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27 April 2011, 10:47

DragonFly BSD 2.10 brings more hardware and multiprocessor support

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DragonFly BSD logo The BSD derivative operating system DragonFly BSD version 2.10 has been released with wider hardware and multiprocessor support, a major update of ACPI support, overnight and batch deduplication of Hammer file systems and an updated packet filter (pf).

DragonFly BSD is based on a fork of FreeBSD 4.x and has been developed since 2003 to provide native clustering support in the kernel. In 2008, version 2.0 was released which introduced DragonFly's HAMMER file system designed for resiliance and scaling over multiple volumes.

In this latest release, 2.10, DragonFly BSD now uses gcc 4.4 as the default system compiler which, according to the developers, makes it the first BSD operating system to switch to 4.4 as default. The MPLOCK, designed to ensure that at critical times only one cpu is operating in the kernel, has now been removed from every area of the operating system except the virtual memory system; the developers say DragonFly is "one of the few non-academic operating systems to use a primary synchronisation mechanism that is not a blocking mutex". Other changes include a newly rewritten network bridging system and "significant performance gains" especially for systems using AHCI or swapcache.

Other noteworthy changes mentioned in the release notes include the ability for 64-bit x86 systems to support up to 63 CPUs and 512 GB of RAM, and a fix for an OpenSSL security issue (CVE-2011-0014). Users installing DragonFly BSD 2.10 on virtual machines should pay special attention to the "Installation and Upgrade Notes" which recommend UFS installs rather than default HAMMER installers for filesystems smaller than 50 GB.

It is also worth noting that the actual released version number is 2.10.1. DragonFly BSD 2.10.1 is available to download as a live CD image or USB image for x86-32 and x86-64 systems. DragonFly BSD is licensed under the DragonFly BSD licence.

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