Tag Archives: FreeBSD

FreeBSD 12 Runs Refreshingly Easy On AMD Ryzen 9 3900X – Benchmarks Against Ubuntu 18.04 LTS


While newer Linux distributions have run into problems on the new AMD Zen 2 desktop CPUs (fixed by a systemd patch or fundamentally by a BIOS update) and DragonFlyBSD needed a separate boot fix, FreeBSD 12.0 installed out-of-the-box fine on the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X test system with ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard.

I was curious about the FreeBSD support for AMD Zen 2 CPUs and new X570 motherboards, so this weekend I tried out FreeBSD 12.0. Fortunately, the experience was great! This current FreeBSD 12.0 AMD64 image installed effortlessly — no boot problems, networking did work out-of-the-box with this ASUS X570 motherboard, and there were no other issues at least as core functionality is concerned. So in no time I was off to the races in running FreeBSD 12.0 benchmarks on the Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core / 24-thread CPU.

I also attempted to try DragonFlyBSD with its latest daily ISO/IMG following the Zen 2 fix this week by Matthew Dillon. Unfortunately, even with the latest daily ISO I ran into a panic at boot time. So as a result, today are just some FreeBSD 12.0 vs. Ubuntu 18.04 benchmarks for reference. Matthew Dillon did have some interesting comments in our forums about his (great) experiences with these new CPUs, some limitations, and about the original DragonFlyBSD issue.

This system test configuration was the Ryzen 9 3900X at stock speeds, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO motherboard, and 2TB Corsair Force MP600 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was benchmarked against FreeBSD 12.0 with its default LLVM Clang 6.0 compiler and then again when switching to the GCC 8.3 compiler.

Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS wins most of the benchmarks, but FreeBSD 12.0 was able to hold its ground fairly well in many of the benchmarks. Switching over to the GCC compiler did help address the difference in some of these benchmarks. All of these tests were carried out via the Phoronix Test Suite on Linux and BSD. Let’s check out some of those interesting numbers.




FreeBSD 11.3 Release Candidate Brings Different Fixes


BSD --

FreeBSD 11.3 is lining up for release in July while this weekend the first release candidate is available for testing.

Following the weekly betas the past few weeks, the first RC is out. FreeBSD 11.3 has brought Bhyve updates, the latest CPU vulnerability mitigations like Zombieload/MDS, driver updates, hardware support improvements, and a random collection of other fixes/enhancements for those still on the FreeBSD 11 series.

With Friday’s FreeBSD 11.3-RC1 release there is a fix to the Mellanox driver, an ipfilter fix, miscellaneous USB fixes, ZFSboot fixes, a system panic has been resolved, and other fixes.

If all goes well FreeBSD 11.3 will be out by mid-July (9 July is their current target) while this weekend you can help ensure it’s a successful milestone by testing RC1.


FreeBSD 11.3 Enters Beta Ahead Of July Release


BSD --

While FreeBSD 12 is the latest and greatest stable series since the end of last year, for those still on FreeBSD 11 there is the 11.3 update due out for release in July while this weekend the first beta was issued.

FreeBSD 11.3 offers up the latest security updates and other stable bug fixes over FreeBSD 11.2 that was released nearly one year ago. But for those craving all the latest features and functionality, FreeBSD 12 is in release form or there is also FreeBSD 13-CURRENT.

Succeeding this FreeBSD 11.3 Beta are expected to be at least two more betas and three more release candidates over the next month, If all goes well, FreeBSD 11.3 will be officially released around 9 July.

More details on the current FreeBSD 11.3 Beta via Friday’s release announcement.


Intel Has Been Recently Ramping Up Their FreeBSD Support


INTEL --

While Intel’s open-source Linux support is largely stellar and was a big focus of this week’s Open-Source Technology Summit in Washington, their FreeBSD support isn’t nearly as polished but over the past roughly year and a half they’ve been establishing a FreeBSD team and working towards feature parity and supporting critical functionality for their customers.

As written about last year, Ben Widawsky who had long been part of their Linux graphics driver team began part of the effort on improving the FreeBSD support around Intel hardware. Ben spoke Wednesday at OSTS 2019 about this FreeBSD improvement voyage.

It turns out this FreeBSD effort was established largely following Spectre/Meltdown mitigation coming to light. FreeBSD didn’t see Spectre/Meltdown mitigations as quickly as the other operating systems that were working on the mitigations while still embargoed. Following feedback from a major FreeBSD house and Intel customer, that led to taking a look at the FreeBSD situation on Intel in terms of providing more funding to the FreeBSD Foundation and allocating developer resources to this open-source OS.

Following a call for feedback for other areas that Intel could improve their FreeBSD support, Ben and the other developers involved got to work and continue working to enhance the Intel architecture support on this popular BSD.

Over the past roughly year, they’ve been striving towards better power management, improved Intel microcode CPU handling, vTune support, Turbostat support, initial work on persistent memory support for the likes of Optane DC Persistent Memory, and OVMF support for Bhyve.

Some of the next items they are evaluating continuous integration (CI), Thunderbolt 3 enablement, Intel Quick Assist Technology, NUMA scalability enhancements, and any other customer needs. The development time is obviously limited but Ben clearly demonstrated a passion for FreeBSD going back to when he was working on their BSD-derived code for the Larrabee project back in the day. Hopefully with these efforts, we’ll see better Intel hardware launch-day support on FreeBSD moving forward.




GhostBSD 19.04 Release Switches To LightDM, Based On FreeBSD 13.0-CURRENT


BSD --

With TrueOS (formerly PC-BSD) shifting away from its desktop FreeBSD focus, the GhostBSD project remains one of the nice “desktop BSD” operating system offerings. GhostBSD 19.04 is now available in MATE and Xfce desktop spins.

GhostBSD 19.04 is based on FreeBSD 13.0-CURRENT while officially using the MATE desktop but also providing a community Xfce desktop image. GhostBSD 19.04 switches to LightDM as its display/log-in manager, supports ZFS now when using the MBR mode in the installer, drops gksu, and has a number of bug fixes especially to its installer among other packages.

Those wanting to try out GhostBSD 19.04 this weekend or learn more can do so from GhostBSD.org.