8.0-BETA3 Available

freebsd_logo-100x100Ken Smith has announced the third of the BETA builds for the FreeBSD-8.0. All major work related to new features in 8.0 has been completed and we are shifting into “bugfix only” mode for the balance of the release cycle. Debugging features (e.g. WITNESS) are still enabled but will be removed from stable/8 between now and RC1 so performance is still impacted a bit by that. Also note that, as mentioned previously on the mailing lists, we did do a shared library version bump after BETA2 was announced (bump was done July 19th with svn commit r195767) so if you update a system that was last rebuilt earlier than that it would be a good idea to rebuild all user-level applications including the ports/packages.

The current release target date is the 3rd week of September.  Two Release Candidate builds (RC’s) are expected to ge done, RC1 builds scheduled for next weekend. As you probably know our schedules often slip but that’s the current target. More information about the current state of the release is available here:



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Fighting the Microsoft Tax

beasty-vs-windowsFreeBSD developer Poul-Henning Kamp (phk) has sued Lenovo in Denmark (Google translation, original here) over their refusal to refund the Windows Vista Business license, even though he declined the EULA during installation. Lenovo argues that they sell the computer as a full product, and that they cannot refund it partially, such as the power supply or the OS even if people intend to use a different one. This seems to be contrary to previous rulings in the EU where Acer and HP has been forced to refund the ‘Microsoft tax.’

“It is clear from Lenovo’s website to your computer comes with Windows Vista Business installed and any reasonable customer should expect that the general license terms for Windows Vista applies, including the previous paragraph.
“Nowhere on the Lenovo website, I have been able to find any indication that Microsoft’s standard license was not valid for the copy of Windows Vista Business that came with your computer.

“Lenovo has certainly lots of Microsoft-paid “advertising” on their website where they write that “Lenovo recommends Windows Vista”, but a recommendation is not a requirement.

“My first contention is that Lenovo should live up to the wording of the agreement text explicitly makes them the one party that they themselves cause presented at the computer screen when you turn the first time and explicitly described the screen as only being an requirements for using Windows Vista Business and not the computer as a whole.”

Good for Poul.

FreeBSD 8.0 – What to look forward to

Over the next few months new versions of the major operating systems will be released: Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard) sometime in September, Windows 7 on 22 October, and Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala), also in October.

Many post have already been written about these upcoming releases, but let’s not forget about FreeBSD. FreeBSD 7 was released on 27 February 2008 and developers have been working hard ever since, and even before, on the next major release, FreeBSD 8, which is scheduled to be released late September.

freebsd_logo-100x100FreeBSD 8 was initially intended to be a more or less evolutional release with few major changes. Remember the article “FreeBSD 8 won’t rewrite the book“? It’s now obvious that the 8.0 release will be another major release with groundbreaking changes (release notes).

The traditional code freeze was announced on 26 June to concentrate on streamlining the code and bug fixing, and less on adding new features. FreeBSD is shaping up nicely: Beta1 and Beta2 have now seen the light, and Ken Smith created the RELEN_8 branch on 3 August to prepare for the final 8.0 release. After Beta3, scheduled for 17 August, no more new features will be added to 8.0.

Developers are now working hard to make the final changes, amendments and fixes. Due to a problem with the SVN to CVS export, the release process has been a little delayed. Most jobs, tasks and issues have been solved, with a number of patches now waiting to be approved (more about the release engineering).

So what improvements and new features can we expect in FreeBSD 8? Many. The following are the ones I’m really looking forward to:

  • Jail improvements
  • DTtrace
  • Virtual IEEE 802.11 fixes & network stack virtualisation
  • superpages
  • Xen DomU support
  • stack-smashing protection
  • TTY layer rewrite
  • much improved ZFS support
  • new USB stack
  • rewritten NFS client/server introducing NFSv4
  • Improved device mmap() extensions will allow the technical implementation of a 64-bit Nvidia display driver for the amd64 platform

Apart from these new/improved features, there are many more features, stability tweaks and code improvements.

Continue reading

FreeBSD 8.0 – New Release Date

FreeBSD 8.0 currently available as Beta 2. Most, if not all, planned items on the 8.0-to-do list have been completed, but the release process has been slightly delayed due to a problem withthe SVN -> CVS exporter when creating the stable/8 branch. Fixes  and patches for bugs and other issues are now being reviewed and implemented if accepted.

The next snapshot, BETA3, is planned for 17 August, RC1 for 31 August, RC2 for 14 Sept, with the 8.0 release for the end of September. These slightly changed dates have also been updated on the BSD Calendar (www.bsdevents.net)

Released: PC-BSD PBI Builder 2.3

Version 2.3 of the PBI Builder software has been released for FreeBSD 7.x / PC-BSD 7.x. This update adds functionality to specify the version of FreeBSD you wish a target port to be compiled under. Also updated is the PBI Auto-Populate feature, which copies port files into the respective PBI automatically. For more details please refer to the changelog and wiki (installationmodule creator guide).

Download PBI Builder

m0n0wall Beta 1.3b17 released

m0n0wall logo 100x100Manual Kasper has released another m0n0wall beta release bringing the project closer to the release of the final m0n0wall 1.3. According to the announcement:

The move to FreeBSD 6.4 has been completed, and legacy BRIDGE has been replaced by if_bridge (thanks to Chris Buechler), so if you’re using the bridging features, you may want to test especially carefully whether everything works as desired after the upgrade.

Also, the filtering bridge is now always on (this is by design), so you may have to add firewall rules to permit traffic on your bridged interfaces if you have not already done so.

Various bugs have of course also been fixed (for the SIP inbound NAT problem, advanced outbound NAT slowness when using destination matching, DHCPv6 range check, etc.)

For more info, the changelog and downloads visit the beta page