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Operating Systems Data Storage Unix BSD

FreeBSD 8.4 Released 80

kthreadd writes "The FreeBSD project has released version 8.4 of the free operating system with the same name. Highlights of this version include GNOME 2.32.1, KDE 4.10.1. In this release, focus has been put on improving stability and storage capability. The ZFS filesystem has been updated to support feature flags for ZFS pools, asynchronous destruction of ZFS datasets, LZ4 compression and ZIO NOP-write optimization. Also, support has been added for all shipping LSI storage controllers."
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FreeBSD 8.4 Released

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  • Most desktop users won't want to install this release. FreeBSD 9.1 was released in December 2012, and is the most recent stable release. This 8.4 release is a point release in the still-maintained 8.x series, intended for people currently running 8.3 who for one reason or another don't wish to upgrade to 9.x yet, but who do want an incremental upgrade.

    • by feld ( 980784 ) on Friday June 07, 2013 @02:07PM (#43938977)

      Except 8.4 has:

      Better hyperthreading support than 9.1
      Newer ZFS features than 9.1
      Better snd_uaudio and snd_hda audio drivers than 9.1

      These things were MFC'd to 8-STABLE and 9-STABLE after 9.1-RELEASE, so 8.4 is really a better release an some aspects than 9.1 is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        9.1 also shipped with a busted MFI driver - it corrupts data on drives larger than 2TB. While you can download and compile a fixed kernel, they still haven't released an official update, since it is seen as a "bug fix", and not a "security fix". 8.4 may have been better for our new server. :(
      • so basically you are saying I need to do a build world after I drop 9.1 on the new pc tomorrow, thanks.

      • by tyrione ( 134248 )

        Except 8.4 has:

        Better hyperthreading support than 9.1 Newer ZFS features than 9.1 Better snd_uaudio and snd_hda audio drivers than 9.1

        These things were MFC'd to 8-STABLE and 9-STABLE after 9.1-RELEASE, so 8.4 is really a better release an some aspects than 9.1 is.

        And an update to the 9.x branch bring up all those features will make 8.4 a wash for 9.x users. It's great news for 8.x branch users.

    • Most desktop users won't want to install this release.

      How many people run FreeBSD on their desktop? (No, I'm not counting OSX.) The big selling point of FreeBSD is its robust support for ZFS, which makes it great for a file storage server. But it's an extremely marginal and weird choice for a desktop environment.

      • by zaft ( 597194 )
        I'll grant you it's marginal... but why is it weird? FreeBSD works quite well on the desktop. If you want a Unix-y system where you have more control over what goes in it's an excellent choice.
        • Both Linux and FreeBSD allow building exactly what you want from source if you want to. It's not quite right to say one gives more control over what goes into the system. FreeBSD has a different set of trade-offs in how things are packaged, and their default choices and packaging distribution choices are nice for some purposes. But ultimately there's nothing you can match in multiple Linux distributions if you feel like it. There's always Linux from Scratch if you're hardcore about controlling what goes

          • The difference between Linux and *BSD has never been wider. I love BSD because of how /etc is configured. Linux made a mess of things and with massive scripts and subdirectories. Things have changed so much since the 2.0 kernel days its almost an entirely new OS.

      • Well, those who want a desktop would go to PC-BSD, which is FBSD customized for the desktop. Speaking of which, don't they then have version 8.4 of PC-BSD?
      • by srobert ( 4099 )

        "How many people run FreeBSD on their desktop?"
        No one really knows for sure. I count as 1.
        If (and only if) your hardware can run it, you're better off running a FreeBSD desktop than Linux. If your hardware is incompatible with FreeBSD, then run Linux. If the hardware won't run Linux, then either run Windows or buy new hardware. (Don't run Windows). As long as you're buying new hardware make sure you can run FreeBSD on it.

        • Call me crazy, dumb, or just stuck with the Linux way, but I think I'd have to re-learn a decent amount to be able to successfully run and maintain FreeBSD on my desktop. Sure, I learned many of the UNIX basics of the command line before switching from Windows, but I think there are a lot of things that would seriously stump me. For example, things like "mount -o loop" to mount an image file as a loop device and "free -m" to get a quick reading of memory usage are much different, and not exactly easier.

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            It's not very different. IMHO with the ports collection it's Gentoo for adults :)
            • I tried and failed yet again to get a full KDE desktop up and running. The directions I used--a page on the FreeBSD site found through a web search--simply said "pkg_add -r kde4". Nope, nothing. Did it actually install X.org? Didn't seem so, so I logged back in as root and did that. Logged back out and in again as my user, and entered startx: returned endless "failed to load module" warnings, no drivers available, no screens found, unable to connect/connection refused, blah blah blah. Before following

      • ah me?

    • This is what I have been wondering - ever since FBSD came out w/ version 9.x, why are they still coming out w/ versions like 8.3, 8.4...? Does that mean that once they have version 10 out, they will continue to have 3 tracks - 8.6, 9.3 and 10.x?
      • by Trepidity ( 597 )

        They typically keep putting out point releases in a series for about five years after the initial .0 release, so at any given time the current and previous one or two series are supported. But they eventually get phased out, e.g. the last 7.x release was 7.4, which came out in early 2011 and stopped being security-managed in early 2013. Wikipedia has a timeline showing the release/support history [wikipedia.org].

        One of the reasons for maintaining the legacy branches for a few years is that, within each series, FreeBSD comm

      • by Anonymous Coward

        FreeBSD will have official branches as long as it has volunteers. There are companies who have products heavily invested in 6.x and 7.x and the answer has always been something like "you're more than welcome to resurrect those branches, become the official maintainer, and continue to backport improvements but we don't have time or resources"

        So if someone in the community steps up, we could see newer 6.x and 7.x releases as long as people are OK with the ports tree ignoring their existence. The modern ports

  • Legacy Release (Score:4, Informative)

    by eecue ( 605228 ) on Friday June 07, 2013 @01:57PM (#43938873) Homepage
    It's probably worth pointing out that this is a legacy release and the current production branch is 9.X, currently at 9.1-p3
    • It took thirty years, but they finally came out with a system twice as good as the old original BSD 4.2 (no open/free/net) that I used back in '83!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If memory serves OpenBSD 5.3 was released with GNOME 3 and KDE 3.5. Here we see FreeBSD 8.4 released with GNOME 2 and KDE 4. Can anyone shed some light on why one BSD operating system has a modern KDE and outdated GNOME desktop while the other has the reverse?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      If memory serves OpenBSD 5.3 was released with GNOME 3 and KDE 3.5. Here we see FreeBSD 8.4 released with GNOME 2 and KDE 4. Can anyone shed some light on why one BSD operating system has a modern KDE and outdated GNOME desktop while the other has the reverse?

      Because FreeBSD 8.4 is a historical maintenance release for the FreeBSD 8 series; FreeBSD Release is at 9.1-p3.

    • by D1G1T ( 1136467 )
      The OpenBSD guys are always clear that they work on things for themselves. I would assume, therefore, that someone wanted GNOME3 and ported it, but nobody was interested in KDE4. This is a good ting. I'd much rather see them working on projects like OpenSSH, OpenBGPD, OpenNTPD, and OpenSMTPD since these end up being ported to FreeBSD and Linux and benefit the FOSS community as a whole.
    • openbsd is close to having kde 4.8

    • that's amusing, to judge an OS mainly used for servers and appliances by what desktop version it has. If it's that important by all means choose your BSD by the desktop you like as long as the devices you want are supported. I myself prefer xfce4 which runs on them all

  • by Saija ( 1114681 ) on Friday June 07, 2013 @03:45PM (#43940051) Journal
    Should I, as a *BSD newbie install this at my home laptop wich it's used by my wife, which only checks facebook from time on time, reads email and play some solitaire and angrybirds?

    Myself am a windows user with a basic++ linux knowledge: I know how to install and update a distro(I prefer debian based but right now am wanting to test Fedora 18), compile some packages from source, has poked some kernel compilin', made some kde translation on the past, reported some bugs on FOSS software, etc. Now I have my Dell laptop with Windows 7 and I'm planning to back it up and format it and I'm thinking to put it up Fedora 18, but the BSD world has intrigue me and I've made some test on virtual machines.

    BTW I'm primarly a Java developer how some times made some tiny personal project on my laptop and who enjoys a good Quake 3 match(for remembering my old days on the College fragging like there were no tomorrow) but who actually prefer to enjoy the time with my wife and the kids.

    Could a user like me install some BSD distro and used it regularly to this basic things I've listed? if so, which BSD do you suggest?, bonus points if lastest KDE's it's available

    Thanks for your suggestions!
    • by tyrione ( 134248 )
      No. Stick with 9.x and when 9.2 arrives then install that. When 10.x officially releases 10.1 and puts 9.x into maintainance mode you still have a stable branch to u se until 10.2+ arrives and upgrade from there if you're not interested in more leading edge code. It's akin to Stable/Unstable/Experimental in Debian Linux.
    • by hemanman ( 35302 )

      No, your wife deserves better, check out Linux Mint instead, the 13 edition with mate esp. Everything works out of the box, and it's supported to 2017.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Considering how much speed I managed to get out of a retired 32 bit server that I used as my *BSD test box it really is a valid choice for a laptop that doesn't do much. Once a GUI goes on it you may as well have as lean an OS as you can get away with to make the applications go as fast as they can.
      I'd go for 9.1 though - the 8.* series is basicly bug fixes for older applications.

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