Yesterday the security officer of FreeBSD reminded of the impeding end of lifecycle of several FreeBSD releases. You can read the full text here. In the next few months, first the 5.4 and 5.5 branches go out of support then 6.0 (depending on the release of 6.2) and in january next year the whole 4 branch reaches it’s end of life. So, why is this so important? The reminder goes out to all administrators that have production boxes and hence require planning for any downtime. Additionally, the test teams (usually the same administrators) have to work out upgrading plans and test for all eventualities. And developers supporting applications that require specific versions of the operating system have to adapt their support lists too. For example if a company decides to support their application on every FreeBSD branch with extended lifecycle support can stop supporting the 5.3 branch and eventually inform their customers about available upgrade procedures. And why do I mention this? Because features like this make the difference between a geek OS and a enterprise grade OS. Usually one has to pay to get this kind of support from a Linux distributor or the Redmond based software company.