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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
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<!ENTITY % release PUBLIC "-//FreeBSD//ENTITIES Release Specification//EN" "release.ent">
 %release;
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<article xmlns="http://docbook.org/ns/docbook"
  xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"
  xml:id="top"
  version="5.0">

  <info>
    <title>&os; &release.current; README</title>

    <author><orgname>The &os; Project</orgname></author>

    <pubdate>$FreeBSD$</pubdate>

    <copyright>
      <year>2000</year>
      <year>2001</year>
      <year>2002</year>
      <year>2003</year>
      <year>2004</year>
      <year>2005</year>
      <year>2006</year>
      <year>2007</year>
      <year>2008</year>
      <year>2009</year>
      <year>2010</year>
      <year>2011</year>
      <year>2012</year>
      <year>2013</year>
      <year>2014</year>
      <year>2015</year>
      <year>2016</year>
      <year>2017</year>
      <year>2018</year>
      <year>2019</year>
      <year>2020</year>
      <holder role="mailto:doc@FreeBSD.org">The &os; Documentation
	Project</holder>
    </copyright>

    <legalnotice xml:id="trademarks" role="trademarks">
      &tm-attrib.freebsd;
      &tm-attrib.intel;
      &tm-attrib.opengroup;
      &tm-attrib.sparc;
      &tm-attrib.general;
    </legalnotice>

    <abstract>
      <para>This document gives a brief introduction to &os;
	&release.current;.  It includes some information on how to
	obtain &os;, a listing of various ways to contact the &os;
	Project, and pointers to some other sources of
	information.</para>
    </abstract>
  </info>

  <sect1 xml:id="intro">
    <title>Introduction</title>

    <para>This distribution is a &release.type; of &os;
      &release.current;, the latest point along the &release.branch;
      branch.</para>

    <sect2 xml:id="intro-about">
      <title>About &os;</title>

      <para>&os; is an operating system based on 4.4 BSD Lite for
	AMD64 and Intel EM64T based PC hardware (&arch.amd64;),
	Intel, AMD, Cyrix or NexGen <quote>x86</quote> based PC
	hardware (&arch.i386;), NEC PC-9801/9821 series PCs and
	compatibles (&arch.pc98;), and &ultrasparc; machines
	(&arch.sparc64;).  Versions for the &arm; (&arch.arm;), &mips;
	(&arch.mips;), and &powerpc; (&arch.powerpc;) architectures
	are currently under development as well.  &os; works with
	a wide variety of peripherals and configurations and can be
	used for everything from software development to games to
	Internet Service Provision.</para>

      <para>This release of &os; contains everything you need to run
	such a system, including full source code for the kernel and
	all utilities in the base distribution.  With the source
	distribution installed, you can literally recompile the entire
	system from scratch with one command, making it ideal for
	students, researchers, or users who simply want to see how it
	all works.</para>

      <para>A large collection of third-party ported software (the
	<quote>Ports Collection</quote>) is also provided to make it
	easy to obtain and install all your favorite traditional
	&unix; utilities for &os;.  Each <quote>port</quote> consists
	of a set of scripts to retrieve, configure, build, and install
	a piece of software, with a single command.  Over
	&os.numports; ports, from editors to programming languages to
	graphical applications, make &os; a powerful and comprehensive
	operating environment that extends far beyond what's provided
	by many commercial versions of &unix;.  Most ports are also
	available as pre-compiled <quote>packages</quote>, which can
	be quickly installed from the installation program.</para>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 xml:id="intro-audience">
      <title>Target Audience</title>

      <para releasetype="current">This &release.type; is aimed
	primarily at early adopters and various other users who want
	to get involved with the ongoing development of &os;.  While
	the &os; development team tries its best to ensure that each
	&release.type; works as advertised, &release.branch; is very
	much a work-in-progress.</para>

      <para releasetype="current">The basic requirements for using
	this &release.type; are technical proficiency with &os; and an
	understanding of the ongoing development process of &os;
	&release.branch; (as discussed on the &a.current;).</para>

      <para releasetype="current">For those more interested in doing
	business with &os; than in experimenting with new &os;
	technology, formal releases (such as &release.prev.stable;)
	are frequently more appropriate.  Releases undergo a period of
	testing and quality assurance checking to ensure high
	reliability and dependability.</para>

      <para releasetype="snapshot">This &release.type; is aimed
	primarily at early adopters and various other users who want
	to get involved with the ongoing development of &os;.  While
	the &os; development team tries its best to ensure that each
	&release.type; works as advertised, &release.branch; is very
	much a work-in-progress.</para>

      <para releasetype="snapshot">The basic requirements for using
	this &release.type; are technical proficiency with &os; and an
	understanding of the ongoing development process of &os;
	&release.branch; (as discussed on the &a.current;).</para>

      <para releasetype="snapshot">For those more interested in doing
	business with &os; than in experimenting with new &os;
	technology, formal releases (such as &release.prev.stable;)
	are frequently more appropriate.  Releases undergo a period of
	testing and quality assurance checking to ensure high
	reliability and dependability.</para>

      <para releasetype="release">This &release.type; of &os; is
	suitable for all users.  It has undergone a period of testing
	and quality assurance checking to ensure the highest
	reliability and dependability.</para>
    </sect2>
  </sect1>

  <sect1 xml:id="obtain">
    <title>Obtaining &os;</title>

    <para>&os; may be obtained in a variety of ways.  This section
      focuses on those ways that are primarily useful for obtaining a
      complete &os; distribution, rather than updating an existing
      installation.</para>

    <sect2 xml:id="obtain-cd-dvd">
      <title>CDROM and DVD</title>

      <para>&os; -RELEASE distributions may be ordered on CDROM or DVD
	from several publishers.  This is frequently the most
	convenient way to obtain &os; for new installations, as it
	provides a convenient way to quickly reinstall the system if
	necessary.  Some distributions include some of the optional,
	precompiled <quote>packages</quote> from the &os; Ports
	Collection, or other extra material.</para>

      <para>A list of the CDROM and DVD publishers known to the
	project are listed in the <link
	  xlink:href="&url.books.handbook;/mirrors.html"><quote>Obtaining
	    &os;</quote></link> appendix to the Handbook.</para>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 xml:id="obtain-https">
      <title>HTTPS</title>

      <para>&os; releases may be downloaded via
	<acronym>HTTPS</acronym> from <uri
	  xlink:href="https://download.FreeBSD.org/">https://download.FreeBSD.org/</uri>,
	which is the official &os; release site.</para>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 xml:id="obtain-ftp">
      <title>FTP</title>

      <para>You can use FTP to retrieve &os; and any or all of its
	optional packages from <uri
	  xlink:href="ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/">ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/</uri>,
	or any of its <quote>mirrors</quote>.</para>

      <para>Lists of locations that mirror &os; can be found in the
	<link xlink:href="&url.books.handbook;/mirrors-ftp.html">FTP
	Sites</link> section of the Handbook.
	Finding a close (in networking terms) mirror from which to
	download the distribution is highly recommended.</para>

      <para>Additional mirror sites are always welcome.  Contact
	<email>freebsd-admin@FreeBSD.org</email> for more details on
	becoming an official mirror site.  You can also find useful
	information for mirror sites at the <link
	  xlink:href="&url.articles.hubs;/">Mirroring &os;</link>
	article.</para>

      <para>Mirrors generally contain the ISO images generally used to
	create a CDROM of a &os; release.  They usually also contain
	floppy disk images (for applicable platforms), as well as the
	files necessary to do an installation over the network.
	Finally mirrors sites usually contain a set of packages for
	the most current release.</para>
    </sect2>
  </sect1>

  <sect1 xml:id="contacting">
    <title>Contacting the &os; Project</title>

    <sect2 xml:id="contacting-email">
      <title>Email and Mailing Lists</title>

      <para>For any questions or general technical support issues,
	please send mail to the &a.questions;.</para>

      <para>If you are tracking the &release.branch; development
	efforts, you <emphasis>must</emphasis> join the &a.stable;,
	in order to keep abreast of recent developments and changes
	that may affect the way you use and maintain the
	system.</para>

      <para>Being a largely-volunteer effort, the &os; Project is
	always happy to have extra hands willing to help&mdash;there
	are already far more desired enhancements than there is time
	to implement them.  To contact the developers on technical
	matters, or with offers of help, please send mail to the
	&a.hackers;.</para>

      <para>Please note that these mailing lists can experience
	<emphasis>significant</emphasis> amounts of traffic.  If you
	have slow or expensive mail access, or are only interested in
	keeping up with major &os; events, you may find it
	preferable to subscribe instead to the &a.announce;.</para>

      <para>All of the mailing lists can be freely joined by anyone
	wishing to do so.  Visit the <link
	  xlink:href="&url.base;/mailman/listinfo">&os; Mailman Info
	  Page</link>.  This will give you more information on joining
	the various lists, accessing archives, etc.  There are
	a number of mailing lists targeted at special interest groups
	not mentioned here; more information can be obtained either
	from the Mailman pages or the <link
	  xlink:href="&url.base;/support.html#mailing-list">mailing
	  lists section</link> of the &os; Web site.</para>

      <important>
	<para>Do <emphasis>not</emphasis> send email to the lists
	  asking to be subscribed.  Use the Mailman interface
	  instead.</para>
      </important>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 xml:id="contacting-problem-reports">
      <title>Submitting Problem Reports</title>

      <para>Suggestions, bug reports and contributions of code are
	always valued&mdash;please do not hesitate to report any
	problems you may find.  Bug reports with attached fixes are of
	course even more welcome.</para>

      <para>The preferred method to submit bug reports from a machine
	with Internet connectivity is to use the
	<application>Bugzilla</application> bug tracker.
	<quote>Problem Reports</quote> (PRs) submitted in this way
	will be filed and their progress tracked; the &os; developers
	will do their best to respond to all reported bugs as soon as
	possible.  <link
	  xlink:href="https://bugs.FreeBSD.org/search/">A list of all
	  active PRs</link> is available on the &os; Web site; this
	list is useful to see what potential problems other users have
	encountered.</para>

      <para>Note that &man.send-pr.1; is deprecated.</para>

      <para>For more information, <link
	  xlink:href="&url.articles.problem-reports;/"><quote>Writing
	    &os; Problem Reports</quote></link>, available on the &os;
	Web site, has a number of helpful hints on writing and
	submitting effective problem reports.</para>
    </sect2>
  </sect1>

  <sect1 xml:id="seealso">
    <title>Further Reading</title>

    <para>There are many sources of information about &os;; some are
      included with this distribution, while others are available
      on-line or in print versions.</para>

    <sect2 xml:id="release-docs">
      <title>Release Documentation</title>

      <para>A number of other files provide more specific information
	about this &release.type; distribution.  These files are
	provided in various formats.  Most distributions will include
	both ASCII text (<filename>.TXT</filename>) and HTML
	(<filename>.HTM</filename>) renditions.  Some distributions
	may also include other formats such as Portable Document
	Format (<filename>.PDF</filename>).</para>

      <itemizedlist>
	<listitem>
	  <para><filename>README.TXT</filename>: This file, which
	    gives some general information about &os; as well as
	    some cursory notes about obtaining a
	    distribution.</para>
	</listitem>

	<listitem>
	  <para><filename>RELNOTES.TXT</filename>: The release
	    notes, showing what's new and different in &os;
	    &release.current; compared to the previous release (&os;
	    &release.prev;).</para>
	</listitem>

	<listitem>
	  <para><filename>HARDWARE.TXT</filename>: The hardware
	    compatibility list, showing devices with which &os; has
	    been tested and is known to work.</para>
	</listitem>

	<listitem>
	  <para><filename>ERRATA.TXT</filename>: Release errata.
	    Late-breaking, post-release information can be found in
	    this file, which is principally applicable to releases
	    (as opposed to snapshots).  It is important to consult
	    this file before installing a release of &os;, as it
	    contains the latest information on problems which have
	    been found and fixed since the release was
	    created.</para>
	</listitem>
      </itemizedlist>

      <para>On platforms that support &man.bsdinstall.8; (currently
	&arch.amd64;, &arch.i386;, &arch.pc98;, and &arch.sparc64;),
	these documents are generally available via the Documentation
	menu during installation.  Once the system is installed, you
	can revisit this menu by re-running the &man.bsdinstall.8;
	utility.</para>

      <note>
	<para>It is extremely important to read the errata for any
	  given release before installing it, to learn about any
	  <quote>late-breaking news</quote> or post-release problems.
	  The errata file accompanying each release (most likely right
	  next to this file) is already out of date by definition, but
	  other copies are kept updated on the Internet and should be
	  consulted as the <quote>current errata</quote> for this
	  release.  These other copies of the errata are located at
	  the
	  <uri
	    xlink:href="&url.base;/releases/">releases page</uri>
	  (as well as any sites which keep up-to-date mirrors of this
	  location).</para>
      </note>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 xml:id="manual-pages">
      <title>Manual Pages</title>

      <para>As with almost all &unix; like operating systems, &os;
	comes with a set of on-line manual pages, accessed through the
	&man.man.1; command or through the <link
	  xlink:href="http://www.FreeBSD.org/cgi/man.cgi">hypertext
	  manual pages gateway</link> on the &os; Web site.  In
	general, the manual pages provide information on the different
	commands and APIs available to the &os; user.</para>

      <para>In some cases, manual pages are written to give
	information on particular topics.  Notable examples of such
	manual pages are &man.tuning.7; (a guide to performance
	tuning), &man.security.7; (an introduction to &os; security),
	and &man.style.9; (a style guide to kernel coding).</para>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 xml:id="books-articles">
      <title>Books and Articles</title>

      <para>Two highly-useful collections of &os;-related information,
	maintained by the &os; Project,
	are the &os; Handbook and &os; FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions
	document).  On-line versions of the <link
	  xlink:href="&url.books.handbook;/">Handbook</link> and <link
	  xlink:href="&url.books.faq;/">FAQ</link> are always
	available from the <link
	  xlink:href="&url.base;/docs.html">&os; Documentation
	  page</link> or its mirrors.  If you install the
	<filename>doc</filename> distribution set, you can use a Web
	browser to read the Handbook and FAQ locally.  In particular,
	note that the Handbook contains a step-by-step guide to
	installing &os;.</para>

      <para>A number of on-line books and articles, also maintained by
	the &os; Project, cover more-specialized, &os;-related topics.
	This material spans a wide range of topics, from effective use
	of the mailing lists, to dual-booting &os; with other
	operating systems, to guidelines for new committers.  Like the
	Handbook and FAQ, these documents are available from the &os;
	Documentation Page or in the <filename>doc</filename>
	distribution set.</para>

      <para>A listing of other books and documents about &os; can be
	found in the <link
	  xlink:href="&url.books.handbook;/bibliography.html">bibliography</link>
	of the &os; Handbook.  Because of &os;'s strong &unix;
	heritage, many other articles and books written for &unix;
	systems are applicable as well, some of which are also listed
	in the bibliography.</para>
    </sect2>
  </sect1>

  <sect1 xml:id="acknowledgements">
    <title>Acknowledgments</title>

    <para>&os; represents the cumulative work of many hundreds, if not
      thousands, of individuals from around the world who have worked
      countless hours to bring about this &release.type;.  For
      a complete list of &os; developers and contributors, please see
      <link
	xlink:href="&url.articles.contributors;/"><quote>Contributors
	  to &os;</quote></link> on the &os; Web site or any of its
      mirrors.</para>

    <para>Special thanks also go to the many thousands of &os; users
      and testers all over the world, without whom this &release.type;
      simply would not have been possible.</para>
  </sect1>
</article>