Debian GNU/Hurd isn't the only Debian GNU/Linux alternative receiving lots of love these days, but Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is being improved as well. Following the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD spin reaching a release status with 6.0, a number of enhancements have been made recently to this operating system that combines the Debian GNU user-land with the FreeBSD kernel.
Following the news yesterday that FreeBSD 9.0 Beta 1 is now available, the PC-BSD crew has spun their first 9.0 beta release. Beyond incorporating the updates from FreeBSD 9.0, the PC-BSD 9.0 release is set to carry other desktop-friendly advancements on top.
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.
Yesterday when writing about the defunct state of the Kernel Graphics Interface project, I mentioned a status update concerning GEM/KMS support for FreeBSD would be on the way. Here's now the state of kernel mode-setting (KMS) and the Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) for the FreeBSD kernel.
PathScale, the compiler company that is behind the high-performance 64-bit EKOPath compiler suite and GPGPU computing solutions, has granted the FreeBSD and NetBSD foundations a copy of their libcxxrt C++ runtime. Libcxxrt provides a C++ ABI for Itanium and x86 architectures for BSD. This copy of libcxxrt will be provided to BSD users under a 2-clause BSD license rather than being under the GPL.
Government organizations, whether they be from the United States, the European Union, or anywhere else for that matter, contributing to open-source projects is not new. Heck, Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) in the mainline kernel can largely be attributed to the United State's National Security Agency (NSA). More organizations contributing to open-source isn't bad -- government or not -- when it's mutually beneficial work with good intentions. However, there are new allegations being made today about OpenBSD's networking stack, in particular it's IPsec code. The FBI allegedly paid OpenBSD developers to insert back-doors into the code-base.
OpenBSD 4.7 came out this past summer, but OpenBSD 4.8 is now available for those interested in this BSD operating system that focuses on providing portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security, and integrated cryptography. With OpenBSD 4.8 there is now ACPI-based suspend-and-resume support for most systems utilizing Intel or ATI graphics, but the suspend-and-resume support when utilizing NVIDIA graphics is still problematic. There's also other hardware support improvements, new tools, daemon improvements, and various other improvements to this free software operating system.
Chris Wilson of Intel back in July had written a branch of the Intel X.Org display driver (xf86-video-intel) that added back user-space mode-setting support to their open-source driver that did not need the Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) within the kernel to function. This code was previously stripped away from the driver previously since KMS+GEM is the future they wanted to head in, but for those with vintage Intel i8xx-era graphics hardware using these newer code paths frequently resulted in lock-ups and other problems. Rather than trying to solve the actual problem at hand of GEM and KMS for this old hardware, the easier solution was viewed to just add back non-GEM UMS support.
Pawel Jakub Dawidek has announced he has prepared a port of the ZFS v28 file-system for FreeBSD, which is a newer revision of this advanced Sun/Oracle file-system than what is currently available in FreeBSD 8.1. This updated ZFS file-system brings a number of new features to FreeBSD-ZFS users including data de-duplication support, triple parity RAIDZ (RAIDZ3), ZFS DIFF, Zpool Split, snapshot holds, forced Zpool imports, and the ability to import a pool in a read-only mode.
We knew it was coming (and that FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE has been on the FreeBSD FTP servers for a few days already), but the FreeBSD 8.1 release announcement is now available over at FreeBSD.org.
While FreeBSD 8.1 has yet to be officially released (though its imminent), the PC-BSD developers have went ahead and released PC-BSD 8.1, which is based upon the FreeBSD 8.1 release. As in usual PC-BSD fashion with catering towards desktop users and making things easy-to-use, PC-BSD 8.1 is shipping with the KDE SC 4.4.5 desktop by default.
Ken Smith on behalf of the FreeBSD developers has announced the first release candidate of the upcoming FreeBSD 8.1. FreeBSD 8.1 is expected to be released as stable next month as the first major update since the release of FreeBSD 8.0 back in November.
FreeBSD 8.0 was released in November, but now the first update in the 8.x series is approaching. FreeBSD 8.1 has entered beta and is expected for final release around July.
Daniel Gerzo with the FreeBSD project has issued a status report concerning work going on within FreeBSD and related projects for the first quarter of this year. Catching our interest in particular were the updates surrounding LLVM/Clang as the compiler for FreeBSD's base, the Chromium web browser porting efforts to FreeBSD, and ZFS file-system enhancements.
A week ago NVIDIA released the NVIDIA 195.22 Linux driver, but early this morning NVIDIA's Unix graphics team pushed out the FreeBSD 195.22 driver. This FreeBSD driver update basically brings it up to speed with the latest beta Linux driver with the VDPAU improvements, DisplayPort fixes, and other new support in this binary driver. The FreeBSD 195.22 beta driver announcement can be read over at NvNews.net where it was posted by NVIDIA's Christian Zander.
With the FreeBSD 8.0 release now available, we reached out to NVIDIA to find out the status of their 64-bit BSD display driver, now that this operating system carries the necessary mmap extension support in their 64-bit kernel for their proprietary graphics driver to function. Andy Ritger, who heads the user-space side of NVIDIA's UNIX Graphics Driver team and was previously interviewed by Phoronix, provided a brief update.
The much-anticipated FreeBSD 8.0 release is finally available, albeit it's arriving more than a month late. FreeBSD 8.0 supports Clang/LLVM (Edit: though right now GCC remains the default compiler), improvements to the Jails subsystem, a new USB stack, the ULE 3.0 scheduler that's optimized for SMP environments, Sun's D-Trace support for kernel traces, NFSv4 support, network improvements, improved ZFS file-system support, and much more.
Apple's Grand Central Dispatch technology introduced in Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" was open-sourced under the Apache license last month by Apple and now it has worked its way into FreeBSD. This software, which helps in optimizing applications for multi-core systems, has ported the libdispatch library from GCD to FreeBSD and made Grand Central Dispatch more POSIX friendly.
In the quarterly report for FreeBSD, we learned something interesting: the FreeBSD developers intend to replace GCC with LLVM/Clang. The FreeBSD project wants to replace the GNU Compiler Collection with the Apple-backed Clang front-end compiler from LLVM. They mention in their quarterly report that this newer compiler can already build 99% of the packages in FreeBSD and even its kernel on i386 and amd64 architectures. They admit though bugs are withstanding and LLVM's C++ support is still very immature. There are over 100 Clang bugs that the FreeBSD developers have reported, but the LLVM developers are working on them.
Most of the development efforts within the X.Org and Mesa ecosystems are done on Linux so at times the other supported operating systems can vary when it comes to the level of support -- some features may not work and some code may not even build. For instance, it was not until this morning that the few hooks needed for BSD support in the Gallium3D code-base were added.
The BSDTalk BlogSpot blog has posted an interview with NVIDIA Corporation. This is an audio interview with Andy Ritger and Christian Zander. Though the discussion focuses on NVIDIA's FreeBSD display drivers there are several references as well to the Linux and Solaris drivers.
291 BSD news articles published on Phoronix.