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Yesterday, the FreeBSD release engineering team announced the availability of FreeBSD 12.0, which marks the first release of the stable/12 branch. This version is available for the amd64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, powerpcspe, sparc64, armv6, armv7, and aarch64 architectures.

FreeBSD is an open source, Unix-like operating system for x86, ARM, AArch64, RISC-V, MIPS, POWER, PowerPC, and Sun UltraSPARC computers. It is based on the 4.4BSD-Lite release from Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California at Berkeley. It comes with features like preemptive multitasking, memory protection, virtual memory, multi-user facilities, and SMP support.

Following are some of the updates introduced in FreeBSD 12.0:

  • The bsdinstall installer and zfsboot are updated to allow a UEFI+GELI installation option.
  • GOST is removed, and LDNS now enables DANE-TA.
  • sshd now comes with additional support for capsicum. Also, capsicum is enabled on armv6 and armv7 by default.
  • The VIMAGE kernel configuration option is enabled by default.
  • The NUMA option is enabled by default in the amd64 GENERIC and MINIMAL kernel configurations.
  • The netdump driver is added for transmitting kernel crash dumps to a remote host after a system panic.
  • The vt driver now comes with better performance, drawing text at rates ranging from 2- to 6-times faster.
  • The UFS/FFS filesystem is updated to consolidate TRIM/BIO_DELETE commands, resulting in fewer read/write requests. This is enabled by default in the UFS/FFS filesystem and can be disabled by setting the vfs.ffs.dotrimcons sysctl to 0, or adding vfs.ffs.dotrimcons=0 to sysctl.conf.
  • The pf packet filter can now be used within a jail using vnet.
  • The bhyve utility is updated to add NVMe device emulation and it is now also able to be run within a jail.
  • Various Lua loader improvements such as detecting a list of installed kernels to boot and support for module blacklists.

Upgraded components

  • Clang, LLVM, LLD, LLDB, compiler-rt, and libc++ is updated to 6.0.1.
  • OpenSSL is updated to 1.1.1a (LTS).
  • Unbound is updated to 1.8.1
  • OpenSSH is updated to 7.8p1.
  • The vt(4) Terminus BSD Console font is updated to 4.46.
  • KDE has been updated to version 5.12.5.
  • The NFS version 4.1 server is updated to include pNFS server support.

You can install FreeBSD 12.0 from a bootable ISO image or over the network. Some architectures also support installing from a USB memory stick.


To read the entire list of update in FreeBSD 12.0, check out its release notes.

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