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Software Operating Systems BSD

What's New In FreeBSD 7.0 103

blackbearnh writes "FreeBSD is about to release the much-anticipated version 7, and as usual there's a comprehensive interview with over two dozen of the major contributors over at O'Reilly's ONLamp site. Federico Biancuzzi interviewed the developers to discuss all the details of FreeBSD 7.0: networking and SMP performance, SCTP support, the new IPSEC stack, virtualization, monitoring frameworks, ports, storage limits and a new journaling facility, what changed in the accounting file format, jemalloc(), ULE, and more."
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What's New In FreeBSD 7.0

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  • by Ojuice ( 638639 )
    I wish there were nvidia drivers for amd64 :(
    • Me too. I was excited when I saw they had i386 drivers on FreeBSD (and I had been using the linux x64 ones for a while) but was more than slightly annoyed that they didn't have x64 FreeBSD drivers.

      Really, if you can do one, why is the other so much more trouble that you would ignore it?
      • by Fweeky ( 41046 )

        Really, if you can do one, why is the other so much more trouble that you would ignore it?
        Here's why []. Some appear to have been resolved, but many haven't.

        Feel free to hire a developer to get things moving.
        • Thanks for the info. While I don't have the abilities to do any of this, or the resources to "encourage" someone else to, it is nice to know that the problems preventing better i386 and any amd64 use are being worked on.

          Nice of them to specifically tell us what needs doing, though, rather than just sticking their thumbs up their * and doing nothing - which I would have expected.
  • No Xen Support? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by nbritton ( 823086 )
    * Does FreeBSD support Xen Dom0 yet?
    * Did they fix ZFS RAID-Z2 (double parity) support yet?
    * Is KDE 4 is ports yet?
    * What version of X.Org are they using, did they fix the dri/drm problems with ATI cards yet?
    • by tknd ( 979052 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @07:51PM (#22566422)

      I was toying around with Freebsd 7.0 RC3 just a few days ago, well actually I was testing it to see if ZFS was really working as claimed. A very basic installation to a 40gb disk went pretty quick (5 to 10 minutes). Rebooted into the installed system and everything was fine. Took an old 1.6gb drive I had and plugged it right in, recognized as /dev/da1 or whatever. Ran "zpool create tank da1" and BAM! /tank already mounted and ready to go. No stupid fdisk, no stupid format command, no fstab nonsense.

      Now I wouldn't run out and switch everything to freebsd 7 and zfs because work isn't finished. For example there's no ACL support since ZFS supports NFSv4 ACLs while freebsd only supports Posix1e. My next test will involve getting samba working and this may be a little tricky since there are some reports of issues with running samba on ZFS. But all of the available reports are quite old (half a year or older). I don't really care about the ACLs because I just intend to use the system as a single user and a convenient area to dump my files on a bunch of disks that all conveniently appear as one along with some redundancy (better than just a bunch of disks and raid5).

      • Yes, but does ZFS RAID-Z2 work yet? The last time I tried it (FreeBSD 7-RC1) I got a kernel panic right off the bat. The test system was a 16 disk array using two Supermicro AOC-SAT2-MV8 cards (Marvell Hercules-2 PCI-X chipset). This same system worked perfectly fine using Solaris Express 10/07.
        • by Fweeky ( 41046 )
          Using Broadcom ServerWorks motherboard chipset? Some pretty serious DMA bugs in the HT1000 were worked around pretty recently, not sure if they made it to RC1. There were also reports of problems with the Marvell SATA chipset used on that card, though mine works fine for what little use I have of it.
        • by Daniel_E ( 75554 )
          raidz2 is working just fine on a 10 disk array I set up a few months ago.
      • I can tell you from first-hand experience that whatever the samba issues were, they've since been fixed. I've run ZFS with Samba as my home fileserver with 7.0RC1 and had no issues.
    • I switched from Gentoo Linux on my server to FreeBSD solely for ZFS.

      Yes, I'm running FreeBSD on a SPARC for ZFS. Not Solaris. LONG story; nothing against Solaris.


  • I have to ask... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lally Singh ( 3427 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @07:17PM (#22565992) Journal
    I mean this as advocacy bait :-D

    Why would I choose FreeBSD over, say, Solaris x86 or Linux?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by misleb ( 129952 )

      Why would I choose FreeBSD over, say, Solaris x86 or Linux?

      You probably wouldn't unless you were one of those people who gets all excited about the difference between GPL an BSD licensing.

      • not sure about freeBSD, but I know openssh came from openBSD. The reputed security there and throughout the rest of the OS can provide great peace of mind to those of us who are paranoid. if my memory serves correctly it was generally more lightweight from a default install than a linux distro would be, I know openBSD is still a very minimal install because I've used it more recently. I overcome the default loaded crap on most linux distros by using arch linux myself. does any one know how much of the netwo
        • by misleb ( 129952 )

          not sure about freeBSD, but I know openssh came from openBSD. The reputed security there and throughout the rest of the OS can provide great peace of mind to those of us who are paranoid. if my memory serves correctly it was generally more lightweight from a default install than a linux distro would be, I know openBSD is still a very minimal install because I've used it more recently. I overcome the default loaded crap on most linux distros by using arch linux myself. does any one know how much of the netw

          • Last I checked, OpenBSD suffered some serious problems under heavy load.
            Citation needed.
          • Any time I install a FreeBSD box I have to jam pack it full of ports before it is useful... so what's the point?

            So many things I could say, but ...

            This sounds more like a user issue. The idea of a minimal install (OS independant) is that you can build the box exactly how you want it, rather than dropping some stinking great GUI lump on it. If you want a desktop in FreeBSD, start with minimal, then pkg_add CTWM, OO, Mplayer, Firefox, and Thunderbird, keeping in mind that any deps are automatically matched

      • by sremick ( 91371 )
        There's a lot more that differentiates FreeBSD than its licensing. For some people/situations, that might be a priority, but it wasn't for me and I still went with FreeBSD. Same with countless other people/companies.
        • by misleb ( 129952 )

          There's a lot more that differentiates FreeBSD than its licensing. For some people/situations, that might be a priority, but it wasn't for me and I still went with FreeBSD. Same with countless other people/companies.

          If you say so. I just know that I have setup my share of Linux and FreeBSD servers and quite frankly, they feel more or less like different distributions of the same OS to me. I mean, they all run the exact same software (Postfix, Apache, Lighttpd, Rails, PHP, etc) The only thing that differs

          • by sremick ( 91371 )
            I agree that on the surface, the differences can sometimes seem trivial (minor differences in commands), political (licenses), or just obscure (claims of stability, performance, etc). However that last one is major. There is a lot different under the hood, and just because something doesn't translate well to a consistent reproducible metric or an earth-shattering feature, doesn't mean it's not worthwhile.

            Some people don't look beneath the surface, so unless something has massive obvious user-side difference
    • by Enleth ( 947766 ) <> on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @08:20PM (#22566776) Homepage
      You probably would, if you liked it, if not for any other reason. For most use cases, wether The Right Tool for The Job(tm) is Linux, BSD, Solaris or just about anything else should be determined by asking the people due to be in charge what they feel most comfortable with. And that's it. If you don't expect to push the system to its limits in a very specific way, fear a particular kind of attack vectors or require in-kernel support for this or that newfangled widget, be it hardware or software, and don't consider some platform a burden in the case of staff turnover, the most sensible choice is really what the staff would like to work with.

      Actually, in most other cases it's even easier, because there often is an industry standard - e.g. half (warning: that's an educated guess, that is, a number pulled out of my, er, back pocket, representing something close to reality in a simplified, but suitable way) of the banks and other financial institutions tend to use Solaris a lot (the other half using IBM stuff) just because a tried way of doing things for them and there's no point in changing that.

      And if you want an OS for personal use, feel free to choose on any basis you like, from the license to the number of lines of code to the project founder's hair color - just be careful not to become a brainwashed zealot...
      • Re:I have to ask... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @08:30PM (#22566872)
        Just a bit of statistics that might help you understand where FreeBSD is used en-masse besides Yahoo! (only other one I can think of right now):

        I work for a company that solely employs FreeBSD at financial institutions across the US (and one site in Hyderabad, India). Here's the run-down (warning, these statistics were compiled in less than an hour, solely for this post; I just did a quick head-count via our named DNS records):

        3,483 FreeBSD systems employed by Bank of America
        1,544 for PNC
        872 for Wells Fargo
        around 100 or so for Mellon
        around 500 or so for JPMorgan Chase

        I'm forgetting a few... but you get the point.

        Seems to be a big hit in the financial institutions. BTW, all systems mentioned are used for check processing in wholesale lockbox sites.

        (crossing my fingers that this information isn't confidential, lol)
    • This is going to sound snarky, but it's not intended that way- if you don't already know the answer to that, you probably aren't going to choose FreeBSD. The reason I say that is because the advantages of FreeBSD are really only relevant at the point where you're making your living off of the care and feeding of servers, and even there it seems to be largely opinions or software availability that drive the decision between UNIX variants and Linux. Some say that BSD is better put together than Linux (I disag
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ImustDIE ( 689509 )
      I can't speak for Solaris, but I've used various Linux distros quite a bit (both for servers and desktops). I absolutely love FreeBSD. Having everything unified and maintained by one group brings consistency that you just don't find in linux. Ports is amazing; it has over 17,000 packages iirc and you can be sure they will 'just work', installing everything in just the right places (consistency!), automatically installing prereqs, and even compiling from source if you wish. Like others have mentioned: i
      • I really wonder why more people don't prefer FreeBSD.
        I do, but I had to switch to Linux because:
        • FreeBSD 6.2 didn't support HW 3D acceleration on my ATI;
        • ACPI support (suspend/resume) didn't work well;
        • KDE/freeBSD had too many quirks.
      • Just a little curious as to why you're still using pkg_add instead of portupgrade?

        For example, your "two commands" could just be one command, `portupgrade -R gnome2`, after which it'll figure out what else needs to be installed that you don't have and take care of it all.

        Do you use cvsup or cvsup-without-gui []? I'd hope so....
        • Or rather, `portinstall -R gnome2` for a new installation. You'd have to add a -N to the portupgrade command if you wanted it to install if it doesn't exist already. Of course, the two progams are actually the exact same program, sharing a man page.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by a_nonamiss ( 743253 )
      I have to answer this seriously, as I recently started using FreeBSD for two specific projects, and I'm loving it. First and foremost, it's great when you know EXACTLY what you need to do. I'm speaking here of FreeNAS [] and pfSense []. Both are designed to be embedded and run on FreeBSD, and both were designed to do very specific tasks. Both will install entirely on and boot directly from any garden variety USB flash drive. Because the memory footprint is so small, they run by loading the entire OS into a RAMdri
    • I've actually used it as an alternative desktop for the past few years. All I ever have to do on that particular machine is write documents, float around the net, and use some open-source science applications- there's no reason for me to upgrade the hardware for things that are that trivial. I tried installing Ubuntu later and Gentoo on the same box, but they both failed (not enough RAM, supposedly). FreeBSD went on without a hitch. Later, I picked up an old UltraSparc free from a friend. Debian and Gentoo
    • I mean this as advocacy bait :-D

      Why would I choose FreeBSD over, say, Solaris x86 or Linux?
      It's a whole operating system. The different pieces actually fits together.
  • FreeBSD has been around for a long time and I am surprised when more people don't get on the band wagon and support it. Does anyone know if they have FreeBSD support for virtual machines like vmware esx or gsx? FreeBSD is a great server environment for anybody that's looking for something easy and secure.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Are you asking if you can run FreeBSD in VMware? or are you asking if VMware has vmware-tools for support in FreeBSD?

      Either way, the answer to both is "Yes". I've run almost every conceivable version of FreeBSD in both VMware ESX and GSX and they also make vmware-tools to be installed (via the fake CD-ROM that you can mount via the menu bar) so that you can get better resolutions of video etc. etc.
    • FreeBSD has Linux 2.4.x binary support built into it, as well as support for the 2.6.x branch is almost complete.
    • Re:FreeBSD Rant (Score:4, Informative)

      by Heavy Machinery ( 65932 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @10:50PM (#22568196) Homepage
      Check out page 25 of this document: []

      According to the Guest OS compatibility table, FreeBSD 6.2 is supported on VMWare Workstation 6.0.2 and VMWare ACE 2.0.2

      Having said that, VMWare guest is running on a fairly standard sort of virtualised platform. With VMWare ESX 3.5 you can use a Buslogic virtual scsi controller or an LSI virtual scsi controller. So you may have to do some fiddling to get FreeBSD to load the appropriate device driver (don't ask me how, I've only ever done generic installs of FreeBSD)

      VMWare ESX Server 3.5 will (officially) support:
        * Ubuntu Linux 7.04
        * Solaris 10 for x86
        * Suze Linux Enterprise Server 10
        * Redhat Enterprise Linux 5
      and various other OSs...

      I've been using ESX 3.5 on an HP DL385 G2 with dual core Opterons and 8GB of RAM, I wonder if that is powerful enough to run Vista as a guest OS... :-)
    • I love FreeBSD and all, but if you FreeBSD doesn't support VMWare as a host. Someone hacked an old version of the player to work in FreeBSD, but it only works in i386 non-SMP kernels. It's works fine as a guest though. However, if you want to run FreeBSD guests on a FreeBSD host there is always jails, which are chroot on steroids. Maybe it's more like KVM. Eventually the Xen port from NetBSD's implementation will be done.

      That's the good thing about the BSD, three separate project with three separate desi
  • by bconway ( 63464 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @08:40PM (#22566948) Homepage
    This is kind of old news, but we ran into it at work today. Within the past couple weeks, Firefox 3 has imported FreeBSD 7's (je)malloc for its superior multithreaded performance and non-fragmentation. []

    More info on jemalloc: [] (near the bottom, under "Userland enhancements") []
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ruinevil ( 852677 )
      If only FreeBSD's threading didn't break Wine's support for Blizzard games...

      I couldn't play Starcraft D:. I hear WoW works with it though.
      • The Wine breakage is most likely down to how Linux implements pthreads - there are some grey areas in the POSIX threads spec, where things could be more strictly enforced such as double locking or freeing of mutexes. Linux takes a less stringent approach than FreeBSD and NetBSD, accepting such common coding mistakes, whereas the kernel and libc threading code in the BSD's will print an error and dump core. Being a fan of such things as rigidly type safe languages and compilers that offer a high degree of wa

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm not in IT, not a computer geek... but I did switch from Windows a long time ago (97) just because it made no sense to me as an OS. Also, I always had older/slower hardware too, so windows was a no-no...

    So I started off with Caldera Open Linux (ew), dual boot... then went to Red Hat for a few weeks, and finally stayed with FreeBSD for many years. The ease of software install was what made the difference (although having to recompile a kernel to get sound working was a strange experience since I didn't kn
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As coincidence would have it, DragonFly BSD 1.12.0 was released today. As a fork of FreeBSD, I'm curious if anyone could compare and contrast the progress made by each project. I'd be especially interested in hearing how the DragonFly developers feel about their different path now that they are several years down the road. I realize it must be slow going at first, but are they really seeing the benefits they thought/hoped they might see with this different design philosophy? Is there anything that hasn'
  • After 48 posts, not one has opened a discussion specific to TFA. Other than to say RTFA.

    Linux Vs BSD is a moot argument, I have my preference, and I'm not going to change because yours differs. Similarly, no amount of bible bashing is going to convince me that man and dinosaurs walked together 2000 years ago!

    To get on topic... (no I am not new here) :p

    I am running RC1 ATM, and will upgrade to the final as soon as it is out. I'd like to know if anyone has successfully implemented RAID-z yet, and
    • A number of changes are merely fixes, starting off with network performance.

      I'm shocked to see FreeBSD claiming to be the reference implementation of SCTP. It's been in Linux for years.

      Performance monitoring is of course old hat.

      Heh. A "large number of CPUs" is 8+ to you. Linux is struggling to handle 16384. (yes, SMP-style NUMA with 1 OS image)

      Tmpfs is way old.

      ARM architecture is of course way old. Niagra is old too.

      Wow, "(as seen in Solaris & others)" for the fine-grained permissions stuff. Can't ment
      • Thanks :)

        I must say, when I saw the details in your reply, I was glad that someone had read my post and taken it seriously. But, I noticed quite quickly that very few of your comments seemed relevant. To the point that I think you read a different article (?).

        Performance monitoring, of course is old hat to all (?) OS's. The specifics, as discussed in TFA are way over my head, but I don't mind trying to understand for the sake of conversation. I don't mean to be argumentative when I say that the inte

        • Well one of the most common SATA controllers, the Silicon Graphics family, are totally borked in all flavors of BSD. Is that fixed yet?
          • You should ask the FreeBSD mail list, this is /. no one even Rs'TFA, let alone research outside the material provided.
        • I read over more than one article. One was more interview-like, one was a listing of FreeBSD 7 highlights, etc.

          Performance monitoring in this case means taking advantage of CPU-specific monitoring ability. (the Pentium 4 needs a different driver from the Core architecture, which in turn needs a different one from AMD's stuff) It's nice, but old hat to Linux. (with oprofile being the standard Linux interface and perfmon being an alternate)

          "Wow" is an expression of amazement. The author was happy to announce
      • I'm shocked to see FreeBSD claiming to be the reference implementation of SCTP. It's been in Linux for years.

        With a quick glance I don't see where Randall claims FreeBSD to be the reference implementation for SCTP but notice that Randall's name is also on the RFC's for the protocol.

    • by jgrahn ( 181062 )

      Opinions on STCP Vs TCP?


      It appears to be loved by Telecom people, so a fair guess is that it sucks. The Wikipedia article references horrors like the OSI model, the SS7 protocols and Diameter -- not encouraging.

  • Why FreeBSD??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @10:53PM (#22568236) Journal
    Lots of people are asking why FreeBSD. There's a simple answer. Not comprehensive, not all-encompassing, but a decently accurate and sufficient answer for most cases.

    FreeBSD is just plain ol' Unix. No bells, no whistles (except ZFS--Fancy!), just Unix as it always was. And sometimes, that's exactly the right answer to a problem.
  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @09:51AM (#22572466) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot shows like all BSD news as just a collapsed article... is that my settings (I get Linux and MS and OSX and Vista stuff), or it it just because nobody gives a shit?
    • It's so that only the ppl who care will visit it. This way people who are only here to troll are inclined to go elsewhere ;p (Usually anyway)
  • Hi You can download the freebsd 7.0 release iso images from (please prefer mirrors) or download torrent file from [] Good luck...

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court