FreeBSD 7.4-RELEASE Release Notes

The FreeBSD Project

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The release notes for FreeBSD 7.4-RELEASE contain a summary of the changes made to the FreeBSD base system on the 7.4-STABLE development line. 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.

Table of Contents
1 Introduction
2 What's New
2.1 Security Advisories
2.2 Kernel Changes
2.2.1 Boot Loader Changes
2.2.2 Hardware Support
2.2.3 Network Protocols
2.2.4 Disks and Storage
2.2.5 File Systems
2.3 Userland Changes
2.3.1 /etc/rc.d Scripts
2.4 Contributed Software
2.5 Ports/Packages Collection Infrastructure
2.6 Release Engineering and Integration
2.7 Documentation
3 Upgrading from previous releases of FreeBSD

1 Introduction

This document contains the release notes for FreeBSD 7.4-RELEASE. 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 7.4-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 7.4-RELEASE can be found on the FreeBSD Web site.

2 What's New

This section describes the most user-visible new or changed features in FreeBSD since 7.3-RELEASE.

Typical release note items document recent security advisories issued after 7.3-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

Problems described in the following security advisories have been fixed. For more information, consult the individual advisories available from

Advisory Date Topic
SA-10:08.bzip2 20 September 2010

Integer overflow in bzip2 decompression

SA-10:09.pseudofs 10 October 2010

Spurious mutex unlock

SA-10:10.openssl 29 November 2010

OpenSSL multiple vulnerabilities

2.2 Kernel Changes

2.2.5 File Systems

ZFS has been updated from version 6 to version 13. This update includes numerous new ZFS features, such as permitting non-root users to perform some administrative functions, supporting additional disks for caching or the ZFS Intent Log, and partial chflags(2) support. It also includes some FreeBSD-specific additions, such as booting from ZFS file systems, removal of ARC size limitations, ARC backpressure (which allows ZFS to work without tunables on amd64), and many bugfixes.

2.4 Contributed Software

sendmail has been updated from version 8.14.3 to version 8.14.4.

2.6 Release Engineering and Integration

The supported version of the GNOME desktop environment (x11/gnome2) has been updated to 2.32.1.

The supported version of the KDE desktop environment (x11/kde4) has been updated to 4.5.5.

3 Upgrading from previous releases of FreeBSD

[amd64, i386] Beginning with FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE, binary upgrades between RELEASE versions (and snapshots of the various security branches) are supported using the freebsd-update(8) utility. The binary upgrade procedure will update unmodified userland utilities, as well as unmodified GENERIC or SMP kernels distributed as a part of an official FreeBSD release. The freebsd-update(8) utility requires that the host being upgraded has Internet connectivity.

An older form of binary upgrade is supported through the Upgrade option from the main sysinstall(8) menu on CDROM distribution media. This type of binary upgrade may be useful on non-i386, non-amd64 machines or on systems with no Internet connectivity.

Source-based upgrades (those based on recompiling the FreeBSD base system from source code) from previous versions are supported, according to the instructions in /usr/src/UPDATING.

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

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