OpenBSD 4.8 Brings Improved Hardware Support
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 1 November 2010 at 07:14 PM EDT. Add A Comment
OpenBSD 4.7 came out this past summer, but OpenBSD 4.8 is now available for those interested in this BSD operating system that focuses on providing portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security, and integrated cryptography. With OpenBSD 4.8 there is now ACPI-based suspend-and-resume support for most systems utilizing Intel or ATI graphics, but the suspend-and-resume support when utilizing NVIDIA graphics is still problematic. There's also other hardware support improvements, new tools, daemon improvements, and various other improvements to this free software operating system.

Other hardware improvements in OpenBSD 4.8 include new drivers for Sony ACPI control, Intel 3400 temperature monitoring, SiS Gigabit Ethernet devices, temperature/voltage/fan sensors on motherboards from the now-defunct Abit, and for the programmer's switch found on some Mac PowerPC systems. This release also has picked up support for the Intel Core i3 and Core i5 graphics integrated onto these CPUs via updates to their INTELDRM and AGP drivers. I haven't yet been able to dig deeper, but Intel introduced the Clarkdale/Arrandale graphics support into their DRM after they dropped their user-space mode-setting code paths, so it would be interesting to know if OpenBSD 4.8 is now playing with kernel mode-setting or if it's taking an approach like the previously-proposed legacy drivers. OpenBSD has been working towards KMS support and they've been interested in it for the ability to run the X.Org Server not as the root user. FreeBSD is also willing to pay for KMS and GEM support.

OpenBSD 4.8 also has improvements to its generic network stack, the file-system mid-layer, SCSI disk enhancements, and other assorted improvements. Some of the package versions found with OpenBSD 4.8 include OpenSSH 5.6, GNOME 2.30.2, KDE 3.5.10, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.8, OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, PHP 5.2.13, and Mono 2.6.4. OpenBSD's Xenocara graphics stack is currently based on X.Org 7.5 packages with X.Org Server 1.8 and Mesa 7.5.2.

All of the important details and download links for OpenBSD 4.8 can be found on this release page.

The OpenBSD 4.8 release is also coming just coming two days after the release of DragonFlyBSD 2.8. The DragonFlyBSD 2.8 release picked up FreeBSD's 802.11 WiFi stack, an X environment with GUI if using their 4GB install image, crypto support provided by a cryptsetup-compatible cryptographic device mapper targeted at this BSD OS, a packet filter upgrade against OpenBSD 4.2, and improved multi-core support. Details and release notes on DragonFlyBSD 2.8 are available here.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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