FreeBSD Shortening Its Boot Time, ASLR By Default & Better Intel WiFi Support

Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 11 March 2022 at 05:45 AM EST. 28 Comments
In addition to releasing FreeBSD 13.1-BETA1, the FreeBSD project also published its Q4'2021 status report to recap all of the open-source activities achieved for this BSD operating system during the past quarter.

Q4'2021 was a very busy time for FreeBSD with progress being made on many fronts. Some of FreeBSD's advancements included:

- As of November with the code in FreeBSD HEAD, FreeBSD enabled Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) by default for all 64-bit executables on FreeBSD with both PIE and non-PIE (Position Independent Executable) binaries.

- Ongoing work to improve the FreeBSD boot time as tested on the Amazon EC2 cloud. The latest work took FreeBSD's boot time from 30 seconds to around 15 seconds prior to Q4 and then at the end of Q4 is at around 10 seconds. Another four seconds should be shaved off the FreeBSD boot time soon.

- FreeBSD's Ports collection of packages is up to 46,700 ports.

- The FreeBSD Foundation contributed fixes around an AVX bug, crypto changes needed for WireGuard, LLDB debugger improvements, and new system calls -- including RSEQ, MEMBARRIER, and SHCED_GETCPU.

- There is ongoing work to improve the FreeBSD website.

- FreeBSD continues to embrace the LLVM debugger (LLDB) and adding new features/support there.

- The Intel WiFi driver continues to be improved by leveraging the code Intel contributes to the Linux kernel. The Intel AX210 chipsets are now supported and other improvements being made to this driver.

More details on the FreeBSD Q4'2021 changes via the status report.
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