FreeBSD The Power to Serve

FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE Errata

The FreeBSD Project

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This document lists errata items for FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE, containing significant information discovered after the release or too late in the release cycle to be otherwise included in the release documentation. This information includes security advisories, as well as news relating to the software or documentation that could affect its operation or usability. An up-to-date version of this document should always be consulted before installing this version of FreeBSD.

This errata document for FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE will be maintained until the release of FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE.

1 Introduction

This errata document contains ``late-breaking news'' about FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE. Before installing this version, it is important to consult this document to learn about any post-release discoveries or problems that may already have been found and fixed.

Any version of this errata document actually distributed with the release (for example, on a CDROM distribution) will be out of date by definition, but other copies are kept updated on the Internet and should be consulted as the ``current errata'' for this release. These other copies of the errata are located at, plus any sites which keep up-to-date mirrors of this location.

Source and binary snapshots of FreeBSD 5-STABLE also contain up-to-date copies of this document (as of the time of the snapshot).

For a list of all FreeBSD CERT security advisories, see or

2 Security Advisories

(1 Dec 2004) A bug in procfs(5) and linprocfs(5) which could cause a malicious local user could perform a local denial of service attack by causing a system panic, or the user could read parts of kernel memory, has been fixed. For more information, see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:17.

(18 Nov 2004) A bug in the fetch(1) utility which allows a malicious HTTP server to cause arbitrary portions of the client's memory to be overwritten, has been fixed. For more information, see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-04:16.

3 Open Issues

(31 Oct 2004) The re(4) and em(4) drivers may behave poorly under heavy load. In particular, there are reports of em(4) on the IBM ThinkPad T40 locking up under such conditions.

(31 Oct 2004) There are reports of the sk(4) driver locking up under heavy load, especially when ASUStek on-board NICs are used. To clear the condition, bringing the interface down then back up and/or rebooting the system may be needed.

(31 Oct 2004) The burncd(8) utility is functional but may behave erratically on some systems. Reported symptoms include that burncd(8) can appear to hang and never complete while the operation actually does complete, and the progress indicator does not show the correct value. Workarounds include:

  • Eject and re-insert the media after burning a CD.

  • Press Ctrl-C when burncd(8) appears to hang up while the access LED goes inactive.

(31 Oct 2004) When the user/group rule clauses in pf(4) and ipfw(4) are used, the loader tunable debug.mpsafenet must be set to 0 (this is 1 by default). For example, the following rules are affected:

for ipfw(4):

count ip from any to uid root

for pf(4):

block log quick proto { tcp, udp } all user root

To set debug.mpsafenet to 0 on every boot, add the following line into /boot/loader.conf:


More specifically, the group and user filter parameters in pf(4), and the gid, jail, and uid rule options in ipfw(4) are affected. If debug.mpsafenet is set to 1, the system can hang when the rule is evaluated due to a lock order reversal with the socket layer. More details can be found in the ipfw(8) and pf.conf(5) manual pages.

(31 Oct 2004, updated on 12 Nov 2004) The vinum(4) subsystem works on 5.3, but it can cause a system panic at boot time. As a workaround you can add vinum_load="YES" to /boot/loader.conf.

As an alternative you can also use the new geom(4)-based vinum(4) subsystem. To activate the geom(4)-aware vinum at boot time, add geom_vinum_load="YES" to /boot/loader.conf and remove start_vinum="YES" in /etc/rc.conf if it exists.

While some uncommon configurations, such as multiple vinum drives on a disk, are not supported, it is generally backward compatible. Note that for the geom(4)-aware vinum, its new userland control program, gvinum, should be used, and it is not yet feature-complete.

(31 Oct 2004) The results of netstat -m can become incorrect on SMP systems when debug.mpsafenet is set to 1 (default). This is an error in the statistics gathering because of a race condition in the counters, not an actual memory leak.

(31 Oct 2004, updated on 5 Nov 2004) For FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/amd64, when installing FreeBSD 5.3 using an USB keyboard the keyboard will stop working once the kernel boots, because a PS/2 keyboard is always considered to be attached. As a workaround, select ``Escape to loader prompt'' in the boot loader menu and enter the following lines at the prompt:

set hint.atkbd.0.flags="0x1"

Note that if you use the boot floppies, this is set by default.

After the installation, add the following line to /boot/loader.conf:


(1 Nov 2004) The ULE scheduler described in the release notes has been completely disabled to discourage its use because it has stability problems.

(1 Nov 2004) Programs linked with libpthread may not report any CPU usage statistics according to top(1), while those linked with libthr show the correct statistics.

(1 Nov 2004) ATA RAID support for the CMD649 and SiI0680 ATA controllers is non-functional in this release. When such a controller is brough up under ata(4) (ataraid) on 5.3, the RAID configuration stored under 5.2 or prior may be corrupted.

(3 Nov 2004) For FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/amd64, SMP support in the GENERIC kernel has been disabled by default because the SMP kernel can degrade the performance on UP machines. A kernel configuration file SMP, which can be used to enable SMP support, has been added. More details on building the custom kernel can be found at

(4 Nov 2004) The tar(1) utility (also known as bsdtar(1)) does not detect the end of media such as tape and floppy disk properly when it is specified with the -f option. As an alternative gtar(1) (GNU tar) can be used.

(9 Nov 2004) The geom(4)-aware vinum(4) subsystem does not work for RAID5 volumes on machines with a single processor. The configurations other than RAID5 (such as RAID1) should work correctly. This problem has been fixed on the RELENG_5 branch.

(9 Nov 2004) The FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE Migration Guide should have stated that /usr/sbin/nslookup and /usr/sbin/nsupdate included in BIND 8 have to be removed during the source-based upgrade procedure.

(9 Nov 2004) The FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE Release Notes should have stated that net/mpd which was compiled on the old systems prior to 5.3-RELEASE must be recompiled.

(10 Nov 2004) The FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE Release Notes should have stated explicitly that ports/packages which were built on the old systems prior to 5.3-RELEASE and linked with the old POSIX thread libraries (libc_r or libkse) can cause an error ``Spinlock called when not threaded.'' at run time. This happens when the program is linked with multiple different threading libraries (typically the older ports will be linked with libc_r, while newer ports will be linked with libpthread). Either recompile the ports/packages or add the necessary lines to /etc/libmap.conf. More details can be found in /usr/src/UPDATING (20040303 and 20040130).

(12 Nov 2004) The em(4) driver behaves incorrectly when the VLAN support and promiscuous mode are enabled at the same time. A fix is being tested and will be merged to the 5.3 errata branch.

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