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FreeBSD 4.5 Announcement

Date: Tuesday, 29 Jan 2002 20:00:00 -0800
From: "Murray Stokely" <>
Subject: 4.5-RELEASE is now available

I am very pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 4.5-RELEASE, the very latest release on the FreeBSD -STABLE branch of development. Since FreeBSD 4.4 was released in September 2001, we have made hundreds of fixes, updated many system components, made several substantial performance improvements, and addressed a wide variety of security issues.

In particular, there have been significant enhancements in the areas of network communications and filesystems. FreeBSD 4.5 contains improvements to the TCP stack to provide better throughput. In addition, TCP performance is aided by larger default buffer sizes. Finally, FreeBSD 4.5 contains new mechanisms to mitigate the effects of TCP Denial of Service attacks.

The FFS filesystem benefits from a new directory layout strategy that has demonstrated significantly better performance for operations traversing large directory structures. Various bugs were located and fixed in the FFS and NFS code with the help of a filesystem exercising program originally developed at Apple Computer, Inc.

Those users doing fresh installations of FreeBSD should note some changes for newly created filesystems, intended to improve the "out of the box" performance of FreeBSD. In particular, sysinstall(8) now enables Soft Updates (a strategy for improving both performance and reliability of on-disk data structures) for new filesystems it creates and the newfs(8) program will now, by default, create filesystems with larger block sizes.

For more information about the most significant changes with this release of FreeBSD, please see the release section of our web site:

There you will find Release Notes, Hardware Notes, and a list of Errata.


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

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

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. The following companies have contributed substantially to the development of FreeBSD :

FreeBSD Mall, Inc.
FreeBSD Services Ltd.
Daemon News

Each CD set contains the FreeBSD installation and application package bits for the i386 ("PC") architecture. For a set of distfiles used to build ports in the ports collection, please see the FreeBSD Toolkit, a 6 CD set containing extra bits which no longer fit on the 4 CD set.

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 and the United Kingdom.

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.

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

The FreeBSD installation instructions have recently been significantly enhanced. Chapter 2 of The FreeBSD Handbook, available online, provides a complete installation walk-through for users new to FreeBSD.


Many companies donated equipment, network access, or man-hours to finance the release engineering activities for FreeBSD 4.5, including Compaq, Yahoo!, and The FreeBSD Mall.

In addition to myself, the release engineering team for 4.5-RELEASE includes:

Robert Watson <>Release Engineering
John Baldwin <>Release Engineering
Bruce A. Mah <>Release Documentation
Steve Price <>Package Building
Wilko Bulte <>Alpha Platform Release Engineering
Peter Wemm <>Ports Cluster System Administration

Please join me in thanking them for all the hard work which went into making this release. 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.


- Murray