It's not only the FreeBSD and PC-BSD camps gearing up for the imminent release of FreeBSD 9.0, but Debian developers have already been gearing up for the major update of this leading BSD distribution as they prepare to pull in its new kernel.
The developers working on the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port, which pairs the Debian GNU user-land with the FreeBSD kernel, have already made available development Debian packages with the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel. This is an alternative for those Debian users liking the environment but not wishing to use the Linux kernel. The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port largely came about with Debian 6.0 Squeeze and has become fairly interesting as it has integrated some extras like ZFS file-system installation support and other work.
In early 2010 I delivered the first benchmarks of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and then again in late 2010 with its newer FreeBSD 8 kernel. I have also compared Debian GNU/Linux to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD while maintaining matching user-land environments. This summer I even ran it up with Debian GNU/Hurd, which is also progressing but not nearly at the same speed as Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.
Those wishing to try out Debian GNU/kFreeBSD can find more information on its Debian.org ports page and the Debian Wiki. Daily net-based installers of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD remain available for 32-bit and 64-bit environments with tracking of Wheezy/sid. The default kernel is currently still that of FreeBSD 8.2.1, but the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel is now available as an option. This week a new Debian netboot installer image was made available with not only the kFreeBSD9 kernel but also ZFS v28 installation support.