April 5th, 2005, 12:44

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability
of FreeBSD 5.4-RC1, the first Release Candidate of the FreeBSD 5.4 release
cycle. Much effort has been put into fixing a wide variety of problems
identified in FreeBSD 5.3.

It is important to check the "Known Issues" section below. In particular
two strictly local security issues came up after the RC1 builds had completed
and were made available to mirror sites but before this announcement.

We encourage people to help with testing so any final bugs can be identified
and worked out. At this point the only major problem has been reports
of large server (4 processors or more) hanging under extreme load conditions
(varied load of local processes like database and heavy network load).
Details to help with debugging have been hard to obtain so if anyone is
in a position to help with trying to reproduce this it would be appreciated.

The layout of the installation CDs is slightly different than previous
releases. The disc1 image should be used to start the install. It
contains a "live filesystem" and the set of packages that normally get
installed as part of a minimal install (perl, the baseline Xorg windowing
system, and on i386 the base Linux emulation package). The disc2 image
contains a larger variety of packages (kde3, gnome2, etc) that can be
installed while doing the initial installation of the machine, but if
you just want to do a minimal install disc1 should be all you need.

Availability of ISO images and support for doing FTP based installs is given
below. If you have an older system you want to update using the normal
CVS/cvsup source based upgrade the branch tag to use is RELENG_5_4. Problem
reports can be submitted using the send-pr(1) command, and/or posted to
the "" mailing list.

A schedule and the current todo list for the 5.4 Release Cycle are available:

Known Issues

Two strictly local security issues came along after the RC1 builds had
completed and were made available to the FTP mirror sites so it was too
late to re-roll the RC1 images. Please take a look at the Security
Advisories to see if they are something you need to be concerned with
before installing RC1. The fixes for the first (FreeBSD-SA-05:02.sendfile)
have already been applied to RELENG_5_4 (so if you use CVS/cvsup to upgrade
you will get those fixes). The fixes for the second, which will be
FreeBSD-SA-05:03.amd64, are still being processed. This second Security
Advisory only effects the amd64 architecture, and the vulnerability is
quite obscure.

There is also a problem with installing for some combinations of ATAPI
CDROM's and controllers. This is seen most often on SunBlade-100 model
sparc64 machines though it is occasionally seen on other architectures.
If installing from CD fails with read errors from the CD you can try
breaking to the boot loader as the boot starts and enter the commands:

set hw.ata.atapi_dma=0

to turn off DMA mode for the CDROM. This will be made the default mode
before the next RC.

The packages being provided as part of RC1 are close to being the final
set that will be provided with the final release but there are still a
few minor glitches being worked out with a couple of the packages. The
next RC should have most of these glitches fixed.


The RC1 ISOs and FTP support for amd64, i386, pc98, and sparc64 are available
now on most of the FreeBSD Mirror sites. The alpha and ia64 RC1 builds are
still in progress and should be available within a day or two. A list of the
mirror sites is available here:

The MD5s of the currently available ISO images are:

MD5 (5.4-RC1-amd64-bootonly.iso) = 25b1ba77b92fbabe3c6f9a6ebf5e81e3
MD5 (5.4-RC1-amd64-disc1.iso) = 765a61161612c40d40329962b7548815
MD5 (5.4-RC1-amd64-disc2.iso) = 8ea253a82e074e72bf4f051aafad1b47

MD5 (5.4-RC1-i386-bootonly.iso) = 03fe99fac40780e295b43c1fdbc65273
MD5 (5.4-RC1-i386-disc1.iso) = 187313ec23d441820f66b9d4046d5fb3
MD5 (5.4-RC1-i386-disc2.iso) = f020c3c538bb9b1f6ac96701814a6a04

MD5 (5.4-RC1-pc98-disc1.iso) = deca1dc19120325fc5e6561d928ab29c

MD5 (5.4-RC1-sparc64-bootonly.iso) = 54fdffa78f2d2ef35866d88f4bfe5cb0
MD5 (5.4-RC1-sparc64-disc1.iso) = 62f7cd03187d9cccb4707fdac318c461
MD5 (5.4-RC1-sparc64-disc2.iso) = ea4e6dc57af0bfe83c60d0596c03a453