October 7th, 2004, 18:39
The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is proud to announce the
availability of FreeBSD 5.3-BETA7. This is the seventh and final
BETA of the 5.3 release cycle. It is intended for early adopters and
those wishing to help find and/or fix bugs. The 5.3 release cycle will
follow on next with an RC1 release candidate unless significant show-
stopper bugs are found. The schedule can be found at Be sure to check
the "Known Issues" below as there are known problems that are still
being worked on at this time.

BIND 9.3.0 has replaced BIND 8.x as the default name server.

Several libraries have had their version numbers bumped in order to
maintain FreeBSD 4.x compatibility. Any programs that rely on these
libraries should be rebuilt. The /etc/libmap.conf facility can be
used to help this migration. In particular, should be
mapped to while the migration is in progress. The libraries
that changed are: -> -> -> -> ->

Other fixes and enhancements made since BETA6:

- Fix timekeeping on sparc64 and alpha that would result in the day of
the week being stored incorrectly in NVRAM.
- Add support to the fxp driver for the ICH6 chipset.
- Fix the panic on detach problem with USB hubs.
- Import BIND 9.3.0. This completely replaces the old BIND 8.x
nameserver in the base system. Many thanks to Dag-Erling Smørgrav,
Tom Rhodes, Doug Barton, and Ruslan Ermilov for making this happen.
- Fix panic when allocating swap on a busy system.
- Fix loader crash when using the 'lsdev' command.
- Many more GBDE, ggate, gmirror, and gstripe fixes.
- Fix the '-s' option in newfs to handle large filesystems.
- Fix a resource allocation problem with the floppy driver that would
result in long delays during boot.
- Add support for the Broadcom 5750/5751 chips to the bge driver.
- Allow 'sh' to handle unsetting of undefined variables.
- Fix several locking problems in PF.
- Many fixes to the ATA driver to make it more robust.
- Many locking fixes for the re driver.
- Work around a panic on sparc64 SMP systems when under heavy load.
- Fix handling of non-existent devices at boot for getty.
- Disable Synaptics touchpad support in the psm driver as it was
causing many problem reports.
- Fix the em driver to not wedge when under heavy transmit load.
- Fix the pst driver to not panic on boot when INVARIANTS is defined.

Known issues in this release:

- There are known data corruption issues with gvinum. Fixes are
being tested now.
- There are reports of packet corruption with the nge driver when
the network stack is run without the Giant mutex. A fix is
being tested.


For people wishing to upgrade older systems using cvsup(1) and the
procedure described in src/UPDATING the CVS tag to use is RELENG_5
at this point. Note that like all RELENG_X branches this is an
active development branch. We do not recommend those branches for
normal use (for normal use RELENG_X_Y branches are more appropriate,
e.g. RELENG_4_10 is the current stable branch).

As of this writing the following are available on
along with some of the mirror sites:

alpha: all images available
amd64: all images available
i386: all images available
ia64: miniinst available
pc98: miniinst available
sparc64: all images except disc1 available (new package sets
still being built, disc1 may be made available later)

MD5s for the builds that are complete at this time are:

MD5 (5.3-BETA7-amd64-bootonly.iso) = 0ec066fb157784e79a6a88f3d2191574
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-amd64-disc2.iso) = 009d7cc50bec635ae1883ef3de40b122
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-amd64-miniinst.iso) = 952c987ab87774dc391c0774eb87eed7
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-amd64-disc1.iso) = 7826043ff52b3e9e2f4443517d362a8d

MD5 (5.3-BETA7-i386-bootonly.iso) = 13e3b9c84f86c61461030e40adb895ee
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-i386-disc2.iso) = 4812cda4404454cf2ef7e92722156f37
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-i386-miniinst.iso) = 5cf967bfd44543f0afdf5a9449734051
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-i386-disc1.iso) = f8873a9b1072fdc6ca9d5f0c1fe58c73

MD5 (5.3-BETA7-ia64-bootonly.iso) = b1089e7493a207ba32c0cb68098ceb2e
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-ia64-disc2.iso) = 0d20ca0788ff4c1be75be2dbedb37579
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-ia64-miniinst.iso) = c85ce87890f0fa053f14bd134e57fc2c

MD5 (5.3-BETA7-pc98-disc2.iso) = c8cbaa0568b0df28c2ae3d39bcdbb62f
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-pc98-miniinst.iso) = f6677efe217e0d5d2f207fb39d849294

MD5 (5.3-BETA7-sparc64-bootonly.iso) =
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-sparc64-disc2.iso) = 8462696261f696a9391d4a27a56b1bbe
MD5 (5.3-BETA7-sparc64-miniinst.iso) = dc4225c8d18127b5ce93cf650cc1458e

October 9th, 2004, 17:36
I usually wait a few days before I try to download updates. After bypassing Beta6, I went ahead and took Beta7. After about 24 hours of testing, I believe it is just noticably zippier. Also my display is slightly sharper, though I can't imagine why.