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FreeBSD 5.4 Released 268

Posted by timothy
from the still-free-too dept.
FreeBSD 5.4 is out. Reader KFW excerpts from the announcement: "The Release Engineering Team is happy to announce the availability of FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE, the latest release of the FreeBSD Stable development branch. Since FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE in November 2004 we have made many improvements in functionality, stability, performance, and device driver support for some hardware, as well as dealt with known security issues and made many bugfixes." Here are the release notes.
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FreeBSD 5.4 Released

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  • Sorry guys (Score:1, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) *
    I'm not dead.

    I'm really sorry everyone, but a story like this is just begging for it.

    http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-02.htm [mwscomp.com]

    FreeBSD:
    I'm not dead!
    CART MASTER:
    What?
    CUSTOMER:
    Nothing. Here's your ninepence.
    FreeBSD:
    I'm not dead!
    CART MASTER:
    'Ere. He says he's not dead!
    CUSTOMER:
    Yes, he is.
    FreeBSD:
    I'm not!
    CART MASTER:
    He isn't?
    CUSTOMER:
    Well, he will be soon. Netcraft confirms it.
    FreeBSD:
    I'm getting better!

  • how... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:40PM (#12483533)
    Ok...So how much is FreeBSD 5.4 going to cost me?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'll come over to your house and install it for free. If you want me to shower first, that costs extra.
    • Re:how... (Score:2, Funny)

      by rubycodez (864176)
      Outpacing the even the steep markups on Microsoft office products in the last 3 years, 5.4 will cost you 150% as much as 5.3 did ! ! ! !
    • Re:how... (Score:4, Funny)

      by td (46763) on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:44PM (#12483943) Homepage
      5.4 times as much as 1.0.
      • FreeBSD 1.0 cannot be run unless you have a Unix license. I'm not sure what this would cost you, but SCO is selling licenses to Linux users for $699.00, so my guess is about that. However you need to ask SCO, as they are the only ones legally selling such a license.

        For Freebsd 2.0 the requirement of a Unix license was eliminated (there were only 7 files to re-implement).

        • FreeBSD 1.0 cannot be run unless you have a Unix license. I'm not sure what this would cost you, but SCO is selling licenses to Linux users for $699.00, so my guess is about that. However you need to ask SCO, as they are the only ones legally selling such a license.

          For Freebsd 2.0 the requirement of a Unix license was eliminated (there were only 7 files to re-implement).


          I belive that requirement is no longer valid. It was based on the licensing of V7/32V Unix which was released [linuxdevcenter.com] by Caldera in January 2002
    • So how much is FreeBSD 5.4 going to cost me?

      Depends. How much did your hardware cost, and how much do you value your sanity? ;)

      No, actually, FreeBSD was pretty sweet last time I tried it. I'd be all in favour of it, if it was ported to more archs.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I hope so. SMP + MYSQL performance is horrible with the *BSD's across the board. :(
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Here's a few things from the release notes that might help with MySQL and/or SMP: A number of bugs have been fixed in the ULE scheduler. A bug in Inter-Processor Interrupt (IPI) handling, which could cause SMP systems to crash under heavy load, has been fixed. More details are contained in errata note A number of bugfixes for libpthread have been merged from HEAD. Anyone from FreeBSD know for sure if the fixes above will help bring FreeBSD up to par with Linux as far as MySQL performance on SMP machin
      • Anyone from FreeBSD know for sure if the fixes above will help bring FreeBSD up to par with Linux as far as MySQL performance on SMP machines go?
        Probably not, because certain very busy people have -- once again -- forgotten to turn off INVARIANTS in the threading libraries' Makefile :-(

        I doubt, many benchmarkers will bother turning these off on their systems and recompiling libthr/libc_r ...

  • congrats (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moz25 (262020) on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:46PM (#12483579) Homepage
    Congrats to the freebsd team.

    I have one (uneducated) question though: they mention a number of security fixes. How long does it generally take for a fix/patch to come out on freebsd compared to linux (or the other bsd variants)? I'm considering experimenting with it, but the relative comfort of packaging systems I'm familiar with makes it sort of hard.
    • Re:congrats (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:52PM (#12483620)
      Generally the mailing list comes out with patches much quicker than other flavors of *nix. 24 hour turn around times with patches is not uncommon for FreeBSD (They pride themselves with security)
      • Netbsd and openbsd are just as fast as freebsd with the fixes, and so are most linux distros. Its really only commercial unix vendors that are slow with the fixes.
      • Re:congrats (Score:5, Informative)

        by cperciva (102828) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @03:12AM (#12485943) Homepage
        24 hour turn around times with patches is not uncommon for FreeBSD

        In all honesty... 24 hours is very unusual for us. I can think of one case where it happened recently, but that was when we rushed an advisory out in order to fit into the 5.4 release schedule.

        A more typical time is 3 days, since we want to test carefully to make certain that a "security fix" never ends up breaking something else.
        • A more typical time is 3 days, since we want to test carefully to make certain that a "security fix" never ends up breaking something else.

          Am I the only guy that finds that really scary? I mean, I agree, we need to be pretty sure that a security fix isn't going to break other things....but my stress level on day 2 of knowing that my sshd has a remote-root-exploit would be pretty damned high. I would hope that my distro could check for breakage during the first day, before I start sucking down antacids to

          • my stress level on day 2 of knowing that my sshd has a remote-root-exploit would be pretty damned high

            This is why security issues are usually not publicly disclosed immediately. A window of a few days between informing vendors and public disclosure allows vendors to prepare and test their patches.

            Obviously, if there is a publicly disclosed remote root vulnerability in sshd, FreeBSD would fix it as soon as possible.
    • Re:congrats (Score:3, Interesting)

      you can usually measure it in hours

      openbsd ... it's probably already been fixed for a few months
    • Re:congrats (Score:5, Informative)

      by jwthompson2 (749521) <jamesNO@SPAMplainprograms.com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:56PM (#12483648) Homepage

      As fast as they are fixed, which in reality ends up being comparable to Linux, just listen on the appropriate mailing lists and follow the step-by step instructions. There are also some automated utilities in the ports collection that ease security updates. The BSD ports system will take care of most of your packaging concerns as well since it is an actively updated collection, although most require compilation from source there is the binary alternative, package, which should be easy enough for most RPM folk I would imagine.

      Check out this link [freebsd.org] regarding packages and ports.

    • Re:congrats (Score:2, Interesting)

      by saleenS281 (859657)
      As fast if not faster than linux. Also, IIRC (don't flame me, correct me if I'm wrong) most linux variants of packaging systems were derived from BSD. As for worrying about about the packaging system... you only need two utilities, and two config files. cvsup-without-gui and portupgrade. It's literally as simple as portinstall *package you want*. And if you want it updated portupgrade *package to be updated*. You just have to keep your ports tree up to date and you'll have the most up to date versions
    • Re:congrats (Score:4, Informative)

      by drmerope (771119) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @12:45AM (#12485270)
      Let me fill in some holes others left out. New releases are announced as having fixed security problems, but that is a comparison against the previous version's original ISO image only.

      Security fixes are backported to earlier versions. Those versions still officially maintained have fixes backported by the security officers. Older versions tend to also get fixes but merely by the work of interested committers. Thus it isn't usual to see fixes being backported to releases as far back as 4.3.

      What do I mean by backported? Users can update their /usr/src directory and rebuild. More recently a binary update service has been available.

      Thus there is for example 5.3-RELEASE, and 5.3-p5.

      Generally speaking, there is no need to wait for new releases to get fixes. Fixes are painlessly and automatically available almost overnight.

      All of this applies to the software officially maintained by the FreeBSD system--i.e., anything in the "base system" Other software generally gets fixes in ports soon after the upstream version has a fix... but backing this is the port-audit database. port-audit is maintained by the security team and lists all the known vulnerabilities against third-party software. A cron job mails you warnings about vulnerable third-party software. The ports system warns you about vulnerable software and libraries when you attempt to install (even when a new install depends on an already installed but vulernable library.
  • by nubbie (454788) on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:48PM (#12483588) Homepage
    Using CVSup [freebsd.org] and then Rebuilding "world" [freebsd.org]
    • Otherwise you are syncing FreeBSD to -current.

      THere is a stable cvs tree but it does not include security fixes. At least thats what i saw. Also in the FBSD 4.x series I saw several ports downgraded for some bizaare reasons. Why I dont know

      I broke my system several times from cvsing up
      • by kkenn (83190)
        Wrong on both counts:

        1) The stable branch does include security fixes

        2) The ports collection is not branched, so there's no possibility for "several ports downgraded" in the "4.x series". The only situation in which ports are downgraded is if there are serious problems with the newer version, and a reversion to the previous version is a net gain.
  • by Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:51PM (#12483615)
    Sarge was frozen.

    FreeBSD has risen from the grave.

    It's hailing here in northern California in may.

    The end is near, put on your glasses and anti-radiation suits boys, we're in for a ride.
    • Please see hail [wikipedia.org] versus sleet [wikipedia.org].

      Quick summary:
      * Hail is ice pellets produced by strong thunderstorms, and is most likely in the summer (as that's when strong thunderstorms are most likely to occur).
      * Sleet is re-frozen precipitation, caused by snow that has been melted and re-frozen on its way down.

      While it is quite likely you were indeed experiencing hail, not sleet, hail is not uncommon in May if a strong front passes through.

      2/3 isn't bad though, I'd give a 70% forecast that the end is indeed near. In th
  • by rkrabath (742391) on Monday May 09, 2005 @08:59PM (#12483662) Journal

    ##### Disk One [freebsd.org] #####

    ##### Disk Two [freebsd.org] #####

    Of course, in their infinate wisdom, the coders of slashdot have decided to make my life difficult with their damn lameness filters
  • by green pizza (159161) on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:18PM (#12483764) Homepage
    No mention of it in the release notes, I wonder if USB finally works properly on the VIA CLE266 / VT8235 chipset. That's the only thing that keeps me on Linux.
    • I never noticed a problem with the CLE266 using ukbd(4) & ums(4). I tried umass(4) and axe(4) for a short time, and they seem to work too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Help promote their new torrent option, seed it for a bit me me and the 5 others doing it currently.

    http://people.freebsd.org/~kensmith/5.4-torrent/ [freebsd.org]

    if you can, join the all seeds ; )
  • Free BSD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by a3217055 (768293) on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:34PM (#12483848)
    Congrats Well awaited, will install and give it a try. Sorry not top of the line hardware... But then what about Debian, Debian is like dreamer in high school. J/K But BSD is well welcomed, I run BSD on my laptop but after some stand offs it is one of the most nicest systems I have used. But I always ask this to the Linux guys at my compnay ( ps I also run linux ) why did linux get the market it has now and not BSD ? Even thought BSD has a lot of cooler things . . . PS Apple OSX is not BSD, it is a lot like your lil'sister who gets involved with the wrong type of guy in the adult industry.
    • Re:Free BSD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dmaxwell (43234) on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:59PM (#12484083)
      But I always ask this to the Linux guys at my compnay ( ps I also run linux ) why did linux get the market it has now and not BSD ?

      Just plain marketing for one. *BSD can and probably is better by any number of measures. "Better" doesn't always equate to "sexier".

      The other reason is that GPL can be more business friendly than the BSD license. The trick here is that the GPL is picky about which businesses it is friends with. For strategic reasons, a company like IBM can open something up but place the contribution under the GPL. It is perfectly free from an end user point of view but will require re-implementation on the part of a competitor who wishes to use knowledge from the code in question. This takes nothing away from scenarios where the BSD license is more "business friendly". Personally, I find the "moral" arguments around all of this induce finger drumming. If the choices were BSD or nothing or GPL or nothing then I expect we'd see much less funding of interesting projects by business.
      • The other reason is that GPL can be more business friendly than the BSD license.

        That doesn't explain the pre-commercialization days of Linux. Is the GPL really more business friendly than the BSD license for a one man firm ten years ago? Hardly! They weren't worried about proprietary companies "stealing" their shell scripts because too many other one-man Linux outfits were "stealing" it instead!

        Instead Linux's popularity can be attributed to two other things, in my opinion. First, BSD got bushwhacked by
        • No, Linux attracted those companies because it was big and growing fast already. And the lawsuit is just a convenient story to blame someone else for the failure to win the battle for the user. It wasn't that important.

          Imo the big problem of freebsd was (is?) that it is an OS by specialists for specialists (and specialist wanna bees). These people were not interested in marketing and helping out newbies they were focused on building the best OS available.

          The early Linux community was very different in thi
      • Just plain marketing for one. *BSD can and probably is better by any number of measures. "Better" doesn't always equate to "sexier".

        So, uh, do you have numbers around? AFAIK even some freebsd hackers admit that linux is kicking their asses in more than one field. It's not strange to see post from freebsd users benchmarking databases etc. against suse/redhat and getting better numbers with them. And let's not start talking about features.

        So no, Freebsd is not "just better" and linux is not just about ma
        • Re:Free BSD (Score:4, Informative)

          by dmaxwell (43234) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @08:04AM (#12487035)
          I'm a Linux user myself; but let's give props where props are due. One measure in which most any BSD is better is integration. BSD has been maintained as a coherent system since before Linux has even existed. Their userland has a bit less evolution and tad more design in it. The init scripts are arguably better due to their relative simplicity. As for features that BSD lacks, that can be a feature as well. Simplicity often =='s robustness. The individual flavors also have their own merits. There is OpenBSD's well known penchant for correctness and security. NetBSD runs on even more arches than Debian.

          I'll also point out that the BSD's tend to be more predictable in their quality from release to release. There have been some real brown paper bag kernel releases and distros like RedHat and Mandrake have pulled boners on their own.

          I'll bet a real BSD fanboy could probably think of a few more.
          • FreeBSD's base is well integrated, I'll give you that. But I've used several versions, and for some reason GDM never worked in a fresh install, no matter how I did it, from packages or ports. Some modifications would some times fix it, but once I would be logged in as root no matter which user's account and password I logged in with. I've never seen this level of brokenness in a common package in any of the Linux distros I've used since 1999.

            Don't get me wrong. I like FreeBSD, and I've used it quite a bit.
    • Apple OSX is not BSD, it is a lot like your lil'sister who gets involved with the wrong type of guy in the adult industry.

      I couldn't have said better! Mod me offtopic if you will, but please stop saying MacOS X == BSD!
      • I'd stop saying it if it were completely true.

        While Apple's OS X has a very NextStepish Mach MicroKernel, the entire userland is from FreeBSD 5.

        I'm sitting at a Tiger workstation right now, and if I open a terminal window and type "man ls" I will get the _exact_ same man page a FreeBSD 5 system shows. All the userland utils in OS X understand the same switches as the FreeBSD userland utils. They are the same.

        It's like "GNU/Linux" really. Linux is Linux, but it heavily relies on GNU userland utils, so
  • by _Sharp'r_ (649297) <sharperNO@SPAMbooksunderreview.com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @09:36PM (#12483854) Homepage Journal
    From the release notes:

    "The -f option of tail(1) utility now supports more than one file at a time."

    That enhancement alone is worthy of upgrading!
    • Re:tail -f *log (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That enhancement alone is worthy of upgrading!

      Never heard of xtail [unicom.com]? It was released in 1989 and does exactly that.

  • 5.4 Dedication (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @10:21PM (#12484253)
    The FreeBSD 5.4 Release is dedicated to the memory of Cameron Grant [dbsi.org]. Cameron was an active FreeBSD Developer and principal architect of the sound driver subsystem despite his physical handicap. His is a superb example of human spirit dominating over adversity. Cameron was an inspiration to those who met him; he will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.

    http://www.freebsd.org/releases/5.4R/announce.html [freebsd.org]
    • Here's to you, Cameron. I didn't know you, but I'm sure you were a great guy.

      I'm having a beer for all the people who have overcome their physical and mental handicaps and done everything they could to function normally in society, as hard as it might have been. And also for their families who helped them through everything and never stopped loving.
  • which is it? :)
  • Does anyone know / has anyone tested if FreeBSD 5.4 supports the SIS965L southbridge chipset ?

    And also, how is the support for SIS190 Ethernet? Sorry about posting these questions here, but I haven't received much response in the kernel mailing lists (atleast not on Linux).
  • I dual boot a 4.6 install with my linux install. My home dir is in ext2 format and I'm always worried when working under BSD that something in my home dir will corrupt (since the BSD developer(s) warn their ext2 driver is not 100% kosher) so I tend to do only small amounts of work in it. Does anyone know if the ext2/ext3 support is now rock solid or is that still on their to-do list?
  • Miniinst iso (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eventhorizon5 (533026)
    Is there a miniinst ISO image for release 5.4? (it's the network install image). 5.3 had one, but there doesn't seem to be one available.

    -eventhorizon
  • Starting with (iirc 5.1.x) I began to see an issue when installing via FTP (using the floppies). While downloading 'base' it would get to about 46% and fail with an:

    "Fatal error: Invalid realloc size of 0! - PRESS ANY KEY TO REBOOT"

    message. There are a few google references (some people see it at 54%, some at 63%) and there was once a bug report on it. The bug report seems to have vanished, but when doing a test install on an unused computer, i saw the same thing. (I do the test install, because you a

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