The first Beta version of FreeBSD 9.3, an operating system for x86, ARM, IA-64, PowerPC, PC-98, and UltraSPARC architectures, has been officially released and is available for testing.
FreeBSD developers haven't forgotten about the 9.x branch of their operating system, even if they have already released 10.0. This is a strange and not very common situation, where a development branch is actually lower in version than the latest stable.
This only shows the commitment of the developers to the people who are still using 9.x and who want to continue employing it. This means that several updates are needed and 9.3 Beta 1 is quite a big release.
“The first BETA build of the 9.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.”
“Please note, as the FreeBSD bug tracking system is undergoing maintenance, the PR system may be unavailable. Problem reports submitted this maintenance period are being queued for later processing. If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing system, use the stable/9 branch,” reads the official announcement.
As usual, it's possible to upgrade your installed version directly. During this update process, freebsd-update may ask the user to help by merging some configuration files. This command will have to be entered in a terminal:
A reboot will be necessary to complete the installation of the new kernel and users will have to run the command mentioned above once more.
According to the changelog, the arcmsr(4) driver has been updated to version 1.20.00.28, a kernel panic triggered in zfs_root() after a failed rollback has been fixed, the mfi(4) driver has been updated to support MegaRAID Invader controllers, a few issues that could trigger a kernel panic on kldload and kldunload have been fixed, a memory leak of compressed buffers has been repaired, and a deadlock triggered by sending a mounted zfs snapshot has been corrected.
Also, support for Apple MacBook products has been added, the Radeon KMS driver has been implemented, the zfs filesystem has been updated with support for bookmarks, and support for “first boot” scripts has been implemented.
Remember that this is a development version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.