3rd July 2008
More noise than signal
Join Date: May 2008
OpenBSD 4.4-beta has been announced on the OpenBSD Journal:
Q: I know about -release, -stable, and -current. What is -beta?
A: Several months before the next -release, new development work is set aside, and synchronized snapshots are made on all architectures, and public calls for testing go out. These snapshots are -current, but -current that is very close to what will be in the next -release. The only development that will continue are patches to reported problems. After approximately 8 weeks of this (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer), the patched system will be tagged as "-release", CD images will be made for pressing, and development will begin anew.
Q: When will 4.4 become -release?
A: Support and availability will likely begin November 1. Releases are typically May and November. The tagging in CVS and the building of CD images takes place about two months earlier.
Q: Should I test this -beta snapshot?
A: That's up to you. Note that -beta will be a series of snapshots, depending on your architecture and the type and pace of patches applied.
Q: Can I "upgrade" from 4.3-release?
A: Yes, but there is no upgrade guide for 4.4-release, yet. That gets created much later in the process. It occurs once -release is tagged but before -release is supported. The new sysmerge(8) facility and the Following -current FAQ can help manage an upgrade.
Q: If I install or upgrade to -beta, and then decide I want to go back to -release or -stable, can I "upgrade" backwards?
A: No, you will need to reinstall -release or restore it from a backup.
Q: What about all my installed packages?
A: If you are upgrading from -release/-stable to -beta, your packages should continue to work without change, as all older system libraries are left intact.
Q: Can I upgrade packages as well as the OS?
A: Maybe. For many architectures, "snapshot packages" are made available. However there is no guarantee that they will be in sync with any particular snapshot, so you may have to build them from ports.
Q: If I install -beta, rather than upgrade, what do I do about packages?
A: Obtain them from the applicable snapshot package directory. But be aware that there is no guarantee that they will be in sync with any particular -beta snapshot. You may have to build them from ports.
Q: What happens at the end of the -beta testing period?
A: The new -release is tagged, and -current gets a new number. In this case, 4.4-release will be tagged, and 4.4-beta will revert to 4.4-current. If you install or upgrade to 4.4-current after -beta, you will have moved beyond 4.4-release, and if you wish to return to 4.4-release in November, you will need to reinstall; you cannot upgrade backwards. At some point, 4.4-current will become 4.5-current, but this is just naming convention. It is still the same, ever changing -current.
Last edited by jggimi; 3rd July 2008 at 08:07 PM.