Skip site navigation (1) Skip section navigation (2)

Section Navigation

FreeBSD 2.0.5 ALPHA Release Notes

                                 RELEASE NOTES
                                 Release 2.0.5

1. Technical overview

FreeBSD is a freely available, full source 4.4 BSD Lite based release
for Intel i386/i486/Pentium (or compatible) based PC's.  It is based
primarily on software from U.C. Berkeley's CSRG group, with some
enhancements from NetBSD, 386BSD, and the Free Software Foundation.

Since our release of FreeBSD 2.0 some 8 months ago, the performance,
feature set, and stability of FreeBSD has improved dramatically.  The
largest change is a revamped VM system with a merged VM/file buffer
cache that not only increases performance, but reduces FreeBSD's
memory footprint, making a 4MB configuration a more acceptable
minimum.  Other enhancements include full NIS client and server
support, transaction TCP support, dial-on-demand PPP, an improved SCSI
subsystem, early ISDN support, support for FDDI and Fast Ethernet
(100Mbit) adapters, improved support for the Adaptec 2940 (WIDE and
narrow) and many hundreds of bug fixes.

We've also taken the comments and suggestions of many of our users to
heart and have attempted to provide what we hope is a more sane and
easily understood installation process.  Your feedback on this
(constantly evolving) process is especially welcome!

In addition to the base distributions, FreeBSD offers a new ported
software collection with some 270 commonly sought-after programs.  The
list of ports ranges from http (WWW) servers, to games, languages,
editors and almost everything in between.  The entire ports collection
requires only 10MB of storage, all ports being expressed as "deltas"
to their original sources.  This makes it much easier for us to update
ports, and greatly reduces the disk space demands made by the older
1.0 ports collection.  To compile a port, you simply change to the
directory of the program you wish to install, type make and let the
system do the rest.  The full original distribution for each port you
build is retrieved dynamically off of CDROM or a local ftp site, so
you need only enough disk space to build the ports you want.  (Almost)
every port is also provided as a pre-compiled "package" which can be
installed with a simple command (pkg_add) by those who do not wish to
compile their own ports from source.  See the file:
for a more complete description of the ports collection.

Since our first release of FreeBSD 1.0 nearly two years ago, FreeBSD
has changed almost entirely.  A new port from the Berkeley 4.4 code
base was done, which brought the legal status of the system out of the
shadows with the blessing of Novell (the new owners of USL and UNIX).  The
port to 4.4 has also brought in a host of new features, filesystems
and enhanced driver support.  With our new unencumbered code base, we
have every reason to hope that we'll be able to release quality
operating systems without further legal encumbrance for some time to

FreeBSD 2.0.5 represents the culmination of 2 years of work and many
thousands of man hours put in by an international development team.
We hope you enjoy it!

A number of additional documents which you may find very helpful in
the process of installing and using FreeBSD may also be found in
the "FAQ" directory, either under /usr/share/FAQ on an installed
system or at the top level of the CDROM or FTP distribution from
where you're reading this file.  Please consult FAQ/Text/ROADMAP
for a brief description of the resources provided by the FAQ directory.

For a list of contributors and a general project description, please see
the file "CONTRIB.FreeBSD" which should be bundled with your binary

Also see the "REGISTER.FreeBSD" file for information on registering
with the "Free BSD user counter".   This counter is for ALL freely
available variants of BSD, not just FreeBSD, and we urge you to register
yourself with it.

The core of FreeBSD does not contain DES code which would inhibit its
being exported outside the United States.  There is an add-on package
to the core distribution, for use only in the United States, that
contains the programs that normally use DES.  The auxiliary packages
provided separately can be used by anyone.   A freely (from outside the
U.S.) exportable European distribution of DES for our non-U.S. users also
exists and is described in the FreeBSD FAQ.

If password security for FreeBSD is all you need, and you have no
requirement for copying encrypted passwords from different hosts
(Suns, DEC machines, etc) into FreeBSD password entries, then
FreeBSD's MD5 based security may be all you require!  We feel that our
default security model is more than a match for DES, and without any
messy export issues to deal with.  If you're outside (or even inside)
the U.S., give it a try!

1.1 What's new in 2.0.5?

The following features were added or substantially improved between
the release of 2.0 and this 2.0.5 release.  In order to facilitate
better communication, the person, or persons, responsible for each
enhancement is noted.  Any questions regarding the new functionality
should be directed to them first.


Merged VM-File Buffer Cache
A merged VM/buffer cache design greatly enhances overall system
performance and makes it possible to do a number of more optimal
memory allocation strategies that were not possible before.

Owner:                  David Greenman ( and
                        John Dyson (

Network PCB hash optimization
For systems with a great number of active TCP connections (WEB and ftp
servers, for example), this greatly speeds up the lookup time required
to match an incoming packet up to its associated connection.

Owner:                  David Greenman (

Name cache optimization
The name-cache would cache all files of the same name to the same bucket,
which would put for instance all ".." entries in the same bucket.  We added
the parent directory version to frustrate the hash, and improved the
management of the cache in various other ways while we were at it.

Owner:                  Poul-Henning Kamp (
                        David Greenman (

Less restrictive swap-spaces
The need to compile the names of the swap devices into the kernel has been
removed.  Now swapon will accept any block devices, up to the maximum
number of swap devices configured in the kernel.

Owner:                  Poul-Henning Kamp (
                        David Greenman (

Hard Wired SCSI Devices
Prior to 2.0.5, FreeBSD performed dynamic assignment of unit numbers
to SCSI devices as they were probed, allowing a SCSI device failure to
possibly change unit number assignment and prevent filesystems on
still functioning disks from mounting.  Hard wiring allows static
allocation of unit numbers (and hence device names) to scsi devices
based on SCSI ID and bus.  SCSI configuration occurs in the kernel
config file.  Samples of the configuration syntax can be found in the
man page or the LINT kernel config file.

Owner:                  Peter Dufault (
Sources involved:       sys/scsi/* usr.sbin/config/*

Slice Support
FreeBSD now supports a "slice" abstraction which makes it more
completely interoperable with other operating system partitions.  This
support will allow FreeBSD to inhabit DOS extended partitions.

Owner:                  Bruce Evans (
Sources involved:       sys/disklabel.h sys/diskslice.h sys/dkbad.h
                        kern/subr_diskslice.c kern/subr_dkbad.c
                        i386/isa/wd.c scsi/sd.c dev/vn/vn.c

Support for Ontrack Disk Manager Version 6.0
Support has been added for disks which use Ontrack Disk Manager.  The
fdisk program does NOT know about it however, so make all changes
using the install program on the boot.flp or the Ontrack Disk Manager
tool under DOS.

Owner:                  Poul-Henning Kamp (

Bad144 is back and working
Bad144 works again, though the semantics are slightly different than
before in that the bad-spots are kept relative to the slice rather
than absolute on the disk.

Owner:                  Bruce Evans (
                        Poul-Henning Kamp (


                        SCSI and CDROM Devices

Matsushita/Panasonic (Creative) CD-ROM driver
The Matsushita/Panasonic CR-562 and CR-563 drives are now supported
when connected to a Sound Blaster or 100% compatible host adapter.  Up
to four host adapters are supported for a total of 16 CD-ROM drives.
The audio functions are supported, along with access to the raw (2352 byte)
data frames of any compact disc.  Audio discs may be played using Karoke
variable speed functions.

Owner:                  Frank Durda IV
Sources involved:       isa/matcd

Adaptec 2742/2842/2940 SCSI driver
The original 274x/284x driver has evolved considerably since the 2.0
release.  We now offer full support for the 2940 series as well as the
Wide models of these cards.  The arbitration bug (as well as many
others) that caused the driver problems with fast devices has been
corrected and there is even experimental tagged queuing support
(kernel option "AHC_TAGENABLE").  John Aycock has also released the
sequencer code under a "Berkeley style" copyright making the driver
entirely clean of the GPL.

Owner:                  Justin Gibbs (
Sources involved:       isa/aic7770.c pci/aic7870.c i386/scsi/*

NCR5380/NCR53400 SCSI ("ProAudio Spectrum") driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Serge Vakulenko (
Sources involved:       isa/ncr5380.c

Sony CDROM driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Mikael Hybsch (
Sources involved:       isa/scd.c

                        Serial Devices

SDL Communications Riscom/8 Serial Board Driver
Owner:                  Andrey Chernov (
Sources involved:       isa/rc.c isa/rcreg.h

Cyclades Cyclom-y Serial Board Driver
Owner:                  Bruce Evans (
Submitted by:           Andrew Werple ( and
                        Heikki Suonsivu (
Obtained from:          NetBSD
Sources involved:       isa/cy.c

Cronyx/Sigma sync/async serial driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Serge Vakulenko
Sources involved:       isa/cronyx.c


Diskless booting
Diskless booting in 2.0.5 is much improved.  The boot-program is in
src/sys/i386/boot/netboot, and can be run from an MSDOS system or
burned into an EPROM.  Local swapping is also possible.  WD, SMC, 3COM
and Novell ethernet cards are currently supported.

DEC DC21140 Fast Ethernet driver
This driver supports any of the numerous NICs using the DC21140 chipset
including the 100Mb DEC DE-500-XA and SMC 9332.

Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Matt Thomas (
Sources involved:       pci/if_de.c pci/dc21040.h

Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Matt Thomas (
Sources involved:       pci/if_pdq.c pci/pdq.c pci/pdq_os.h pci/pdqreg.h

3Com 3c505 (Etherlink/+) NIC driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Dean Huxley (
Obtained from:          NetBSD
Sources involved:       isa/if_eg.c

Fujitsu MB86960A family of NICs driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           M.S. (
Sources involved:       isa/if_fe.c

Intel EtherExpress driver
Owner:                  Rodney W. Grimes (
Sources involved:       isa/if_ix.c isa/if_ixreg.h

3Com 3c589 driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           "HOSOKAWA Tatsumi" (,
                        Seiji Murata ( and
                        Noriyuki Takahashi (
Sources involved:       isa/if_zp.c

IBM Credit Card Adapter driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           "HOSOKAWA Tatsumi" (,
Sources involved:       isa/pcic.c isa/pcic.h

EDSS1 and 1TR6 ISDN interface driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Dietmar Friede ( and
                        Juergen Krause (
Sources involved:       gnu/isdn/*

                        Miscellaneous Drivers

Joystick driver
Owner:                  Jean-Marc Zucconi (
Sources involved:       isa/joy.c

National Instruments "LabPC" driver
Owner:                  Peter Dufault (
Sources involved:       isa/labpc.c

WD7000 driver
Owner:                  Olof Johansson (

Pcvt Console driver
Owner:                  Joerg Wunsch (
Submitted by:           Hellmuth Michaelis (
Sources involved:       isa/pcvt/* usr.sbin/pcvt/*

BSD-audio emulator for VAT driver
Owner:                  Amancio Hasty ( and
                        Paul Traina (
Sources involved:       isa/sound/vat_audio.c isa/sound/vat_audioio.h

National Instruments AT-GPIB and AT-GPIB/TNT GPIB driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Fred Cawthorne (
Sources involved:       isa/gpib.c isa/gpib.h isa/gpibreg.h

Genius GS-4500 hand scanner driver
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Gunther Schadow (
Sources involved:       isa/gsc.c isa/gscreg.h

CORTEX-I Frame Grabber
Owner:                  core
Submitted by:           Paul S. LaFollette, Jr.
Sources involved:       isa/ctx.c isa/ctxreg.h

Video Spigot video capture card
Owner:                  Jim Lowe

1.2 Experimental features

The unionfs and LFS filesystems are known to be severely broken in
2.0.5.  This is in part due to old bugs that we haven't had time to
resolve yet and the need to update these filesystems to deal with the
new VM system.  We hope to address these issues in a later release of

FreeBSD now supports running iBCS2 compatible binaries (currently SCO
UNIX 3.2.2 & 3.2.4 and ISC 2.2 COFF format are supported).  The iBCS2
emulator is in its early stages, but it is functional, we haven't been
able to do exhaustive testing (lack of commercial apps), but almost
all of SCO's 3.2.2 binaries are working, so is an old INFORMIX-2.10
for SCO. Further testing is necessary to complete this project. There
is also work under way for ELF & XOUT loaders, and most of the svr4
syscall wrappers have been written.

FreeBSD also implements enough of its Linux compatibility that we
can now run Linux DOOM!  See the ``xperimnt'' directory (on your local
FTP server or CDROM) for full docs on how to set this up.

Owner:                  Soren Schmidt (sos) & Sean Eric Fagan (sef)
Sources involved:       sys/i386/ibcs2/* + misc kernel changes.

2. Supported Configurations

FreeBSD currently runs on a wide variety of ISA, VLB, EISA and PCI bus
based PC's, ranging from 386sx to Pentium class machines (though the
386sx is not recommended).  Support for generic IDE or ESDI drive
configurations, various SCSI controller, network and serial cards is
also provided.

Following is a list of all disk controllers and ethernet cards currently
known to work with FreeBSD.  Other configurations may very well work, and
we have simply not received any indication of this.

2.1. Disk Controllers

WD1003 (any generic MFM/RLL)
WD1007 (any generic IDE/ESDI)

Adaptec 152x series ISA SCSI controllers
Adaptec 154x series ISA SCSI controllers
Adaptec 174x series EISA SCSI controller in standard and enhanced mode.
Adaptec 274X/284X/2940 (Narrow/Wide/Twin) series ISA/EISA/PCI SCSI controllers
Adaptec AIC-6260 and AIC-6360 based boards, which includes
the AHA-152x and SoundBlaster SCSI cards.

** Note: You cannot boot from the SoundBlaster cards as they have no
   on-board BIOS, which is necessary for mapping the boot device into the
   system BIOS I/O vectors.  They're perfectly usable for external tapes,
   CDROMs, etc, however.  The same goes for any other AIC-6x60 based card
   without a boot ROM.  Some systems DO have a boot ROM, which is generally
   indicated by some sort of message when the system is first powered up
   or reset.  Check your system/board documentation for more details.

[Note that Buslogic was formerly known as "Bustec"]
Buslogic 545S & 545c
Buslogic 445S/445c VLB SCSI controller
Buslogic 742A, 747S, 747c EISA SCSI controller.
Buslogic 946c PCI SCSI controller
Buslogic 956c PCI SCSI controller

NCR 53C810 and 53C825 PCI SCSI controller.
NCR5380/NCR53400 ("ProAudio Spectrum") SCSI controller.

DTC 3290 EISA SCSI controller in 1542 emulation mode.

UltraStor 14F, 24F and 34F SCSI controllers.

Seagate ST01/02 SCSI controllers.

Future Domain 8xx/950 series SCSI controllers.

With all supported SCSI controllers, full support is provided for
SCSI-I & SCSI-II peripherals, including Disks, tape drives (including
DAT) and CD ROM drives.

The following CD-ROM type systems are supported at this time:
(cd)    SCSI (also includes ProAudio Spectrum and SoundBlaster SCSI)
(mcd)   Mitsumi proprietary interface
(matcd) Matsushita/Panasonic (Creative) proprietary interface
(scd)   Sony proprietary interface

Note: CD-Drives with IDE interfaces are not supported at this time.

Some controllers have limitations with the way they deal with >16MB of
memory, due to the fact that the ISA bus only has a DMA address space
of 24 bits.  If you do your arithmetic, you'll see that this makes it
impossible to do direct DMA to any address >16MB.  This limitation is
even true of some EISA controllers (which are normally 32 bit) when
they're configured to emulate an ISA card, which they then do in *all*
respects.  This problem is avoided entirely by IDE controllers (which
do not use DMA), true EISA controllers (like the UltraStor, Adaptec
1742A or Adaptec 2742) and most VLB (local bus) controllers.  In the
cases where it's necessary, the system will use "bounce buffers" to
talk to the controller so that you can still use more than 16Mb of
memory without difficulty.

2.2. Ethernet cards

SMC Elite 16 WD8013 ethernet interface, and most other WD8003E,
WD8003EBT, WD8003W, WD8013W, WD8003S, WD8003SBT and WD8013EBT
based clones.  SMC Elite Ultra is also supported.

DEC EtherWORKS III NICs (DE203, DE204, and DE205)
DEC EtherWORKS II NICs (DE200, DE201, DE202, and DE422)
DEC DC21140 based NICs (SMC???? DE???)

Fujitsu MB86960A family of NICs

Intel EtherExpress

Isolan AT 4141-0 (16 bit)
Isolink 4110     (8 bit)

Novell NE1000, NE2000, and NE2100 ethernet interface.

3Com 3C501 cards

3Com 3C503 Etherlink II

3Com 3c505 Etherlink/+

3Com 3C507 Etherlink 16/TP

3Com 3C509, 3C579, 3C589 (PCMCIA) Etherlink III

Toshiba ethernet cards

PCMCIA ethernet cards from IBM and National Semiconductor are also

2.3. Misc

AST 4 port serial card using shared IRQ.

ARNET 8 port serial card using shared IRQ.

BOCA ATIO66 6 port serial card using shared IRQ.

Cyclades Cyclom-y Serial Board.

STB 4 port card using shared IRQ.

Mitsumi (all models) CDROM interface and drive.

SDL Communications Riscom/8 Serial Board.

SoundBlaster SCSI and ProAudio Spectrum SCSI CDROM interface and drive.

Matsushita/Panasonic (Creative SoundBlaster) CDROM interface and drive.

Adlib, SoundBlaster, SoundBlaster Pro, ProAudioSpectrum, Gravis UltraSound
and Roland MPU-401 sound cards.

FreeBSD currently does NOT support IBM's microchannel (MCA) bus, but
support is apparently close to materializing.  Details will be posted
as the situation develops.

3. Obtaining FreeBSD

You may obtain FreeBSD in a variety of ways:

1. FTP/Mail

You can ftp FreeBSD and any or all of its optional packages from
`' - the official FreeBSD release site.

For other locations that mirror the FreeBSD software see the file
MIRROR.SITES.  Please ftp the distribution from the nearest site
to you netwise.

If you do not have access to the internet and electronic mail is your
only recourse, then you may still fetch the files by sending mail to
`' - putting the keyword "help" in your message
to get more information on how to fetch files from
Note: This approach will end up sending many *tens of megabytes*
through the mail, and should only be employed as an absolute LAST


FreeBSD 2.0.5 may be ordered on CDROM from:

        Walnut Creek CDROM
        4041 Pike Lane, Suite D
        Concord CA  94520
        1-800-786-9907, +1-510-674-0783, +1-510-674-0821 (fax)

Or via the internet from or
Their current catalog can be obtained via ftp as:

Cost per CD is $39.95, or $24.95 with a FreeBSD subscription.  With
a subscription, you will automatically receive updates as they
are released.  Your credit card will be billed when each disk is shipped
and you may cancel your subscription at any time without further obligation.

Walnut Creek CDROM also sells a full line of FreeBSD related merchandise such
as T-shirts ($14.95, available in "child", Large and XL sizes), coffee mugs
($9.95), tattoos ($0.25 each) and posters ($3.00).

Shipping (per order not per disc) is $5 in the US, Canada or
Mexico and $9.00 overseas.  They accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover,
American Express or checks in U.S. Dollars and ship COD within the
United States.  California residents please add 8.25% sales tax.

Should you be dissatisfied for any reason, the CD comes with an
unconditional return policy.

Reporting problems, making suggestions, submitting code

Your suggestions, bug reports and contributions of code are always
valued - please do not hesitate to report any problems you may find
(preferably with a fix attached if you can!).

The preferred method to submit bug reports from a machine with
internet mail connectivity is to use the send-pr command.  Bug reports
will be dutifully filed by our faithful bugfiler program and you can
be sure that we'll do our best to respond to all reported bugs as soon
as possible.

If, for some reason, you are unable to use the send-pr command to
submit a bug report, you can try to send it to:


Otherwise, for any questions or suggestions, please send mail to:


Additionally, being a volunteer effort, we are always happy to have
extra hands willing to help - there are already far more enhancements
to be done than we can ever manage to do by ourselves!  To contact us
on technical matters, or with offers of help, you may send mail to:


Since these mailing lists can experience significant amounts of
traffic, if you have slow or expensive mail access and you are
only interested in keeping up with significant FreeBSD events, you may
find it preferable to subscribe to:


All but the freebsd-bugs groups can be freely joined by anyone wishing
to do so.  Send mail to and include the keyword
`help' on a line by itself somewhere in the body of the message.  This
will give you more information on joining the various lists, accessing
archives, etc.  There are a number of mailing lists targeted at
special interest groups not mentioned here, so send mail to majordomo
and ask about them!

6. Acknowledgements

FreeBSD represents the cumulative work of many dozens, if not
hundreds, of individuals from around the world who have worked very
hard to bring you this release.  It would be very difficult, if not
impossible, to enumerate everyone who's contributed to FreeBSD, but
nonetheless we shall try (in alphabetical order, of course). If your
name is not mentioned, please be assured that its omission is entirely

The Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG), U.C. Berkeley.

Bill Jolitz, for his initial work with 386BSD.

The FreeBSD Core Team
(in alphabetical order by first name):

        Andreas Schulz <>
        Andrey A. Chernov <>
        Bruce Evans <>
        David Greenman <>
        Garrett A. Wollman <>
        Gary Palmer <>
        Geoff Rehmet <>
        Jack Vogel <>
        John Dyson <>
        Jordan K. Hubbard <>
        Justin Gibbs <>
        Paul Richards <>
        Poul-Henning Kamp <>
        Rich Murphey <>
        Rodney W. Grimes <>
        Satoshi Asami <>
        Søren Schmidt <>

Special mention to:

        Walnut Creek CDROM, without whose help (and continuing support)
        this release would never have been possible.

        Dermot McDonnell for his donation of a Toshiba XM3401B CDROM

        Additional FreeBSD helpers and beta testers:

        J.T. Conklin                            Julian Elischer
        Frank Durda IV                          Peter Dufault
        Sean Eric Fagan                         Jeffrey Hsu
        Terry Lambert                           L Jonas Olsson
        Chris Provenzano                        Dave Rivers
        Guido van Rooij                         Steven Wallace
        Atsushi Murai                           Scott Mace
        Nate Williams

        And everyone at Montana State University for their initial support.

Jordan would also like to give special thanks to Poul-Henning Kamp and
Gary Palmer, both of whom put in long hours helping him to construct
the new installation utility.  Poul, being a proud new father, was
especially pressed for time and yet somehow managed to put in
a significant amount of effort anyway.  This release could not have
happened without him!  Thank you both!

Thanks also to everyone else who helped, especially those not
mentioned, and we sincerely hope you enjoy this release of FreeBSD!

                        The FreeBSD Core Team

Id: RELNOTES.FreeBSD,v 1.7 1995/05/28 19:49:57 jkh Exp

Release Home