The first Beta for FreeBSD 7.2 has been released, updating network drivers as well as some threading libraries. The FreeBSD 7.2 release is the first point upgrade since the 7.1 release which became generally available in January of this year. The final release of FreeBSD 7.2 is currently scheduled for the first week of May.
The bigger push at FreeBSD from where I sit is the FreeBSD 8 release which is set for release later this year.
“We’re very excited about FreeBSD 8.0, due out later this year, which includes support for a virtualized network stack, which will allow FreeBSD jails to have their own routing, firewalls, VPNs, etc,” FreeBSD core team member Robert Watson told me earlier this year. “This is exciting for our ISP users, but also appliance vendors, research community, etc. Another similarly exciting feature is support for 802.11 Virtual Access Points, which allow a single radio to be used for many different 802.11 SSIDs, a feature that will be important to hobbyist use of FreeBSD to companies building commercial access point products.”
Beyond its own development efforts, FreeBSD also might soon benefit from the Debian Linux community as well. Debian users will soon be able to choose to use a FreeBSD kernel (instead of a Linux kernel).
I’m not sure why a Debian user would choose to use a FreeBSD kernel, and no doubt at this early stage this is still experimental, but it is interesting. By enabling its users to choose FreeBSD, Debian could well open up its large development community to FreeBSD and in so doing expand the base of FreeBSD itself. Then again, it could just be a ‘neat’ feature that is interesting to try out, but doesn’t actually serve a productive purpose. Time will tell.