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Announcements Operating Systems Software BSD

FreeBSD 7.2 Released 204

An anonymous reader writes "The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE. This is the third release from the 7-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 7.1 and introduces some new features. Some of the highlights: Support for fully transparent use of superpages for application memory; Support for multiple IPv4 and IPv6 addresses for jails; csup(1) now supports CVSMode to fetch a complete CVS repository; Gnome updated to 2.26, KDE updated to 4.2.2; Sparc64 now supports UltraSparc-III processors. For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the online release notes and errata list." Adds another anonymous reader, "You can grab the latest version from FreeBSD from the mirrors or via BitTorrent. There is also a quick review of the new features and upgrade instructions."
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FreeBSD 7.2 Released

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  • by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @05:04AM (#27813463) Homepage

    Cheers !

  • Re:Jails (Score:5, Informative)

    by _merlin ( 160982 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @05:13AM (#27813503) Homepage Journal

    FreeBSD Jails [] are a kind of light-weight server partitioning scheme, in the same vein as Solaris Zones [].

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @06:52AM (#27813859) Journal
    You know that those binary nVidia drivers also run on Solaris and FreeBSD, right? And that PC-BSD includes them on the install CD?
  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04, 2009 @06:54AM (#27813867)

    "and ports, while a cool idea, seems pretty creaky in practice"
    "any many packages (even fairly "major" ones) were pretty out-of-date"
    "Sadly, the ports collection felt kind of like a 2nd-class add-on"

    Dude, what are you talking about ? Non of this is true!
    If you tried the ports that come with 7.1-RELEASE they are several months old, this is normal, they come with the release. If you want up-to-date software you just need to update the ports collection, this is done via the csup(1) utility. Please try to get a little bit deeper into FreeBSD before talking bullshit about it!

  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04, 2009 @07:09AM (#27813937)

    Sadly, the ports collection felt kind of like a 2nd-class add-on (and I gather, that's essentially what it is). Even though there are many packages in debian where the maintainer should probably be doing a better job, on average debian's package collection feels a lot more solid to me that what freebsd has in ports...

    I don't mean to slam your dick in the door, but one cannot compare ports (apples) to packages (oranges).

    Now before you fire back with, "But Debian says packages are both source and binaries !", allow me to reply, "Damn you, Debian." Seriously, though -- apt-get from Debian uses either source packages (equivalent to freebsd ports) or binary packages (equivalent to freebsd packages), depending on the commands you feed to it.

    Here's how FreeBSD separates source installs from binary installs:

    Ports: Slower source installs compiled on your machine with make.conf optimizations for your system's architecture. Gentoo (portage/emerge) and Debian (apt-get) have Jordan Hubbard (now working for Apple on Darwin) to thank for these. Quick explanation below in the code quote:

    Ports are just a dump directory in usr/ports/<appcategory>/<appname> with a Makefile which automatically fetches(ftp) the application source code and saves it to /usr/distfiles/<appname>/, either from a local disk, CD-ROM or via ftp, unpacks it on your system, applies the patches, and compiles using a folder named usr/ports/<appcategory>/<appname>/work.

    Installation process for installing imaginary app "slashdot" (assuming you have the ports tree installed on your system):

    • shell% cd /usr/ports/web/slashdot
    • shell% make clean && make install clean

    Packages: Fast binary install that is compiled on someone else's system with their choice of "make config" options, for their architecture; usually a very generic build. These use pkg_tools to install, delete, get info for these binary packages.
    Installation process for installing imaginary app "slashdot":

    • shell% pkg_add -r [pkg name]

    When i say slow and fast for install speeds, these comments are relative to two things: source install and binary install. Source compilation time for monolithic packages like firefox3,, xorg, gnome2, etc. take upwards or 6 hours to several days depending on the system doing the compiling. The loss in program responsiveness by using a generic binary package install may be worth it(unnoticeable) to save 3 says compile time. With computers getting faster, optimizations are less noticeable, etc., however, programs also demand more resources as time goes on, andso this may be a wash; and one STILL may want to compile certain programs for their own machine.

    My main beefs were not with the infrastructure, which seemed OK, but that the package maintenance seemed pretty spotty: many many packages (even fairly "major" ones) were pretty out-of-date, even compared to e.g. debian stable

    The reason for binary package apathy on FreeBSD, as I see it, is as follows. Most people that use FreeBSD don't care about binary packages beyond the base package for a RELEASE branch install from ftp or cd/dvd. For all other programs, most users will compile from source using ports and fetch new versions using portsnap, and lastly upgrade to said new versions using portupgrade. For aforementioned monolithic programs like, one may want to just bite the bullet and avoid a 3 day compile (which currently takes up ~12 gigs of space) including several license agreements, etc. to compile the beast, and just install a precompiled binary package from the "ooo" site.

    With that said, most ports maintainers are fairly quick to release the latest version of a port, and some even maintain not only the release port of a program, but the beta. e.g. there is a firefox3(curren

  • by Koutarou ( 38114 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @07:16AM (#27813967)

    The ZFS in 7.2 is v6, and pretty much can't be brought up to date without breaking 7.x ABI.

    ZFS v13 is in 8-CURRENT and pretty much is as production-ready as what's in opensolaris.

    Don't expect miracles on a 32-bit platform. The opensolaris people don't recommend it on their 32-bit codebase either.

  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @07:53AM (#27814129) Journal
    All of the FreeBSD ports can be compiled to binary packages, and you can easily mix and match between ports and packages. If you provide the -P flag to portupgrade / portinstall, it will use the binary package if one is available for your architecture, and fall back to building from source if not.
  • Re:just my two cents (Score:4, Informative)

    by ( 653730 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @08:46AM (#27814495)

    Are you aware that Linux 2.6.3 is 5 years old? Linux increased the default group limit in the following release, 2.6.4, to 65536 []

  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:3, Informative)

    by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @09:32AM (#27814899)

    I don't get it either. As if I'd want FreeBSD to be a desktop OS.
    Desktop OS's are supposed to be ready for the desktop. Not FreeBSD.

    That's...not altogether true. Though maybe kind of. It depends a good deal on how you view computers. If a person views computers as simply a tool, a means to do something mainly concerning the "real world" and events surrounding it, but of no interest as to the computer plus software in and of itself, then that person would probably be better-served with something with Windows installed or with an Apple system.

    People who have more of an interest in, for various reasons, or fascination with, the computer and its' software and want/need to have a different system are more likely to take a different path as the features and openness that some other systems provide may not be available in the common PC/Mac machines.

    Many of those peoples' needs are met by linux, then there are others that have OS needs or wants that lead them to other systems.

    I suspect many are like myself that have multiple OS's installed and use whatever works best for a specific task.

    (I currently have Mandriva '08, PC-BSD 7.1/Galileo, XP-ProSP3 on this box, and also an SGI Octane workstation running IRIX UNIX 6.5.30. XP for a lot of gaming and some few other tasks/software that are still Windows-only or Windows-best.)

    My PC-BSD system is amazingly friendly for a FreeBSD-based desktop, maybe rivaling or even surpassing Ubuntu in some ways IMHO. The PC-BSD packaging system using click-to-install ".PBI" packages (as well as having the ports system with some cool GUI port-managers available) is getting to be quite usable by the less computer-savvy user.

    The automatic updates manager is no slouch either and seems to work great with both system & .PBI-package updates with little hassle. Features/development seems to be chugging right along also, as PC-BSD now is commercially-sponsored by iXsystems a "Provider of enterprise servers for open source and corporate sponsor of PC-BSD".

    I have high hopes here as so far (I've been using PC-BSD since about version 0.76RC(?) or so), as PC-BSD has gotten to be very nice and easy to use to the point where I'm more comfortable there than Mandriva's desktop system as far as a non-MS desktop system with comparable features, simplicity, and ease-of-use. Of course this is purely anecdotal, but I do think PC-BSDs' version of a FreeBSD-based desktop is worth checking out if you're interested in a non-MS/Apple/Linux-based desktop system. No, I'm not associated with PC-BSD, iXsystems, or anyone affiliated with either in any way or have any interest other than as a user.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04, 2009 @09:56AM (#27815119)

    Still no amd64 Nvidia though. This has been outstanding for 3 years: []

  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @10:11AM (#27815281) Journal

    What about removal of packages?

    Ports provide a build skeleton for creating packages. Every port comes with a list of installed files and potentially an uninstall script. You can remove them with make deinstall in the port directive or with pkg_deinstall / pkg_delete, just as you can with binary packages.

    Impression I had that ports is just a nice front-end for "./configure && make && make install".

    Yes, it is (and various other build systems). And providing uninstall support is part of the difference between a nice front end and a trivial front end.

  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:3, Informative)

    by value_added ( 719364 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @10:47AM (#27815723)

    My main beefs were not with the infrastructure, which seemed OK, but that the package maintenance seemed pretty spotty:

    Could we get a less vague or subjective characterisation? The general concensus by FreeBSD users (and one shared by myself), especially those coming from a Linux background, is that the ports system Just Works(TM). As for the tools to manage installed ports or package, there's certainly plenty to choose from. By that I mean the issue, if there is one, is generally one of "preference" rather than functionality; put simply, they all work.

    many many packages (even fairly "major" ones) were pretty out-of-date, even compared to e.g. debian stable

    To the extent that the "many many" qualifier has any meaning, I'd really be interested in your naming just a few of these "major" ports.

    and in many cases they were installed as monolithic chunks where a bit of judicious splitting would have been very helpful -- for example, an otherwise fairly dependency-free library that happens to come with some demo apps that drag in all of OpenGL and X

    There's as much or as little judicious splitting as you want. A quick read through of ports(7), make.conf(5), src.conf(5), for example, would have addressed your perceived issues, as would have a quick Google search. Next thing I'll hear is that FreeBSD suffers from a lack of documentation.

    Nothing personal, but I have trouble seeing something modded +5 that consists of little else than random impressions from the uniformed who are "playing around".

  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Monday May 04, 2009 @12:05PM (#27816743) Homepage

    First you have to know where it is located
    (for that you either need to install another package to (and you have to know that name too) or make sure you have Internet connection and go to ports page to search for the name

    cd /usr/ports
    make quicksearch name=packagename

    You'll find the package. No need to install anything new.

    Then you have open the login shell as root,
    (and you must know how to do that -- it does not automagically prompt you for a password )

    "apt-get install foo" doesn't hold your hand, either. Nor did rpm prompt you for a password the last time I used an RPM-based system.

    Then you CD to that directory start the build
    and discover that it tries to download source
    code for Gnome or KDE then build it -- which
    will take half a day on some machines....

    welcome to the ports system

    The FreeBSD maintainers aren't concerned with being trivial to use. They're more concerned with creating a powerful and flexible system.

    They focus on this almost to a fault. There's a recent thread on freebsd-questions with the subject "Modern FreeBSD Installer" where a few people are complaining about how unfriendly the current installer is. There's a fairly large base of people who don't want a change to the installer because it's familiar--and once you're familiar with it, you can install the base system in about 5 minutes. But the arcane nature of the installer is such that it turns a lot of new users off from the beginning.

    Keep in mind that FreeBSD is an advanced user's OS. While its documentation is really quite good, it isn't going to hold your hand once you're on the shell. Reading through the handbook ( [] for specific information on the ports system) before or during use will help you learn a lot about the system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04, 2009 @12:07PM (#27816765)

    They don't work on FreeBSD/x64, only i386.

  • Re:Jails (Score:3, Informative)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @10:28PM (#27825585) Homepage Journal
    All VMs share a hypervisor. A successful attack on the hypervisor... well, you get the picture...
  • by Eil ( 82413 ) on Monday May 04, 2009 @10:38PM (#27825653) Homepage Journal

    Still, not to bemoan the FreeBSD community's efforts, but I'm wondering if there's some kind of corporate backing, seeing as I'm certain several companies use it in critical production situations.

    FreeBSD is supported by (but not run by, as far as I can tell) the FreeBSD Foundation [], a non-profit. Previous sponsors of the foundation include some big names like Google, NetApp, and Juniper []. Apple is missing from the list, but I know that they have donated some significant chunks of code.

  • Re:Yaaaaay! (Score:3, Informative)

    by chrysalis ( 50680 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:33PM (#27837111) Homepage

    Unlike Debian or even OpenBSD, ports in FreeBSD don't receive much testing.

    Some ports haven't been updated for a while, some even never worked at all, but they are still in the tree for ages. For instance lang/neko never worked on FreeBSD. It compiles, but it was obviously never tested as creating a basic thread is enough to make it crash. Oh and it still has a knob to compile it with MySQL 4.x library (yes, 4.x ...).

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