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FreeBSD 4.6 Release Process


This is a specific schedule for the release of FreeBSD 4.6. For more general information about the release engineering process, please see the Release Engineering section of the web site.

General discussions about the release engineering process or quality assurance issues should be sent to the public FreeBSD-qa mailing list. MFC requests should be sent to


Action Expected Actual Description
Reminder announcement 01 Apr 2002 09 Apr 2002 Release Engineers send announcement email to with a rough schedule for the FreeBSD 4.6 release.
4.6-PRERELEASE Testing Guide published Ongoing -- A testing guide should be published with information about recent changes and areas of the system that should be thoroughly tested during the pre-release/RC period.
4.6-PRERELEASE 01 May 2002 01 May 2002, and release.ent updated.
FTP site updated 01 May 2002 18 May 2002 pkg_add -r works for 4.6-PRERELEASE machines.
Code freeze begins 01 May 2002 01 May 2002 After this date, all commits to the RELENG_4 branch must be approved by Certain highly active documentation committers are exempt from this rule for routine man page / release note updates. Heads-up emails should be sent to the developers@, stable@ and qa@ lists.
Commercial software demos updated. 15 May 2002 -- The second disc contains commercial software demos, these demos should be updated to contain the latest versions.
4.6-RC 15 May 2002 15 May 2002 and release.ent updated.
Announce the Ports Freeze 15 May 2002 19 May 2002 Someone from portmgr should email freebsd-ports@ and BCC: developers@ to set a date for the week long ports freeze and tagging of the ports tree.
Heads up to hubs 28 May 2002 -- A message should be sent to before the release is uploaded. The site administrators have frequently requested advance notice for new ISOs.
First release candidate 16 May 2002 17 May 2002 The first release candidate for the x86 and Alpha architecture is released. ISO images should be uploaded to and A network install directory should be uploaded to The packages/ and XF86336/ directories may be symlinked to save space, as long as you're sure to use relative symlinks.
Heads up to -stable 17 May 2002 17 May 2002 A message should be sent to and after the snapshot is uploaded.
Package split posted 17 May 2002 -- The proposed package split (which packages go on which disc of the 4 CD set) should be posted to,, and
Second release candidate ?? May 2002 18 May 2002 Note: the release date of this candidate depends on the user experience with RC1.
Third release candidate -- -- There will be no 4.6 RC3 snapshot.
Ports tree frozen. 24 May 2002 25 May 2002 CVSROOT/avail locks out everyone but the person who does the tagging. It will take approximately 2 hours to tag the entire ports tree with the RELEASE_4_6_0 tag. After this time, the ports/ tree will be re-opened for commits, but commits made after tagging will not go in 4.6-RELEASE.
Final package build starts 25 May 2002 -- The ports cluster and bento build final packages.
Package split 26 May 2002 -- The packages must be split so that packages with similar dependencies appear on each of the four discs, with the most popular packages appearing on the first disc.
doc/ tree tagged. 27 May 2002 27 May 2002 RELEASE_4_6_0 tag for docs.
Fourth release candidate 3 June 2002 6 June 2002 4.6 RC4 for the x86 and Alpha architectures will be made available from and the mirrors.
RELENG_4_6 branch 5 June 2002 6 June 2002 The release branch is created.
Note to freebsd-stable@ 5 June 2002 6 June 2002 A note should be sent to the freebsd-stable@ to let over-anxious users know that the tags have been created but the release still isn't ready. Tags may be slid before the announcement goes out. Point users to freebsd-qa@ for details.
Version numbers bumped. 5 June 2002 8 June 2002 The files listed here are updated to reflect the fact that this is FreeBSD 4.6.
Update man.cgi on the website. 6 June 2002 3 June 2002 Make sure the 4.6 manual pages are being displayed by default for the man->web gateway. Also make sure these man pages are pointed to by docs.xml.
src tree tagged. 10 June 2002 10 June 2002 RELENG_4_6_0_RELEASE tag for src.
Final builds. 10 June 2002 -- Final builds for x86 and Alpha in a pristine environment.
Warn 10 June 2002 11 June 2002 Heads up email to to give admins time to prepare for the load spike to come.
Upload to ftp-master. 10 June 2002 14 June 2002 release and packages uploaded to
Announcement 10 Jun 2002 15 June 2002 Announcement sent out after a majority of the mirrors have received the bits.
Unfreeze the tree 10 June 2002 16 June Announcement to developers@ explaining that the release is out, and commits to RELENG_4 no longer require approval. Also note the policy for commits to the RELENG_4_6 branch.