FreeBSD 5.0 Developer Preview #2

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daemon.gifThe FreeBSD project has released a new Developer Preview of 5.0. New stuff since the previous DP includes, "The GEOM disk geometry module and the GBDE on-disk encryption system. A compiler toolchain based on GCC 3.2. A new extensible Mandatory Access Control framework, the TrustedBSD MAC Framework. The new UFS2 on-disk format, with support for larger filesystems and extended file attributes. Support for Firewire devices. Experimental support for the RAIDframe software RAID disk driver.".

Compared to FreeBSD 4.7, version 5.0 will also include a rewritten thread system, much better SMP support and many other goodies. They have taken Perl out of the base system; putting them with NetBSD and MS-Windows as one of few systems not having Perl in the default install. :-) It's really not a bad thing though. With FreeBSD 4.x it's generally a huge pain to upgrade the system Perl; hopefully it will work out better the new way (installable via the ports system).

Eventhough I only have one and a half FreeBSD box left I manage, it is quite exciting. Will it be too little too late? Linux is moving much faster. Spinning its wheels more than FreeBSD, but still moving faster in the end. Will Apples involvement with BSD be intimate enough that FreeBSD will get a boost from it?

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FreeBSD Still has a lot of life in it. The MAC architecture that's coming from TrustedBSD is being funded by DARPA, and it's the same sort of work that's being coordinated by the NSA with SELinux.

The difference with the NSA and SELinux is that they're doing research into MAC and similar systems. Their goal is not to produce a final product (otherwise, that gets into the dicey area of the US Government competing with industrial interests). TrustedBSD, on the other hand, is a funded contract to bring MAC to an open source operating system (which just happens to be a FreeBSD derivative). And, as a BSD, there's a holistic view of the entire product -- not just the security architecture. To get MAC on Linux, you need to get the kernel extensions and configure the damn thing on your own. (There's a big opportunity to come up with working and usable SELinux MAC configurations.) I'd expect that much of that work is part of the finished project with FreeBSD 5.0-RELEASE.

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This page contains a single entry by Ask Bjørn Hansen published on November 18, 2002 7:15 PM.

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