Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 The FreeBSD Documentation Project
191987 2009-05-11 07:57:29Z delphij $
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The release notes for FreeBSD 8.0-CURRENT contain a summary of the changes made to the FreeBSD base system on the 8-CURRENT development line. This document lists applicable security advisories that were issued since the last release, as well as significant changes to the FreeBSD kernel and userland. Some brief remarks on upgrading are also presented.
This document contains the release notes for FreeBSD 8.0-CURRENT. It describes recently added, changed, or deleted features of FreeBSD. It also provides some notes on upgrading from previous versions of FreeBSD.
The snapshot distribution to which these release notes apply represents the latest point along the 8-CURRENT development branch since 8-CURRENT was created. Information regarding pre-built, binary snapshot distributions along this branch can be found at http://www.FreeBSD.org/snapshots/.
All users are encouraged to consult the release errata before installing FreeBSD. The errata document is updated with “late-breaking” information discovered late in the release cycle or after the release. Typically, it contains information on known bugs, security advisories, and corrections to documentation. An up-to-date copy of the errata for FreeBSD 8.0-CURRENT can be found on the FreeBSD Web site.
This section describes the most user-visible new or changed features in FreeBSD since 7.0-RELEASE. In general, changes described here are unique to the 8-CURRENT branch unless specifically marked as MERGED features.
Typical release note items document recent security advisories issued after 7.0-RELEASE, new drivers or hardware support, new commands or options, major bug fixes, or contributed software upgrades. They may also list changes to major ports/packages or release engineering practices. Clearly the release notes cannot list every single change made to FreeBSD between releases; this document focuses primarily on security advisories, user-visible changes, and major architectural improvements.
The ddb(4) kernel debugger now has an output capture facility. Input and output from ddb(4) can now be captured to a memory buffer for later inspection using sysctl(8) or a textdump. The new capture command controls this feature. [MERGED]
The ddb(4) debugger now supports a simple scripting facility, which supports a set of named scripts consisting of a set of ddb(4) commands. These commands can be managed from within ddb(4) or with the use of the new ddb(8) utility. More details can be found in the ddb(4) manual page. [MERGED]
The kernel now supports a new textdump format of kernel dumps. A textdump provides higher-level information via mechanically generated/extracted debugging output, rather than a simple memory dump. This facility can be used to generate brief kernel bug reports that are rich in debugging information, but are not dependent on kernel symbol tables or precisely synchronized source code. More information can be found in the textdump(4) manual page. [MERGED]
Kernel support for M:N threading has been removed. While the KSE (Kernel Scheduled
Entities) project was quite successful in bringing threading to FreeBSD, the M:N approach
taken by the KSE library was never developed to its full potential. Backwards
compatibility for applications using KSE threading will be provided via
for dynamically linked binaries. The FreeBSD Project greatly appreciates the work of
<julian@FreeBSD.org>, Daniel Eischen
<deischen@FreeBSD.org>, and David Xu
<davidxu@FreeBSD.org> on KSE support.
The FreeBSD kernel now exports information about certain kernel features via the
kern.features sysctl tree. The
feature_present(3) library call provides a
convenient interface for user applications to test the presence of features.
[amd64] The FreeBSD kernel now has support for large memory page mappings (“superpages”).
[amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc] The ULE scheduler is now the default process scheduler in GENERIC kernels. [MERGED]
[amd64, i386] The BTX kernel used by the boot loader has been changed to invoke BIOS routines from real mode. This change makes it possible to boot FreeBSD from USB devices. [MERGED]
[amd64, i386] A new gptboot boot loader has been added to support booting from a GPT labeled disk. A new boot command has been added to gpt(8), which makes a GPT disk bootable by writing the required bits of the boot loader, creating a new boot partition if required. [MERGED]
The cmx(4) driver, a driver for Omnikey CardMan 4040 PCMCIA smartcard readers, has been added. [MERGED]
The syscons(4) driver now supports Colemak keyboard layout.
The uslcom(4) driver, a driver for Silicon Laboratories CP2101/CP2102-based USB serial adapters, has been imported from OpenBSD. [MERGED]
The ale(4) driver has been added to provide support for Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 Gigabit/Fast Ethernet controllers.
The em(4) driver has been split into two drivers with some common parts. The em(4) driver will continue to support adapters up to the 82575, as well as new client/desktop adapters. A new igb(4) driver will support new server adapters.
The jme(4) driver has been added to provide support for PCIe network adapters based on JMicron JMC250 Gigabit Ethernet and JMC260 Fast Ethernet controllers.
The malo(4) driver has been added to provide support for Marvell Libertas 88W8335 based PCI network adapters.
The firmware for the mxge(4) driver has been updated from 1.4.25 to 1.4.29.
The sf(4) driver has been overhauled to improve its performance and to add support for checksum offloading. It should also work on all architectures.
The re(4) driver has been overhauled to fix a number of issues. This driver now has Wake On LAN (WOL) support.
The vr(4) driver has been overhauled to fix a number of outstanding issues. It also now works on all architectures.
[amd64, i386] The wpi(4) driver has been updated to include a number of stability fixes. [MERGED]
The bpf(4) packet filter
and capture facility now supports a zero-copy mode of operation, in which buffers are
loaned from a user process to the kernel. This feature can be enabled by setting the
net.bpf.zerocopy_enable sysctl variable to 1.
ISDN4BSD(I4B), netatm, and all related subsystems have been removed due to lack of multi-processor support.
A bug in TCP options padding, where the wrong padding bytes were used, has been fixed. [MERGED]
The aac(4) driver now supports volumes larger than 2TB in size. [MERGED]
The ata(4) driver now supports a spindown command for disks; after a configurable amount of time, if no requests have been received for a disk, the disk will be spun down until the next request. The atacontrol(8) utility now supports a spindown command to configure this feature.
The hptrr(4) driver has been updated to version 1.2 from Highpoint. [MERGED]
utility now supports a
-M option to set the mode of a new
user's home directory. [MERGED]
For compatiblity with other implementations, cp(1) now supports a
-a flag, which is equivalent to specifying the
BSD-licensed version of cpio(1) based on libarchive, has replaced the GNU cpio. Note that the GNU cpio is still installed as gcpio.
The env(1) program now
-u name which
will completely unset the given variable name by
removing it from the environment, instead of just setting it to a null value.
The fdopendir(3) library function has been added.
now support HTTP 1.1 If-Modified-Since behavior. The
which will only download the specified HTTP URL if the content is newer than filename. [MERGED]
option to specify the jail where the command will be executed.
kgdb(1) now supports a new add-kld command to make it easier to debug crash dumps with kernel modules.
The ls(1) program now
-D option to specify a date format string to be
used with the long format (
nc(1) now supports a
-O switch to disable the use of TCP options.
The procstat(1) utility has been added to display detailed information about processes.
utility now supports a
-q flag to suppress warnings; it now
also accepts multiple paths on its command line. [MERGED]
now supports a
-n flag to split a file into a certain number
The tar(1) utility now
--numeric-owner flag to ignore user/group names on
create and extract.
The tar(1) utility now
-S flag to sparsify files on extraction.
The tar(1) utility now
-s flag to substitute filenames based on the
specified regular expression.
The tcgetsid(3) library function has been added to return the process group ID for the session leader for the controlling terminal. It is defined in IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (POSIX).
top(1) now supports a
-P flag to provide per-CPU usage statistics.
now has the ability to print the AS number for each hop with the new
-a switch; a new
-A option allows
selecting a particular WHOIS server.
now supports a
-U flag to send probe packets with no
upper-layer protocol, rather than the usual UDP probe packets.
AMD has been updated from 6.0.10 to 6.1.5. [MERGED]
awk has been updated from 1 May 2007 release to the 23 October 2007 release. [MERGED]
bzip2 has been updated from 1.0.4 to 1.0.5. [MERGED]
CVS has been updated from 1.11.17 to a post-1.11.22 snapshot from 10 March 2008.
hostapd has been updated from 0.5.8 to 0.5.10.
IPFilter has been updated from 4.1.23 to 4.1.28.
less has been updated from v408 to v429.
ncurses has been updated from 5.6-20061217 to 5.6-20080503.
OpenSSH has been updated from 4.5p1 to 5.1p1. [MERGED]
OpenPAM has been updated from the Figwort release to the Hydrangea release. [MERGED]
sendmail has been updated from 8.14.1 to 8.14.3. [MERGED]
The timezone database has been updated from the tzdata2008b release to the tzdata2008h release. [MERGED]
WPA Supplicant has been updated from 0.5.8 to 0.5.10.
utility now supports
-n. When this option is specified and a
package tarball exists, it will not be overwritten. This is useful when multiple packages
are saved with several consecutive runs of
The pkg_sign and pkg_check utilities for cryptographically signing FreeBSD packages have been removed. They were only useful for packages compressed using gzip(1); however bzip2(1) compression has been the norm for some time now.
The supported version of the GNOME desktop environment (x11/gnome2) has been updated from 2.20.1 to 2.22. [MERGED]
[amd64, i386] Beginning with FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE, binary upgrades between RELEASE versions (and snapshots of the various security branches) are supported using the freebsd-update(8) utility. The binary upgrade procedure will update unmodified userland utilities, as well as unmodified GENERIC or SMP kernels distributed as a part of an official FreeBSD release. The freebsd-update(8) utility requires that the host being upgraded have Internet connectivity.
An older form of binary upgrade is supported through the Upgrade option from the main sysinstall(8) menu on CDROM distribution media. This type of binary upgrade may be useful on non-i386, non-amd64 machines or on systems with no Internet connectivity.
Source-based upgrades (those based on recompiling the FreeBSD base system from source code) from previous versions are supported, according to the instructions in /usr/src/UPDATING.
Important: Upgrading FreeBSD should, of course, only be attempted after backing up all data and configuration files.
This file, and other release-related documents, can be downloaded from http://www.FreeBSD.org/snapshots/.
For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
All users of FreeBSD 8-CURRENT should subscribe to the <current@FreeBSD.org> mailing list.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.