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FreeBSD Release Engineering
November 2001
BSDCon Europe
I've been involved in the development of FreeBSD based products since 1997 at Walnut Creek CDROM, BSDi, and now Wind River Systems. FreeBSD 4.4 was the first official release of FreeBSD that I played a significant part in.

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<personname> <firstname>Murray</firstname> <surname>Stokely</surname> </personname> <_:personblurb-1/> <affiliation> <_:address-2/> </affiliation>
FreeBSD is a registered trademark of the FreeBSD Foundation.
Intel, Celeron, Centrino, Core, EtherExpress, i386, i486, Itanium, Pentium, and Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.
Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this document, and the FreeBSD Project was aware of the trademark claim, the designations have been followed by the <quote>™</quote> or the <quote>®</quote> symbol.
$FreeBSD: head/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/releng/article.xml 51824 2018-06-12 18:54:46Z bcr $
This document is outdated and does not accurately describe the current release procedures of the FreeBSD Release Engineering team. It is retained for historical purposes. The current procedures used by the FreeBSD Release Engineering team are available in the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/freebsd-releng/article.html">FreeBSD Release Engineering</link> article.
This paper describes the approach used by the FreeBSD release engineering team to make production quality releases of the FreeBSD Operating System. It details the methodology used for the official FreeBSD releases and describes the tools available for those interested in producing customized FreeBSD releases for corporate rollouts or commercial productization.
Subversion, <uri xlink:href=""></uri>
<link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributors/article.html#staff-committers">FreeBSD committers</link>
<link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/administration.html#t-core">FreeBSD Core Team</link>
The development of FreeBSD is a very open process. FreeBSD is comprised of contributions from thousands of people around the world. The FreeBSD Project provides Subversion <_:footnote-1/> access to the general public so that others can have access to log messages, diffs (patches) between development branches, and other productivity enhancements that formal source code management provides. This has been a huge help in attracting more talented developers to FreeBSD. However, I think everyone would agree that chaos would soon manifest if write access to the main repository was opened up to everyone on the Internet. Therefore only a <quote>select</quote> group of nearly 300 people are given write access to the Subversion repository. These <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributors/article.html#staff-committers">committers</link> <_:footnote-2/> are usually the people who do the bulk of FreeBSD development. An elected <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/administration.html#t-core">Core Team</link> <_:footnote-3/> of developers provide some level of direction over the project.
The rapid pace of <systemitem>FreeBSD</systemitem> development makes the main development branch unsuitable for the everyday use by the general public. In particular, stabilizing efforts are required for polishing the development system into a production quality release. To solve this conflict, development continues on several parallel tracks. The main development branch is the <emphasis>HEAD</emphasis> or <emphasis>trunk</emphasis> of our Subversion tree, known as <quote>FreeBSD-CURRENT</quote> or <quote>-CURRENT</quote> for short.


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