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FreeBSD 9.0 Released

The FreeBSD DaemonThe latest version of FreeBSD, version 9.0, has been released and boasts a great deal of new features.  Highlights include (as seen from the FreeBSD release announcement page)

  • A new installer, bsdinstall(8) has been added and is the installer used by the ISO images provided as part of this release
  • The Fast Filesystem now supports softupdates journaling
  • ZFS updated to version 28
  • Updated ATA/SATA drivers support AHCI, moved into updated CAM framework
  • Highly Available Storage (HAST) framework
  • Kernel support for Capsicum Capability Mode, an experimental set of features for sandboxing support
  • User-level DTrace
  • The TCP/IP stack now supports pluggable congestion control framework and five congestion control algorithm implementations available
  • NFS subsystem updated, new implementation supports NFSv4 in addition to NFSv3 and NFSv2
  • High Performance SSH (HPN-SSH)
  • Flattened device tree (FDT), simplifying FreeBSD configuration for embedded platforms
  • The powerpc architecture now supports Sony Playstation 3
  • The LLVM compiler infrastructure and clang have been imported
  • Gnome version 2.32.1, KDE version 4.7.3
A full list of the new features is available here.

From the FreeBSD 9.0 announcement page:

“The FreeBSD Project dedicates the FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE to the memory of Dennis M. Ritchie, one of the founding fathers of the UNIX[tm] operating system. It is on the foundation laid by the work of visionaries like Dennis that software like the FreeBSD operating system came to be. The fact that his work of so many years ago continues to influence new design decisions to this very day speaks for the brilliant engineer that he was.”

The page continues to say:

“FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE is now available for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64, and sparc64 architectures.

FreeBSD 9.0 can be installed from bootable ISO images or over the network. Some architectures also support installing from a USB memory stick. The required files can be downloaded via FTP or BitTorrent as described in the sections below. While some of the smaller FTP mirrors may not carry all architectures, they will all generally contain the more common ones such as amd64 and i386.”

From my professional experience with FreeBSD 9.0, the addition of High Performance SSH provides an exciting improvement in SSH transfer speeds.  The only quirk I’ve noticed thus far is that because this version uses a tickless kernel, if FreeBSD is used as a guest under VMware ESXi, one may find that their time keeping functionality halts, and as a result erroneous behavior can be expected.

To avoid this problem, one can edit their /etc/sysctl.conf and add the line:

kern.eventtimer.periodic=1

To apply this change without rebooting, one may also escalate to root (enter su -) and type:

sysctl -w kern.eventtimer.periodic=1

It’s important to note that there have been several security advisories since the release of FreeBSD 9.0, so please ensure you install the latest updates to protect against exploitation.

 

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