FreeBSD Ports 4.8 Upgrade

Volunteers at Friday began uploading the next version of its 4.x family to its main FTP sites and corresponding mirror sites for download.

The newest version — 4.8 — builds on the current 4.7 stable release of the popular and free version of the UNIX operating system.

The group is now making the rounds explaining that the release is out, and commits to RELENG_4 no longer require approval.

Even though the group has already distributed its next generation FreeBSD 5.0, the 4.x family is being fully developed to ensure a clear migration path. Volunteers with the release team say there is a strong possibility of a FreeBSD 4.9 coming before the end of the year.

Patterned after the BSDI (Berkeley Software Design Inc.) operating system, the server software runs on x86-compatible, DEC Alpha, IA-64, PC-98 and UltraSPARC architectures.

But with this release, the FreeBSD group (sometimes referred to as “beasties”) has been keeping information about v4.8 closely guarded.

Instead of the usual laundry list of changes being worked on, much of the usual release data is being kept within the QA group in an “on-going effort to improve the release engineering process.”

“To effectively determine this, it’s desirable to test the system in a diverse set of environments, applying a wide set of workloads, forcing the system to operate both within and outside its normal specification. Particular focus should often be placed on the continuing (or new) capability of the system to perform correctly when used in concert with systems from other vendors,” the FreeBSD release group said on its update page.

So far, the release team says version 4.8 has “not regressed with respects to stability, correctness, interoperability, or performance of features present in prior releases.”

Some of the published improvements include support for Firewire; updating OpenSSL to 0.9.7a; enhancing IPFilter to version 3.4.31; and adding ISC DHCP 3.0.1 RC11.

Already vendors are lining up to distribute the software via CD when it becomes available.

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