Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Jan 2014 23:59 UTC, submitted by Drumhellar

FreeBSD 10 has been released. You can read the release notes, and, of course, go ahead and install it.

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I recently bought a laptop and over the last week or two have been planning on converting my old combined desktop/server machine into a pure server, complete with a traditional server-grade distro. I narrowed my choices down to Alpine Linux, Debian, Ubuntu Server (just out of curiousity I decided to test it), CentOS, Slackware, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Dragonfly BSD, FreeNAS, and NAS4Free (all 64-bit versions).

Just yesterday I gave them all a comparison run in virtual machines, and only eliminated Alpine, NetBSD, Dragonfly, FreeNAS and NAS4Free (well, and CentOS--but only because I didn't have an ISO image available at the time and no working Internet connection or time to obtain it). I really wanted to give one of the BSDs a try since I've never actually put them to serious use and I figured that for a server they would be perfect (and a great learning experience), and if FreeBSD 10 would have been out just a little bit earlier it would have been even better. Perfect timing, I gave up waiting just hours before its release.

But I do have a question for anyone familiar; I have a Broadcom 4318/AirForce One (and unfortunately have to use it) and I could not get it to be recognized in FreeBSD. OpenBSD recognized it easily, but complained that firmware was needed and all the instructions I found said "use an Internet connection," so that was the end of my run with OpenBSD as well (the files I took out of /lib/firmware in my previous Linux distro did not work either). According to various web pages, FreeBSD also uses the "BWI" driver that OpenBSD uses. Is there something simple that I missed to get FreeBSD to load the drivers and recognize the card, or does it literally require installing the drivers as well as the firmware?

Edited 2014-01-21 04:15 UTC

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Drumhellar Member since:

Try using the bwn driver - the man page lists the AirForce card as supported by it. It's mostly the same as bwi, but designed for newer cards that have larger firmwares.

And, the firmware isn't included for this card. To get it, you need to install the correct port from the ports tree - ports/net/bwn-firmware-kmod

Which means, net access for the ports tree. If you have the ports tree installed and can easily enough move files from another machine to the FreeBSD setup, you can go into /usr/ports/net/bwn-formware-kmod and run make fetch-recursive-list >> filename to generate a shell script which will automatically pull the necessary files and dependencies for building. Stick them in /usr/ports/distfiles and run make from /usr/ports/net/bwn-firmware-kmod

I'm guessing there is a licensing issue for the firmware - other wireless drivers with binary blobs are available out of the box in FreeBSD, including the very-well-supported Atheros chips.

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