Tuesday, June 07, 2005

FreeBSD Ports Tree Breaks 13,000 Ports, and Other FreeBSD News

This week the FreeBSD ports tree broke the 13,000 mark. The tree has added about 2000 ports per year for the past four years. This graph shows the number of ports added per year since 1995. Just last six months ago I blogged about passing the 12,000 mark.

For those of you not familiar with the FreeBSD ports tree, it's a set of files and directories bundled with FreeBSD that allows easy software installation from source code. The ports tree is a wrapper of sorts, built by FreeBSD users, that makes any necessary tweaks or modifications needed to get source code to compile and install on FreeBSD. The ports tree also automatically resolves dependencies, and can be kept up-to-date very well. For those not wishing to install from source, packages are available. I almost use packages exclusively on my laptop, for example.

Speaking of the ports tree, there are several notable additions. First is John Curry's SANCP, usually bundled with Sguil. SANCP is a session data probe which can work alone or with Sguil. Thanks to Paul Schmehl for the new port. Expect to see Sguil ports from Paul in the near future.

A second useful new port is Nick Rogness' snort-inline. This is a must for anyone running snort-inline on FreeBSD. It uses snort-2.3.0-RC1.tar.gz, which has support for FreeBSD. My testing shows that code works while later mainline Snort versions do not work properly with FreeBSD. Expect to see full integration of FreeBSD support in future Snort distributions.

Finally from FreeBSD land, we have word of release plans for FreeBSD 6.0. We are told we may see FreeBSD 6.0 RELEASE on 15 August. I would expect to see the new release in early to mid-September, given past form. Here is an important excerpt from Scott Long's post:

"[T]he plan is for 6.0 to be a modest replacement for 5.x. We do plan on a 5.5 release in September to tie up the branch and help people move to 6.0/6.1, but 6.x is truly just a much improved 5.x at this point.

For those with bosses who are fainting at the thought of there being a 7-CURRENT around the corner and 5-STABLE coming to a close, please keep in mind that migrating from 5.x to 6.x is trivial and is worthwhile. However, we need to do the branch now so that we can keep things like SMPVFS under control and produce a high-quality series of releases with it.

For those who have already adopted 5.x and cannot spend the time/money to migrate again, RELENG_5 will still have secteam support into at least 2007 (going by their normal formula), and I expect
there to be normal feature and bug-fix commits to it for at least another year from now."

I've been running FreeBSD 5.x since early 2003, but the 5.x tree only became stable with 5.3 RELEASE last fall. It looks like the 5.x tree is acting like the 3.x tree did between successful 2.x and 4.x versions. Is FreeBSD starting to resemble Star Trek movies?

If you'd like to test the latest 6-CURRENT snapshots, you can download them.


Danny Howard said...

It looks like the 5.x tree is acting like the 3.x tree did between successful 2.x and 4.x versions. Is FreeBSD starting to resemble Star Trek movies?

Actually, I was starting to wonder if you were going to refer to Linux kernel version methodology. :)


Anonymous said...

If 6 resembles 4, then I won't be looking at DragonFly as hard as I have.