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Interesting Features For FreeBSD 10

BSD

Published on 22 July 2013 09:19 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD
1 Comment

While FreeBSD 9.2 is expected in about one month for release, further out in the pipeline is FreeBSD 10.0 and with it will come many new end-user features.

It's not yet been determined when FreeBSD 10.0 will be released, but given their past release cadence, this next major FreeBSD operating system should arrive in 2014. Among the features so far include:

- The Bhyve hypervisor for FreeBSD virtualization will be present in FreeBSD 10. The Bhyve hypervisor was developed from scratch for BSD and offers a lightweight low-level HVM virtualization means for FreeBSD. Bhyve supports the latest AMD and Intel virtualization extensions and supports VirtIO for para-virtualization.

- Raspberry Pi support. While many Linux distributions support the low-cost Raspberry Pi ARM development board, it won't be until FreeBSD 10 when all of the changes are officially in place. Beyond the Raspberry Pi support, there's much-improved for ARMv6/ARMv7 in general and support for other new ARM SoCs like the TI OMAP4.

- AMD Kernel Mode-Setting support is expected to be completed and merged in time for FreeBSD 10.0. It's making good progress.

- Intel's "Bull Mountain" RDRAND CPU instruction set for hardware random number generator access will be present in FreeBSD 10. Bull Mountain / RDRAND is found right now on Ivy Bridge and Haswell CPUs.

- The pf firewall is now SMP-friendly for greater performance thanks to the multi-threading work done originally by OpenBSD.

- Improved 802.11n networking stack with support for new features. The Atheros 802.11n WiFi adapter from Qualcomm has also been committed.

- ZFS TRIM support has been added. The FreeBSD ZFS file-system support also has a NOP-write optimization ported from the Illumos (Solaris) code-base. ZFS on FreeBSD 10 also supports LZ4 compression support that's said to perform 50~80% better than the default LZJB compression means for ZFS. L2ARC compression support was also added.

- For UFS users, there's now online support for growing the file-system when mounted in a read-write mode. FUSE file-system support in user-space is also expected to become part of the FreeBSD base system.

- USB Audio support has been revamped big time for what they call "USB Audio 2.0" in supporting new devices, higher bandwidth support, increased sampling frequency, and wider dynamic range.

- LLVM's Clang compiler is the default FreeBSD compiler.

More details on other FreeBSD 10 features and other changes can be found out by this work-in-progress FreeBSD Wiki page.

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