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While the recommended version for new installs is always the current version, updating an existing install can be more or less urgent depending on circumstances.
The current version of OS/161 2.x is 1.99.05. Anyone using 1.99.03 or 1.99.04 will want to update as soon as possible.
There was a shortcut in the primary trap handler that can (in a kernel where the linker places certain things at exactly the wrong addresses) cause nonsense to appear in curthread and thus some rather difficult to debug crashes.
The current version of System/161 2.x is 1.99.05. This (along with OS/161 1.99.06) contains a fix for a problem causing occasional stray console interrupts. OS/161 1.99.06 and up requires System/161 1.99.05 or higher; I took out the software workaround because it was messy and ugly. There is no need to update unless you are also updating OS/161.
The only change from 1.99.03 to 1.99.04 is a (somewhat) better disk timing model, so there is no particular need to update from 1.99.03 either. However, if anyone has 1.99.02 or earlier, which is unlikely, they should replace it as there are some very annoying timing bugs.
The current version of the 2.x toolchain is 2.0. There is no earlier version to update from. Version 2.0.1 of binutils corrects some build-time warnings that appear building the 2.0 distribution on some Linux distributions.
There is in general no need to update bmake unless the copy you already have stops building after an OS update. In that case, check here for a new version, or go to the master site at ftp.NetBSD.org.
The current version of OS/161 1.x is 1.11. This contains minor fixes relative to 1.10. There is no particular rush to update; however, since 1.11 was released in 2005, probably everyone has already.
The current version of System/161 1.x is 1.14. There is no pressing reason to update from 1.13 or 1.12; there are only minor fixes, mostly for coping with newer versions of gcc. If you're still using 1.11 or earlier, you should update as soon as reasonably possible, because 1.12 fixed a rather nasty rare bug in the machine simulator.)
Note that you can use System/161 2.x with OS/161 1.x; just configure the old system board.
The current version of the 1.x toolchain is 1.5. As best as I recall (I can't find a copy of the release announcement) there is no particular reason to update from 1.4 if it continues to compile for you.
Note that it should also be perfectly possible to use the 2.0 toolchain with OS/161 1.x; you'll need to create extra symlinks with the cs161- prefix or patch the OS/161 makefiles to use mips-harvard-os161- instead, but either of these is trivial.