The FreeBSD Project Takes Open Source to 11 with Latest Release

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The FreeBSD Project, in conjunction with the FreeBSD Foundation, is pleased to announce the release of the much anticipated FreeBSD 11.0. The latest release continues to pioneer the field of copyfree-licensed, open source operating systems by including new architecture support, performance improvements such as ARM64 and RISC-V; toolchain enhancements such as an update to Clang 3.8.0 and a migration to BSD-licensed ELF binary tools; and support for contemporary wireless chipsets.

“FreeBSD 11.0 represents years of hard work by volunteers in the FreeBSD community, developers employed by companies using FreeBSD, academics, and FreeBSD Foundation staff members and grant recipients,” said Ed Maste, FreeBSD Foundation

The FreeBSD Project, in conjunction with the FreeBSD Foundation, is pleased to announce the release of the much anticipated FreeBSD 11.0. The latest release continues to pioneer the field of copyfree-licensed, open source operating systems by including new architecture support, performance improvements, toolchain enhancements and support for contemporary wireless chipsets. The new features and improvements bring about an even more robust operating system that both companies and end users alike benefit greatly from using.

“FreeBSD 11.0 represents years of hard work by volunteers in the FreeBSD community, developers employed by companies using FreeBSD, academics, and FreeBSD Foundation staff members and grant recipients,” said Ed Maste, Director of Project Development, FreeBSD Foundation. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and am confident FreeBSD 11.0 will provide an excellent choice in the world of open source operating systems.”

The FreeBSD Project continues to expand and enhance the platforms which run FreeBSD. This versatility makes FreeBSD an excellent choice for researchers looking to work on new architectures and practitioners who need alternative platforms that best suit their needs.

Continuing FreeBSD’s commitment to working with ARM technologies, the FreeBSD/arm64 port is now available thanks to the FreeBSD Foundation’s collaboration with Cavium, ARM, Semihalf, and ABT Systems. Cavium’s ThunderX platform is the primary reference target for the FreeBSD/arm64 port.

“Cavium is pleased to have partnered with the FreeBSD Foundation, ARM, Semihalf, and ABT Systems to add support for the ARMv8 architecture in this release,” said Tasha Castañeda, Associate Director, Software Ecosystems and Solutions, Cavium. “Using the ThunderX server as the primary reference platform, FreeBSD 11 provides users with the best in class implementation of the ARMv8 architecture. Our high performance 48-core SoC incorporates features that are crucial for the most demanding server applications. Working with FreeBSD is part of Cavium’s commitment to delivering operating system diversity on our platforms and continuing to expand the ThunderX software ecosystem.”

RISC-V is another new target now supported in FreeBSD 11.0. RISC-V is an exciting new open source Instruction-Set Architecture (ISA) with a focus on computer architecture and instruction set research, developed at the University of California at Berkeley. The FreeBSD 11.0 RISC-V port allows FreeBSD to boot to multi-user mode on the Spike simulator and QEMU emulator. FreeBSD 11.0 is the first operating system release to include bootable, in-tree support for RISC-V.

Other new features include:

  • An asynchronous implementation of the sendfile(2) syscall can yield up to 40% performance improvement for existing file serving applications, without modification.
  • Support for NUMA memory allocation and scheduler policies.
  • Expanded bhyve guest operating system support including Windows Vista, 7, 8, Server 2012, and 10.
  • Network CPU scalability and affinity improvements through RSS (Receive Side Scaling).
  • Tool chain enhancements, including an update to Clang 3.8.0 and a migration to BSD-licensed ELF binary tools.
  • Out-of-the-box support for Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi 2 and Beaglebone Black peripherals

In addition, FreeBSD 11.0 lays the groundwork for a release stream that will see many significant features during its lifetime. A complete list of the features in this release is available at http://www.freebsd.org/releases/11.0R/relnotes.html.

About the FreeBSD Project
FreeBSD provides a copy-free modern operating system that is up-to-date and scalable, offers high-performance, security, and advanced networking. Use it for personal workstations, Internet servers, embedded devices, routers, and firewalls. The FreeBSD packages collection includes popular software like: Apache web server, GNOME, KDE, X.org, Python, Firefox and over 23,000 software suites. FreeBSD is online at http://www.freebsd.org.

About the FreeBSD Foundation
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the FreeBSD Project and community, the Foundation gratefully accepts donations from individuals and businesses. Donations are used to fund and manage projects and developer summits, sponsor FreeBSD events, and provide travel grants to FreeBSD developers. The Foundation also represents the FreeBSD Project in executing contracts, license agreements, and other legal arrangements that require a recognized legal entity. It is supported entirely by donations.

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