FreeBSD and PC-BSD Release New Versions
The FreeBSD project announced the release of versions 8.2 and 7.4 on February 24. Both bring lots of new features and bug fixes. FreeBSD can be run on a large variety of architectures and is still considered one of the most stable and hardened systems available. The most user-friendly derivative, PC-BSD, saw a new release the same day as well.
The FreeBSD project released two versions of its popular BSD-clone line. 8.2 and legacy 7.4 were released simultaneously with many of the same improvements. They feature GNOME 2.32.1 and KDE 4.5.5. Asynchronous Logging Queues support has been improved to allow for variable length messages set at execution by flags for more flexibility. Sysctl has been improved to allow for more current updates and larger contiguous free range in memory management and several new virtual memory variable options. Other memory improvements were seen as well in the areas of detection and reallocation of freed memory blocks. GUID partition tables are now supported and partition table and header checksum verification has been fixed. Quite a number of disk and networking enhancements and fixes were implemented at the kernel level as well as in userspace applications. Lots of network and graphic driver improvements and additions were implemented. Various filesystem support elements have been improved across the board. The security fixes include a bzip2 integer overflow and several vulnerabilities in OpenSSL. And, of course, all your favorite applications have been updated as well.
Not to be outdone, PC-BSD released their latest and greatest on February 24 too. PC-BSD is sometimes referred to as the Ubuntu of *BSD. It does embody many of the same elements as most any Linux distributions. Pretty and easy graphical installer, an attractive and useful desktop out-of-the-box, handy applications, and an easy-to-use graphical software manager.
Being based on FreeBSD 8.2, many of the same improvements in it are inherited in PC-BSD 8.2. BC-BSD 8.2 features things like KDE 4.5.5, Xorg 7.5, and Nvidia Driver 260.19.29. Besides a range of KDE apps, the default install comes with software such as ImageMagick, Digikam, and the GIMP. When installing, one can choose extra software including FireFox 3.6.13, OpenOffice 3.2.1, and VLC 1.1.5.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.