FreeBSD The Power to Serve

FreeBSD 4.9 Release Process


This is a specific schedule for the release of FreeBSD 4.9. 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 28 Jul 2003 28 Jul 2003 Release Engineers send announcement email to with a rough schedule for the FreeBSD 4.9 release.
Another Reminder announcement 18 Aug 2003 18 Aug 2003 1 week reminder.
Another Reminder announcement 24 Aug 2003 24 Aug 2003 Final reminder, with exact time (GMT) that freeze begins.
4.9-PRERELEASE Testing Guide published 25 Aug 2003 -- 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.
4.9-PRERELEASE 25 Aug 2003 25 Aug 2003, and release.ent updated.
FTP site updated 25 Aug 2003 25 Aug 2003 pkg_add -r works for 4.9-PRERELEASE machines.
Code freeze begins 25 Aug 2003 25 Aug 2003 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.
4.9-RC 12 Sep 2003 28 Sep 2003 and release.ent updated.
Announce the Ports Freeze 19 Aug 2003 19 Aug 2003 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.
First release candidate 12 Sep 2003 28 Sep 2003 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/ directory should be a relative symlink, as described in the releng article. Send a note to saying a "Normal Release Cycle" is beginning, RC ISOs and install directories will be coming through the next few weeks.
Heads up to -stable 12 Sep 2003 28 Sep 2003 A message should be sent to and after the snapshot is uploaded.
Second release candidate 17 Sep 2003 8 Oct 2003 Note: the release date of this candidate depends on the user experience with RC1.
Third release candidate 17 Oct 2003 18 Oct 2003
Ports tree frozen 10 Sep 2003 10 Sep 2003 Only approved commits will be permitted to the ports/ tree during the freeze.
Announce doc/ tree slush 17 Oct 2003 18 Oct 2003 Notification of the impending doc/ tree slush should be sent to doc@.
doc/ tree slush 18 Oct 2003 18 Oct 2003 Non-essential commits to the en_US.ISO8859-1/ subtree should be delayed from this point until after the doc/ tree tagging, to give translation teams time to synchronize their work.
Ports tree tagged 23 Sep 2003 24 Sep 2003 RELEASE_4_9_0 tag for ports/.
Ports tree unfrozen -- -- After the ports/ tree is tagged, the ports/ tree will be re-opened for commits, but commits made after tagging will not go in 4.9-RELEASE.
Final package build starts 19 Sep 2003 10 Oct 2003 The ports cluster and bento build final packages.
doc/ tree tagged. 20 Oct 2003 21 Oct 2003 Version number bumps for doc/ subtree. RELEASE_4_9_0 tag for doc/. doc/ slush ends at this time.
RELENG_4_9 branch 18 Oct 2003 22 Oct 2003 The release branch is created.
Note to freebsd-stable@ 18 Oct 2003 23 Oct 2003 A note should be sent to the freebsd-stable@ list 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. 18 Oct 2003 -- The files listed here are updated to reflect the fact that this is FreeBSD 4.9.
Update man.cgi on the website. 18 Oct 2003 19 Oct 2003 Make sure the 4.9 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. 21 Oct 2003 -- RELENG_4_9_0_RELEASE tag for src/.
Final builds. 21 Oct 2003 -- Final builds for x86 and Alpha in a pristine environment.
Warn 21 Oct 2003 -- Heads up email to to give admins time to prepare for the load spike to come. The site administrators have frequently requested advance notice for new ISOs.
Upload to ftp-master. 21 Oct 2003 -- Release (and packages?) uploaded to
Announcement 23 Oct 2003 -- Announcement sent out after a majority of the mirrors have received the bits.
Unfreeze the tree 23 Oct 2003 -- 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_9 branch.

Additional Information

Last modified on: May 15, 2021 by Allan Jude