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After the quality of the BETA images is satisfying enough, and no large and potentially risky changes are planned, the release branch is created and <emphasis>Release Candidate</emphasis> (RC) images are built from the release branch, instead of the BETA images from the STABLE branch. Also, the freeze on the STABLE branch is lifted and release branch enters a <quote>hard code freeze</quote> where it becomes much harder to justify new changes to the system unless a serious bug-fix or security issue is involved.
Final Release Checklist
When several BETA images have been made available for widespread testing and all major issues have been resolved, the final release <quote>polishing</quote> can begin.
Creating the Release Branch
In all examples below, <literal>$FSVN</literal> refers to the location of the FreeBSD Subversion repository, <literal>svn+ssh://svn.FreeBSD.org/base/</literal>.
The layout of FreeBSD branches in Subversion is described in the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/committers-guide/subversion-primer.html#subversion-primer-base-layout">Committer's Guide</link>. The first step in creating a branch is to identify the revision of the <literal>stable/<replaceable>X</replaceable></literal> sources that you want to branch <emphasis>from</emphasis>.
<prompt>#</prompt> <userinput>svn log -v $FSVN/stable/9</userinput>
The next step is to create the <emphasis>release branch</emphasis>
<prompt>#</prompt> <userinput>svn cp $FSVN/stable/9@REVISION $FSVN/releng/9.2</userinput>
This branch can be checked out:
<prompt>#</prompt> <userinput>svn co $FSVN/releng/9.2 src</userinput>
Creating the <literal>releng</literal> branch and <literal>release</literal> tags is done by the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/administration.html#t-re">Release Engineering Team</link>.
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external ref='branches-head' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-head" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD Development Branch</phrase> </textobject>
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external ref='branches-releng3' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-releng3" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD 3.x STABLE Branch</phrase> </textobject>
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external ref='branches-releng4' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-releng4" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD 4.x STABLE Branch</phrase> </textobject>
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external ref='branches-releng5' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-releng5" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD 5.x STABLE Branch</phrase> </textobject>
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external ref='branches-releng6' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-releng6" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD 6.x STABLE Branch</phrase> </textobject>
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external ref='branches-releng7' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-releng7" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD 7.x STABLE Branch</phrase> </textobject>
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external ref='branches-releng8' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-releng8" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD 8.x STABLE Branch</phrase> </textobject>
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external ref='branches-releng9' md5='__failed__'
<imageobject> <imagedata fileref="branches-releng9" align="center"/> </imageobject> <textobject> <phrase>FreeBSD 9.x STABLE Branch</phrase> </textobject>
Bumping up the Version Number
Before the final release can be tagged, built, and released, the following files need to be modified to reflect the correct version of FreeBSD:
<filename>doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/mirrors/chapter.xml</filename>

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