FreeBSD Improving Boot Times, Adds Hole-Punching, Better Linux Binary Compatibility

Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 15 November 2021 at 07:30 PM EST. 28 Comments
The FreeBSD project has published their latest quarterly status report highlighting the work achieved on this open-source BSD operating system. Even with the pandemic and limitations on physical events, the FreeBSD developers continue making significant progress on their goals and technology road-map.

For their period covered from July through September, some of the FreeBSD achievements included:

- FreeBSD is at $180k in fundraising for its $2M budget. Their heightened budget stems from their technology road-map and paying more developers now. FreeBSD is working towards better WiFi, graphics, and hardware support at large, They also want to get features like Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 working in the months ahead along with installer improvements, new performance tooling, and virtualization improvements for Bhyve.

- The FreeBSD ports collection is up to 46.5k ports.

- FreeBSD has been making progress on booting faster. After starting out at around a 30 second baseline, prior work shaved off about 5 seconds. This past quarter more improvements led to around another nearly 10 second reduction... But that still leaves the FreeBSD boot time at around a 15 second baseline and acknowledgement there still is more work to be done in this area.

- Improvements to upstream LLDB 14.0 as the LLVM debugger for enhancing the experience on FreeBSD.

- The Linux compatibility layer for running Linux binaries on FreeBSD has added support for more system calls, making the 64-bit ARM Linuxulator closer to the x86_64 state, and more.

- UEFI boot improvements for AMD64.

- Hole-punching support on FreeBSD for turning a contiguous range of bytes into a hole for a given file. With the FreeBSD support, OpenZFS and TMPFS now support hole-punching on this BSD.

- Improved Intel WiFi wireless driver support.

- An initial port of the Realtek RTW88 driver from Linux to FreeBSD has landed.

- Continued work on supporting WireGuard well under FreeBSD, including work to make use of FreeBSD's in-kernel OpenCrypto Framework (OCP) for its data path.

- Official support for the Valgrind memory profiler has landed upstream in Valgrind 3.18.

- Wine for FreeBSD continues to be updated and improved upon.

See the latest FreeBSD status report in full from
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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