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FreeBSD 5.3-BETA3 Available 81

hugo_pt writes "FreeBSD 5.3-BETA3 has just hit the ftp/cvsup servers. This new beta aims at correcting some known bugs from BETA2, mainly on ACPI and the schedules. It also improves several system utilities, such as bsdtar. More details available here FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE is expected October 3rd."
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FreeBSD 5.3-BETA3 Available

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  • Trying out FreeBSD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AresTheImpaler ( 570208 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:52PM (#10173641)
    Ok, I want to try one of the BSD's. Which one should I get? this FreeBSD? Or Which one would you recommend? Also, whre can I find some good documentation with the linux compatibility mode of the BSD's? I tried google, but I get too much crap in the first 20-30 results..

    • by Inominate ( 412637 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:54PM (#10173661)
      Grab freebsd 4.10. 5.x still has some odd quirks.
    • by Fweeky ( 41046 )
    • I've been running FreeBSD 5-CURRENT. It's been more or less stable, not as much as 4.10, but hopefully it will be getting more so with the establishment of a 5-STABLE branch.

      The plusses: 5.x is faster, especially on an SMP or hyperthreading machine. It also supports goodies like ACLs and snapshots.

      Try the Handbook for Linux compatibility mode.

    • by grilo ( 694373 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @12:09AM (#10174053)
      Try FreeBSD 5.3 when it's out. If you can't wait almost a month, give a go to 5.2.1. It will be painless to upgrade to 5.3.

      The STABLE branch is, as it's named, quite stable, but it doesn't have the new scheduler (ULE), and stuff like that. If you're looking for a desktop experience, try the most recent 5.x release, if you're looking for a server, I advise you to take a peek at 4.x.

      But if you're looking to find the ultimate desktop, you can look somewhere else. I've been a long time FreeBSD user and I recently tried Fedore Core 2, and I'm in awe with the integration supplied.

      FreeBSD is the ultimate server Operating System, but the ports team, in general, still can't match the level of integration provided by vendors like SuSE and RedHat (even Mandrake, for that matter), so keep your hopes low. On the other hand, the ports system really lifts any problem with dependencies, and everything. The package management facility is, in my humble opinion, much better than anything else I've seen.

      Nevertheless, give it a shot, it won't hurt. Just don't think you'll have the ultimate desktop waiting for you.

      By the way, FreeBSD is currently on ports freeze, which means no new ports will be added, in order to concentrate all of the resources in making sure every port builds as it should. Usually, several dozens of ports are added each day, but while the freeze lasts, only port fixes will be committed.

      Have fun! :)
      • by phoenix_rizzen ( 256998 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @02:09PM (#10179482)
        It will not be painless to upgrade from 5.2.1 to 5.3.

        The upgrade will require a recompile of *ALL* installed ports due to the changes in threading libraries and the new version of GCC (3.4) in the base system.

        A lot of kernel options have also been turned into sysctls requiring a thorough read through /usr/src/UPDATING to figure out what to remove from the kernel config file.

        The default version of X11 has been changed to Xorg and a new make.conf variable has been introduced to allow you to choose which one you want. Blindly upgrading X apps without setting this, or setting it to the wrong version, will cause problems.

        Highly recommended that people start reading the new /usr/ports/UPDATING file after every ports tree update.

        There have been a *lot* of changes between 5.2.1 and 5.3. The recommended, and best, method for upgrading from one to the other is to:
        1. Backup all your data and config files.
        2. Install 5.3 from the CD or FTP.
        3. Install all the apps you want to use.
        4. Restore your data and config files, as needed.
        • You are absolutely right, and I'm sorry to give such blind advice.

          The upgrade procedure per-se is painless. Fetch the branch from cvs, follow half-dozen steps and you're done, but in the specific case of upgrading to 5.3 it will take much more, since much has changed.

          Thank you for point that out. :)

        • Actually, you don't have to recompile ALL your ports... just the C++ ones that stop running after you upgrade. The threading lib upgrades don't change the ABI so those don't have to be recompiled. In short, it's not "painless" but it's not as painful as you make it out to be... Oh, and I don't know about anything that got turned into a sysctl from a kernel option, but I know that you have to add a couple of kernel options (or modules) to your kernel to get the same functionality... I believe there is io.ko
          • You *do* need to recompile *all* your apps. Otherwise, down the line, you *will* run into problems.

            For instance. You install a bunch of apps on 5.2.1 that link against the default threading libs. These are using libc_r.

            Later, you upgrade to 5.3. These apps are still linked against libc_r which is still installed, so everything works. Then you install a few new apps, which depend on the apps already installed. These new apps are now linked against libkse, but they are trying to load libs that are lin
            • I've been running -CURRENT since before the libpthread integration, and I still have apps that I've been too lazy to recomple... yet everything STILL continues to run fine, and I'm on 6-CURRENT now.

              I DID recompile all C++ apps (because of the ABI change with the compiler upgrade) and all threaded apps (just because I didn't want a libmap.conf).

              I'll agree that it's best to recompile all C++ and threaded apps, but it's not necessary to recompile everything.

              You're right about the RANDOM_IP_ID one, but that'
      • You mention that FreeBSD is currently on a ports freeze ...

        I am running a Java-based website on a FreeBSD server. I recently converted the code to Java 1.5, and then realised that no Java 1.5 port is yet available for FreeBSD.

        However, I was hoping that as soon as the stable version of Java 1.5 is released (expected at the end of this month - currently a release candidate is available for Windows, Linux etc), then a FreeBSD port would shortly follow. However from what you say, should I expect to be waiting
        • Yes. Nevertheless, you should subscribe to FreeBSD-Java team's mailing list. They will be able to help much more in depth, regarding that subject. Though, officially the ports are in freeze, they may have some stuff ready to be committed which you could use. Give them a ring, and lend a hand! :)
    • by CoolGopher ( 142933 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @02:38AM (#10174772)
      For best stability, go for FreeBSD 4.10. For the latest features, wait for 5.3 to be released. At the moment I'd roughly compare the two to Linux kernel 2.4 vs 2.6 - pretty much the same deal.

      For Linux compatibility, you should probably start reading chapter 10 in the FreeBSD Handbook [].

      • Also FBSD 5.3 is in debug mood which makes it slow while 4.10 is normal.

        4.10 has the latest utilities and apps that fbsd 5.2 lacks.

        • > Also FBSD 5.3 is in debug mood which makes it slow while 4.10 is normal.

          mood? :) anyway.. with the default install it is indeed. Instructions for changing this when compiling your own kernel (try it, its really simple) can be found in /usr/src/UPDATING

          The debug settings in the stock 5.x kernel slow it down, but it supporting much faster ide controllers properly and making better use of resources on hyperthreadign and smp machiens can easily offset that, so you may still find the 5.3 beta to be faster
    • by noselasd ( 594905 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @03:27AM (#10174964)
      I felt at home with NetBSD []
      Nice and clean, and good docs [].
      Some info on Linux emulation on NetBSD []
    • I would probably simply wait (as others have suggested for 5.3).

      though I'm running a 5.2.1 server and it runs fine--5.3 has a number of goodies like default, much better SMP support, etc.

      Check out the FreeBSD handbook andbook/index.html [] for info on all things FreeBSD, as well as Linux binary support.
      • by raadradd ( 685683 )
        though I'm running a 5.2.1 server and it runs fine--5.3 has a number of goodies like default

        Simply set X_WINDOW_SYSTEM=xorg in you /etc/make.conf, deinstall XFree86 and install Xorg. For more details check the 20040723 entry in /usr/ports/UPDATING.

    • Wait a month and take 5.3 final if it is your first.

      Or if you are really in a hurry, try 4.10.

      Keep in mind that one of the main problems with 4.x is the missing of 32-bits pcmcia support. So if you are on a laptop, 5.x is quite often the only way to go
    • Try FreeBSD out first. It has the nicest installer. Then take a spin through NetBSD and OpenBSD. The installers aren't as pretty, but the rest of the operating system is configured and operated pretty much the same across all of the BSDs. In general, I am very impressed with the state of documentation. There are numerous resources on the web (e.g. the FreeBSD handbook and documentation project), and the manual pages are unusually complete compared to your typical Linux distribution.

      You should prob

      • Binary updates (Score:4, Informative)

        by n0dez ( 657944 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @10:53AM (#10176831) Homepage
        Try these:

        FreeBSD Binary Updates []

        FreeBSD/KDE packages []

        FreeBSD/GNOME packages []

        Want more?
        BPM; a graphical ports collection manager for FreeBSD [] []
        • Thanks for the links. Unfortunately, while Colin Percival recently began providing updates for FreeBSD 5.x, he only builds updates for X86 architectures. The KDE and GNOME binary packages are likewise X86-only. But none of this matters even on X86, because if you are regularly cvsupping ports, up-to-date binary packages are not usually available. For example, the latest www/apache2 binary for FreeBSD 5.2.1 is Apache 2.0.48, which is vulnerable to denial of service attacks, yet 2.0.50 is in the current

          • I have ran into problems a few times when there were conflicting packages (eg: stuff that goes into the same place).

            It seems you want to be on the bleeding edge. For that, I recommend you upgrading the whole OS to either the -STABLE or -CURRENT branches (not meant to be used in a production system). Once you have upgraded your system, you will notice that there are up-to-date packages all the time.

            When a new FreeBSD RELEASE is about to be released (eg: FreeBSD 5.3 as of this writing), release engineers fr
      • Binary security updates have been available for a good 6 months now, maybe even longer. Check out the security/freebsd-update port for more info. It's not yet part of the official FreeBSD project, but it is on track to, hopefully, become so in the future.

        As for binary application availability, when you donate enough hardware to rebuild 11,700+ applications on a regular basis, then they'll be available. As is it, they have enough hardware in the ports build cluster to build the packages for each release,
    • Ok, I want to try one of the BSD's. Which one should I get? this FreeBSD? Or Which one would you recommend? Also, whre can I find some good documentation with the linux compatibility mode of the BSD's?

      I very much like OpenBSD. After trying out *lots* of Linux distros, including Redhat, SuSE, Debian and also FreeBSD and NetBSD, I feel comfortably "at home" with OpenBSD (which I started using at 2.5).

      OpenBSD is very clean. Code, system layout and documentation. They also go to great lengths to improve secu
  • bsdtar (Score:4, Informative)

    by FullMetalAlchemist ( 811118 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @12:54AM (#10174278)
    The bsdtar is so much better than gtar I think it will replace gtar even in most Linux distributions.
    It automatically handles compresson (like gzip and bzip2).

    My only beef with 5.X series is the fact that even though perl is out, it still is way too large; so I need to build my own releases for CD that doesn't have sendmail etc.
    No biggie but still a tad bit annoying.
    • Re:bsdtar (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Korpo ( 558173 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @03:39AM (#10175012)
      Well, I don't think quite so. Not because I think bsdtar has no technological merit. I've got good reason to believe so, because gtar is known to be not very good.

      The crdrecord guy rewrote gtar, because it is in a state where it is almost no longer maintainable. He committed his version. Maintainers were happy. But Stallman said: We've already got a working gtar and basta!

      At least that's what I've heard.

      Given that most distributors stick with the whole GNU package, bsdtar, whatever its merits are, is more likely to be an addon package, and not the default tar on any Linux distribution.

      It surely would make a nice /etc/alternatives option in Debian for tar, where it would integrate nicely! But Debian is always more flexible and open in a lot of respects (Debian GNU/BSD anyone? ;) ) than other distribs.
    • You've just piqued my interest... (Not about tar one-upmanship - but about building your own releases.)

      I would like to tailor my own pre-configured installation CD with only a very minimal BSD install and a single custom application... It feels as if this task is something BSDers might well have tackled previously... I was wondering if you could point me at a 'howto' kind of guide, and/or any tools which would likely be helpful in this task?

  • 5.3 question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Korpo ( 558173 )
    Out of curiosity and ignorance:

    Is FreeBSD 5.3, when it's finished, the new stable or the new current release, or both?

    I've read somewhere around here, that 5.3 should replace the 4.x series as stable, finally.

    So, is that true?
  • Don't get me wrong: I love BSD and I try to use and advocate it whenever I can.
    But the FreeBSD-project is to release a BETA now every week until October. Or at least, every other week.
    Are we going to see all of them announced on Slashdot ?
    • Why not? Recall the buildup towards the Linux 2.6 release. It seemed like twice a week for three months there was a major story about how it was ALMOST here...
      • > Recall the buildup towards the Linux 2.6 release.

        You may be right here.
        I think I just ignore those stories about the latest kernel, so I can say ;-)

  • I don't understand why the FreeBSD folk would already tag a FreeBSD 6 branch when 5.3 is not yet stable? Doesn't this just encourage developers to get distracted from stabilising the 5 branch? After all isn't Linus keeping people working on 2.6 to get it more stable and that is why there is no 2.7 yet []? This doesn't seem to be inline with their organized structured direction of the project... anyone want to shed light on the reasons? Perhaps it's a dumping ground for features that they can't seem to stabilis
    • FreeBSD has two binary mecanisms: one for the base system (security updates) provided through freebsd-update, and the package system which is an alternative to compiling the ports by yourself. The packages usually lag the ports by a few weeks.
    • by drmerope ( 771119 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @12:53PM (#10178463)
      The FreeBSD model has always been that features and patches are tested in -current and then merged down to -stable and tested some more until it comes time for the next release from -stable.

      This tiered approach exists to support three types of users: the developers (-current), sysadmin's test environment, impatient users (-stable), production environments, conservative users (-release).

      5.0, 5.1, 5.2.1 were all preview releases--somewhat stabilized snapshpts of -current. 5.3 should be available for general adoption.

      Thus, the existance of 6.0 does not reflect a change in developer focus but rather the adoption of conservativism on the 5.x branch (prior testing in -current required before merging) that is in keeping with it becoming a -stable branch from which real -releases are made. You can rest assured that bugs in 5.x will continue to be fixed and tested in 6.0-current and after some verification the fixed will be merged down to 5-Stable.

      FreeBSD also maintains a POLA (principle of least astonishment) which prohibits any major behavioral/interface/abi changes from appearing in a -stable branch. (Basically you are nearly certain that an application that runs properly on n.0 will run properly on n.10).

      6.0-Current exists as a proving ground for those features which would violate POLA.
  • by ivoras ( 455934 ) <ivoras.fer@hr> on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @04:51PM (#10181873) Homepage
    This article is a preliminary overview (work in progress) of major changes from the 4.x branch, and notes on upgrading. []

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore