One of the more challenging parts in producing the DVD is to decide on when to create the next one. The projects all have their own schedules and each has it's own cycle time - the time it takes for the project to get all the way from one release to the next. OpenBSD has taken the approach that they will produce two releases a year with published dates in advance. The other projects just collect a bunch of updates until they are ready to roll a production quality release. Both approaches have their merits, which we don't need to sweat about here. It's usually the case that the best time to produce our next DVD is soon after the latest OpenBSD release. But sometimes we'll wait a month or two for another project that is just about to pop a new release.
The mechanics of our production follow this simple process:
- Get the latest binaries from a BSD project and install on a test machine.
- Get the source code for the release.
- Find the places in the boot loaders and the install programs where changes have to be made to use the El Toro boot manager and make the changes.
- Build the source all the way through a release (make release or similar).
- Copy the .iso file generated in the previous step over to a staging machine.
- Build a draft DVD .iso file with the El Toro boot loader and test the installation of the the BSD project. Virtual machines are quite handy for this install step.
- Repeat steps 1 - 6 for the other BSDs.
- Copy extra packages, ports, and documents to the DVD staging area.
- Build release candidate DVD .isos and test, test, test.
- Update the release notes for the DVD, get new packaging ready, and finally...
- Announce the release of the next BSDCG study DVD. We upload it to our delivery server and also make physical copies so you can get it either way.
Still, it's a rewarding feeling to get the latest projects out the door every time. I just hope you enjoy using them. If you do, send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us.