Jonathan Perkin edited this page Apr 18, 2017 · 2 revisions


  1. Introduction
  2. Branches
  3. Images
  4. Versioning
  5. Image Types
  6. Image Architectures
  7. Image Names
  8. Additional Images
  9. LTS


This page describes the pkgsrc release process.


A new pkgsrc branch is created every quarter using the pkgsrc-YYYYQQ naming scheme, with each Q4 release designated as Long Term Support (LTS) and supported by Joyent for 3 years. The approximate timeline is as follows:

Date Branch LTS?
... ... ...
30 Sept 2015 pkgsrc-2015Q3 No
31 Dec 2015 pkgsrc-2015Q4 Until pkgsrc-2018Q4
31 March 2016 pkgsrc-2016Q1 No
30 June 2016 pkgsrc-2016Q2 No
30 Sept 2016 pkgsrc-2016Q3 No
31 Dec 2016 pkgsrc-2016Q4 Until pkgsrc-2019Q4
31 March 2017 pkgsrc-2017Q1 No
... ... ...

While the branch may be created on the expected branch date, it may be a few weeks after that before binary packages and images show up, due to the amount of time it takes to build them and iron out any final issues.


Images are an easy way to install a particular pkgsrc release, and are the primary way that SmartOS users provision zones. They are a snapshot of a zone which has had pkgsrc installed inside it along with everything required for the zone to function.


The version scheme is taken from the pkgsrc branch they are based on:

Image Version Branch
... ...
15.3.x pkgsrc-2015Q3
15.4.x pkgsrc-2015Q4
16.1.x pkgsrc-2016Q1
16.2.x pkgsrc-2016Q2
16.3.x pkgsrc-2016Q3
16.4.x pkgsrc-2016Q4
17.1.x pkgsrc-2017Q1
... ...

The x minor version is bumped whenever changes are made to the image (for example, providing updated packages), but will continue to use the same pkgsrc branch.

Image Types

There are a couple of different basic images available for each version. They are:

Image Type Description
minimal The smallest zone possible with only core packages installed
base The minimal image plus a number of other commonly-used packages

Image Architectures

These basic image types are available in multiple architectures:

Image Arch Description
32 32-bit binaries (-m32)
64 64-bit binaries (-m64)
multiarch 32-bit binaries with additional 64-bit libraries for some packages

The multiarch image only provides 64-bit libraries for certain packages and is still under development. It is recommended that users choose the 64-bit image unless they have specific 32-bit or multiarch requirements.

Image Names

Each LTS release additionally includes the -lts suffix in its name to ease identification.

Thus example full image names are:

$ imgadm avail -o name,version,published | egrep "NAME|base.*(15\.4|16\.1)"
NAME                    VERSION     PUBLISHED
base-32-lts             15.4.0      2016-01-19T14:02:51Z
base-64-lts             15.4.0      2016-01-19T14:19:02Z
base-multiarch-lts      15.4.0      2016-01-19T14:36:00Z
base-32-lts             15.4.1      2016-03-04T00:18:59Z
base-64-lts             15.4.1      2016-03-04T00:35:45Z
base-multiarch-lts      15.4.1      2016-03-04T00:52:54Z
base-32                 16.1.0      2016-04-27T15:42:47Z
base-64                 16.1.0      2016-04-27T15:52:46Z
base-multiarch          16.1.0      2016-04-27T16:02:53Z

Additional Images

In addition to these primary images, we also provide a pkgbuild image. This contains all the infrastructure necessary for building and developing packages. It is always 64-bit (so that it can be used to build both 32-bit and 64-bit packages), and does not have an -lts suffix.

There are also a number of other images available for specialised appliance deployments, such as databases (postgresql, percona) and webservers (nginx, apache).


The most recent pkgsrc branch is maintained by the pkgsrc-releng team at The NetBSD Foundation. They will pullup security and bug fixes to the branch as requested by pkgsrc developers. Once a new branch is cut, maintenance is stopped on the the existing branch and is moved instead onto the new branch.

As Joyent customers are not often in a position to upgrade their zones every 3 months, we introduced an LTS designation for each Q4 release, which means that we will continue to pullup security and bug fixes to that branch for 3 years after its initial release.

This gives customers more time to plan their upgrades and ensure their existing applications are not vulnerable to the OpenSSL exploit du jour.

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