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FreeBSD 4.6 320

An Anonymous Coward writes "FreeBSD 4.6 is out! The announcement is out, and so are the release notes. Have fun, and thanks to the FreeBSD team!" The announcement has all the mirror information, etc.
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FreeBSD 4.6

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  • Great to hear it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Meat Blaster ( 578650 ) on Sunday June 16, 2002 @08:23AM (#3710501)
    It looks like they took care of the handful of things that were causing me a lot of problems. Not only that, but I'm rather intrigued by this bit:

    Selected network drivers now implement a semi-polling mode, which makes systems much more resilient to attacks and overloads.

    A partial defense against IP DoS attacks?

    Another thing that looks really cool is that reboot now takes a flag to tell it which kernel to reboot to. Isn't this cool? Granted, most of the time on my Linux system I'm at the console when I do a reboot, so I can just pick it from GRUB, but for remote reboots this could be quite handy. And they've eliminated the deal with the odd legit TCP SYN packet from crashing the box to boot. In a nutshell, it's time to start downloading...

    • by cbcbcb ( 567490 )
      If you use lilo you can use lilo -R to select which kernel to boot.
    • semi-polling mode (Score:5, Informative)

      by sigxcpu ( 456479 ) on Sunday June 16, 2002 @08:46AM (#3710532)
      AFAIK selected polling mode means that after an interupt the driver switches to poling mode to avoid the interrupt overhead.
      Some of Donald Becker's linux driver have this feature.
      This improves system stabillity and responsivenes under high nework loads, and avoides the so called 'livelock' where the system isn't hung but it is wasting so much time doing interupt handling that it can't do anything else.
      This is a GOOD THING but it won't help much against DDOS
    • Lilo... (Score:3, Informative)

      by wowbagger ( 69688 )
      If you use LILO, you can specify the kernel to reboot by:

      lilo -R

      I have an "exp" config in my LILO, for experimental kernels before I move them off probation. So, when I have done my build and install, I just type
      lilo -R exp && reboot
      and there I go.

      I don't know if Grub has anything similar.
      • Switch to grub. It is an advanced boot loader. Grub understands the linux filesystems so it will find your kernel at boot time. Unlike lilo grub dosen't have to be run every time you install a new kernel. Grub has a command line interface so you can easily load any kernel on your hard drive.

        I see no reason to continue to use lilo. Except if you are in a very tight disk space situation such as embeded linux. In these cases every byte countes, and the ~150kB of grub might be a problem.
  • Alright, (Score:3, Funny)

    by GldisAter ( 138585 ) on Sunday June 16, 2002 @08:56AM (#3710550) Journal
    We are now accepting bets on whether or not Slashdot announces 4.7 before it is actually released and by how many days.

  • I JUST installed Suse 8, now this. I need another HD, that's all there is to it...
  • figures (Score:4, Funny)

    by jhines ( 82154 ) <> on Sunday June 16, 2002 @08:57AM (#3710554) Homepage
    I installed 4.5 yesterday. Sigh.
    • cvsup
      make buildworld installworld buildkernel installkernel

    • Re:figures (Score:3, Informative)

      by AilleCat ( 178989 )
      Time to learn how to use cvsup

      then cd /usr/src
      make buildworld
      make buildkernel
      make installkernel
      make installworld

      then optional: reboot again

      • Re:figures (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        What??? You have to reboot??? Omigod, I've had FreeBSD running for 1256 days, 12 hours, 4 minutes, and 34 seconds. I can't reboot!!?!??

      • make installkernel

        I prefer to make installkernel, then dropping to single user mode, then make installworld. Then no rebooting at all is really necessary.
      • Personally I use:

        mv /usr/obj /usr/obj.old
        cd /usr/src
        make update
        mergemaster -C
        make buildworld
        make buildkernel
        make installkernel
        make installworld

        Although this is just a single user server. mergemaster -C is important with major changes because rc knobs can change occasionally; e.g. sendmail_enable has spawned a lot of friends for all the other daemons it runs.
    • Heh, fortunately, upgrading FreeBSD is pretty painless (at least, in my experience). Simply upgrade the source code in /usr/src (I recommend using CVSUP), then type "make buildworld && make installworld" while in /usr/src. More detailed instructions can be found in the handbook [].
      • Simply upgrade the source code in /usr/src (I recommend using CVSUP), then type "make buildworld && make installworld" while in /usr/src. not forget to run mergemaster before you reboot. It will help you adjust anything in /etc that needs changing without destroying everything you had altered before. Or better yet, as the previous poster suggests, read the upgrade part of the handbook. []

    • I was almost on that boat with ya too yesterday. I was redoing a game server and was trying out different OSs, OpenBSD first, then Gentoo, and today I was goin to do FreeBSD 4.5, boy am I'm glad I was itching more to try Gentoo.
    • I just installed 5.0 [] yesterday. Sigh.

    • I actually installed 4.6 a couple of days ago. Yes, that's 4.6-RELEASE. The .iso-images weren't available, but the handbook on the server already pointed to the install-floppies for 4.6, so I downloaded and installed. Installing from ftp was painless (much better than 4.6-rc2 from CD). It really seems a bit faster than Debian GNU/Linux, although ports isn't quite as idiot-proof as apt. Getting gdm to work didn't happen automtically, among other things.

      And I can't figure out how to mount a logical partition containing a FAT32 filesystem. But that's probably because I'm clueless :-)
    • Re:figures (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, it's trivial to upgrade to 4.6, once you have *any* bsd version installed. (Well, so long as you're in the same major version numbers, upgrades are simple.)
      1. cvsup -h /usr/share/examples/cvsup/stabl e-supfile
        Where 'X' is one of the cvsup servers, like,, etc.
      2. cd /usr/src/ && make buildworld
      3. make installworld
      4. mergemaster
        NOTE: READ what mergemaster has to say!!!
      5. make buildkernel KERNCONF=YOUR_MACHINE && make installkernel KERNCONF=YOUR_MACHINE
        Where YOUR_MACHINE is your edited copy of /usr/src/sys/i386/conf/GENERIC. See /usr/src/sys/i386/conf/LINT for various options.

      It's a snap to keep your bsd box updated. I even have a cron job to build it at 2 a.m. I then manually run mergemaster, and take the rest from there. It's that simple.
  • by korpiq ( 8532 ) <> on Sunday June 16, 2002 @09:13AM (#3710571) Homepage

    My frustration grew last year proportionally with the time it took to make Linux 2.4 stable enough for production server use. It still makes me a bit nervous and I have decided to go for *BSD in future where possible.

    However, since Linux got most of the hype, most *nix desktop stuff especially from commercial side like game companies is targeted for it. So it makes sense to use it on the desktop. Just keep your data on the servers ;)

    More experienced administrators: do you support this kind of dualism?
    • Not to mention that asking someone if they've heard of Linux gives a better yes-odds than asking if they've heard of BSD.

    • I like linux, but if I can choose freely, there is nothing I would pick over a *bsd, most likely freebsd.

      There is no linux distribution that is as mature and aimed for servers. Don't even start talking about the bloated linux 'server' editions... A minimal bsd install, the latest versions of the services you really need compiled by hand and optimized, and you're set.

      Mind though: I really don't think there's such a big difference between freebsd and linux, each has its pro's and con's... It really doesn't matter that much. Just use the right tools for the job, it's all opensource anyway.

      And you can build a very minimal Linux distro yourself too, if you want... It's all about freedom, if you want linux on workstations (because that's what most distro's aim at) and freebsd on servers, you do that. And it'll work.

      I wish the 'x is better than y'-people would just shut up and use 'x' in silence. Or contribute, if they really have too much time and energy anyway.
      • I agree -- do what you're comfortable with. If you have to use Linux on server and are comfortable with BSD, try Slackware.

        Anyways, Debian is great on servers. Don't take me wrong, I'm a consultant/administrator for many companies and I admin various Linuxes (Debian, Slack, Mandrake, even RedHat) and various BSDs and even Solaris. I don't see a great difference here. There are differences however. *BSD and Debian-stable are very very very stable. If you need raw computing power and have multiprocessor system, don't use BSD.

        But I'm not such liberal on desktop. I bought IBM Thinkpad and installed FreeBSD 4.5. It just sucked completely. No national keyboard support because of old XFree (this is gone in 4.6), very bad support for hardware (Linmodem, soundcard). IBM has great support for Linux and I'm happy with Debian here yet. BSD just is not for desktop (yet).

      • Good point. I use linux for my workstation and home servers. But when I ran an ISP, I used freebsd for my servers. I needed the stable uptime my bsd servers gave me. This was a few years ago, when linux was young. I have noticed my ISP and web hosting company both use linux. (Speakeasy and Bestwebhosting). They both have great uptimes with large loads. But all my friends who run ISPs still use freebsd or solaris.

        Need to look past the FUD about any OS, and try it, make up your own mind.

        The only problem I have with Bsd is broken ports, but I read on Openbsds site, they are going to do a full ports audit this year.

        Not a BSD problem, but Nvidia only releases linux drivers, which are much faster than the stock bsd/linux drivers.

    • Actually, I use FreeBSD for both desktop and server. I admit that I originally made this decision based on my familiarity with FreeBSD and I was a bit apprehensive, but I've found it to be just as good for everything I do. My original concern was hardware support (getting XFree86 4.x to work properly and firewire support), but it hasn't been a problem. Over the past couple weeks, I've successfully installed [] one of the 4.6 pre-releases on my laptop, including the firewire cd-rom drive and internal wireless card. Tangentially, I must say that networking with FreeBSD is incredibly easy, I was amazed at how little effort it took to get the wireless card up and running.

      I think FreeBSD works fine on the desktop, but then again, I don't really play games. I use all the same software as linux folks such as galeon, gaim, enlightenment, kde, etc
    • I tend to agree. I currently manage a couple small networks and FreeBSD has always given me the reliability I needed - especially in the server realm. For workstations, I am forced to use Windows and a bit of Linux, but my box is FreeBSD/Windows. I tried Linux (Debian) for a time and was impressed with dselect and the whole packaging system; however, I did have some stability issues (most likely my fault) and I reverted to FreeBSD. I've never had a FreeBSD system crash on me and the only complaint I do have is the delay between the Linux release of some software and the time it takes to find its way into ports. I guess I could install by hand - but I'm lazy.
    • However, since Linux got most of the hype, most *nix desktop stuff especially from commercial side like game companies is targeted for it. So it makes sense to use it on the desktop. Just keep your data on the servers ;)

      I have about 15 years of experiance with BSD systems (I'm counting SunOS 3, SunOS 4, and AOS as BSD systems). That kind of made my shy away from Linux systems and their vaguely Sys5 flavor...but not forever. About a year ago I bought a machine to run Linux on. I used it as a desktop on and off for about 11 months, and then finally put FreeBSD on it. Now my only Linux is my TiVo ( emergency backup TiVo).

      All of the desktop stuff I ever ran under Linux was already running on my older FreeBSD machines, and I never really liked the Linux package managment.

      That's not to say Linux is crap, or FreeBSD is a better desktop machine...just that FreeBSD makes a fine desktop, and if you are talking about yourself, supporting one is easier then supporting both. I would say to everyone else out there that has only run BSD systems, give Linux a whirl sometime. The things I didn't like about it are definitly not the things I thought I would dislike. And to those of you that never gave BSD a shot? Go for it.

      (besides if you want a real desktop Unix...we all know OSX is the way to go... plus, finally full hardware support for laptop Unix! and a sub-second unsusspend from sleep...)

      More experienced administrators: do you support this kind of dualism?

      I use to do Unix support for a University. We went from only having 68000 Suns to having SPARCs, DEC-MIPS, IBM RTs, and some other things while I was there (i.e. one of to four or five). Adding support for the second one is a giant pain...but if you do it right adding the next three isn't bad.

    • I'm using FreeBSD at home on my desktop, and at work on my workstation. I'm not using it as a server at all since I don't have a need for a server. I'm running Xfree86-4.2.0 with DRM, KDE-3.0.1, Mozilla, Xmms, Wine, etc. FreeBSD has an excellent Linux compatibility mode, so most Linux commercial software will run just fine.

      Benefits: easy upgradability, customization and optimization via source code.

      Drawbacks: you have to wait until the bleeding stops before the bleeding edge stuff is ported over.
    • by Bishop ( 4500 ) on Sunday June 16, 2002 @04:44PM (#3711914)
      I have used FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and various Linux distros on i386 hardware. In my experience Linux and FreeBSD are excellent on the desktop, and FreeBSD and OpenBSD are excellent on servers.

      I find that the default install (without X) of both FreeBSD and OpenBSD has "everything I want in a server and nothing more." The ports system is there for the few extras you may want (like bash). Basically the defaults for the ports system and the install are sane. When I want a server I install *BSD get it running and forget about it. Usually I install OpenBSD as the install is easier, and it is slightly smaller.

      No linux distro gives you this. I love Debian but it is suffereing from bloat. That and the default Debian install isen't good enough, because there isen't a true default. Something about giving the user choice. I don't need choice on my servers. I want an install that has been tested and works. Slackware dosen't have a ports/package system like FreeBSD. Again I want packages that has been tested and work. Slackware also has a hideous config. Editing all those files in /etc/rc.d/ is not the way to go. Use OpenBSD and you will understand. Gentoo is interesting. I just started useing it. It has promise, but it needs an easier install. It also needs a better default install. I like it and will continue to use it, but not on my servers. You really have to sit down and use FreeBSD or OpenBSD for a while before you will understand how lacking Linux distros are when it comes to servers.

      For the desktop I have been useing Debian. I don't care too much about the bloat on the desktop and 'apt-get install package-name' is great. When it came to a desktop shoot out between Debian and FreeBSD, Debian/Linux won becuase ALSA supports my Trident 4D-NX sound card better then FreeBSD. In my experience Linux often supports uncommon bits of hardware better then FreeBSD. There isen't a native Mozilla for OpenBSD, so I haven't really used OpenBSD on the desktop.

      For firewalls I have not used FreeBSD, only OpenBSD. OpenBSD has one of the best packet filters out there. It is easy to configure, and works. FreeBSD has something very similar. Recently I have been useing Linux as a firewall due to some funky stuff you can do with equalcost routeing, QOS, and bandwidth shapeing. If you don't need these features then OpenBSD is best. Linux can do some packet bashing that rivals Cisco routers. Unfortunately these features are largely undocumented.

      Lack of documentation is ofcourse the worst part of Linux. FreeBSD and OpenBSD have lots documentation that is kept up to date. Linux dosen't.

      FreeBSD and OpenBSD are better then any Linux distrobution for servers. These *BSD systems are well thought out and mature products. OpenBSD has a slight edge due to its easier install. On the desktop I think it is a tie. FreeBSD is excellent, but lacks a few of the bells and wistles you will find on a Linux destop. In particular some hardware is better supported under Linux. On the other hand Linux distors suffer from bloat and are not as well thought out as FreeBSD. OpenBSD makes an excellent firewall. Linux makes a good hybrid firewall/router. If I had to choose just one I would install FreeBSD everywhere.

      • Thanks, this was exactly the kind of first-person experience I was hoping to get.

        (* goes off to put together some boxes and start learning *)
    • Since we have to support hundreds of Linux desktops (redhat), we prefer to use Linux also on the servers, at very least on the ones that do things like NFS and NIS service for the Linux machines. If you -have- to use Linux on the desktops, it might be a good idea to keep Linux on the servers too because of the KISS principle. Your environment will be more simple, less training will be required for newbie staff, etc. We haven't run into major problems with this approach. YMCV of course.

    • More experienced administrators: do you support this kind of dualism?

      I'd support it if the ISVs did.

      I'm 1 of 8 admins that take care of appx 600 Linux boxes (projected to grow to 1,000 Linux boxes by the end of the year). We run software by BEA and Tibco on our machines (and probably other packages I'm not as familiar with, but those are the major two). We're interested in Oracle on top of Linux.

      Unfortunately, there's no ISV support for FreeBSD and while I'd *LOVE* to choose FreeBSD over Linux I can't do it for business reasons. Unfortunately this also leads to choose me to avoid FreeBSD even for ISV-free machines at work. The pool of System Engineers that we've got is more familiar with Linux than FreeBSD, and there's no way to guarantee than an ISV product won't be needed on any given machine in the future.

      And unfortunately when I'm talking about Linux ISV support I'm necessarily talking about RedHat ISV support. I really wish that either SuSE or FreeBSD would be supported by ISVs. RedHat is just flatly the worst Unix distribution in the world. They still insist on release kernels that have VMs which are substantially more fucked up than the vanilla one. Isn't it about time to simply recognize that the only guy in the Linux community who understands how to write a stable VM works for SuSE and move on?

      Unfortunately, what I care about most in a Unix OS is (in order):

      1. ISV support
      2. 12-18 month release cycle
      3. Three supported versions of distro (yes, that means you have to support a distribution for 3-5 years)
      4. Hardware product testing matrix and good QA

      I can get this out of Solaris. The only Linux distribution which comes close to this is RedHat and they really need to work on the third point and don't even come close to the fourth point (Intel hardware makes testing matrices difficult...)

      And I'd like to emphasize how important that third point is. With 1,000 machines and 8 people we can't handle upgrading all those machines every 6-9 months. "Release Early, Release Often" is an open source lie.

      If you're just building basic infrastructure, I'd agree that FreeBSD is the way to go over Linux. The one caveat to that is if you're using heavy SMP machines like 6-way boxes (like we do). Then you need to wait for FreeBSD 5.x for the SMP support (and every indication is that it will cream Linux's SMP support after it gets stabilized).

  • Features? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Sponge Bath ( 413667 )
    Is this the version with the Hurd kernel, runs on computers with nanotube transistor technology, and comes with Duke-Nukem Forever bundled?

    Or is that version 5.0?

  • Well I certainly picked the wrong day to install FreeBSD! The FTP site was jammed, so I surfed over to Slashdot and .. D'OH! New release ..

    And I was looking forward to adding a 486/66 to my RC5 efforts! :^) (Hey, I need something to plug all my old ISA cards into.)

  • But is it possible to "upgrade" from 4.4 to OpenBSD?
  • by archen ( 447353 )
    I'm assuming this comes with KDE3. Has anyone messed with installing the liquid theme on FreeBSD? I recall I gave it a half hearted attempt one day but something didn't work, and I got sidetracked and never bothered again.

    And looking at the changelog I see they updated ls. How many decades has this been around and we're still messing with ls? The change seems to be rather handy though...
    • >Has anyone messed with installing the liquid
      >theme on FreeBSD? I recall I gave it a half
      >hearted attempt one day but something didn't
      >work, and I got sidetracked and never bothered

      cd /usr/ports/x11-wm/mosfet-liquid
      make install clean

      Wasn't too hard.

  • Has this been released for FreeBSD yet? It was supposed to come with 4.5 but got delayed.
    • Re:Sun Java (Score:3, Informative)

      by rainer_d ( 115765 )
      It's available, but:
      - you need to build it yourself from src
      - you need linux-jdk13 for that
      - there's no hotspot
      - the certification-process is a bit lengthy...

      Combined, this means that for the foreseeable future, you can only get it by building it yourself and using a JIT like shujit or so.
      And it's not blessed^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcertified by SUN.

    • Re:Sun Java (Score:3, Informative)

      I run jdk for quite some time on BSD now.

      Check for more info and in particular for the latest release.

      For some time, BSD folks were trying to stay away from non free software (JDK is released under Sun license), but finally gave up due to:
      -lack of developers willing to develop a stable JVM from scratch compatible with latest Sun classes (Kaffe is not.)
      - popularity of J2EE on the server side and growing number of people switching to Linux based systems just to be able to run Java.

      Thanks ot Greg Lewis for doing mostly all the work and other people for spending cycles so we can all run Java on an awesome OS.

      PPA, the girl next door.

    • Sun Microsystems themselves probably would not ever release a JDK for FreeBSD...

      However, though their Java Community, they have released the source code of their JDK.

      There is an active porting effort which is showing fruits - we do have a JVM 1.3 which works well enough to run even complex Java applications such as JBuilder and JBoss.

      However, Sun's Hotspot JIT is not ported yet (but the porter of that has some success stories). For now, performance isn't fantastic but you can use Shujit or OpenJIT.

      There cannot be a binary distribution until the ported JDK passes the Java Compatibility Kit to Sun's satisfaction. This will take months...

      Maybe for the FreeBSD 4.7 release...

  • IF my ISP (Score:3, Funny)

    by LennyDotCom ( 26658 ) <> on Sunday June 16, 2002 @01:54PM (#3711432) Homepage Journal
    If my ISP charged by the MB for downloads I would be pissed that I downloaded 4.5 yesterday
    • Re:IF my ISP (Score:3, Insightful)

      by greygent ( 523713 )
      Probably not as pissed as the FreeBSD folks would be because you're wasting their precious bandwidth by downloading successive ISO images, instead of learning how to use CVSUP [], or buying [] CD's.
  • I am planning to buy an smp system sometime this summer. I am eagerly awaiting FreeBSD 5 because of much better smp, Java, as well as some beta .net support that Microsoft is porting. I got into *bsd after I needed to install nat and linux looked just horrible and cryptic in regards to setting IP rules. Openbsd and Freebsd are so much easy to administer in regards to this and much more secure by default when you install them. RedHat is a joke. Anyway I heard FreeBSD 5 was suppose to come out last January so I have been waiting to buy my new system. My isp is putting a 3 gig transfer cap later this summer so I need it before August. After that I will switch to dial up. I believe 3 gig is maybe a 3 to 4 hour download at the most for a dam whole month! Boy, I hope they finish soon so I do not have to spend a lot of money buying the cd's.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27