Return of The BSDs

Nov 3, 2005

Sean Michael Kerner

Among all the noise and buzz created by Linux, it's important to remember that it's not the only open source variant of Unix. OpenBSD, NetBSD and FreeBSD are all still very much alive and kicking and have recently been released from their respective projects.

OpenBSD 3.8 includes improved hardware support, such as a new video driver for the Intel i810 graphics chipset among others. The latest version of the OpenBSD-sponsored OpenSSH project version 4.2 is also part of the release.

The release theme for OpenBSD 3.8 is "hackers of the lost raid," which OpenBSD developer Bob Beck explained comes from the addition of bioctl(8), a raid-card-independent RAID management interface, and some great management features for ami(4) cards.

Beck also noted other important additions in OpenBSD 3.8, including hostapd(8) for wireless access points, ipsecctl to simplify IPsec management, sasyncd to synchronize IPsec SAs for failover purposes, network interface aggregation with trunk(4) and DVD file system support.

Not to be overshadowed, NetBSD is also sporting a new release this week. NetBSD 2.1 includes kernel subsystem updates, networking, file system, security, system administration and user tools improvements.

Version 3.0 is expected at the end of November.

The FreeBSD Project is also gearing up for its next major release, version 6, which is expected in the coming weeks.

FreeBSD is one of the earliest open source operating system projects and is a direct descendant of the original open source BSD work performed at the University of California, Berkeley.

FreeBSD 6 will include a number of important improvements that will build on the strong foundation of the FreeBSD 5.x series originally released in 2003.

New performance improvements in FreeBSD 6 will take advantage of the new SMP architecture. It will also have the ability to scale to eight, 12, and 14 processors. The file system is now multithreaded, which, according to Long, will allow for much better performance of mail servers and database servers.

See the complete story and the rest of today's IT news at


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