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FreeBSD 4.5 Release Process


The release engineering team ( for FreeBSD 4.5 consists of Murray Stokely, Steve Price, Robert Watson, and John Baldwin.

The x86 build team consists of Murray Stokely and John Baldwin.

The Alpha build team consists of David O'Brien, Wilko Bulte, John Baldwin, and Murray Stokely.

The third-party packages are handled by Steve Price and the Ports managers (

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

For an overview of the entire release engineering process, please see this document.


Reminder announcement01 Dec 200103 Dec 2001 Release Engineers send announcement email to with a rough schedule for the FreeBSD 4.5 release.
4.5-PRERELEASE 20 Dec 2001 20 Dec 2001, param.h, and release.ent updated.
FTP site updated 20 Dec 2001 20 Dec 2001 pkg_add -r works for 4.5-PRERELEASE machines.
Code freeze begins 20 Dec 2001 20 Dec 2001 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. 05 Jan 2002 24 Jan 2002 The second disc contains commercial software demos, these demos should be updated to contain the latest versions.
4.5-RC 09 Jan 2002 09 Jan 2002 and release.ent updated.
Announce the Ports Freeze 09 Jan 2002 09 Jan 2002 Someone from portmgr should email freebsd-ports@ and CC: developers@ to set a date for the tagging of the ports tree. Will set this date at January 22nd.
Heads up to hubs 09 Jan 2002 09 Jan 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 09 Jan 2002 09 Jan 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 09 Jan 2002 09 Jan 2002 A message should be sent to and after the release is uploaded.
Second release candidate ?? Jan 2002 18 Jan 2002 Note: the release date of this candidate depends on the user experience with RC1.
Third release candidate 23 Jan 2002 24 Jan 2002 4.5 RC3 for the x86 and Alpha architectures will be made available from and the mirrors.
Ports tree frozen. 22 Jan 2002 22 Jan 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_5_0 tag. After this time, the ports/ tree will be re-opened for commits, but commits made after tagging will not go in 4.5-RELEASE.
Final package build starts 22 Jan 2002 22 Jan 2002 The ports cluster and bento build final packages.
Package split 23 Jan 2002 29 Jan 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. 24 Jan 2002 24 Jan 2002 RELEASE_4_5_0 tag for docs.
RELENG_4_5 branch 25 Jan 2002 26 Jan 2002 The release branch is created.
Note to freebsd-stable@ 25 Jan 2002 26 Jan 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. 25 Jan 2002 25 Jan 2002 The files listed here are updated to reflect the fact that this is FreeBSD 4.5.
src tree tagged. 27 Jan 2002 27 Jan 2002 RELEASE_4_5_0_RELEASE tag for src.
Update man.cgi on the website. 25 Jan 2002 -- Make sure the 4.5 manual pages are being displayed by default for the man->web gateway.
Archive the errata for FreeBSD 4.4. 25 Jan 2002 25 Jan 2002 The new RELNOTESng errata file should be setup, and the old errata file archived.
Final builds. 28 Jan 2002 28 Jan 2002 Final builds for x86 and Alpha in a pristine environment.
Warn 28 Jan 2002 28 Jan 2002 Heads up email to to give admins time to prepare for the load spike to come.
Upload to ftp-master. 28 Jan 2002 28 Jan 2002 release and packages uploaded to
Announcement 28 Jan 2002 29 Jan 2002 Announcement sent out after a majority of the mirrors have received the bits.

It's been pointed out that this table is rather boring. Bruce Mah gave a slightly more interesting rendition of the 12 days of Code-Freeze.