Along with the release of FreeBSD 7 last year came the birth of FreeBSD 8 in the development stage. Its planned release is the 2nd quarter of 2009, but here is a quick overview of what we know is in the works for the new version.
(1) A rewrite of the TTY layer (traditional UNIX interface), making it easier to maintain and extend.
(2) An increase in the kernel memory limit to 6GB.
(3) The introduction of “lightweight” kernel threads that consume less low-level resources.
(4) procstat, a process inspection utility useful for debugging.
(5) Text dumps that extract commonly needed information in the event of a kernel panic as well as reduces trash by not storing the actual dump file.
(6) A new version of the ULE scheduler with additional functionality and performance improvements.
(7) The implementation of “superpages” after an analysis of known issues and a plan for effectively using these large-sized memory pages.
(8) DTrace, a tool developed by Sun, to help debug and profile operating systems.
(9) The network stack visualization project intends to maintain multiple independent instance of networking state, allowing for complete independence between network jails.
(10) A substantial increase in bandwidth due to ECMP routing.
(11) Improvement to the Berkeley Packet Filter, allowing increased efficiency in memory copy operations.
(12) An NFS lock manager in the kernel to improve synchronized file access.
(13) Support for booting from GPT partitions.
(14) bsdlabel extended to a limit of 26 partitions.
(15) User-controllable CPU/IRQ binding and CPU-thread binding with support for CPU sets.
So stay tuned! It looks like FreeBSD is only getting better, and by this time next year we may have even more security and better performance.