1 Answer 1

  • Current is the latest "beta" software.

    This is what the developers are working on mainly. It has minimal testing, basically if it compiles they'll push it into the repository. If you're interested in developing or testing development version this is what you're looking for.

  • Release is the software as it first appeared under a certain release version.

    This is the software exactly as it was "released". If you're running 9.3-RELEASE then it is that version as originally released, without base or kernel updates. If you update a RELEASE version it will append a revision tag. This is typically what people run when they used precompiled versions of FreeBSD.

  • Stable is the latest "supported" software within a version branch.

    This is tested versions of the software published between releases. It has more rigerous testing than the Current branch, but will change as new fixes and sometimes features are added. It doesn't have the same feature stability a release.

  • +1 although as a tester of -CURRENT, I should not say that it has minimal testing. Discussions in December 2020 and January 2021 have been unusually skewed towards the transition from Subversion to Git; the November 2020 archive is a truer reflection of the depth and diversity of testing, feedback and fixing that regularly occurs. Jan 15, 2021 at 8:47

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