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FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE Release Notes

Release Highlights

The highlights in the 7.2-RELEASE are the following:

  • [amd64, i386] The FreeBSD virtual memory subsystem now supports fully transparent use of superpages for application memory; application memory pages are dynamically promoted to or demoted from superpages without any modification to application code. This change offers the benefit of large page sizes such as improved virtual memory efficiency and reduced TLB (translation lookaside buffer) misses without downsides like application changes and virtual memory inflexibility. This is disabled by default and can be enabled by setting a loader tunable vm.pmap.pg_ps_enabled to 1.

  • [amd64] The FreeBSD kernel virtual address space has been increased to 6GB. This allows subsystems to use larger virtual memory space than before. For example, zfs(8) adaptive replacement cache (ARC) requires large kernel memory space to cache file system data, so it benefits from the increased address space. Note that the ceiling on the kernel map size is now 60% of the size rather than an absolute quantity.

  • [sparc64] The FreeBSD now supports Ultra SPARC III (Cheetah) processor family.

  • [i386] The boot(8) BTX loader has been improved. This fixes several boot issues on recent machines reported for 7.1-RELEASE and before.

  • A bug in the ciss(4) driver which caused low “max device openings” count and led to poor performance has been fixed.

  • The sdhci(4) driver has been added. This supports PCI devices with class 8 and subclass 5 according to the SD Host Controller Specification.

  • Various network interface drivers have been improved, including ae(4), ath_hal(4), axe(4), bce(4), cxgb(4), fxp(4), igb(4), jme(4), msk(4), mxge(4), nfe(4), re(4), rl(4), sis(4), and txp(4).

  • The btpand(8) daemon from NetBSD has been added. This daemon provides support for Bluetooth Network Access Point (NAP), Group Ad-hoc Network (GN) and Personal Area Network User (PANU) profiles.

  • The jail(8) subsystem has been updated. Changes include:

    • Multiple addresses of both IPv4 and IPv6 per jail has been supported. It is even possible to have jails without an IP address at all, which basically gives one a chrooted environment with restricted process view and no networking.

    • SCTP (sctp(4)) with IPv6 in jails has been implemented.

    • Specific CPU binding by using cpuset(1) has been implemented. Note that the current implementation allows the superuser inside of the jail to change the CPU bindings specified. This behavior will be fixed in the next release.

    • A jail(8) can start with a specific route FIB now.

    • A show jails subcommand in ddb(8) has been added.

    • Compatibility support which permits 32-bit jail binaries to be used on 64-bit systems to manage jails has been added.

    • Note that both version numbers of jail and prison in the jail(8) have been updated for the new features.

  • The supported version of the GNOME desktop environment (x11/gnome2) has been updated from 2.22 to 2.26.

  • The supported version of the KDE desktop environment has been updated from 3.5.10 (x11/kde3) to 4.2.2 (x11/kde4).

For more details, please see the Detailed Release Notes.

A list of all platforms currently under development can be found on the Supported Platforms page.