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Upgrades Operating Systems BSD

FreeBSD 5.3 on the Horizon 296

underpar writes "ZDNet UK is reporting that FreeBSD is nearing a code freeze. August 15th is the deadline which will be followed by the usual beta testing and a final release hoped for by October 1st. ZDNet interviewed the software engineer leading the release work, Scott Long, for the article. He says: 'The 5.3 release will be the first one where we see the real benefits of that. The multithreaded network stack will outperform everything we've done before, for running applications such as Apache or MySQL.' Status reports can be found on the FreeBSD website." I've been using the last technology release of FreeBSD for some time now, and am really looking forward to the 5.3 release, as well as the 5-STABLE branch that's rumored to follow soon after.
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FreeBSD 5.3 on the Horizon

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  • Explain something! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:23PM (#9848653)
    Can someone please explain how FreeBSD goodies like updated 5.3 code would make it's way into Mac OS X? How long might it take, what bits, etc, have moved in past releases?
  • Apache on FreeBSD (Score:5, Informative)

    by FireChipmunk ( 447917 ) <chip AT force-elite DOT com> on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:28PM (#9848684) Homepage
    A patch I wrote for the CVS versions of Apache/APR to Add KQueue support has been added to the FreeBSD Port version of Apache.

    Just make the port with "WITH_EXPERIMENTAL_PATCHES=1" and you can get a 10-25% boost in performance. (depends on your traffic patterns..)

    Its a quick way to get more performance out of Apache on FreeBSD, without waiting for the 5-STABLE branch.

    -Paul Querna
  • More BSD goodness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fux the Penguin ( 724045 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:30PM (#9848691) Journal
    I got into FreeBSD about 6 months ago and have not looked back. I was frustrated with RedHat and heard good things about the BSDs.

    I have been tempted to check out OpenBSD, because of the networking. This FreeBSD 5.3 status announcement mentions work being done integrating PF (updates?) and ALTQ (new to FreeBSD?)

    I'm working towards a site-to-site VPN deployment (hubs and spokes, of course) and am debating FreeBSD vs. OpenBSD. IPSec, queueing and redundancy (dynamic routing, perhaps DBU, and something like CARP) are requirements. Managability is important. "Room for growth" (transparent proxies, accounting, file/print services) would be icing on the cake.

    I figure it all could be made to work either way. Is FreeBSD's IPSec and firewall (IPFW/PF) as solid os OpenBSD? How about queueing? I'm a "seasoned newbee" on BSD... My experience is with the FreeBSD 5.x branch, but I'm not sure what all is changing with 5.3. I figure on diving into OpenBSD someday, it's just that time can be hard to come by.

    Any advice out there? Am I giving anything up if I commit to Free vs. Open BSD?
    • Re:More BSD goodness (Score:5, Interesting)

      by noselasd ( 594905 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:37PM (#9848736)
      Well, speed. OpenBSD is committed to secuity, not speed, and it
      has many rather slow internal algorithms.

      I'd suggest NetBSD. It too cares greatly about security, and imports
      lots of fixes from OpenBSD. And it's slimmer than FreeBSD. Not to
      mention solid. I've many times managed to make both OpenBSD and FreeBSD
      go mickey, but have yet to crash NetBSD.
    • If you will be implementing redundancy for your firewall/VPN/Edge Router, its hard to beat OpenBSD's CARP with PF. Personally I would never put any other free OS on a router/firewall then OBSD, but thats more to do with personal preference then anything else, OBSD has just worked really well for me.
    • I'm working towards a site-to-site VPN deployment (hubs and spokes, of course) and am debating FreeBSD vs. OpenBSD. IPSec, queueing and redundancy (dynamic routing, perhaps DBU, and something like CARP) are requirements.

      OpenBSD now has IPSec with NAT-T working in current. Queueing on OpenBSD is with ALTQ integrated with PF, and, of course, CARP is already thre.

      FreeBSD has imported pf from OpenBSD, and I think that they work on ALTQ as well. Not sure about CARP yet.

    • FreeBSD's ports collection is the biggest. If you use that, stick with FreeBSD. If you don't, you probably should try other OSes.
  • by maunleon ( 172815 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:33PM (#9848715)
    Using samba, if you share Fat32 and write to it from the network, you end up with corrupted files.

    I hope it has been fixed, but I somehow doubt it since it's been around for at least 2 years (earliest bug report was on 4.6RC) so it exists in -stable as well.

    • From the beginning of my using FreeBSD (2.2), it has ALWAYS had problems with its FAT support, leading to corruption. I love FreeBSD and use it on a several dozen servers, scattered across the NorthEast states, some with uptimes approaching 2 years, all remotely administered, but I TOTALLY don't trust its FAT support and just don't use it.
    • If this is broken for you, then I'd look to your configuration. :)

      We've been using Samba 2.2 and 3.0 at work on FreeBSD 4.x and 5.2.1 without issues. Reading and writing to FAT32 drives without corruption.

      I also use this at home with -CURRENT.

      Writing to a Samba share from Windows 98, 2000, and XP works fine for us. And writing to a mount point using mount_smbfs works as well.
  • Anyone know if vinum_geom will be stable in time for 5.3-RELEASE? Or if there's a native GEOM raid solution? I'm personally looking forward to having a large GDBE encrypted RAID array.
    • Re:vinum_geom? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:57PM (#9848899) Homepage
      Anyone know if vinum_geom will be stable in time for 5.3-RELEASE? Or if there's a native GEOM raid solution?

      Quoth the status report:

      Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek

      I'm working on various GEOM classes. Some of them are already committed and ready for use (GATE, CONCAT, STRIPE, LABEL, NOP). The MIRROR class is finished in 90% and will be committed in very near future. Next I want to work on RAID3 and RAID5 implementations. Userland utility to control GEOM classes (geom(8)) is already in the tree.
    • Re:vinum_geom? (Score:3, Informative)

      by lertl ( 455570 )
      I'm working on it. I think it's quite stable right now, but some features are still missing. I really hope to get it done before 5.3.
  • snap! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by captnitro ( 160231 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:39PM (#9848753)
    The following has been brought to you by IANAT (I Am Not a Troll).

    I've been using FreeBSD since long before it was apparently dying, since maybe the 2.x branch. I never tried Linux until this past year, because I live under a rock on the dark side of the moon.

    I tried SuSE, and it was great and all -- the setup was really nice -- but it's not there yet. In fact, I backed over it with 5.2 immediately afterwards. Why? Well, for day-to-day use, I didn't see any difference between Linux and BSD -- except the cluttered /etc, the fact that YaST didn't like me seeing the cluttered /etc, and this nagging feeling that it was a system of patched together parts, rather than a well-tested, stable "distribution" (note: I'm knocking the distro, not the kernel, and only slightly).

    When it came down to it, FreeBSD and a daily-updated ports tree seemed to "click together" better than Linux. For most other day-to-day use, there wasn't a huge difference, though I will say BSD was a tad 'snappier'.

    I urge those who haven't tried FreeBSD before to give it a chance. It's not that hard, and it is not, contrary to popular opinion, "better for servers". I play UT2004 and America's Army daily on my BSD box with no problems (thank you native nvidia drivers). What causes most people to gawk after seeing Linux is the text-mode installation -- which is just text menus, but still menus. (I've seen some installation programs that can make you wonder.. OpenBSD, I'm talking to you.)

    Last month I introduced FreeBSD to someone who had never, ever used *nix in any form before. After about an hour explaining different concepts (slices, ports and packages, rc.conf), she was off and running and actually, almost sadly, hasn't asked for my help once since then. She had X and KDE up and running within the day.

    So give it a try. We have no evil plan. (Except that, yanno, our mascot is related to Satan)
    • Re:snap! (Score:4, Funny)

      by underpar ( 792569 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:43PM (#9848787) Homepage
      See.. I'm about to install something on a very sad looking box sitting in the corner. I was thinking about Linux, but the cute little devil makes me think I should try FreeBSD. Is it wrong to choose an OS based on the mascot?
      • Re:snap! (Score:5, Funny)

        by captnitro ( 160231 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:57PM (#9848893)
        Absolutely not. In fact, the mental image on my end is Tux, Clippy, and Daemon fighting it out.

        Tux is gone; he's cute, but has no defensive weaponry. Furthermore, he can't even fly, all he can do is repeat the Futurama quote to himself --

        Penguin: Full of fish?
        Bender: Not entirely.
        Penguin: Then let's fish.

        So it's down to Clippy and BSD Daemon, and maybe that Apple and his friend Darwin the platypus in the corner who're both giving moral support, but they're setting off fireworks because they like eyecandy and have a short attention span.

        Pretty much, the Daemon unwinds Clippy and uses him to open a stuck CD-ROM drive.
    • Re:snap! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Homology ( 639438 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @08:35PM (#9849301)
      What causes most people to gawk after seeing Linux is the text-mode installation -- which is just text menus, but still menus. (I've seen some installation programs that can make you wonder.. OpenBSD, I'm talking to you.)

      One problem with the FreeBSD installer is that it's both an installer and a configuration tool with menues that does not remember previous settings that you have done.

      The OpenBSD installer is just that : an installer. Post configuration is mostly done after installation.

    • Although I like and use freebsd I would submit that debian is more of a "wholistic" OS then freebsd is. Frequently the post I really need won't build on freebsd. Just today for example I tried to build net-snmp and it won't build. I don't know why. I googled for an answer and the best I could make out is that the port is broken because you can build the latest source by hand no problem.

      That's not the first time that happened to me.
      • Re:snap! (Score:3, Informative)

        by tigga ( 559880 )
        Just today for example I tried to build net-snmp and it won't build.

        Just use package :
        pkg_add -r net-snmp

        portupgrade -NPP

        It is good to be lazy ...

  • One factor that led me to switch back to Gentoo was the choppyness while working on the desktop environments. At that time I was using 5.1. So say if I was playing the audio/browsing/compiling etc, the computer would freeze for a moment.
    • One factor that led me to switch back to Gentoo was the choppyness while working on the desktop environments. At that time I was using 5.1. So say if I was playing the audio/browsing/compiling etc, the computer would freeze for a moment.

      I haven't really had any choppyness except for three things:

      Sound: sometimes sound will get choppy on heavy (disk) load. Later, I found out that all those different sound utils (xmms, mpg123, etc) were using esound, so I disabled it, and suddenly, no more choppyness.

  • Complete with multiple cds (cd 1, livecd/commercial, packages 1, packages 2) and everything; or are they still in beta?
    • by underpar ( 792569 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @06:59PM (#9848908) Homepage
      RTFA ;)

      It won't be in beta until mid-August. The final release is expected in October.

      You just read the headline didn't you?
      • by B747SP ( 179471 ) <> on Friday July 30, 2004 @07:20PM (#9848993)
        RTFA ;)

        ITYM ROFL! :-)

        Yup, FreeBSD is fully userland ready, has been for, lets see, the last 6-8-ish years that I've been using it!

        On the subject of RTFA, as the article says, 5.2.1-RELEASE is a little jumpy in some parts, and if you need solid stability, stick with 4.10-RELEASE for the time being.

        I've used FreeBSD in production environments for years and years and years. Right now, I'm running 4.9-RELEASE and 4.10-RELEASE on production servers both at work and at home.

        I'm tinkering with 5.2.1-RELEASE on a new Dell X300 laptop and a P4 desktop at the moment. They're both working pretty well, and surprisingly, I've got almost everything on the (very screwed up hardware-wise) X300 working! I have managed to break 5.2.1 several times, but it was mostly by doing really wacky things with the Project Evil code, upping and downing and kldloading and kldunloading different drivers on different interfaces with not enough kernel memory allocated for the bloated third party windows code!!!

        Having said that, Project Evil is nothing short of a *GODSEND*, and Bill Paul is god! It's pretty amazing to be pinching windows NDIS drivers and compiling them into FreeBSD kernel modules - opens doors for all kinds of obscure hardware that couldn't be used before!

        It's still too early for me to make any definitive comment on whether 5.x.x is good on desktops as yet, but if it's anything like the FreeBSDs that came before it, it will be nothing short of excellent when it hits -STABLE.

  • by Teancom ( 13486 ) <> on Friday July 30, 2004 @07:05PM (#9848942) Homepage
    My debian machine lost it's harddrive recently, coincidently about one hour before I had to head out of town for the weekend. So I needed to install something on some random harddrive and get my email server backup, quickly. Well, all I had laying around was the 5.1 install cds that I had downloaded when they were announced on /., with the intention of trying out FreeBSD sometime in the nebulous future. So I installed FreeBSD for the first time ever, and have all my accounts added back, along with the various services I needed (named, smtp, and ssh) on and configured, in about 45 minutes. That included going through the install with no documentation at all (my internet connection was also routed through the debian box). That was very impressive, to me at least. Now, granted, after I got back I spent every night for a week dinking around figuring out how things are different, switching from sendmail to postfix, upgrading from 5.1 to 5.2.1, adding ext2 support to copy over all my data, setting up X and sound, setting up support for my Zire 72, and playing around with ports until it became second nature.

    So, my thoughts having been on FreeBSD for a couple months? Honestly, I dunno. I haven't noticed any speed difference at all, despite many a BSDer's claim to the contrary (this is a 750Mhz Duron with 1.25GB ram). I had to switch out my soundcard (Envy24-based Chaintech for an SB64 I had laying around) because it wasn't supported. The support for my Zire seems to be much nicer (I've always had problems in Linux with USB-based Palms, and tools like KPilot). I really like the init system, and /etc/rc.conf is nice (once you figure out what's supposed to be in there). It's a bit of a pain when trying to run various things (like nagios), where scripts and whatnot are written for Linux and break subtly (or completely) on FreeBSD. However, that's generally a one-line fix of some sort (change an argument passed to ps or nslookup, for instance), so it's not a huge deal. I've never liked Gentoo, and doing a 'portupgrade -a' makes me long for 'apt-get dist-upgrade'. I really like the kernel configuration, it works like a champ. I've recompiled my kernel probably six or seven times (chasing various hardware and software settings), and I've never had a single thing go wrong. I really wish it supported my APC usb-based UPS, but it doesn't.

    In summary, when I change hardware in the near future, I'll probably end up putting debian back on. The expanded hardware support, removal of all those little 'bumps' in making software work correctly, and ease and quickness of upgrading and installing software make debian win out. However, if it wasn't for Debian, FreeBSD would be my choice. I use (and administer) Redhat WS3 at work, and I'll take BSD over it any day of the week :-)

    Of course, my ideal setup would be a G5 with OSX as my desktop, and OpenBSD on my server. That would be kinda doable if I still had seperate computers for workstation and server (Linux as desktop, OpenBSD on server), but the ever decreasing pool of working hardware forced me down to one. And I'm not masochistic enough to run OpenBSD on the desktop...
    • by tigga ( 559880 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @04:41AM (#9856804)
      doing a 'portupgrade -a' makes me long for 'apt-get dist-upgrade'.

      You know, 'portupgrade -aPP' is much faster, because it uses binary packages, as apt-get does.

  • by dokebi ( 624663 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @08:03PM (#9849102)
    From the article

    FreeBSD 5.2[3] will also introduce a software layer that lets Windows network drivers work with FreeBSD. This layer, dubbed Project Evil, means that wired and wireless network cards should be able to work with FreeBSD even if the manufacturers have not written any drivers for the operating system.

    This is totally awesome! FreeBSD network drivers are very reliable, but hard to come by for very new devices (eg. wifi). I would totally use this feature even with some reliability sacrifice.
  • by nusratt ( 751548 ) on Friday July 30, 2004 @08:57PM (#9849389) Journal
    as always . . . []
  • by bigberk ( 547360 ) <> on Friday July 30, 2004 @09:09PM (#9849452)
    A hear from a friend of mine, who is also a BSD developer, that many improvements to jails are on the way in 5.3 (A reminder -- jails allow multiple virtual servers to exist within one system, allowing several customers to each have their own root). Some aspects of jails that have been improved:
    • More efficient resource usage among processes in different jails
    • Superior isolation between jails
    • Raw sockets etc. so you can finally ping and traceroute
  • switcher (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BoydWaters ( 257352 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @12:17AM (#9850330)
    So I was a Gentoo zealot for two years, it helped to teach me (more than I wanted to know) about Linux.

    I got fed up with power-management issues on my employer-supplied laptop computer (a nice machine, but not Linux-friendly) and purchased a Macintosh PowerBook. Very nice, not as clean as Gentoo, but it got me interested in *BSD.

    My server was running Gentoo SeLinux until last week. I've installed FreeBSD 5.2.1 and I am *very* happy with it as a stable, secure server platform.

    Linux, Apache, etc. have lent legitimacy to Open Source, and BSD license is attractive to many who cannot otherwise use Open Source. So *BSD is helping spread Open Source, and to otherwise improve the quality of the aggregate code base.

    Since Gentoo was developed by someone who liked BSD but wanted the device-driver support of Linux, I feel that most of my skills transfer very quickly. I feel that my learning curve on FreeBSD helps me better understand Mac OS X, which has an installed base of about 12 million computers (if Apple is to be believed).

    BSD is dead? Hmm. I rather doubt it.

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