4. Distribution

4.1. FTP Sites

When the release has been thoroughly tested and packaged for distribution, the master FTP site must be updated. The official FreeBSD public FTP sites are all mirrors of a master server that is open only to other FTP sites. This site is known as ftp-master. When the release is ready, the following files must be modified on ftp-master:


The installable FTP directory as output from make release.


The complete package build for this release.


A symlink to ../../../tools.


A symlink to ../../../ports/arch/packages-X.Y-release.


The ISO images. The * is disc1, disc2, etc. Only if there is a disc1 and there is an alternative first installation CD (for example a stripped-down install with no windowing system) there may be a mini as well.

For more information about the distribution mirror architecture of the FreeBSD FTP sites, please see the Mirroring FreeBSD article.

It may take many hours to two days after updating ftp-master before a majority of the Tier-1 FTP sites have the new software depending on whether or not a package set got loaded at the same time. It is imperative that the release engineers coordinate with the FreeBSD mirror site administrators before announcing the general availability of new software on the FTP sites. Ideally the release package set should be loaded at least four days prior to release day. The release bits should be loaded between 24 and 48 hours before the planned release time with other file permissions turned off. This will allow the mirror sites to download it but the general public will not be able to download it from the mirror sites. Mail should be sent to FreeBSD mirror site administrators at the time the release bits get posted saying the release has been staged and giving the time that the mirror sites should begin allowing access. Be sure to include a time zone with the time, for example make it relative to GMT.

4.2. CD-ROM Replication

Coming soon: Tips for sending FreeBSD ISOs to a replicator and quality assurance measures to be taken.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.
Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.