FreeBSD

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FreeBSD
FreeBSD 13.0 bootloader with ASCII art logo
DeveloperThe FreeBSD Project
OS familyUnix-like (BSD)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial release1 November 1993; 30 years ago (1993-11-01)
Latest release14.1 (4 June 2024; 46 days ago (2024-06-04)) [±][1]
13.3 (5 March 2024; 4 months ago (2024-03-05)) [±][2]
Repository
Marketing target
Official websitewww.freebsd.org

FreeBSD is a

free and open-source Unix-like operating system descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). The first version of FreeBSD was released in 1993 developed from 386BSD[3] and the current version runs on IA-32, x86-64, ARM, PowerPC and RISC-V processors. The project is supported and promoted by the FreeBSD Foundation
.

FreeBSD maintains a complete system, delivering a

GPL
used by Linux.

The FreeBSD project includes a security team overseeing all software shipped in the base distribution. A wide range of additional third-party applications may be installed from binary packages using the pkg package management system or from source via FreeBSD Ports,[5] or by manually compiling source code.

As of 2005, FreeBSD was the most popular open-source BSD operating system, accounting for more than three-quarters of all installed and permissively licensed BSD systems.[6] Much of FreeBSD's codebase has become an integral part of other operating systems such as Darwin (the basis for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS), TrueNAS (an open-source NAS/SAN operating system), and the system software for the PlayStation 3[7][8] and PlayStation 4[9] game consoles. The other BSD systems (OpenBSD, NetBSD, and DragonFly BSD) also contain a large amount of FreeBSD code, and vice-versa.[citation needed]

History

Background

In 1974, Professor

TCP/IP, virtual memory, and the Berkeley Fast File System. The BSD project was founded in 1976 by Bill Joy. But since BSD contained code from AT&T Unix, all recipients had to first get a license from AT&T in order to use BSD.[10]

In June 1989, "Networking Release 1" or simply Net-1 – the first public version of BSD – was released. After releasing Net-1,

BSD license. Work on replacing AT&T code began and, after 18 months, much of the AT&T code was replaced. However, six files containing AT&T code remained in the kernel. The BSD developers decided to release the "Networking Release 2" (Net-2) without those six files. Net-2 was released in 1991.[10]

Birth of FreeBSD

In 1992, several months after the release of Net-2,

Intel 80386-based microprocessors, and called their new operating system 386BSD. They released 386BSD via an anonymous FTP server.[10] The development flow of 386BSD was slow, and after a period of neglect, a group of 386BSD users including Nate Williams, Rod Grimes and Jordan Hubbard[11] decided to branch out on their own so that they could keep the operating system up to date. On 19 June 1993, the name FreeBSD was chosen for the project.[12] The first version of FreeBSD was released in November 1993.[13][10]

In the early days of the project's inception, a company named Walnut Creek CDROM, upon the suggestion of the two FreeBSD developers, agreed to release the operating system on CD-ROM. In addition to that, the company employed Jordan Hubbard and David Greenman, ran FreeBSD on its servers, sponsored FreeBSD conferences and published FreeBSD-related books, including The Complete FreeBSD by Greg Lehey. By 1997, FreeBSD was Walnut Creek's "most successful product". The company later renamed itself to The FreeBSD Mall and later iXsystems.[14][15][16]

Today, FreeBSD is used by many IT companies such as

Mac OS X operating system are based on FreeBSD.[19] Both the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Switch operating system also borrow certain components from FreeBSD,[7][8] while the PlayStation 4 operating system is derived from FreeBSD 9.[20] Netflix,[21] WhatsApp,[22] and FlightAware[23]
are also examples of large, successful and heavily network-oriented companies which are running FreeBSD.

Lawsuit

386BSD and FreeBSD were both derived from BSD releases.

BSD/386, later called BSD/OS, an operating system similar to FreeBSD and based on 4.3BSD Net/2. AT&T filed a lawsuit against BSDi and alleged distribution of AT&T source code in violation of license agreements. The lawsuit was settled out of court and the exact terms were not all disclosed. The only one that became public was that BSDi would migrate its source base to the newer 4.4BSD-Lite2 sources. Although not involved in the litigation, it was suggested to FreeBSD that it should also move to 4.4BSD-Lite2.[24] FreeBSD 2.0, which was released in November 1994, was the first version of FreeBSD without any code from AT&T.[25]

Features

FreeBSD 14 console after login

Use cases

FreeBSD contains a significant collection of server-related software in the base system and the ports collection, allowing FreeBSD to be configured and used as a

DNS server and a router
, among other applications.

FreeBSD can be installed on a regular desktop or a laptop. The X Window System is not installed by default, but is available in the FreeBSD ports collection. Wayland is also available for FreeBSD[26] (unofficially supported). A number of desktop environments such as Lumina, GNOME, KDE, and Xfce, as well as lightweight window managers such as Openbox, Fluxbox, dwm, and bspwm, are also available for FreeBSD. Major web browsers such as Firefox and Chromium are available unofficially on FreeBSD.[27][28] As of FreeBSD 12, support for a modern graphics stack is available via drm-kmod. A large number of wireless adapters are supported.

FreeBSD releases installation images for supported platforms. Since FreeBSD 13 the focus has been on

aarch64 platforms which have Tier 1 support.[29] IA-32 is a Tier 1 platform in FreeBSD 12 but is a Tier 2 platform in FreeBSD 13. 32 bit ARM processors using armv6 or armv7 also have Tier 2 support. 64 bit versions of PowerPC and RISC-V are also supported.[30] Interest in the RISC-V architecture has been growing.[31] The MIPS architecture port has been marked for deprecation and there is no image for any currently supported version.[32] FreeBSD 12 supports SPARC
but there is no image for FreeBSD 13.

Networking

FreeBSD's TCP/IP stack is based on the

4.2BSD implementation of TCP/IP which greatly contributed to the widespread adoption of these protocols.[33] FreeBSD also supports IPv6,[34] SCTP, IPSec, and wireless networking (Wi-Fi).[35] The IPv6 and IPSec stacks were taken from the KAME project.[36] Prior to version 11.0, FreeBSD supported IPX and AppleTalk protocols, but they are considered old and have now been dropped.[37]

As of FreeBSD 5.4, support for the Common Address Redundancy Protocol (CARP) was imported from the OpenBSD project. CARP allows multiple nodes to share a set of IP addresses, so if one of the nodes goes down, other nodes can still serve the requests.[38]

Storage

FreeBSD has several unique features related to storage.

full disk encryption, journaling, concatenation, caching, and access to network-backed storage. GEOM allows building of complex storage solutions combining ("chaining") these mechanisms.[41]
FreeBSD provides two frameworks for data encryption: GBDE and Geli. Both GBDE and Geli operate at the disk level. GBDE was written by Poul-Henning Kamp and is distributed under the two-clause BSD license. Geli is an alternative to GBDE that was written by Pawel Jakub Dawidek and first appeared in FreeBSD 6.0.[42][43]

From 7.0 onward, FreeBSD supports the ZFS filesystem. ZFS was previously an open-source filesystem that was first developed by Sun Microsystems, but when Oracle acquired Sun, ZFS became a proprietary product. However, the FreeBSD project is still developing and improving its ZFS implementation via the OpenZFS project.[44] The currently supported version of OpenZFS is 2.2.2 which contains an important fix for a data corruption bug. This version is compatible with releases starting from 12.2-RELEASE.[45]

Security

FreeBSD provides several security-related features including

Orange Book. This project is ongoing[timeframe?] and many of its extensions have been integrated into FreeBSD.[49] The project is supported by a variety of organizations, including the DARPA, NSA, Network Associates Laboratories, Safeport Network Services, the University of Pennsylvania, Yahoo!, McAfee Research, SPARTA, Apple Computer, nCircle Network Security, Google, the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and others.[50]

The project has also ported the

API and audit log file format, which supports an extensive security audit system. This was shipped as part of FreeBSD 6.2. Other infrastructure work in FreeBSD performed as part of the TrustedBSD Project has included GEOM and OpenPAM.[48]

Most components of the TrustedBSD project are eventually folded into the main sources for FreeBSD. In addition, many features, once fully matured, find their way into other operating systems. For example, OpenPAM has been adopted by NetBSD.[51] Moreover, the TrustedBSD MAC Framework has been adopted by Apple for macOS.[52]

FreeBSD ships with three different firewall packages:

pf and IPFilter. IPFW is FreeBSD's native firewall. pf was taken from OpenBSD and IPFilter was ported to FreeBSD by Darren Reed.[53]

Taken from OpenBSD, the OpenSSH program was included in the default install. OpenSSH is a free implementation of the SSH protocol and is a replacement for telnet. Unlike telnet, OpenSSH encrypts all information (including usernames and passwords).[54]

In November 2012, The FreeBSD Security Team announced that hackers gained unauthorized access on two of the project's servers. These servers were turned off immediately. More research demonstrated that the first unauthorized access by hackers occurred on 19 September. Apparently hackers gained access to these servers by stealing SSH keys from one of the developers, not by exploiting a bug in the operating system itself. These two hacked servers were part of the infrastructure used to build third-party software packages. The FreeBSD Security Team checked the integrity of the binary packages and determined that no unauthorized changes were made to the binary packages, but stated that it could not guarantee the integrity of packages that were downloaded between 19 September and 11 November.[55][56][57]

Portability

FreeBSD has been ported to a variety of instruction set architectures. The FreeBSD project organizes architectures into tiers that characterize the level of support provided. Tier 1 architectures are mature and fully supported, e.g. it is the only tier "supported by the security officer". Tier 2 architectures are under active development but are not fully supported. Tier 3 architectures are experimental or are no longer under active development.[58]

As of December 2023, FreeBSD has been ported to the following architectures:[29]

Architecture Support level in 14.x[59] Notes
x86-64 Tier 1 referred to as "amd64"
x86 (IA-32) Tier 2 referred to as "i386", unsupported in 15.x
64-bit ARMv8 Tier 1 referred to as "aarch64"
32-bit ARMv7
Tier 2 referred to as "armv7"
32-bit ARMv6
Tier 3 referred to as "armv6", unsupported in 15.x
MIPS unsupported referred to as "mips", "mipsel", "mipshf", "mipselhf", "mipsn32", "mips64", "mips64el", "mips64hf", "mips64elhf", tier 2 until 12.x
32-bit and 64-bit PowerPC Tier 2 referred to as "powerpc", "powerpcspe", "powerpc64", "powerpc64le". 32 bit will not be supported from 15.x
64-bit RISC-V Tier 2 referred to as "riscv64"

The 32-bit ARM (including OTG) and MIPS support is mostly aimed at embedded systems (

BeagleBone Black, Raspberry Pi[61][62] and Wandboard.[63]

Hardware compatibility

Supported devices are listed in the FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE Hardware Notes.[64] The document describes the devices currently known to be supported by FreeBSD. Other configurations may also work, but simply have not been tested yet. Rough automatically extracted lists of supported device ids are available in a third party repository.[65]

In 2020, a new project was introduced to automatically collect information about tested hardware configurations.[66]

Third-party software

FreeBSD has a software repository of over 30,000 [67] applications that are developed by third parties. Examples include windowing systems, web browsers, email clients, office suites and so forth. In general, the project itself does not develop this software, only the framework to allow these programs to be installed, which is known as the Ports collection. Applications may either be compiled from source ("ports"), provided their licensing terms allow this, or downloaded as precompiled binaries ("packages").[68] The Ports collection supports the current and stable branches of FreeBSD. Older releases are not supported and may or may not work correctly with an up-to-date Ports collection.[69]

Ports use Makefiles to automatically fetch the desired application's source code, either from a local or remote repository, unpack it on the system, apply patches to it and compile it.[4][70] Depending on the size of the source code, compiling can take a long time, but it gives the user more control over the process and its result. Most ports also have package counterparts (i.e. precompiled binaries), giving the user a choice. Although this method is faster, the user has fewer customization options.[68]

FreeBSD version 10.0 introduced the

yum in Linux distributions. It allows for installation, upgrading and removal of both ports and packages. In addition to pkg, PackageKit
can also be used to access the Ports collection.

Jails

First introduced in FreeBSD version 4,

operating-system-level virtualization that enables the user to run multiple instances of a guest operating system on top of a FreeBSD host. It is an enhanced version of the traditional chroot mechanism. A process that runs within such a jail is unable to access the resources outside of it. Every jail has its own hostname and IP address. It is possible to run multiple jails at the same time, but the kernel is shared among all of them. Hence only software supported by the FreeBSD kernel can be run within a jail.[73]

Virtualization

Amazon EC2
AMI instances are also supported via amazon-ssm-agent

Since FreeBSD 11.0, there has been support for running as the Dom0 privileged domain for the Xen type 1 hypervisor.[78] Support for running as DomU (guest) has been available since FreeBSD 8.0.

VirtualBox (without the closed-source Extension Pack) and QEMU are available on FreeBSD.

OS compatibility layers

Most software that runs on

SVR4,[79] however, it is more common for users to compile those programs directly on FreeBSD.[80]

No noticeable performance penalty over native FreeBSD programs has been noted when running Linux binaries, and, in some cases, these may even perform more smoothly than on Linux.[81][82] However, the layer is not altogether seamless, and some Linux binaries are unusable or only partially usable on FreeBSD. There is support for system calls up to version 4.4.0,[83] available since FreeBSD 14.0. As of release 10.3, FreeBSD can run 64-bit Linux binaries.[84]

FreeBSD has implemented a number of Microsoft Windows native NDIS kernel interfaces to allow FreeBSD to run (otherwise) Windows-only network drivers.[85][86]

The Wine compatibility layer, which allows the running of many Windows applications, especially games, without a (licensed) copy of Microsoft Windows, is available for FreeBSD.

Kernel

FreeBSD's kernel provides support for some essential tasks such as managing processes, communication, booting and filesystems. FreeBSD has a

SMP and SMT.[89] The FreeBSD kernel has also a scalable event notification interface, named kqueue. It has been ported to other BSD-derivatives such as OpenBSD and NetBSD.[90] Kernel threading was introduced in FreeBSD 5.0, using an M:N threading model. This model works well in theory,[91][92] but it is hard to implement and few operating systems support it. Although FreeBSD's implementation of this model worked, it did not perform well, so from version 7.0 onward, FreeBSD started using a 1:1 threading model, called libthr.[92]

Documentation and support

FreeBSD's documentation consists of its handbooks, manual pages, mailing list archives, FAQs and a variety of articles, mainly maintained by The FreeBSD Documentation Project. FreeBSD's documentation is translated into several languages.[93] All official documentation is released under the FreeBSD Documentation License, "a permissive non-copyleft free documentation license that is compatible with the GNU FDL".[94] FreeBSD's documentation is described as "high-quality".[95][96]

The FreeBSD project maintains a variety of mailing lists.[97] Among the most popular mailing lists are FreeBSD-questions (general questions) and FreeBSD-hackers (a place for asking more technical questions).[98]

Since 2004, the New York City BSD Users Group database provides dmesg information from a collection of computers (laptops, workstations, single-board computers, embedded systems, virtual machines, etc.) running FreeBSD.[99]

Installers

From version 2.0 to 8.4, FreeBSD used the sysinstall program as its main installer. It was written in

text user interface, and is divided into a number of menus and screens that can be used to configure and control the installation process. It can also be used to install Ports and Packages as an alternative to the command-line interface.[100]

The sysinstall utility is now considered deprecated in favor of bsdinstall, a new installer which was introduced in FreeBSD 9.0. bsdinstall is "a lightweight replacement for sysinstall" that was written in sh. According to OSNews, "It has lost some features while gaining others, but it is a much more flexible design, and will ultimately be significant improvement".[73][101]

Shell

Prior to 14.0, the default shell was tcsh for root[102] and the Almquist shell (sh) for regular users.[103] Starting with 14.0, the default shell is sh for both root and regular users.[102] The default scripting shell is the Almquist shell.[104]

Development

FreeBSD is developed by a volunteer team located around the world. The developers use the Internet for all communication and many have not met each other in person. In addition to local user groups sponsored and attended by users, an annual conference, called BSDcon, is held by USENIX. BSDcon is not FreeBSD-specific so it deals with the technical aspects of all BSD-derived operating systems, including OpenBSD and NetBSD.[105] In addition to BSDcon, three other annual conferences, EuroBSDCon, AsiaBSDCon and BSDCan take place in Europe, Japan and Canada respectively.[106][107][108]

Governance structure

The FreeBSD Project is run by around 500 committers or developers who have commit access to the master source code repositories and can develop, debug or enhance any part of the system. Most of the developers are volunteers and few developers are paid by some companies.[17] There are several kinds of committers, including source committers (base operating system), doc committers (documentation and website authors) and ports (third-party application porting and infrastructure). Every two years the FreeBSD committers select a 9-member FreeBSD Core Team, which is responsible for overall project direction, setting and enforcing project rules and approving new committers, or the granting of commit access to the source code repositories. A number of responsibilities are officially assigned to other development teams by the FreeBSD Core Team, for example, responsibility for managing the ports collection is delegated to the Ports Management Team.[109]

In addition to developers, FreeBSD has thousands of "contributors". Contributors are also volunteers outside of the FreeBSD project who submit patches for consideration by committers, as they do not have commit access to FreeBSD's source code repository. Committers then evaluate contributors' submissions and decide what to accept and what to reject. A contributor who submits high-quality patches is often asked to become a committer.[109]

Branches

FreeBSD

backported (MFC or Merge from CURRENT in FreeBSD developer slang) to the -STABLE branch.[110][4]

Foundation

FreeBSD development is supported in part by the FreeBSD Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organization that accepts donations to fund FreeBSD development. Such funding has been used to sponsor developers for specific activities, purchase hardware and network infrastructure, provide travel grants to developer summits, and provide legal support to the FreeBSD project.[111]

In November 2014, the FreeBSD Foundation received US$1 million donation from Jan Koum, co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp – the largest single donation to the Foundation since its inception. In December 2016, Jan Koum donated another $500,000.[112] Jan Koum himself is a FreeBSD user since the late 1990s and WhatsApp uses FreeBSD on its servers.[113]

License

FreeBSD is released under a variety of open-source licenses. The kernel code and most newly created code are released under the two-clause

GNU compiler collection with the BSD-licensed LLVM/Clang compiler. ClangBSD became self-hosting on 16 April 2010.[119]

For many years FreeBSD's logo was the generic BSD Daemon, also called Beastie, a distorted pronunciation of BSD. However, Beastie was not unique to FreeBSD. Beastie first appeared in 1976 on Unix T-shirts of comic artist Phil Foglio art,[120] for Mike O'Brien,[121][122][123][124] with some purchased by Bell Labs.[125]

More popular versions of the BSD daemon were drawn by animation director

photo offset
printing process for faithful reproduction on physical surfaces such as paper. Also, the BSD daemon was thought to be too graphically detailed for smooth size scaling and aesthetically over-dependent on multiple color gradations, making it hard to reliably reproduce as a simple, standardized logo in only two or three colors, much less in monochrome.

Because of these worries, a competition was held and a new logo designed by Anton K. Gural, still echoing the BSD daemon, was released on 8 October 2005.[129][130][131] However, it was announced by Robert Watson that the FreeBSD project is "seeking a new logo, but not a new mascot" and that the FreeBSD project would continue to use Beastie as its mascot.[129]

The name "FreeBSD" was coined by David Greenman on 19 June 1993, other suggested names were "BSDFree86" and "Free86BSD".[132] FreeBSD's slogan, "The Power to Serve", is a trademark of The FreeBSD Foundation.[133]

Derivatives

PC-BSD version 10, the operating system that was later known as TrueOS

There are a number of software distributions based on FreeBSD.

Active

Name Focused on Purpose, comments Started First rel Last rel
GhostBSD End-users
MATE
-based distribution, which also offers other desktop environments
2010 2024
NomadBSD End-users
Live USB system
(installation to hard drive also available)
2018 2024
helloSystem End-users Started in 2020, aims to bring a FreeBSD adaptation to end-users coming from macOS[134] and disappointed by Apple strategy[135] 2020 2021 2023
MidnightBSD End-users German project to adapt freebsd to desktop usage 2007 2023
OPNsense servers or network equipment Focused on firewall, routing and network freebsd adaptation 2015 2024
pfSense servers or network equipment Focused on firewall, routing and networks equipments operating system 2004 2006 2023
TrueNAS servers or network equipment for network-attached storage devices 2015 2016 2024
XigmaNAS servers or network equipment for network-attached storage devices 2011 2012 2023

Abandoned

Name Focused on Purpose, comments Started First rel Last rel
DesktopBSD End-users Desktop-oriented operating system, originally based on KDE 2009 2010 2015
FreeSBIE End-users provide various tools and software in a LiveCD 2003 2004 2007
IntelliStar servers or network equipment satellite system that runs TV programs such as Weatherscan and Local On The 8s 2003 2013
m0n0wall servers or network equipment firewall-focused 2015
OpenServer servers or network equipment servers-usage focused 2011 2015 2023
PicoBSD servers or network equipment for lightweight or low-specs computing operations
TrueOS End-users based on FreeBSD (or TrueOS pico for ARM32 embedded) for home-users 2005 2006 2015

Additional developments added to FreeBSD

  • NanoBSD
  • TrustedBSD

Products-specific developments

Some online services that are directly based on FreeBSD

All these distributions have no or only minor changes when compared with the original FreeBSD base system. The main difference to the original FreeBSD is that they come with pre-installed and pre-configured software for specific use cases. This can be compared with Linux distributions, which are all binary compatible because they use the same kernel and also use the same basic tools, compilers, and libraries while coming with different applications, configurations, and branding.

Besides these distributions, there are some independent operating systems based on FreeBSD.

userland. MidnightBSD is a fork of FreeBSD 6.1 borrowing heavily from NeXTSTEP
, particularly in the user interface department.

userspace are also FreeBSD-derived.[19][143]

Version history

Version Release date Supported until Significant changes
Old version, no longer maintained: 1.x November 1993 ?
  • The first official release.
  • The Ports Collection.
  • Fixed some outstanding bugs from import of 386BSD
  • Addition of some ported applications (
    elm, nntp
    )
Old version, no longer maintained: 2.x 22 November 1994 ?
  • Replaced code base with BSD-Lite 4.4 (to satisfy terms of the
    USL v. BSDi
    lawsuit settlement)
  • New installer and new boot manager
  • Loadable filesystems support for more filesystems (MS-DOS, unionfs, kernfs)
  • Imported loadable kernel modules from NetBSD
  • Replaced BSD malloc with
    phkmalloc
  • Full
    Linux emulation with ELF
  • Dummynet traffic shaping
Old version, no longer maintained: 3.x 16 October 1998 ?
  • symmetric multiprocessing (SMP)
  • CAM (Common Access Method) SCSI system
  • VESA
    video modes
  • Initial USB device support
  • Pluggable Authentication Modules
    (PAM)
  • Netgraph
  • RAID-5
    support in vinum
Old version, no longer maintained: 4.x 14 March 2000[72] 31 January 2007[144]
  • IPv6 support and IPsec with KAME (applications were also updated to support IPv6)
  • OpenSSH integrated into the base system
  • Emulator for
    SVR4
    binary files
  • New jail(2) system call and jail(8) admin command added[145]
  • Kqueue event notification interface
  • Basic
    Firewire
  • Basic
    HyperThreading
    support
  • In-kernel cryptographic framework imported from OpenBSD
  • USB2
    support
  • Added ports/CHANGES and ports/UPDATING to FreeBSD Ports
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.x 14 January 2003 31 May 2008
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.x 1 November 2005 30 November 2010
  • Performance monitoring counters support
  • New Wi-Fi stack
  • GELI
  • Network bridging
  • NanoBSD utility
  • NDIS driver support
  • Keyboard multiplexer
  • UFS filesystem stability
  • Bluetooth autoconfiguration
  • Additional Ethernet and RAID drivers
  • Support for Xbox architecture
  • OpenBSM audit subsystem
  • freebsd-update (binary updates for security fixes and errata patches)
Old version, no longer maintained: 7.x 27 February 2008 28 February 2013
Old version, no longer maintained: 8.x 26 November 2009 1 August 2015
  • SATA NCQ support
  • Xen guest support
  • High Availability Storage
  • Native NFSv4 ACL support
  • USB 3.0 support
Old version, no longer maintained: 9.x 12 January 2012 31 December 2016
  • Capsicum capability-based security mechanism
  • UFS SoftUpdates+Journal
  • ZFS updated to version 28
  • bsdconfig, system configuration utility
  • bsdinstall, the new system installation program
  • RCTL, a flexible resource limits mechanism
  • GRAID, flexible software RAID implementation
  • virtio drivers
  • pkgng[146]
  • vt, the new virtual terminal implementation
Old version, no longer maintained: 10.x 20 January 2014 31 October 2018[147]
  • bhyve
    hypervisor
  • Clang replaced GCC on supported architectures
  • New iSCSI stack
  • Added support for Raspberry Pi
  • UEFI boot for amd64
  • ZFS booting via UEFI
  • ZFS on root file system
  • ZFS reliability and performance improvements
  • Implementation of pkg, a new FreeBSD package manager, also referred to as pkgng[148]
  • Support for
    UDP Lite
    protocol (RFC 3828)
  • SMP
    support for armv6
  • New autofs-based automounter
  • DRM code updated to match Linux 3.8.13, allowing multiple simultaneous X servers
  • Support for 64-bit Linux binaries through the compatibility layer
Old version, no longer maintained: 11.x 10 October 2016[149] 30 September 2021[150]
Old version, no longer maintained: 12.x 11 December 2018[152][153] 31 December 2023
  • The ext2fs(5) filesystem has been updated to support full read/write support for ext4
  • FreeBSD has changed the way
    ATI-AMD
    and Intel graphics cards are now available in the Ports Collection.
  • The UFS/FFS filesystem has been updated to support check hashes to cylinder-group maps.
Older version, yet still maintained: 13.x 13 April 2021[154][155] 31 January 2026
  • The clang, lld, and lldb utilities and compiler-rt, llvm, libunwind, and libc++ libraries have been updated to version 11.0.1.
  • Removed the obsolete binutils 2.17 and gcc(1) 4.2.1 from the tree. All supported architectures now use the LLVM/clang toolchain.
  • The kernel now supports in-kernel framing and encryption of Transport Layer Security (TLS) data on TCP sockets for TLS versions 1.0 through 1.3. Transmit offload via in-kernel crypto drivers is supported for MtE cipher suites using AES-CBC as well as AEAD cipher suites using AES-GCM. Receive offload via in-kernel crypto drivers is supported for AES-GCM cipher suites for TLS 1.2. Using KTLS requires the use of a KTLS-aware userland SSL library. The OpenSSL library included in the base system does not enable KTLS support by default, but support can be enabled by building with the WITH_OPENSSL_KTLS option
  • The 64-bit ARM architecture known as arm64 or AArch64 is promoted to Tier-1 status for FreeBSD 13.
Current stable version: 14.x 20 November 2023[156][157] 30 November 2028
  • OpenSSH has been updated to version 9.5p1.
  • OpenSSL has been updated to version 3.0.12, a major upgrade from OpenSSL 1.1.1t in FreeBSD 13.2-RELEASE.
  • The bhyve hypervisor now supports TPM and GPU passthrough.
  • FreeBSD supports up to 1024 cores on the amd64 and arm64 platforms.
  • ZFS has been upgraded to OpenZFS release 2.2, providing significant performance improvements.
  • It is now possible to perform background filesystem checks on UFS file systems running with journaled soft updates.
  • Experimental ZFS images are now available for AWS and Azure.
  • The default congestion control mechanism for TCP is now CUBIC.
Future release: 15.x TBA ?
  • Drop support for all 32-bit CPU instruction set architectures except armv7[158]
Version Release date Supported until Significant changes
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ "FreeBSD 14.1-RELEASE Announcement". FreeBSD.org. 4 June 2024. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  2. ^ "FreeBSD 13.3-RELEASE Announcement". FreeBSD.org. 5 March 2024. Retrieved 5 March 2024.
  3. ^ "FreeBSD History". people.freebsd.org. Archived from the original on 24 November 2023. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  4. ^ a b c Chisnall, David (20 January 2006). BSD: The Other Free UNIX Family. informit.com. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Chapter 4. Installing Applications: Packages and Ports". FreeBSD Handbook. The FreeBSD Project. Archived from the original on 22 September 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  6. ^ BSD Usage Survey Report (PDF) (Report). The BSD Certification Group. 31 October 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Licenses of software used on PlayStation®3 console". Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  8. ^ a b Rosenberg, Alex (17 December 2013). "FreeBSD Handbook and PS3". freebsd-doc (Mailing list). Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
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