"Bob Bruce, founder of Walnut Creek CDROM--the company that in 1993 first published FreeBSD--will once again be in charge of the core FreeBSD business. That's because the current owner, Wind River Systems, announced Monday that it is selling off its assets related to FreeBSD, an open-source version of Unix. Bruce has also become CEO of FreeBSD Mall, the new name of Walnut Creek CDROM and one of the FreeBSD assets that Wind River has owned." This sounds like good news for FreeBSD, especially when announced only one week before the expected FreeBSD 4.5 release.
KernelTrap has interviewed Matthew Dillon, a well-known FreeBSD kernel hacker. He has recently been in the spotlight due to many impressive NFS related bug fixes, as well as fixes to the TCP stack. In the KernelTrap interview he talks about these bug fixes as well as his history with computers, programming and FreeBSD. He also discusses Linux, open source, embedded systems, the Amiga (and his DICE C compiler), and much more. OSNews also interviewed Matt a few months ago.
From the announcement: "The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that it has secured a license from Sun Microsystems to distribute a native FreeBSD version of both the Java Development Kit (JDK) and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Thanks to the great efforts of the FreeBSD Java team, these should be available for inclusion with the upcoming release of FreeBSD 4.5 in January, 2002. The general availability of a distributable version of Java will benefit end users, commercial users, and developers who use FreeBSD. Java continues to grow in popularity and has become heavily used in server side web applications, one of FreeBSD's core areas of strength. With an officially licensed binary Java distribution, FreeBSD becomes an ideal platform for execution, development, and deployment of Java based solutions."
Linux, the BeOS, Solaris, QNX, AtheOS... the list of "alternative OSes" seems ever-growing, and an increasing amount of computer users want to keep their options open. Meanwhile, sitting quieting on millions of servers --very likely on your ISP's servers-- is FreeBSD, originally developed at University of California Berkley, based on the same core as the new MacOS X, currently at version 4.4. FreeBSD is a complete, free, stable, multi-user, Unix-based Operating System available for download at freebsd.org. While FreeBSD has come a long way of late, it's far from ready for the average user, however, as it matures, it has great promise in becoming a serious player in the OS market next to Linux.
"Despite all the praise the FreeBSD ports system gets, it has limitations. One of these limitations is actually related to one of FreeBSD's other strengths -- the upgrade system. The two interact in a very clumsy way." Michael Lucas discusses how to go over the potential FreeBSD ports problems by unveiling the 'portupgrades' application.
The FreeBSD Handbook is the primary source of documentation produced by the FreeBSD Documentation Project. This new edition contains over 650 pages of material about FreeBSD and has been completely updated to reflect FreeBSD 4.X and 5.0-CURRENT. More information at BSDToday. In related news, "FreeBSD Unleashed" by Michael Urban and Brian Tiemann was also released recently. The book is published by SAMS Publishing and you can buy it at the Daemonnews Mall. Update: The "FreeBSD Unleashed" book includes the latest version of FreeBSD 4.4 in its cover CD-ROM as well as a snapshot of the FreeBSD-CURRENT 5.0 unstable branch.
FreeBSD boots in single user mode on the SPARC platform. The boot log can be found here. FreeBSD already runs on x86 and Alpha, the SPARC port seems to go well, however the PPC port is not moving that fast.
To pick up the slack from the recent WindRiver news, the DaemonNews Mall announced that we will be publishing our own FreeBSD CD sets, beginning with the next release, 4.5, scheduled for January 2002. They will also offer subscription plans. Here's the entire article.
From BSDToday: "Back in March, 2000, BSDI merged with Walnut Creek CDROM, the main distributor for FreeBSD. And BSDI had goals to "form a united front for the BSD operating systems. The company will deliver, support and enhance both BSD/OS and FreeBSD. Then in April, 2001, Wind River bought the BSD properties from BSDi (and BSDi became the hardware company, iXsystems)." The article explains where WindRiver stands today regarding FreeBSD and BSD/OS and clears up that FreeBSD is now without a publisher, solid financial support and 12 FreeBSD full time engineers who were laid off as we have already noted on OSNews in a previous news article. WindRiver even said for FreeBSD that "We see it as a great alternative to Linux". Our Take: If WindRiver was seeing FreeBSD just as a "great alternative to Linux", no wonder they leave it now in its own fate. I sincerely hope that FreeBSD will find a way to boost itself in light of FreeBSD 5.0, find a new publisher and sponsor as it is truely a worthy system.
Alan Clegg reports in a story at Daily DaemonNews that twelve people associated with the FreeBSD project were laid off from Wind River Systems. Only four remain. Also, at least one FreeBSD person was let go from iXsystems (formerly BSDi). David Huff notes, "The comments to the story are worth reading, as they include a lengthy response to this from Jordan Hubbard (FreeBSD release manager and current Apple employee)."
FreeBSD is a well known and advanced BSD UNIX operating system for the Intel compatible (x86), DEC Alpha, and PC-98 architectures. The new version, 4.4, came out just some days ago. Announcement here, the BSD Installation Guide here and the release notes are here.
One of the main developers of FreeBSD, Jordan Hubbard, announced today that the next release of FreeBSD, version 5, will be delayed until November 2002. Jordan said that "Unfortunately, a lot of the features on the TODO list for 5.0, such as SMPng (next-generation symmetric multi-processing), KSE (kernel scheduler entities) or support for a new architectures like the PowerPC, SPARC64 or IA64 (Itanium) are nowhere close to being complete. Without these features, there's just not a lot of reason for 5.0 to exist in non-snapshot form and it's therefore been decided that rather than release 5.0 prematurely, we're going to give ourselves the time we need to finish it properly." Jordan also talked about the general economic down-turn and the decline in resources which various companies have had available to donate to such efforts.