Skip to main content.
Google custom search

NetBSD Formal Releases

The latest formal release is NetBSD 6.1.5. It was released on September 22, 2014.

Formal releases of NetBSD are intended to provide a stable, supported platform on which people can base their work. They provide a balance between features and stability.

Why use a formal release?

Because they are well-tested and made relatively infrequently, formal releases are useful for people who don't want to be on the bleeding edge of development, or who just want to run applications. Since formal releases are effectively unchanging (there are typically very few official patches made to them), they are relatively easy to support, both by NetBSD's developers and the developers of applications. The biggest problem with running the latest formal release of NetBSD is that you don't have access to the latest features and bug fixes in the development tree.

Formal releases are relatively easy to install. All of the platforms supported by a formal release come with a detailed set of installation instructions, and most also include some sort of bootstrapping media. (For example, the i386 port typically uses a CD or DVD to bootstrap, while the amiga and hp300 ports use a miniroot filesystem image.) There is also typically an upgrade procedure to bring a system from the previous formal release to the current one.

In short, if you're not the type of person who'd be willing to upgrade your operating system on a semi-daily basis, or if you want a system that is relatively easy to install and upgrade, a formal release of NetBSD is for you.

How to obtain updates for formal releases

For those who do not wish to wait for the next release, we have daily updated snapshots of the release branches available via both FTP and SUP.

The directories /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-release-5 and /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-release-6 contain the extracted sources plus weekly updated tar files of both the 5 and 6 release branches respectively. These files are created in a similar manner to those in the /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-current directory.

Currently supported releases

The NetBSD-6 and NetBSD-5 branches are currently being maintained. The NetBSD-4 and older branches have reached End-Of-Life and are no longer supported.

The latest release is NetBSD 6.1.5. It was released on September 22, 2014.

Previous releases