FreeBSD Puts Out 6.2 Beta 3 Release
Published: November 9, 2006
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
The open source FreeBSD Unix operating system project announced this week that it has wrapped up the code in the third beta release of the future FreeBSD 6.2 operating system.
FreeBSD 6.1 just came out in the spring, but the FreeBSD project has the attitude that they should put out releases in a rapid-fire fashion to keep the code current and bug-free. FreeBSD 6.2 went into code free on September 11, and is expected to be launched after three betas and two release candidates are done--probably around November 13. FreeBSD 6.3 will follow this, and then the project will begin work on a new version, FreeBSD 7.0, in June 2007.
FreeBSD 6.2 includes a bunch of bug fixes, and is noteworthy in that it will have support for Microsoft's Xbox game console as well as an experimental feature called security event auditing. The FreeBSD 6.2 release also has a new program updater, appropriately enough called the Update binary update utility.
FreeBSD 7.0 could turn out to be far more interesting, thanks in large measure to the similarities between Sun Microsystems's Solaris 10 Unix and its OpenSolaris development project. FreeBSD community members and people who worked on the Google Summer of Code projects for FreeBSD (where Google paid techies to do FreeBSD projects as a summer job) have been working on a port of dynamic tracing, or DTrace, from Solaris to FreeBSD. DTrace allows system administrators and programmers to get telemetry readings from inside the operating system kernel to see where applications are failing or getting bogged down, which allows predictive self-healing and better programming. FreeBSD is also working a port of Sun's Zettabyte File System, which is very fast, scalable, and resilient, is also being ported to FreeBSD.
The open source Xen virtual machine hypervisor from XenSource is also being officially ported into FreeBSD; it was already implemented with a modified kernel when Xen burst onto the scene more than two years ago. The Linux compatibility environment for FreeBSD is also being updated. Another project is called TrustedBSD Audit, a fine-grained security auditing feature for the FreeBSD kernel. To see what is cooking at the FreeBSD project, and what could end up in FreeBSD 7.0 and subsequent releases, check out the state of FreeBSD report that the project recently put out.
The FreeBSD project is expected to be hosted in a new data center that goes live on the expected FreeBSD 6.2 launch date on November 13. Nothing quite like juggling chainsaws and kittens at the same time.
The BSD Unix Projects Keep Humming Along
FreeBSD Puts Out Beta 4 of 5.5 and 6.1 Releases
NetBSD Unix Supports Xen Virtualization
SMP-Capable OpenBSD 3.6 Set for November