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FreeBSD 5.0 Developer Preview #1 Announcement

Date: Monday, 8 Apr 2002 15:00:00 -0800
From: "Murray Stokely" <>
Subject: FreeBSD 5.0 Developer Preview #1 Now Available

A Developer Preview release of FreeBSD 5.0-CURRENT is now available for widespread testing. This preview is a significant milestone towards the eventual release of FreeBSD 5.0 in late 2002. Some of the many new features that are available in this snapshot are listed below:

  • SMP support has been largely reworked, incorporating code from BSD/OS 5.0 (in progress).
  • The random(4) device has been rewritten to use the Yarrow algorithm. It harvests entropy from a variety of interrupt sources (hardware devices) to provide the entropy required by strong cryptography.
  • Support for 32-bit Cardbus devices has been added for mobile computers (NEWCARD).
  • Significant security enhancements have been made throughout the system, including a reworked PAM implementation, ACLs, and fewer privileged programs in the base system.
  • An implementation of scheduler activiations has been added to the kernel to more efficiently handle multi-threaded programs. (in progress).
  • A device filesystem has been added to allow entries in the /dev directory to be automatically attached. Among other benefits, devfs provides better support for attaching and detaching peripheral devices.
  • Support for the sparc64 architecture, including most modern workstations and entry level servers from Sun Microsystems (and possibly clones from Tatung, and others).
  • FFS snapshots and background fsck(8).


This is a development snapshot, and may include serious software bugs. Do not install this on a machine where important data may be put at risk. In addition, a number of debugging options are turned on by default, so the poor performance of this snapshot should not set expectations for the final release of 5.0.

That said, we have done our best to provide a stable system for developers and power-users to help test the new functionality in 5.0. For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the release notes and errata list.


5.0-DP1 is available for the i386, alpha, and sparc64 architectures and can be installed directly over the net using the boot floppies or copied to a local NFS/FTP server.

If you can't afford the CDs, are impatient, or just want to use it for evangelism purposes, then by all means download the ISOs, otherwise please continue to support the FreeBSD project by purchasing media from one of our supporting vendors. This Developer Preview release is available on CD-ROM from the FreeBSD Mall.

FreeBSD is also available via anonymous FTP from mirror sites in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Before trying the central FTP site, please check your regional mirror(s) first by going to:


Any additional mirror sites will be labeled ftp2, ftp3 and so on.

We can't promise that all the mirror sites will carry the larger ISO images, but they will at least be available from:

See the FreeBSD Handbook for additional information about FreeBSD mirror sites.


Finally, we would like to thank the developers, users, and companies that continue to make FreeBSD releases possible.

Many companies donated equipment, network access, or man-hours to finance our ongoing release engineering activities, including Compaq, Yahoo!, and The FreeBSD Mall.

I couldn't possibly list all of the people that have helped make 5.0 DP1 a reality, but the following people deserve to be singled out. Will Andrews, Kris Kennaway, Steve Price, and the rest of the Ports team did an incredible job fixing hundreds of third-party packages. Robert Watson and Bruce A. Mah did an excellent job writing up the errata file, helping to decide what changes should be made specifically for this DP release, and much more. Jake Burkholder acted not only as lead developer for the sparc64 port, but also as package builder and release engineer! David O'Brien helped integrate XFree86 4.2 into this snapshot.

Please join me in thanking them for all the hard work that went into polishing the FreeBSD -CURRENT development branch over the past month. I would also like to thank the FreeBSD Committers (, without whom there would be nothing to release, and the many thousands of FreeBSD users world-wide who contributed bug fixes, features and suggestions.

Above all else, remember that this is a work in progress. Please help us find bugs now, so that 5.0-RELEASE will be that much better.


- Murray