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Upgrades BSD

FreeBSD 8.1 Released 46

hsn and other readers pointed out that FreeBSD 8.1 has been released. "This is the second release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.0 and introduces some new features. Some of the highlights: zfsloader added; zpool version of ZFS subsystem updated to version 14; NFSv4 ACL support in UFS and ZFS; support added to cp(1), find(1), getfacl(1), mv(1), and setfacl(1) utilities; UltraSPARC IV/IV+, SPARC64 V support; SMP support in PowerPC G5; BIND 9.6.2-P2..." ... and much more. See the release notes summary and the details.
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FreeBSD 8.1 Released

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  • That's nice, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:01PM (#33017054) Homepage

    It's nice to see they've got zfsloader in there by default, now. It was otherwise a huge pain to get ZFS to be booted from - you basically had to build your own installer and set up everything manually. Quite the time consuming task.

    Unfortunately, I don't see any mention of these changes:

    * "improved stability for ZFS". Sure, it supports pool version 14! What the fuck does that mean, really, when "bare minimum 4GB RAM" was a requirement for 8.0 to get it even remotely stable (some tuning required)? I don't care if it runs for months without locking the system. It's still locking the system.
    * "decreased memory use for ZFS". It's not even doing deduplication in 8.0 RELEASE yet using 3GB of RAM at an idle load is not unheard of.
    * Why so quiet on the USB front? Nice to see they got ralink devices added, but that does little for the fact that USB is almost completely unreliable in 8.x. Just take a look at the USB mailing list - problem after problem that's the same (USB has many, many timing/boot/detection issues in 8.x), with the seeming consensus being "we don't care, it works for me".

    FreeBSD needs to fix those things or forever be relegated to amateur hour. Seems "quality things that work" gets relegated to "superior design". That's all fine and good, but if you've got to rape an ape just to get the damn thing to work as designed due to implementation flaws, it's essentially worthless.

    • by mat128 ( 735121 )

      I agree, and besides all this stuff they need to provide an easy way to install it using a PXE server. They have a bugged bootloader (BTX?) since 7.2 so I still have to use 7.1's loader to deploy any new versions. On top of that, I have to uncompress/untar/cpio a bunch of archive just to get access to the actual installer config file... and do the whole process again to get a disk image bootable from PXE.

    • What the fuck does that mean, really, when "bare minimum 4GB RAM" was a requirement for 8.0 to get it even remotely stable (some tuning required)?

      I really do not know what kind of orifice you are pulling it from. I set 8.0 up with ZFS on a machine with 3 gigs of RAM, did not tune anything and there were zilch problems with neither stability nor speed. Yes, it is "works for me", but hell, it does work for me. In many configurations and with hardware over three years old. And single core processors.

      * "decreased memory use for ZFS". It's not even doing deduplication in 8.0 RELEASE yet using 3GB of RAM at an idle load is not unheard of.

      For some odd reason then it's been working for me in my home server with 2 gigs of RAM (single core, DDR), no tuning and with extra to spare for daemons and

      • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

        In the last 3 months, I've had 3 opensolaris related FreeBSD system crashes on multiple systems. I've had two OOM related system locks. Yes, this is on 8.0 RELEASE, on very common 3-year-old to current hardware from SuperMicro, with controllers, etc. specifically picked due to their "good support" under FreeBSD. It's the case both with and without special "tuning", and the system load is light (ie multicore systems with a load average around/under .5). The hardware has all been verified to be error-free.


        • That's interesting... we got some new SuperMicro machines to test to sell at work.

          God help you if you try to enable the RAID controller. It won't ever boot again until you wipe the CMOS.

          Perhaps SMC isn't as reliable as you might think they are.

        • I work for an ISP and we were running FreeBSD on our critical (and extremely active) recursive DNS servers and also route master machines (edge-level BGP/OSPF management routers, which are at the level right below the Cisco peer routers - those machines run Quagga). The first issues we started having had to do with random system lockups on the primary recursive DNS server (it appeared like the OS would stop the interrupt controller - pressing the power button on the machine would briefly reactivate the int
          • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

            The machines in question were IBM x335 and x336 1U rackmount machines.

            That is really, really damn interesting. We've got two machines that are very similar (x335) running FreeBSD still - one is at 6.2 (runs our management VLAN services - SNMP trap, log analysis, etc.). It's got a low CPU/RAM utilization, yet it has locked up numerous times - sometimes as often as twice a day, but usually somewhere in the 2-3 month range. I've been unable to trace the problem to anything, though it's my suspicion that it may be the single channel SATA controller. It very well may be, but at th

    • Deduplication requires even more RAM / CACHE than you could imagine. Don't hold your breath for it.
  • by gravos ( 912628 ) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @07:20PM (#33017212) Homepage
    Anyone know if this release improves ZFS stability on 32-bit machines? even with 2GB of ram i still get occasional kernel panics due to it running out of address space.
    • I've had those problems a lot. I highly doubt the fragmentation issues have been fixed though. Limiting the ARC can help a lot (via /boot/loader.conf). I gave up and moved to 64 bit and haven't had issues since.
    • I'm not a ZFS expert, but IIUC it's simply not possible to have stable production quality ZFS on 32 bit machines. This has nothing to do with FreeBSD, the original Solaris codebase just wasn't designed for it. There are places where the code manipulates 64 bit constructs in what it assumes are atomic operations. That assumption is often invalid on a 32 bit machine. Also the code is written assuming that it has a significant amount of VM to play with.

      I don't think it's reasonable to expect the FreeBSD port t

  • I had a very common ASUS ethernet adapter. When I tried to install FreeBSD to try it out I found that they had no support for this adapter. It was the one that most of the ASUS MB's used at the time. I see they still, 2 years later, do not support this very common adapter. It is an ATTANSIC L1 ethernet adapter and is very common. Until FreeBSD starts opening themselves to the common hardware that is used on many of the MB's then I don't see why I should jump through hoops to use their O/S. I did try
    • Stupido. I have a very common ASUS motherboard, not an ASUS ethernet adapter. Preview is your friend.
    • by imp ( 7585 )

      I have the ATTANSIC L1 on one of my systems, and it works great on FreeBSD 8.1.

      • Wouldn't even hook up with the Asus MB I had at the time. When I did a little research with the FreeBSD forum I was told that they did not intend to implement it. Same thing with DeskBSD as well. I had the same problem with a couple of Linux distros but when I found a Linux app from ATTANSIC with the code for it the distro creator made up an module to implement it. BSD people wouldn't do that. Consider yourself lucky that your worked. It didn't work with my ASUS MB.
      • I just took a quick scan of the forum at FreeBSD. I last tried to install version 7.1 and when I got the response from the BSD people dropped the idea. I see that there were enough other people who complained that there was an update to version 7.2 that finally included the ATTANSIC/ATHEROS L1 in the hardware that would be accepted by FreeBSD. The initial release of 7.2 would still not accept the L1 but the update to that release made it work. Maybe I will give it another chance now but I no longer hav

PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5