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Software Operating Systems Upgrades BSD

FreeBSD 7.0 Release Now Available 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-it-while-it's-hot dept.
cperciva writes "The first release from the new 7-STABLE branch of FreeBSD development, has been released. FreeBSD 7.0 brings with it many new features including support for ZFS, journaled filesystems, and SCTP, as well as dramatic improvements in performance and SMP scalability. In addition to being available from many FTP sites, ISO images can be downloaded via the BitTorrent tracker, or for users of earlier FreeBSD releases, FreeBSD Update can be used to perform a binary upgrade."
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FreeBSD 7.0 Release Now Available

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @08:42PM (#22581938)
    You don't need to set the disk geometry unless you have weird-ass old disk hardware. Just accept the defaults.
  • No need to comment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @08:46PM (#22581994)
    with the announcement of the features last night the following topics were beaten to death already:
    Why use FreeBSD? (why not?)
    FreeBSD is dead! (clearly its not)
    FreeBSD is not dead!
    yahoo use freeBSD (nobody cares)
    FreeBSD vs Linux (ooh flame ware, but then everybody realized that it doesnt matter some people prefer FreeBSD for stability & the fact its all integrated, some people prefer linux because it has lots of flashy features & there are loads of projects to add extra features to it ( but they're not integrated and don't always play well together)!)

    please go about your business there's nothing to spam about here!
  • ZFS Support (Score:5, Informative)

    by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @09:01PM (#22582168)
    The summary says it has ZFS support but the website says experimental ZFS support. That seems like a pretty important distiction.
    • Re:ZFS Support (Score:5, Informative)

      by dewarrn1 (985887) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @09:23PM (#22582416)
      ZFS is indeed labeled experimental, and it's an important distinction. That said, I believe that Pawel Dawidek, who ported the file system from Solaris, is using it in production. The chief caveat at the moment is that ZFS should only be used on the amd64 architecture. Other issues are not specific to FreeBSD's implementation of ZFS, e.g., the large memory footprint, but are instead inherent to the current release of ZFS and would be the same under any OS. More about the project at http://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFS/ [freebsd.org].
      • Re:ZFS Support (Score:5, Informative)

        by zulux (112259) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @09:40PM (#22582616) Homepage Journal
        Seconded!

        We're using FreeBSD 7.2 RC2 ZFS in a production environment on Amd64. It's getting hammered, and holding up fine.

        1) ZFS has *solved* our storage problems.
        2) ZFS needs 2GB of RAM
        3) You should run it on a dual core processor if you're going to use compression.
        4) Research glabel so you can move drives around from cable to cable and still use the same device name.*

        *more info: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=glabel&sektion=8 [freebsd.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by setagllib (753300)
          Your company may have access to some sweet technology, but I doubt a time machine is one of them. Perhaps you're really running 7.0RC2, not 7.2RC2.

          If you *do* have a time machine, do CPU topology detection and EFI+GPT work in 7.2? Does 8.0 have a new installer yet? Inquiring minds want to know.
    • Re:ZFS Support (Score:5, Insightful)

      by voisine (153062) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @09:31PM (#22582508)
      This is not intended as a troll... really... but it's good to keep in mind that this is the FreeBSD team's definition of "experimental". You may be more accustomed to the meaning that the Linux community attaches to that term. When Linux says it's experimental, that generally means it won't work for most people. When FreeBSD says it's experimental, that means you can probably use it in production but you might want to keep an eye on it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PReDiToR (687141)

        When Linux says it's experimental, that generally means it won't work for most people.

        Define "work".
        As I posted up in the thread, pata_via incorrectly detects my 80 wire cables as 40 wires, but the whole switch over from /dev/hda to /dev/sda (and sdb, hpt366 still puts my 4 RAID chip devices as hda b c and d) went very smoothly and two kernels ago was labelled EXPERIMENTAL.

        Turning off all EXPERIMENTAL kernel options leaves you with a system that really is only good for i386, not the i686 and better.

        Funnily enough, the devices connected to the HighPoint chip are using the same cables, s

      • When FreeBSD says it's experimental, that means you can probably use it in production but you might want to keep an eye on it.

        Does that hold true for such things as tmpfs? I've been using that on a devel server without incident, but would like to roll it out elsewhere if it was widely thought to be stable.

  • by Jeff- (95113) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @09:34PM (#22582558) Homepage
    There is a good interview with many key FreeBSD contributers about new technologies and improvements in 7.0. It is quite technical.

    http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/bsd/2008/02/26/whats-new-in-freebsd-70.html?page=1 [onlamp.com]

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @09:46PM (#22582658) Homepage Journal

    I have a dual-Opteron rackmount Dell with a ServerWorks HT1000 chipset, running 7.0-PRELEASE from January 15, that was having DMA-related fits. Does anyone know if they've got that problem under control yet? I had seen it discussed a lot on the mailing lists but lately haven't had the time to follow closely. Either way that server's staying on the 7-STABLE line because it's so much faster that I can live with running the drives in PIO4 (and with 4GB of RAM those drives don't get touched a lot).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mike_sucks (55259)
      You're probably better off asking the -stable or -current mailing lists.

      /mike

      • The point of asking here was that, as I mentioned in the OP, I haven't had time to read them lately. :-)

        • by mike_sucks (55259)
          Fair enough, but given most people here are Linux or Windows kids, you're still better off asking the lists - even if you get a "read the archives!" response you'll know more than you'll get here. >:)

          /Mike

  • I run debian on my main workstation (have for a long time).

    These are my requirements before I switch:

    fluxbox as wm.
    various KDE apps, esp. Amarok.
    NFS support
    Nvidia binary video drivers. so that I can play: Never Winter nights & Enemy Territory.

    Can/Will FreeBSD work for me?
    (I run dual Opteron 270's with 2GB of ram so SMP is important but AMD64 is not).
    • by outZider (165286)
      You'll have everything you need. You may want to consider PC-BSD [pcbsd.org], a.. friendlier edition of FreeBSD. It uses KDE by default, and as you're a Fluxbox user, you'll know how to swap that out as needed.

      The only gotcha is that nVidia's binary drivers are just as finicky as in Linux, and you're SOL if you want to use the amd64 version of FreeBSD, unless I'm out of touch. You can find their binary driver here [nvidia.com].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by excelblue (739986)
      I happen to have a very similar setup on my FreeBSD 7-STABLE system right now, and it works great.

      You should have no problems at all. It'll work perfectly.

      However, is there a compelling reason for you to switch? Debian is a great operating system, and unless it's not working out too well for you, you should not just switch for no good reason. You risk being unproductive for a few days, running into issues you don't know about, etc.
      • by B5_geek (638928)
        After a few crappy/corrupt (non apt-get) installs + a full HD + a new bigger/faster HD my system needs to be nuked and reinstalled.

        I LOVE apt. I love the breadth of software that is available for it. But I'm a geek and I want to try something new.

        How does one install new software on BSD? (do you compile everything from source?)
        Or are there repos available?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dadragon (177695)
          How does one install new software on BSD? (do you compile everything from source?)

          I upgraded from 6.2 to 7.0-PRERELEASE by doing the following:

          It's a convolouted process, but I wanted to follow FreeBSD 7 development. It's easier when you do it from a binary CD. Basically you restart from the CD and upgrade and it's automated.

          Start by updating my system source:
          $ sed -e 's/RELENG_6/RELENG_7/' /usr/share/examples/cvsup/stable-supfile > /root/7-supfile
          $ csup -h cvsup6.freebsd.org /root/7-supfile

          Now the sou
    • Do it! (Score:3, Informative)

      by DarkEmpath (1064992)
      Seriously, jump! I switched from Debian (2.something, I think) to FreeBSD 4.5 *years* ago. I haven't been happier.

      I'm still running FreeBSD 6.3 on my server, and I will upgrade to 7 soon, but I found PC-BSD to be the better desktop system (DesktopBSD had strange quirks, and wasn't as polished).

      PC-BSD uses the "stable" FreeBSD as it's base, so although it's currently FreeBSD 6.3 based, that'll no doubt change to 7.0 soon. PC-BSD also uses KDE as it's desktop environment, so you'll have no trouble with your a
      • by smash (1351)
        I too switched from being a debian server person to FreeBSD back in the days when FreeBSD 4.0 was new. In fact, I still have a bunch of FreeBSD 4 servers that I installed, left the company for 2 years, came back, and they're still running fine :D

        They will be upgraded/hardware replaced with 7.0 machines soon (have been waiting on 7.0 release for a few months now).

        Now, why did I switch?

        For me, several factors, these are the main ones...

        • Clear seperation of the supported "base system" and additional ap
    • by Hatta (162192)
      You're probably spoiled by the package manager. Ports are neat, but apt is a dream. At the very least you'll have to get used to a different way of doing things. If you use a lot of custom repositories (e.g. rarewares [rarewares.org]) you might encounter a few headaches getting all the software you want. There are some things, like 'apt-cache search' that it's not immediately obvious how to do on ports. I think you're just supposed to string together 'find' and 'grep' commands, since ports is just a tree full of text
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        You're probably spoiled by the package manager. Ports are neat, but apt is a dream. At the very least you'll have to get used to a different way of doing things. If you use a lot of custom repositories (e.g. rarewares [rarewares.org]) you might encounter a few headaches getting all the software you want. There are some things, like 'apt-cache search' that it's not immediately obvious how to do on ports. I think you're just supposed to string together 'find' and 'grep' commands, since ports is just a tree full of text files.

        # cd /usr/ports
        # make quicksearch name=whatever

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @11:02PM (#22583492) Homepage Journal
    Is when FreeBSD and wine will start to care about each other.
  • by deek (22697)
    To quote from the article ...

    I believe we are actually "first" to make it part of the shipping kernel. In Linux you can enable it as a module, but there are extra steps you must take. For FreeBSD its just there, like TCP.

    There's extra steps you must take? What steps are these? I haven't had experience with SCTP on any OS, but I would have thought that once the Linux module is loaded, the protocol is "just there" as well.

    Maybe he's talking about kernel defaults? It's a curious statement th
  • Jealous of ZFS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cblack (4342) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @12:53AM (#22584362) Homepage
    I've been reading about zfs for awhile and recently started implementing it on some Solaris servers and really getting into it. It's nice. Really nice. I am anxiously awaiting being able to run it on linux (not via FUSE) in production. Has anyone heard anything on the objections over license compatibility and stepping beyond traditional filesystem areas of the kernel?
    • Won't happen due to incompatibility with the GPL.
  • Dramatic improvements in performance and SMP scalability shown by various database and other benchmarks, in some cases showing peak performance improvements as high as 350% over FreeBSD 6.X under normal loads and 1500% at high loads. When compared with the best performing Linux kernel (2.6.22 or 2.6.24) performance is 15% better.

    http://people.freebsd.org/~kris/scaling/bind-pt.png [freebsd.org]

    Summary:

    * FreeBSD 7.0-R with 4BSD scheduler has close to ideal scaling on this test.

    * The drop above 6 threads is due to limitatio
  • Upgrading HOWTO? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ewhac (5844) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:20AM (#22584866) Homepage Journal
    So: How do you upgrade an existing system from FreeBSD 6.0 without wiping the entire system and installing from scratch?

    And before anyone asks:

    • Yes, I know about the ports collection.
    • Yes, I know about the binary packages.
    • Yes, I know how to configure and compile the kernel.
    • No, I've never really tried to compile userspace.

    All the docs I've read on the subject tend to suggest that the Real Way to keep a FreeBSD system current is to download the kernel and userspace core every so often and recompile them. And that's fine, sorta, except that it doesn't address how to deal with the "leftovers", such as config files that have been moved or eliminated. (I mean, honestly, compiling the world is not a realistic way to keep current on X.org.)

    Who has practical experience doing this? How do you keep your machines current, particularly with security patches?

    Schwab

    • As far as security and other within-branch updates go, I've had no problems in the past keeping the base system up to date using the steps outlined in the Handbook (cvsup, make kernel/world/etc, reboot, install, etc). Config files are usually handled with mergemaster, which isn't half-bad when it comes to keeping configurations in check. X is a third-party package, so it gets handled with the port/package tools (the jump to modular X was a pain in the dick IIRC, but it all got smoothed out). I'm not sure wh
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by wiz_80 (15261)
      I just use freebsd-update. That does mean that custom kernels are a pain, but OTOH I have never had any problems. Well, there was the one time that it took two reboots to get the release to update for whatever reason, but that was just an annoyance.
  • I've come to think of journaled filesystems as pretty much ubiquitous at this point, is FreeBSD really only now getting them? Or do they mean something else?

    (Not trolling, I know next to nothing about *BSD)
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:35AM (#22585596) Homepage Journal

      No, you read that right. The reason is mainly that FreeBSD users have been enjoying something called "softupdates" for the last decade or so, which is sort of like an in-memory journaling. Rather than writing metadata directly to disk, it's queued in memory, grouped into an efficient order, then transactionally committed to the underlying drive. The disk is never in an inconsistent state, even without a journal to fall back on. If the system crashes, a special fsck that can run while a filesystem is mounted read-write comes along and deallocates any space that's no longer used but hasn't yet been marked as empty.

      Because of that, there hasn't been much need or real drive to get journaling into FreeBSD. The solution they're going with is actually nicely abstracted, in that you configure a journal for a whole device through GEOM (which is kind of like a Lego set for building drive setups). Although you'd probably never want this, you could theoretically have two "drives" that reside on remote machines (via ggate) bound together with RAID1 (via gmirror), encrypted (via geli), and with a local journal (via gjournal).

  • I had to abandon FreeBSD a few years ago with performance
    with MySQL got so abysmal -- apparently the MySQL folks
    and the FreeBSD folks got into pissing match about
    threads.

    Anyone know how this turned out?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't know the results of the "pissing match", but I can attest to the re-written ULE scheduler (NOT the same ULE that was in 5.x and 6.x! This scheduler is referred to as ULE/SMP2.0) being both stable and greatly improved. The scheduler was tested *specifically* against MySQL, and the benchmarks exceed that of Linux. Here's the details you want:

      http://people.freebsd.org/~kris/scaling/mysql.html [freebsd.org]
    • by urbanriot (924981)
      Yes, the performance is excellent now... it was fine since that 'pissing match', however you had to go through a few hoops to get it that way.

      Here's a few links that might help you with performance in newer incarnations of FreeBSD:
      FreeBSD 6 - http://wiki.freebsd.org/MySQL [freebsd.org]
      FreeBSD 7 - http://people.freebsd.org/~kris/scaling/mysql.html [freebsd.org]
  • by esbee (882147) <lists&sandipb,net> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @05:53PM (#22593498) Homepage Journal
    My feedback as an user of "current" Linux distros.

    - I found the same sysinstall that I saw 4+years ago when I last tried installing Freebsd.
    - I found that the official way to configure is to generate the config file template using 'Xorg -configure' and then hand editing the xorg.conf config file!!!!
    - I found that the standard install still installs TWM and doesn't even ask for KDE/GNOME (I know you need to install the packages *after* the install, and yes I know I can use sysinstall) and you are dropped to a text login after install.
    - I found that my amd64 cpu with the nvidia integrated card doesn't have an nvidia driver. And the default nv driver can't make use out of DDC to configure my brand new widescreen LCD monitor.
    - I found that my mouse pointer is invisible in X.

    Now, before other start, please understand why I am saying this - I know Freebsd has a different approach to building a distro. I also know that reasons like prop. drivers are not its fault. I also accept that I probably am facing some system specific issue inherent in any .0 release of distros.

    My point here is simply to let how a typical user who thought of migrating to Freebsd thinks. I for one, value using my relatively new hardware to the fullest, so I am going back to Ubuntu.

    I still have tremendous regards for Freebsd as a server. I have found them to be much more stable than any current Linux distro, and capable of much more punishment too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Brandybuck (704397)

      - I found the same sysinstall that I saw 4+years ago when I last tried installing Freebsd.

      What's the problem, does sysinstall not work for you? I've never had a problem with it. If you fear the sight of plain text, then FreeBSD will not be for you. While FreeBSD makes a damned awesome desktop system, that is not its goal. It is not designed for Aunt Tillie.

      - I found that the official way to configure is to generate the config file template using 'Xorg -configure' and then hand editing the xorg.conf confi

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