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Re: FreeBSD Security Survey

From: Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH (allberyece.cmu.edu)
Date: Sun May 21 2006 - 23:06:54 CDT

On May 21, 2006, at 11:55 , Colin Percival wrote:

> The Security Team has been concerned for some time by anecdotal
> reports
> concerning the number of FreeBSD systems which are not being promptly
> updated or are running FreeBSD releases which have passed their End of
> Life dates and are no longer supported. In order to better understand
> which FreeBSD versions are in use, how people are (or aren't) keeping
> them updated, and why it seems so many systems are not being
> updated, I

I have a 6-STABLE box that is not going to be updated to 6.1 any time
soon, because my personal mail will have to be offline while I do so
--- including nuking and rebuilding all ports because the ports tree
has been thrashed by multiple low level updates that affect a large
percentage of the tree --- and it's only a 600MHz box so it will be
offline for most of a week during that upgrade. And I'm uncertain
how downgrading it to 6.0-RELEASE+security patches will complicate
things (downgrading via cvsup/buildworld is not a supported option,
last I checked). Granted, I probably should have stuck with 6.0-R
--- but then, experience has shown me that the more reliable option
is to wait a week or two after release and then install -STABLE.

In short: keeping FreeBSD up to date tends to be painful at best.

brandon s. allbery [linux,solaris,freebsd,perl]
system administrator [openafs,heimdal,too many hats]
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university

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