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FreeBSD 5.3 Release Process


This is a specific schedule for the release of FreeBSD 5.3. 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

FreeBSD 5.3 will be the first release from the RELENG_5 branch and thus will also be the first 5-STABLE release.

The current release engineering TODO list is also available. This list is updated periodically through the release cycle.


Action Expected Actual Description
Announce the Ports Freeze 15Aug2004 15Aug2004 Someone from portmgr@ should email for the two week long ports freeze and tagging of the ports tree.
src/ tree frozen 16Aug2004 16Aug2004 Announce the src/ code freeze for 5.3. Commits to the HEAD branch will be locked until the RELENG_5 branch is created.
RELENG_5 branch creation 16Aug2004 17Aug2004 Create the RELENG_5 branch. Commits to this branch will require Release Engineering approval until the RELENG_5_3 branch is created.
Begin 5.3-BETA1 builds 16Aug2004 20Aug2004 Begin building 5.3-BETA1 disc1 and disc2 for all Tier-1 platforms. The first built typically requires several days to resolve latent problems on all platforms, so it will be started early.
Release 5.3-BETA1 20Aug2004 22Aug2004 5.3-BETA1 tier-1 platform images released and uploaded to
Build and release 5.3-BETA2 27Aug2004 29Aug2004 5.3-BETA2 tier-1 platform images built, released, and uploaded to
Build and release 5.3-BETA3 3Sep2004 5Sep2004 5.3-BETA3 tier-1 platform images built, released, and uploaded to
Ports tree frozen 3Sep2004 3Sep2004 Only approved commits will be permitted to the ports/ tree during the freeze.
Build and release 5.3-BETA4 10Sep2004 12Sep2004 5.3-BETA4 tier-1 platform images built, released, and uploaded to
Build and release 5.3-BETA5 17Sep2004 20Sep2004 5.3-BETA5 tier-1 platform images released and uploaded to
Ports tree tagged 17Sep2004 11Oct2004 RELEASE_5_3_0 tag for ports/.
Ports tree unfrozen 17Sep2004 11Oct2004 After the ports/ tree is tagged, the ports/ tree will be re-opened for commits, but commits made after tagging will not go in 5.3-RELEASE.
Final package build starts 17Sep2004 11Oct2004 The ports cluster and pointyhat build final packages.
Turn off debugging for RELENG_5 17Sep2004 7Sep2004 Turn off WITNESS, INVARIANTS, and malloc debugging options. This will be the default for all RELENG_5 releases.
doc/ tree slush 17Sep2004 17Sep2004 Announce the doc/ slush for 5.3. From this time until the tagging of the doc/ tree, non-critical changes should be postponed to allow translation teams time to finish their work for the release. If we can resolve problems before this expected date, doc/ slush could start earlier. At this point, we are considering on 10 Sep at earliest, and on 17 Sep at latest.
Build and release 5.3-BETA6 24Sep2004 26Sep2004 5.3-BETA6 tier-1 platform images released and uploaded to
doc/ tree tagged 24Sep2004 26Sep2004 Tag the doc/ tree with RELEASE_5_3_0.
Build and release 5.3-BETA7 1Oct2004 3Oct2004 5.3-BETA7 tier-1 platform images released and uploaded to
RELENG_5_3 branched 8Oct2004 16Oct2004 Branch of src/ from RELENG_5 for the release.
src/ unfrozen 8Oct2004 16Oct2004 Unfreeze RELENG_5 src. Continue to coordinate significant check-ins with until the release is final.
Build and release 5.3-RC1 17Oct2004 19Oct2004 5.3-RC1 tier-1 platform images released and uploaded to
Version numbers bumped 22Oct2004 24Oct2004 The files listed here are updated to reflect FreeBSD 5.3.
src/ tree tagged 22Oct2004 24Oct2004 Tag the RELENG_5_3 branch with RELENG_5_3_0_RELEASE.
Begin 5.3-RELEASE builds 5Nov2004 4Nov2004 Start 5.3-RELEASE Tier-1 builds.
Warn 5Nov2004 5Nov2004 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 5Nov2004 6Nov2004 Release and packages uploaded to
FreeBSD 5.3 Announced 5Nov2004 6Nov2004 FreeBSD 5.3 is announced to the mailing lists.
FreeBSD 5.3 Press Release 5Nov2004 6Nov2004 A formal press release statement is in the works and should be released at this time to the website and various tech publications.