Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Oct 2016 19:05 UTC

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE. This is the first release of the stable/11 branch.

Some of the highlights:

  • OpenSSH DSA key generation has been disabled by default. It is important to update OpenSSH keys prior to upgrading. Additionally, Protocol 1 support has been removed.
  • OpenSSH has been updated to 7.2p2.
  • Wireless support for 802.11n has been added.
  • By default, the ifconfig(8) utility will set the default regulatory domain to FCC on wireless interfaces. As a result, newly created wireless interfaces with default settings will have less chance to violate country-specific regulations.
  • The svnlite(1) utility has been updated to version 1.9.4.
  • The libblacklist(3) library and applications have been ported from the NetBSD Project.
  • Support for the AArch64 (arm64) architecture has been added.
  • Native graphics support has been added to the bhyve(8) hypervisor.
  • Broader wireless network driver support has been added.

The release notes provide the in-depth look at the new release, and you can get it from the download page.

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But why would you use it?
by Auzy on Mon 10th Oct 2016 20:10 UTC
Member since:

Not trolling.. But just wondering in what circumstances anyone would use fresbsd anymore. For multimedia it's behind, for networking I'd imagine it's behind and for security, Linux has evolved so many security mechanisms that wouldn't it be behind for that too?

Congratulations to the developers to getting a release out, but I'm genuinely curious as to where fbsd is still used

Reply Score: -2

RE: But why would you use it?
by tingo on Mon 10th Oct 2016 20:22 in reply to "But why would you use it? "
tingo Member since:

So, let's see. My firewall uses FreeBSD (because I know how to secure a FreeBSD machine and how to spot anything out of whack). My fileservers uses FreeBSD (ZFS - it is way easier than anything else). My two NAS boxes uses FreeNAS (which is based on FreeBSD). The servers I use to host virtual machines run FreeBSD (one uses VirtualBox, one bhyve). Most of my application servers run FreeBSD. The only machines that doesn't run FreeBSD are the ones that couldn't :I have a BananaPI for my home automation, at the time I set it up FreeBSD wasn't working on it, my tvheadend server runs Ubuntu, because tvheadend on FreeBSD refused to work (and I couldn't figure out why). Oh, and even though my laptop is dual boot FreeBSD and Fedora, it spends most of its time in Fedora.

Edited 2016-10-10 20:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

Drumhellar Member since:

It's used pretty much anywhere Linux is used - it is very capable, afterall. For example, Netflix uses it extensively.

It's got great storage capabilities in the form of ZFS, great security features with the TrustedBSD project. Lots of heavy duty networking features. There's obviously enough interest in it still that Microsoft has pre-configured disk images available for Azure. iX Systems uses it extensively in their NAS devices, and servers, too.

Multimedia capabilities aren't as behind as you might think - NVidia has FreeBSD versions of their drivers, and IIRC the Xorg drivers work (FreeBSD tracks the Linux DRI2 and KMS stacks).

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: But why would you use it?
by C5523 on Mon 10th Oct 2016 21:36 in reply to "But why would you use it? "
C5523 Member since:

Well, for networking why is it behind? Netflix released a few time ago that network has great performance advantage over Linux.

For security I don't see why is it falling behind? What kind of mechanisms had linux gained?

Plus a lot of users are recurring to FreeBSD to avoid systemd madness and deploy systems that are more stable than most linux distributions I think

Reply Parent Score: 3

Darkmage Member since:

Using FreeBSD because of systemd is kind of dumb considering: That said, there are plenty of uses for a BSD licensed kernel, mainly that you can make a commercial product from it and keep your sourcecode closed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: But why would you use it?
by cade on Mon 10th Oct 2016 23:59 in reply to "But why would you use it? "
cade Member since:


As a software developer, and concerning kernel/core subsystems of an OS, I respect more the FreeBSD software development model than the Linux one.

The core FreeBSD maintainers are responsible for release of a working operating system (kernel and minimal userland) which you can optionally build upon with specific software; e.g. your preferred shell environment, your preferred window manager, your preferred programming tools, etc. With Linux, the core maintainers are mainly responsible for release of the kernel and then it is up to other entities to implement the final distribution; e.g. Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, etc. I prefer the more integrated FreeBSD approach; i.e. a working relatively minimalist OS from the core maintainers that I can then build upon.

I feel more comfortable with an OS that prioritizes on quality rather than quantity. For example, releasing a device driver because it has reached a "quality threshold" rather than releasing it because it's another "feather in the cap" of the OS and quality is possibly a secondary priority.

The viral (forced obligation, etc.) nature of Linux' GPL licence is at odds with many other licences and makes it difficult/impossible to use other software technologies developed by other entities (e.g. ZFS from IllumOS/OpenSolaris).

A related theme is the NIH (not invented here) syndrome that may manifest in Linux. Due to restrictive GPL licence, Linux supporters attempt to implement their own version of the technology that their preferred licence (i.e. GPL) does not allow them to use in their OS. So, many person-years of effort may have been required to develop a certain piece of foreign software technology and then some in the Linux community attempt to copy/clone/? this technology which at least leads to repetition of effort since the "GPL stance" requires it and also has led to failures due to the required knowledge to implement the respective software technology was not adequately available; e.g. the {ZFS, DTrace} technologies were originally developed by Sun Microsystems. They were in a position, unlike many others, to realise the need for these technologies and so went ahead and developed them over the years. It's a bonus that these technologies are available in open source form. Why would I stick with a system like Linux that objects to usage of these technologies, and others, in more-or-less raw form because the GPL mandates this so. Also, unlike some really zealotry Linux-zealots, I tend to appreciate that interesting/useful software technologies were developed outside the Linux domain and I would like to use these technologies with little hassles as possible.

I feel the BSD licence is adequate and have no wish to have the potential of my main software development box compromised by something like the GPL license.

There is also that "systemd" thing that is splitting the Linux community; e.g. UbuntuBSD and PacBSD (formerly ArchBSD) are BSD distros based on the FreeBSD kernel and offerred as a new or alternate way of doing things (BSD kernel, Linux/BSD userland, etc.).

Also remember, there is a much bigger marketing machine behind Linux than (Free)BSD and this may give the impression that FreeBSD has very little usefulness;
example such as Netflix, WhatsApp, Apple, Sony Playstation, BSD communities show this is not the case.

There are probably much more people developing for Linux than the BSDs and this would be one reason why certain things in the BSDs may be "behind" Linux.

FreeBSD is unix-like while Linux has been gradually charting it's own Linux-y route. I prefer to stick with an OS that embraces the familiar "unix" model, or "unix" way of thinking, and incrementally grows in the "spirit" of that model.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Brendan Member since:


I prefer the more integrated FreeBSD approach; i.e. a working relatively minimalist OS from the core maintainers that I can then build upon.

You prefer "organised engineering" to "flock of headless chickens being guided by nothing more than fate"? ;)

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 5

kwan_e Member since:

A related theme is the NIH (not invented here) syndrome that may manifest in Linux. Due to restrictive GPL licence, Linux supporters attempt to implement their own version of the technology that their preferred licence (i.e. GPL) does not allow them to use in their OS.

Which is why it is the BSDs that are getting rid of any GNU code and implement their own version of the technology that their preferred licence (ie, BSD) does not allow them to use in their OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3

FlyingJester Member since:

It's ahead in filesystems, network security, and its jails are not really worse than Linux containers, just different.

Additionally, for servers it can be much nicer since it tends to have a much smoother update cycle, and there are fewer large, breaking changes than in Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 2

grat Member since:

I would say the FreeBSD jails are ahead of the Linux containers, since a lot of additional code had to be bolted into the kernel to support the containers, and jails have typically "just worked" for years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ggeldenhuys Member since:

Simply because it is way more stable than any Linux distro I've every tried (I started with Linux back in 1995). I also like the strict separation between base operating system and user installed stuff. Linux mixes everything in the file system hierarchy, which is a real pain when it comes to OS (base system) upgrades. I also much prefer the FreeBSD Ports system and that prevents all the dependency hell I experienced with DEB and RPM packages. Then there is ZFS - I just can't live without that, it is absolutely awesome! As for multimedia... my sound works perfectly, I use nNIDIA drivers which works perfectly for driving my graphics card (OpenGL included). My network cards and wifi works perfectly. I get better networking performance under FreeBSD than I did under Linux. I have multiple VM servers running headless FreeBSD for years.

As a software developer, I also got very annoyed that with every Linux distro release, they chop and change underlying sub-systems. How many sound servers has Linux already had? I lost count!!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: But why would you use it?
by Kalessin on Thu 13th Oct 2016 20:37 in reply to "But why would you use it? "
Kalessin Member since:

The main reason that I use FreeBSD is ZFS. It's so much better than any other file system that the rest seem downright primitive, and it's just plain frustrating to have to deal with anything else. I've tried using ZFS with Linux, but it's not properly integrated into Linux like it is with FreeBSD (making stuff like updating hell on Linux, since you risk not being able to mount your filesystem), and Linux's ZFS implementation is missing features that FreeBSD's has, making using ZFS with Linux (especially for the root filesystem) way more of a pain than it is with FreeBSD.

Most programs that run on Linux run on FreeBSD, and for the most part, FreeBSD has comparable driver support (though in some cases, it is behind). So, for many people, there wouldn't be much difference between running FreeBSD and Linux. But not everything that runs on Linux runs on FreeBSD (e.g. Steam), so you sometimes lose out on stuff using FreeBSD instead of Linux. However, most things work on both, and the fact that FreeBSD properly and fully supports ZFS is a killer feature.

Also, as a developer, I think that FreeBSD has a superior development model and that it results in higher quality software, but both FreeBSD and Linux work well enough that most folks wouldn't notice the difference.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:

But not everything that runs on Linux runs on FreeBSD (e.g. Steam)

Just to add, Steam apparently runs pretty well on FreeBSD with the Linux emulation.

EDIT: Comment says sound is an issue, as in not working, so, YMMV, but I remember 10 years ago Unreal Tournament 2004 running far, far better on FreeBSD than on Linux - like, 50% faster. Of course, Epic Games, while they didn't port Unreal to FreeBSD natively, considered any bugs resulting from the Linux emulation to be bugs in Unreal.

Edited 2016-10-15 23:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2