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FreeBSD/alpha 4.10-RELEASE Release Notes

The FreeBSD Project

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The release notes for FreeBSD 4.10-RELEASE contain a summary of the changes made to the FreeBSD base system since 4.9-RELEASE. Both changes for kernel and userland are listed, as well as applicable security advisories for the base system that were issued since the last release. Some brief remarks on upgrading are also presented.

1 Introduction

This document contains the release notes for FreeBSD 4.10-RELEASE on the Alpha/AXP hardware platform. It describes new features of FreeBSD that have been added (or changed) since 4.9-RELEASE. It also provides some notes on upgrading from previous versions of FreeBSD.

This distribution of FreeBSD 4.10-RELEASE is a release distribution. It can be found at or any of its mirrors. More information on obtaining this (or other) release distributions of FreeBSD can be found in the ``Obtaining FreeBSD'' appendix in the FreeBSD Handbook.

For significant information discovered after the release or last-minute changes in the release cycle to be otherwise included in the release documentation, please read Errata document.

2 What's New

This section describes the most user-visible new or changed features in FreeBSD since 4.9-RELEASE. Typical release note items document new drivers or hardware support, new commands or options, major bugfixes, or contributed software upgrades. Security advisories for the base system that were issued after 4.9-RELEASE are also listed.

2.1 Security Advisories

A potential denial of service in BIND has been fixed. For more information, see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-03:19.

A bug with the System V Shared Memory interface (specifically the shmat(2) system call) has been fixed. This bug can cause a shared memory segment to reference unallocated kernel memory. In turn, this can permit a local attacker to gain unauthorized access to parts of kernel memory, possibly resulting in disclosure of sensitive information, bypass of access control mechanisms, or privilege escalation. More details can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:02.

A potential low-bandwidth denial-of-service attack against the FreeBSD TCP stack has been prevented by limiting the number of out-of-sequence TCP segments that can be held at one time. More details can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:04.

A bug in OpenSSL's SSL/TLS ChangeCipherSpec message processing could result in a null pointer dereference, has been fixed. This could allow a remote attacker to crash an OpenSSL-using application and cause a denial-of-service on the system. More details can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:05.

Two programming errors in CVS have been fixed. They allow a server to overwrite arbitrary files on the client, and a client to read arbitrary files on the server when accessing remote CVS repositories. More details can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:07.

A bugfix for Heimdal rectifies a problem in which it would not perform adequate checking of authentication across autonomous realms. For more information, see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:08.

A fix in kadmind(8) closes a potential buffer overflow. Details can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:09.

2.2 Kernel Changes

The dcons(4) ``dumb console'' driver has been added to provide a local and remote console. It can be accessed over FireWire using the dcons_crom(4) driver. A dconschat(8) utility provides user access to dcons(4) devices.

A bug in mmap(2) that pages marked as PROT_NONE may become readable under certain circumstances, has been fixed.

The stl(4) driver has been updated to version 5.6.0b1.

The umct(4) driver, which provides support for USB to RS-232 converters based on the Magic Control Technology USB-232 has been added.

The usb(4) support has been improved, which includes a lot of bug fixes and early support for some USB2 devices.

Note: umodem(4) now uses /dev/ucom* instead of /dev/umodem* device nodes.

2.2.3 Network Interface Support

A short hiccup in the em(4) during parameter reconfiguration, has been fixed.

A bug, which prevents VLAN support in the nge(4) driver from working has been fixed.

Several bugs related to polling(4) support in the rl(4) driver have been fixed.

The ste(4) driver now supports polling(4).

The hardware TX checksum support of the xl(4) driver has been disabled as it does not work correctly and slows down the transmission rate.

2.2.4 Network Protocols

The DA_OLD_QUIRKS kernel option, which is for the CAM SCSI disk driver ( cam(4)) has been removed.

The TCP implementation now includes partial (output-only) support for RFC 2385 (TCP-MD5) digest support. This feature, enabled with the TCP_SIGNATURE and FAST_IPSEC kernel options, is a TCP option for authenticating TCP sessions. setkey(8) now includes support for the TCP-MD5 class of security associations.

The random ephemeral port allocation, which come from OpenBSD has been implemented. This is enabled by default and can be disabled using the net.inet.ip.portrange.randomized sysctl.

The ng_vlan(4) NetGraph node type, which supports IEEE 802.1Q VLAN tagging has been added.

2.2.5 Disks and Storage

The amr(4) driver now has system crashdump support.

The umass(4) driver now supports the missing ATAPI MMC commands and handles the timeout properly.

2.3 Userland Changes

disklabel(8) now supports a -f option to work on regular files which contain disk images.

ifconfig(8) now supports a staticarp option for an interface, which disables the sending of ARP requests for that interface.

ifconfig(8) now prints the polling(4) status on the interface.

killall(1) now supports a -e flag to make the -u operate on effective, rather than real, user IDs.

The default mode for the lost+found directory of fsck(8) is now 0700 instead of 01777.

The libalias library, natd(8), and ppp(8) now support Cisco Skinny Station protocol, which is the protocol used by Cisco IP phones to talk to Cisco Call Managers. Note that currently having the Call Manager behind the NAT gateway is not supported.

makewhatis(1), formerly a Perl script, has been reimplemented in C.

ps(1) compatibility with POSIX/SUSv3 has been improved. The changes include -p for a list of process IDs, -t for a list of terminal names, -A which is equivalent to -ax, -G for a list of group IDs, -X which is the opposite of -x, and some minor improvements. For more information, see ps(1).

pw(8) now supports a -H option, which accepts an encrypted password on a file descriptor.

rtld(1) now has support for the dynamic mapping of shared object dependencies. More information on using this feature can be found in libmap.conf(5).

stat(1) from NetBSD, as of 5 June 2002 has, been imported.

which(1), formerly a Perl script, has been reimplemented in C.

2.4 Contributed Software

BIND has been updated from version 8.3.4 to version 8.3.7.

OpenSSL has been updated from version 0.9.7c to version 0.9.7d.

sendmail has been updated from version 8.12.9 to version 8.12.11.

2.5 Ports/Packages Collection Infrastructure

The SIZE attribute for distfiles, which can be used for checking file sizes before fetching, has been added and enabled by default. DISABLE_SIZE is a user control knob to disable the distfile size checking. This is especially useful on old FreeBSD versions which didn't have fetch(1) support for this, and for some FTP proxies which always report incorrect or bogus sizes.

Two new files have been added to the ports tree to track note-worthy changes: ports/CHANGES lists major changes to the Ports Collection and its infrastructure. ports/UPDATING describes some potential pitfalls that can be encountered when updating certain ports, analogous to src/UPDATING for the base system.

2.6 Release Engineering and Integration

The supported release of GNOME has been updated from 2.4 to 2.6.

Note: If you are using the older GNOME desktop itself (x11/gnome2), simply upgrading it from the FreeBSD Ports Collection with portupgrade(1) (sysutils/portupgrade) will cause serious problems. If you are a GNOME desktop user, please read the instructions carefully at, and use the script to properly upgrade to GNOME 2.6.

Note that if you are just a casual user of some of the GNOME libraries, portupgrade(1) should be sufficient to update your ports.

The supported release of KDE has been updated from 3.1.4 to 3.2.2.

3 Upgrading from previous releases of FreeBSD

If you're upgrading from a previous release of FreeBSD, you generally will have three options:

  • Using the binary upgrade option of sysinstall(8). This option is perhaps the quickest, although it presumes that your installation of FreeBSD uses no special compilation options.

  • Performing a complete reinstall of FreeBSD. Technically, this is not an upgrading method, and in any case is usually less convenient than a binary upgrade, in that it requires you to manually backup and restore the contents of /etc. However, it may be useful in cases where you want (or need) to change the partitioning of your disks.

  • From source code in /usr/src. This route is more flexible, but requires more disk space, time, and technical expertise. More information can be found in the ``Using make world'' section of the FreeBSD Handbook. Upgrading from very old versions of FreeBSD may be problematic; in cases like this, it is usually more effective to perform a binary upgrade or a complete reinstall.

Please read the INSTALL.TXT file for more information, preferably before beginning an upgrade. If you are upgrading from source, please be sure to read /usr/src/UPDATING as well.

Finally, if you want to use one of various means to track the -STABLE or -CURRENT branches of FreeBSD, please be sure to consult the ``-CURRENT vs. -STABLE'' section of the FreeBSD Handbook.

Important: Upgrading FreeBSD should, of course, only be attempted after backing up all data and configuration files.

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For questions about this documentation, e-mail <>.

Last modified on: May 15, 2021 by Allan Jude