Where to get Sphere

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There are two different sources for downloading Sphere 56b: Pre-Releases and Automated Builds. Below is a summary of what each is to help you choose between them.

Prerelease Builds

Prerelease builds are periodically released when the Sphere developers feel that enough progress has been made and are relatively happy with the stability of the build (i.e. the build actually runs!). Since there is not yet a "final" build of Sphere 56b, the prereleases are the closest thing that you can get.

Visit the SphereServer Pre-releases website to find the latest prerelease download for Sphere 56b.

This build is more than likely the one you want to download. If you are unsure, then review the Which Do I Want? section for more information.

Automated Builds

Every night an automated process will compile a new Sphere 56b executable directly from the latest development code. If you want the latest cutting edge features that aren't available in the latest prerelease then you may want to consider using an automated build.

Visit the SphereServer Nightly Automated Builds website to download the latest automated build for Sphere 56b.

Before you rush over and download an automated build, take care of the following warnings:

  • Since these builds are compiled directly from the latest development source code, it is not recommended that you use these at all on a live server unless you know exactly what you are doing and have performed thorough tests first!
  • The Sphere development team will not provide any support for using these builds. If you encounter a problem then you will be completely on your own.

Which Do I Want?

If you're unsure of which to use the best option is to simply use the latest prerelease. Automated builds are only intended to be used by advanced users or testers, who may want to test some of the newer features before they are released.

Here is a brief comparison of the two build types:

Prerelease Builds Automated Builds
Support available in the forums No support available at all
Increased chance of stability Decreased chance of stability
Compiled manually from a more stable code branch Compiled automatically from the development code branch
Does not contain the very latest features and bugfixes Contains the very latest features and bugfixes
Released periodically (sometimes months apart) Released daily

To summarise, the prerelease builds are supported and specifically released by the Sphere development team at appropriate times when it is felt that enough development work has been made for a new release to be worthwhile. Unless you urgently need an as-of-yet unreleased feature or bugfix there should be no reason for you, as an end-user, to want to download an automated build.

Note: If your only reason for choosing to use an automated Sphere build is that you don't want to wait for an official prerelease containing a new feature or bugfix then you should reconsider this decision. Whilst you may enjoy having the feature or bugfix in question, there is also an increased chance that some of the work has not been completed, or a new bug may have been introduced, which could consequently destabalise your server!