This week the CVS tree has been tagged with 5.0-beta and work is being done to get it ready for its November release. You can see the announcement from Theo de Raadt here.
Peeter Hansteen, author of the indispensable The Book of PF has a very nice explanation of some of the things we can expect in 5.0 and how this is not a revolutionary release but an evolutionary one.
Some of the interesting things he mentions are that sysmerge(8) will now be available to run from the installer instead of having to boot from the CD or new bsd.rd RAM disk and later going through and merging /etc, and being able to install non-free firmware from the get-go.
You can see a list of changes already implemented since 4.9-release here.
I just installed a copy of the beta and started playing with it. So far I noticed that work on rc.d scripts continues to evolve as startup daemons in base now have individual scripts. In 4.9 rc scripts were only available for third-party software installed from packages or ports.
I’ve been using 4.9 for a week now and really love the improvements. The upgrade was dead simple and trouble free. Unfortunately, as I was upgrading my motherboard decided to die on me. Thankfully the helpful people at Westhost were able to get me back up and running in no time after a chassis swap.
The man pages for rc.conf(8) and rc.d(8) were extremely helpful for updating my configuration to take advantage of the new rc scripts. The only gotcha I ran into was that not everything has an rc script written for it yet and I had forgotten to setup certain ones to use a particular user like I had in my previous rc.local. Not a problem. The option to set a user for the startup daemon will always be named the same as the rc script. For example, the rc script for ClamAV is /etc/rc.d/clamd. To tell my server what user to run as I just add these lines to 1) start the daemon and 2) start it as the proper user in /etc/rc.conf.local.
Simple enough, huh?
OpenBSD admits that the rc script functionality is a work in progress. It works very well in its current form and is well implemented as it is in the other BSDs. This is a great release and you should upgrade if you haven’t already. A round of applause for the OpenBSD developers!
Several people have mentioned that they’ve received their CDs in the mail on the OpenBSD misc mailing list. I just got mine on Friday and am testing it out before I upgrade any production machines. The official FTP mirrors won’t go live until the official release on November 1. I don’t know about you but upgrading an entire system from Ports isn’t how I want to spend my week!
I finally got my 4.7 CD set and Superfish t-shirt on Saturday. Got the new version installed and humming along. Unfortunately, the FTP site is not really setup yet since the official release is not for about another week (May 19 is the official release date). So, I am stuck with the option of installing everything not on the i386 CD from ports.
If you haven’t already ordered your CDs they are still available for pre-order at: http://openbsd.org/orders.html