FreeBSD The Power to Serve

FreeBSD/pc98 5.5-RELEASE Release Notes

The FreeBSD Project

$FreeBSD: src/release/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/relnotes/common/new.sgml,v 1.761. 2006/05/22 17:05:47 bmah Exp $

FreeBSD is a registered trademark of the FreeBSD Foundation.

IBM, AIX, EtherJet, Netfinity, OS/2, PowerPC, PS/2, S/390, and ThinkPad are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

IEEE, POSIX, and 802 are registered trademarks of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. in the United States.

Intel, Celeron, EtherExpress, i386, i486, Itanium, Pentium, and Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

Sparc, Sparc64, SPARCEngine, and UltraSPARC are trademarks of SPARC International, Inc in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this document, and the FreeBSD Project was aware of the trademark claim, the designations have been followed by the ``™'' or the ``®'' symbol.

The release notes for FreeBSD 5.5-RELEASE contain a summary of the changes made to the FreeBSD base system since 5.4-RELEASE. This document lists applicable security advisories that were issued since the last release, as well as significant changes to the FreeBSD kernel and userland. Some brief remarks on upgrading are also presented.

1 Introduction

This document contains the release notes for FreeBSD 5.5-RELEASE on the NEC PC-98x1 hardware platform. It describes recently added, changed, or deleted features of FreeBSD. It also provides some notes on upgrading from previous versions of FreeBSD.

This distribution of FreeBSD 5.5-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 to the FreeBSD Handbook.

All users are encouraged to consult the release errata before installing FreeBSD. The errata document is updated with ``late-breaking'' information discovered late in the release cycle or after the release. Typically, it contains information on known bugs, security advisories, and corrections to documentation. An up-to-date copy of the errata for FreeBSD 5.5-RELEASE can be found on the FreeBSD Web site.

FreeBSD 5.5-RELEASE is the last planned release on the 5.5-STABLE branch. The FreeBSD development community is currently focusing its efforts on the 6-STABLE and CURRENT codelines. No new major features are planned for the 5.5-STABLE branch, although minor updates and bugfixes may be merged at the discretion of individual developers. The FreeBSD security team will support the 5.5-RELEASE-based security branch with advisories and security patches until the end-of-life date documented at (as of this writing, 31 May 2008).

2 What's New

This section describes the most user-visible new or changed features in FreeBSD since 5.4-RELEASE.

Typical release note items document recent security advisories issued after 5.4-RELEASE, new drivers or hardware support, new commands or options, major bug fixes, or contributed software upgrades. They may also list changes to major ports/packages or release engineering practices. Clearly the release notes cannot list every single change made to FreeBSD between releases; this document focuses primarily on security advisories, user-visible changes, and major architectural improvements.

2.1 Security Advisories

A bug in the tcpdump(1) utility which allows a malicious remote user to cause a denial-of-service by using specially crafted packets, has been fixed. For more information, see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:10.tcpdump.

Two problems in the gzip(1) utility have been fixed. These may allow a local user to modify permissions of arbitrary files and overwrite arbitrary local files when uncompressing a file. For more information, see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:11.gzip.

A bug has been fixed in ipfw(4) that could cause packets to be matched incorrectly against a lookup table. This bug only affects SMP machines or UP machines that have the PREEMPTION kernel option enabled. More information is contained in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:13.ipfw.

Two security-related problems have been fixed in bzip2(1). These include a potential denial of service and unauthorized manipulation of file permissions. For more information, see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:14.bzip2.

Two problems in FreeBSD's TCP stack have been fixed. They could allow attackers to stall existing TCP connections, creating a denial-of-service situation. More information is contained in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:15.tcp.

Two buffer overflows in the zlib library has been corrected. More information can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:16.zlib and FreeBSD-SA-05:18.zlib.

A security vulnerability that could allow processes running inside a jail(2) to gain access to hidden devfs(5) file nodes has been corrected, as described in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:17.devfs.

A programming error in the ipsec(4) implementation, which resulted in AES-XCBC-MAC authentication using a constant key, has been corrected. More details are in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:19.ipsec.

A temporary file vulnerability in cvsbug(8), which could allow an attacker to modify or overwrite files with the permissions of a user running the cvsbug(8) utility, has been fixed. More details can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:20.cvsbug.

A bug in OpenSSL that could allow an attacker to force an use older version of the SSL (with known weakensses) has been corrected. Details can be found in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-05:21.openssl.

A temporary file vulnerability in texindex(1), which could allow a local attacker to overwrite files in the context of a user running the texindex(1) utility, has been fixed. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:01.texindex.

A temporary file vulnerability in the ee(1) text editor, which could allow a local attacker to overwrite files in the context of a user running ee(1), has been fixed. For more details see security advisory

Several vulnerabilities in the cpio(1) utility have been corrected. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:03.cpio.

Two instances in which portions of kernel memory could be disclosed to users have been fixed. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:06.kmem.

A logic bug in the IP fragment handling in pf(4), which could cause a crash under certain circumstances, has been fixed. For more details see security advisory

An error in Selective Acknowledgement (SACK) support in the TCP/IP stack, which could cause an infinite loop upon reception of a particular series of packets, has been corrected. More details are contained in security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:08.sack.

A logic bug in the OpenSSH performs internal accounting, which could cause the master decides that it is overloaded and stops accepting client connections, has been fixed. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:09.openssh.

A logic bug in the NFS server code, which could cause a crash when the server received a message with a zero-length payload, has been fixed. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:10.nfs.

A programming error in the fast_ipsec(4) implementation results in the sequence number associated with a Security Association not being updated, allowing packets to unconditionally pass sequence number verification checks, has been fixed. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:11.ipsec.

A logic bug that could cause opiepasswd(1) to allow an unprivileged user to configure OPIE authentication for the root user under certain circumstances, has been fixed. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:12.opie.

An asynchronous signal handling vulnerability in sendmail(8), which could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user running sendmail, typically root, has been fixed. For more details see security advisory FreeBSD-SA-06:13.sendmail.

2.2 Kernel Changes

2.2.1 Boot Loader Changes

The autoboot command will now prevent the user from interrupting the boot process at all if the autoboot_delay variable is set to -1.

2.2.2 Hardware Support

The ce(4) driver has been added to support Cronyx Tau32-PCI adapters. Multimedia Support

The uaudio(4) driver now has some added functionality, including volume control on more inputs and recording capability on some devices. Network Interface Support

The bge(4) driver now supports the BCM5714 and 5789 chips.

The ixgb(4) driver is now MPSAFE.

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

2.2.3 Network Protocols

The if_bridge(4) network bridging implementation, originally from NetBSD, has been added. It supports the IEEE 802.1D Spanning Tree Protocol, individual interface devices for each bridge, filtering of bridged packets, and span ports (which transmit a copy of every frame received by the bridge). The ifconfig(8) utility now supports configuration of if_bridge(4).

2.2.4 Disks and Storage

The twa(4) driver has been updated to the release on the 3ware Web site.

2.3 Userland Changes

The bsdiff(1) and bspatch(1) utilities have been added. These are tools for constructing and applying binary patches.

The cmp(1) utility now supports an -h flag to compare the symbolic link itself rather than the file that the link points to.

The gethostbyname(3), gethostbyname2(3), and gethostbyaddr(3) functions are now thread-safe.

The getnetent(3), getnetbyname(3), and getnetbyaddr(3) functions are now thread-safe.

The getprotoent(3), getprotobyname(3), and getprotobynumber(3) functions are now thread-safe.

The getservent(3), getservbyname(3), and getservbyport(3) functions are now thread-safe.

The kdump(1) program now supports a -s flag to suppress the display of I/O data.

The kldstat(8) utility now supports a -m option to return the status of a specific kernel module.

The default stack sizes in libpthread, libthr, and libc_r have been increased. On 32-bit platforms, the main thread receives a 2MB stack size by default, with other threads receiving a 1MB stack size by default. On 64-bit platforms, the default stack sizes are 4MB and 2MB respectively.

The netstat(1) utility now supports an -h flag for interface stats mode, which prints all interface statistics in human readable form.

The ping(8) utility now supports a ``sweeping ping'' in which icmp(4) payload of packets being sent is increased with given step. This is useful for testing problematic channels, MTU issues or traffic policing functions in networks.

The powerd(8) program for managing power consumption has been added.

The rfcomm_sppd(1) program now supports service names in addition to -c option with channel number. The supported names are: DUN (Dial-Up Networking), FAX (Fax), LAN (LAN Access Using PPP), and SP (Serial Port).

The rm(1) utility now supports an -I option that asks for confirmation (once) if recursively removing directories or if more than 3 files are listed in the command line.

sed(1) now supports a -l option to make its output line-buffered.

The sh(1) utility now supports the times built-in command.

The snapinfo(8) utility, which shows snapshot locations on UFS filesystems, has been added.

2.3.1 /etc/rc.d Scripts

The bluetooth script has been added. This script will be called from devd(8) in response to device attachment/detachment events and to stop/start particular device without unplugging it by hand. The configuration parameters are in /etc/defaults/bluetooth.device.conf, and can be overridden by using /etc/bluetooth/$device.conf (where $device is ubt0, btcc0, and so on.) For more details, see bluetooth.conf(5).

The rc.d/jail startup script now supports jail_name_flags variable which allows to specify jail(8) flags.

2.4 Contributed Software

BIND has been updated from 9.3.1 to 9.3.2.

sendmail has been updated from version 8.13.3 to version 8.13.6.

The timezone database has been updated from the tzdata2005g release to the tzdata2006g release.

2.5 Ports/Packages Collection Infrastructure

The pkg_add(1) program now supports an -P flag, which is the same as the -p flag except that the given prefix is also used recursively for the dependency packages if any.

The pkg_add(1) and pkg_create(1) utilities now support a -K flag to save packages to the current directory (or PKGDIR if defined) by default.

The pkg_create(1) program now supports an -x flag to support basic regular expressions for package name, an -E flag for extended regular expressions, and a -G for exact matching.

The pkg_version(1) utility now supports a -I flag, which causes only the INDEX file to be used for determining if a package is out of date.

The pkg_version(1) utility now supports an -o flag to show the origin recorded on package generation instead of the package name, and an -O flag to list packages whose registered origin is origin only.

The portsnap(8) utility (sysutils/portsnap) has been added into the FreeBSD base system. This is a secure, easy to use, fast, lightweight, and generally good way for users to keep their ports trees up to date.

The suffix of startup scripts from the Ports Collection has been removed. This means is renamed to foo, and now scripts whose name is something like foo.ORG will also be invoked. You are recommended to reinstall packages which install such scripts and remove extra files in the local_startup directory.

New rc.conf variables, ldconfig_local_dirs and ldconfig_local32_dirs have been added. These hold lists of local ldconfig(8) directories.

The @cwd command in pkg-plist now allows no directory argument. If no directory argument is given, it will set current working directory to the first prefix given by the @cwd command.

2.6 Release Engineering and Integration

The supported version of the GNOME desktop environment (x11/gnome2) has been updated from 2.10.2 to 2.12.3.

The supported version of the KDE desktop environment (x11/kde3) has been updated from 3.4.2 to 3.5.1.

The supported version of the Perl interpreter (lang/perl5.8) has been updated from 5.8.7 to 5.8.8.

The supported version of the Xorg windowing system (x11/xorg) has been updated from 6.8.2 to 6.9.0.

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.

This file, and other release-related documents, can be downloaded from

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <>.

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

Last modified on: May 15, 2021 by Allan Jude