The first BETA build of the 9.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available. One of the many new features in 9.0 that needs thorough testing is the new installer, so fresh installs on test systems are being encouraged. Ivan Voras has taken the time to thoroughly document all the 9.0 changes at his web site.
BSD & Darwin Archive
"FreeNAS is an open source operating system based on FreeBSD and, as its name implies, designed for networked storage. The project recently celebrated the release of FreeNAS 8, which racked up some 43,000 downloads in the first 48 hours after its release. I caught up with Josh Paetzel, director of IT at iXsystems and project manager for FreeNAS 8, to talk about the current state of the OS, what lies ahead for it, and the relationship to FreeNAS 0.7."
"The FreeBSD Foundation and the NetBSD Foundation announced that they have acquired a non-exclusive copyright license to the libcxxrt C++ runtime software from PathScale. This software is an implementation of the C++ Application Binary Interface originally developed for Itanium and now used for the x86 family by BSD operating systems. Libcxxrt will be available under the 2-clause BSD license."
This release supports a much larger variety of hardware and multiprocessor systems than previous releases, thanks to updates of ACPI and APIC and ACPI interrupt routing support. Hammer volumes can now deduplicate volumes overnight in a batch process and during live operation. The 'hammer dedup-simulate' command can be used to estimate space savings for existing data. DragonFly now uses gcc 4.4 as the default system compiler, and is the first BSD to take that step. DragonFly now offers significant performance gains over previous releases, especially for machines using AHCI or implementing swapcache(8).
"The drought of those who speak without depending on slides has ended at the 12th Australian national Linux conference. Last evening, Marshall Kirk McKusick, a well-known BSD hacker, took those assembled down a slightly different track - after all, this is a Linux conference - with his narrative history of BSD. And what a rollicking ride it was! And the venue for his talk could hold only 100 people. He based his talk on notes he had made while travelling through Australia on a train in 1986 - he was a keynote speaker at the now-defunct Australian UNIX and Open Systems User Group conference in 1986."
It's been a long time coming, but a brand new release of VirtualBSD is out: "VirtualBSD 8.1 is a desktop ready FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE based on the Xfce 4.6 Desktop Environment and, being distributed as VMware appliance, it makes dead easy to take FreeBSD for a test drive." The best part? Not only are the most common aplications available out of the box, this is a genuine FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE, which means that if you go past the desktop you'll be dealing with The Real Thing. You can take a look at the screenshots, go to the download page or, if you're impatient, just grab the torrent file.
The 2.8.2 release of DragonFly BSD is now available, featuring significant advances in multi-processor performance based on DragonFly's signature soft token locks. It also includes many feature advancements including: pf from OpenBSD 4.2, the Wifi stack from FreeBSD and DataMapper from NetBSD (with significant enhancements). This release also marks the return of the GUI image. See the release notes for full details.
DragonFly BSD 2.6.1 has been released. "There are numerous big-ticket features in this release as found in the release notes, plus a ton of stability and performance work."
InformIT has an interview with Dale Rahn, the OpenBSD ARM port maintainer, about the history of OpenBSD on mobile devices, and where some opportunities growing in the mobile space in the future. It covers the DARPA-funded origins of OpenBSD use in mobile (mostly about firms not wanting to use GPL code), and initial enthusiasm for the Zaurus among BSD guys. Rahn touts advantages that OpenBSD has over the more-popular mobile Linux distros, and some shortcomings that still need to be addressed.
The DragonFly 2.4 release was released just today. One can choose from a bare-bones CD ISO, a DVD ISO that includes an X environment, and a bare-bones bootable USB drive image. In addition, this is the first time DragonFlyBSD has had a 64-bit ISO. 64-bit support is stable, but there will only be limited pkgsrc support in the current release. All versions of the release can all be downloaded from one of the many mirrors.
It seems like the DesktopBSD project's future is at stake due to a lack developers and time. "Hello everyone, sorry for not keeping in touch with you guys for quite a while," main developer Peter Hofer writes, "Truth is, I find myself having less and less time for DesktopBSD these days. In addition, my interests have shifted quite a bit since I started working on it in 2004 (thinking of it, that's almost 5 years ago now...). As a result, I don't really feel that I can make DesktopBSD progress steadily and significantly on my own. Unfortunately, there are no other active developers nor does it seem like there are any who would be interested in contributing." While the project is not dead yet, there will be no major changes or bugfixes for the upcoming 1.7 release, and it could very well be the project's last release.
DragonFlyBSD 2.2.1 has been released. It's an intermediary release with no important new features, but it does have a number of bugfixes. Get it from the download page.
Th DragonFly BSD team has released DragonFly BSD 2.2. The biggest improvement in this release is that the HAMMER filesystem is considered production ready, but there is a whole boatload of other improvements as well.
Most of you will know that the underlying core set of components of Mac OS X and the iPhone operating system are released under the Apple Public Source License, an FSF-approved open source license. Few of you, however, will have actually used Darwin in any other form than Mac OS X or the iPhone OS. Despite numerous projects attempting so, Darwin has never gained any significant traction apart from Apple's own interest. The PureDarwin project tries to rise from the ashes of the OpenDarwin project, and has just released a Christmas developer preview.
"The FreeBSD project is finally, after much work, pleased to announce the availability of an official FreeBSD web based discussion forum. It is our hope that this forum will serve as a public support channel for FreeBSD users around the world and as a complement to our fine mailing lists."
Matthew Dillon has announced the availability of DragonFly BSD 2.0. Also HAMMER filesystem is released with the new DragonFly. Read the full Release Notes.
An ancient (at least 33 years old) stack-overflow bug has been discovered and fixed in yacc, thanks to a new malloc() implementation by Otto Moerbeek. More info and a complete description of the bug can be found here.
Dru Lavigne's very useful book turns the arcana of FreeBSD into a comprehensible set of tools.
"I am very happy about the direction in which the Mac OS X GUI is going, although sadly many Mac users aren’t interested in (or don’t know about) the “lower levels” of the Macintosh Operating System. Have you ever wondered why the Terminal greets you with the words “Welcome to Darwin”? Why do BSD and Mac OS share certain bits of code? Why does Wikipedia describe Mac OS X as a graphical operating system? Today we’re going to take a look at the underlying open source technology which powers your fancy Leopard OS - the hidden core set of components, named Darwin."
Free OS pioneer NetBSD marks its fifteenth birthday tomorrow. The first commits were made to the NetBSD source code repository on March 21, 1993. In addition to the robust OS it is, NetBSD code has contributed to countless other projects. Congratulations to NetBSD contributors past and present.