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FreeBSD 5.4 Release Process


This is a specific schedule for the release of FreeBSD 5.4. 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 31Jan2005 31Jan2005 Release Engineers send announcement email to developers with a rough schedule for the FreeBSD 5.4 release.
Announce the Ports Freeze 24Feb2005 24Feb2005 Someone from portmgr@ should email freebsd-ports@ to set a date for the week long ports freeze and tagging of the ports tree.
5.4-PRERELEASE 23Feb2005 24Feb2005 updated.
Code freeze begins 2Mar2005 3Mar2005 After this date, all commits to the RELENG_5 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, as well as stable@ and qa@ lists.
4Mar2005 20Mar2005 First public test release build. Note that the release build name is 5.4-BETA1 but RELEASE name remains 5.4-PRERELEASE. This is because the name BETA often confuses the users who are using the STABLE branch.
Announce doc/ tree slush 14Mar2005 25Mar2005 Notification of the impending doc/ tree slush should be sent to doc@.
Ports tree frozen 21Mar2005 21Mar2005 Only approved commits will be permitted to the ports/ tree during the freeze.
doc/ tree slush 24Mar2005
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.
doc/ tree tagged. 28Mar2005
12Apr2005 Version number bumps for doc/ subtree. RELEASE_5_4_0 tag for doc/. doc/ slush ends at this time.
RELENG_5_4 branch 31Mar2005 3Apr2005 The release branch is created. Update and release.ent on various branches involved.
Unfreeze the tree 31Mar2005 3Apr2005 Announcement to developers explaining that commits to RELENG_5 no longer require approval. Also note the policy for commits to the RELENG_5_4 branch.
5.4-RC1 31Mar2005 3Apr2005 and release.ent updated.
Ports tree tagged 31Mar2005 2Apr2005 RELEASE_5_4_0 tag for ports/.
Ports tree unfrozen 31Mar2005 2Apr2005 After the ports/ tree is tagged, the ports/ tree will be re-opened for commits, but commits made after tagging will not go in 5.4-RELEASE.
Final package build starts 31Mar2005 -- The ports cluster and pointyhat build final packages.
First release candidate 2Apr2005 5Apr2005 The first release candidate for the each architecture is released. ISO images should be uploaded to A network install directory should be uploaded to The packages/ directory should be a relative symlink, as described in the releng article. When the builds begin 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 2Apr2005 5Apr2005 A message should be sent to and after the first snapshot is uploaded.
Second release candidate 9Apr2005 9Apr2005 Note: the release date of this candidate depends on the user experience with RC1.
Heads up to -stable 9Apr2005 11Apr2005 A message should be sent to and after the second snapshot is uploaded.
Third release candidate 16Apr2005 16Apr2005 Note: the release date of this candidate depends on the user experience with RC2.
Heads up to -stable 16Apr2005 18Apr2005 A message should be sent to and after the third snapshot is uploaded.
Fourth release candidate 30Apr2005 2May2005 Note: This is the final release candidate.
Heads up to -stable 1May2005 2May2005 A message should be sent to and after the fourth snapshot is uploaded.
Version numbers bumped. 6May2005 6May2005 The files listed here are updated to reflect the fact that this is FreeBSD 5.4.
src tree tagged. 6May2005 6May2005 RELENG_5_4_0_RELEASE tag for src/.
Final builds. 6May2005 6May2005 Final builds for all architectures in a pristine environment.
Warn 6May2005 6May2005 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. 7May2005 -- Release uploaded to (packages should have been done before now, otherwise it chokes the mirror sites and propagation of the release bits takes too long)
Update man.cgi on the website. 9May2005 -- Make sure the 5.4 manual pages are being displayed by default for the man->web gateway. Also make sure these man pages are pointed to by docs.xml.
Announcement 9May2005 -- Announcement sent out after a majority of the mirrors have received the bits.
Turn over to the secteam 17May2005 -- RELENG_5_4 branch is handed over to the FreeBSD Security Officer Team in one or two weeks after the announcement.

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