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FreeBSD 6.4 Released 64

hmallett writes "FreeBSD 6.4-RELEASE, the fifth release from the 6-STABLE branch of FreeBSD development, is now available. In addition to being hosted at 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 6.4 Released

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  • Oblig (Score:1, Redundant)

    Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Alive! It's alive! It's alive!
  • by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @10:34AM (#25959055) Journal

    I can't remember (and am too lazy to look at the timestamps on the website), but the ISOs were out the day before or after Thanksgiving (US). Pretty sure it was the day before.

    I think it's only a month or two behind schedule, that's not bad for the FreeBSD team. Then again, they make a good product, between their releases being on time, and their releases being their usual high quality, I'm glad to have the high quality instead.

    • Yes, the announcement was on 28th November, but no-one had submitted it here. 7.1 has been delayed a bit further due to a couple of problems, but I'd rather they fix them than release prematurely.
    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @11:15AM (#25959683) Journal
      No one really cares about 6.4. The people who really, really, care about stability might decide to run 6.4, but most of the stability-conscious people will just run 6-STABLE and not care about releases. The people who want new features are running 7.0 or 7-STABLE and are waiting for 7.1. The people on the cutting edge are running 8-CURRENT.
      • by Ded Bob ( 67043 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @12:34PM (#25960985) Homepage

        Actually, stability-conscious people will be running either RELENG_6_4 or RELENG_7_1 (once 7.1 is complete). You may call them the super-stability-conscious people. :) -STABLE branches just refer to the ABI being stable, but they are still development branches. They do tend to be more stable then CURRENT since the code must survive CURRENT for an amount of time before being merged into STABLE.

        Personally, I run 7-STABLE (RELENG_7) on all my systems with HEAD in a VM or two.

        • by Deagol ( 323173 )
          I'm tracking RELENG_7_1 at the moment (7.1-PRERELEASE). I actually jumped from RELENG_7_0 when I saw a post on some list from pjd saying that the ZFS v13 stuff had been committed. Needless to say I was disappointed. Are the new ZFS updated in 7-STABLE, or would I need to track HEAD to test that stuff?
          • by Fweeky ( 41046 )

            Yeah, the latest ZFS is in 8-CURRENT; it's far too new for RELENG_7, never mind RELENG_7_1.

            If you don't want to bother with the commit mailing lists, you can track this stuff using FreshBSD []. You could have an RSS feed which tracks commits to RELENG_7 mentioning ZFS in the message, if you wanted to.

        • Actually what do you use for VMing on a FreeBSD host? I thought the only thing that worked was un-accelerated qemu. KVM is barely usable, Xen dom0 and VirtualBox aren't even betas. I'd use FreeBSD for a lot more hosts if it at least supported kvm properly, and that project is nowhere near done.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            KQEMU has had a FreeBSD port for a long time. There's even an OpenBSD port now.

            • Is there a solution to the Linux guest disk IO slowdown on FreeBSD qemu? kqemu or not, I can't get a usable Linux guest. Even a minimal Debian install takes almost an hour, as opposed to 5 minutes in KVM on Linux. This bug has been reported for over a year, and it's believed to be a qemu bug, but the same version on Linux is unaffected or already fixed.

  • and keeps on ticking. It is a robust little devil. Of course, a few admins will be torn whether to give up a couple of years of uptime for the new patches.

    • I've never understood the whole I-never-rebooted-for-this-long penis measuring contest.
      • Re:Takes a licking (Score:4, Insightful)

        by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @12:46PM (#25961209) Journal

        Sometimes it's because you're running critical shit. Sometimes it's because you're running critical shit and the last person with reboot experience retired 10 years ago.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Use CARP and update each server individually. Just because individual hosts go down for a reboot (which should be very quick anyway), doesn't mean your service should.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ld a,b ( 1207022 )

        It is supposed to be good for servers, it comes from an age when an uptime of a day was pretty good for a UNIX system(see the unix haters' handbook). Now it is a measure of the amount of widely known security holes the admin is willing to leave open.
        Your servers should have an uptime of 365/6 days a year, but that should be achieved by having a redundant array of servers that you update regularly, not by having a single server that you never reboot.

      • by trouser ( 149900 )

        The rules are really simple.

        1. uptime * some arbitrary multiplier = cock length
        2. some crap about fight club
        3. .....
        4. profit

      • Evidently you are a Windows user with a small penis length, then, I infer :)

        - a FreeBSD server admin with 250-days uptime

  • by Cthefuture ( 665326 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @10:38AM (#25959121)

    VMware is the one application I simply can not do without. Is there anything equivalent for FreeBSD?

    I used to run BSD a bit back in the 90's and I have long wanted to run it as my workstation OS, especially now to get ZFS. However, without a good virtualization solution there is no way.

    • QEmu with KQEmu works nice, but I don't think it has all the features of VMWare, if it has the features you want/need, it is an excellent app though.

      • It's true, qemu works excellently, the only reason that it is not as popular as VMWare, virtual box or virtual PC is because of the crappy mouse support. The choppy mouse can be annoying, but it's not a problem at all if you're not running X.
        • I don't have any choppy mouse issues with KQEmu under X. QEmu (without the kernel mod) did, but it was incredibly slow.

      • by Ded Bob ( 67043 )

        I wish VMWare would consider FreeBSD for host-support, however, I think Qemu is catching up with VMWare. This is referring to Workstation. For servers, FreeBSD jails are advancing quite a bit. If the plan is to run FreeBSD servers, I would prefer jails over VMWare.

        Speaking of jails, they now have support for multiple IP's per jail as of revision 185435 []. It also adds support for IPv6 addresses to jails.

        For a nice front-end to Qemu, I recommend AQemu [].

    • by paulhar ( 652995 )

      Run FreeBSD inside of VMware instead? In my case I'm on a laptop so get much better hardware support from Windows, but can run BSD quite happily full screen, and you can run other VMware images at the same time, memory and CPU permitting.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm a big freebsd user (not desktop but server). I'm waiting for zfs to become MATURE on the non-sun boxes. from all I've read it is NOT ready for prime time. some really bad memory problems seem to still be there and they are throwing horsepower at it but it sounds like a losing game. its not ready yet (not for my multi TB home video/audio collection!). I do trust raid5 and jfs and that's been doing fine for me but zfs will totally replace that - ONCE it gets ooops-proof on intel/amd and bsd.

      not sure

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @11:58AM (#25960381)

        ZFS memory problems are on 32bit architectures. It was developed for 64bit and it needs some room. Some hard limits on 32bit platforms need to be tweaked so it fits. Use a 64bit system with zfs.

        Samba is optimized for the linux network stack and you need different options for your FreeBSD6. Seems to work better with FreeBSD7. I d wish the developer wouldnt assume that everything works like on their local linux box.

      • by Mooglie ( 919378 )
        I've had problems with Samba under FreeBSD 7.0 with my new server. As the onboard network adapter (Atheros L1E) wasn't yet supported (the driver appeared 1 week after I got the hardware), I installed a cheap RTL8139 adapter. It ended up that the driver of this network adapter had problems under load and it's what caused Samba to be slow. With the onboard adapter that is now supported, there is no more problem with Samba.
      • by Fweeky ( 41046 )

        The kmem exhaustion issues are mostly if you fail to tune the ARC cache to not, er, exhaust it. CURRENT has largely resolved the issue by making kernel VM space much larger; previously it's been limited to about 1.5GB, even on 64bit.

        If it does exhaust kmem, it's not at risk of nuking the filesystem, especially with the ZIL, it's just an irritating reboot.

        Other than that, well, people are using FreeBSD/ZFS in production today; even the FreeBSD package building cluster uses it, making use of snapshots to pro

        • by Fweeky ( 41046 )

          (I also haven't experienced any problems with Samba; I easily break 60MB/s. what NIC do you have?)

          • the right kind of nic! seriously. I use eepro1000's when I can, usually pci-e based these days.

            bsd sees it as em0 (of course). mobo is a badaxe2 975x system which is typically stable as can be.

            I see LOTS of timeouts but only on samba. scp and the others seem to fly ok, so its in the samba/cifs stack I would think.

            both linux as a client and xp as a client show bsd (as a samba server) to be really slow. I have not tuned the system but I don't tune it for linux, either.

            • by Fweeky ( 41046 )

              I use a quad port PCI-X Intel Pro/1000 in this machine, and Samba with UFS2 or ZFS is mostly limited by the disk. The only tuning I've done is "socket options = TCP_NODELAY".

    • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @01:25PM (#25961907) Homepage Journal

      However, without a good virtualization solution there is no way.

      This doesn't directly address your problem with VMWare, but FreeBSD's self-virtualization (aka "jails") is outstanding. Our standard deployment now is to build a beefy server with a minimal install, then use jails (via "ezjail") to carve it into multiple production servers. When the system starts to slow, we shuffle the jails around to different hardware as appropriate.

      The only thing I dislike about jails today, in practice, is that each can only be assigned one IPv4 address. The new virtualized network stack should allow multiple IPv4 and IPv6 addresses per jail but it's not available on -STABLE yet. Once that's in place, FreeBSD jails will be the perfect virtual server arrangement for our workload.

      Again, that doesn't help you if you're needing to run Windows or Linux VMs (although you can make a jail based on, say, Debian running on the native FreeBSD kernel's emulation layer), but it's extremely useful for consolidating multiple servers onto a machine.

      • by dgym ( 584252 )
        Jails are great, but if you do need to run other operating systems on the same machine then you can always run Linux KVM, with FreeBSD as a guest.

        I've just tested this release and the installation went flawlessly under KVM.
  • by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @11:38AM (#25960063) Journal

    This is Disk 1. Please install Disk 2 and select OK to continue.
    This is Disk 2. Please install Disk 1 and select OK to continue.
    This is Disk 1. Please install Disk 2 and select OK to continue.
    This is Disk 2. Please install Disk 1 and select OK to continue.
    This is Disk 1. Please install Disk 2 and select OK to continue.
    This is Disk 2. Please install Disk 1 and select OK to continue.
    * repeat 50+ more times *

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hedwards ( 940851 )

      Or you could just try installing a more common set of packages. Or you could just use the DVD release. Or you could always just use ports, packages aren't really meant to be used except in the case of excessively large programs or on boxes without a whole lot of memory or processing power.

      I've been using FreeBSD for nearly a decade and I've never encountered that particular problem.

      That being said, it's not like Linux installers are that great. The fact that they can't seem to get partitioning correct after

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 )

        Ahem. You not having encountered the problem doesn't make the parent's complaint any more or less valid.

        Also, your attacks on "Linux installers" are uncalled for and off-topic. We're talking about the FreeBSD CD installer here.

        I guess there is a part of your post that is insightful, but most of it is off-topic, and I would have modded it accordingly.

      • by Hatta ( 162192 )

        I should be able to clear a partition and then have it automatically sliced up into useful portions without having to boot in the middle of the process.

        Use Debian, this works just fine. I haven't installed anything but Debian recently, do other distros installers really suck that bad? Given all the shit Debian gets for its installer, I'd figure other installers would be at least as capable. Which distro are you talking about specifically?

        Debian even gives you the choice of using one big partition with swa

      • by MLS100 ( 1073958 )
        And if he is installing to a low CPU power machine with no DVD drive and no/slow net access?

        This is the only reason people are even interested in the CD installer in the first place.

        Just because Linux installers can't handle partitioning in the way you'd like automagically (what the hell does this have to do with the OP's problem?), doesn't mean BSD shouldn't have to fix their CD installer.
      • Err...where's the DVD "release" ? All I could find was some stuff on *creating* dvds and some discussion shunning the idea of having a dvd release. Nothing on their official site as per a dvd "release" is concerned. And Sherlock, when was the last time you installed a linux distribution ? You got baseless arguments against installation of linux distros ( fuck, you just used a windows analogy to hide the problems caused by freebsd installation.)
    • Your problem is outdated. (Well, kind of.)

      There is a DVD installer and there is this commit that is supposed to fix excessive disk swapping: []

      (It is in 6-STABLE, 7-STABLE, and 8-CURRENT. It will be in every upcoming REALSE including 7.1. 6.4 barely got missed, but who does new installs from 6.X anyhow?)

    • Hmmm, don't know about 6.4, but I installed it a few months back and I can say I ran into this problem :) Had lots of fun swaping cds.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.