As of September 2008, PC-BSD® release version numbers are the same as those for FreeBSD. When the first number of a release is followed by a zero (e.g. version 9.0), this means that this version of PC-BSD® introduces many new features. When the second number of a release is not a zero (e.g. version 9.1), this means that the new version may have some new features, but it mostly fixes known software problems and security vulnerabilities. If a release includes the letters RC, this means that it is a "Release Candidate", or that the developers are still adding and fixing features and need testers to help them find any existing problems in preparation for the upcoming release. If the release includes the word BETA, it means that that version is still buggy and needs the help of testers to find as many problems as possible so that they can be fixed.
- RELEASE: indicates that updates to the software installed with the operating system will appear in Update Manager on or about the 1st and 15th of each month. This means that these applications will never be more than a month out of date. However, new drivers and features will not be added to the operating system until the next RELEASE version becomes available and the user upgrades to that new version.
- STABLE: indicates that updates to the software installed with the operating system will appear in Update Manager on or about the 5th and 20th of each month. In addition, on the 1st of each month, Update Manager will provide a patch which will update the operating system to include all of the new features and drivers.
Despite the name, RELEASE is considered to be more stable than STABLE. If you can wait until the next release (typically every 6 months or so) for new drivers and features, install RELEASE instead of STABLE.
If you are currently running RELEASE and would like to change to STABLE, refer to Using a Rolling Release.
Occasionally, the FreeBSD project releases security patches that affect the operating system or the software installed with the operating system. These will appear in Update Manager for both RELEASE and STABLE users, making it easy to keep your PC-BSD® system fully patched against known security vulnerabilities.