It seems that finally hitting the FTP mirrors are the ISO images for the first FreeBSD 9.0 beta. This is the first dramatic update to the FreeBSD operating system in nearly two years since the FreeBSD 8.0 release
. FreeBSD 9.0 is officially expected to be released in September.
Per the FreeBSD 9.0 release process
, the first beta snapshot was expected to be out on the 20th of July. More than a week later, the ISO images for the various architectures are now being found on mirrors (e.g. here
), but no official release announcement for FreeBSD 9.0-BETA1 has yet been found.
The release process also had a second beta planned for the 3rd of August, but that will surely be delayed due to the late availability of beta 1. This process also had a third beta due in mid August and then two release candidates in late August. The FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE build was expected to be completed on the 7th of September. Due to the late arrival of FreeBSD 9.0-BETA1, this final release date may be pushed back but at least it still will hopefully be on track for a christening in September.
I haven't had the time yet to try FreeBSD 9.0-BETA1 or any earlier snapshots of FreeBSD current, but among the planned work for FreeBSD 9.0 included ZFS as the default file-system, SSD TRIM support, 802.11n high throughput support, more ATA/CAM improvements, PCI hot-plug support, S4 hibernation support, Xen Dom0 support, Linux 64-bit binary support in FreeBSD/amd64, proper EFI booting support, properly supporting LLVM (the Low-Level Virtual Machine) next to GCC, user-land D-Trace support, better Oracle VM VirtualBox support, faster reboot support, and much more.
Some of the work for FreeBSD 9.0 is talked about on this FreeBSD.org Wiki page