ivoras’ FreeBSD blog

November 27, 2007

Perils of .0 releases

Filed under: FreeBSD — ivoras @ 5:01 pm

As 7.0 is approaching release, a recurring question on the mailing lists is (in its many forms) “how stable is it?”. The answer really depends on what you are planning to do with it, but there are several known errors, bugs and misfeatures which will surely be present in 7.0-RELEASE. If your workload includes some of those, you better wait for the next release before putting a 7.x in production. If not, go ahead: by all means it’s stable enough.

Here’s the list of problems currently known to me, as of 7.0-BETA3. The list is probably not complete (so it may grow over time), and some of the problems listed may not be relevant to your workload, so take it with a grain if salt.

* ZFS is mostly unstable (or at least not as stable as UFS), especially under low memory conditions, on both i386 and amd64
* tmpfs is somtimes unstable in subtle ways (not very repeatable)
* unionfs doesn’t work over cd9660 (this one is obscure and only hurts LiveCD makers)
* removing mounted USB drives still doesn’t work (and USB support in general has most of the old problems)
* gcc program profiling doesn’t work
* java doesn’t work stable with some applications (tomcat sometimes crashes)

* while performance was greatly improved for database-like tasks, there are reports that complex tasks like heavy web applications could have performance problems.

In addition to these, there are some “non-bugs” which get reported often, some of which actually are bugs and problems but they have always existed and people have grown accustomed to them:

* BETA ISO images don’t contain packages (though sysintall offers to install them, and fails with weird errors)
* Support for 3D in X.Org is very limited, mostl due to lack of drivers (yes, there’s a NVIDIA driver for i386 but there’s no equivalent AMD64 version).

Of course there are also many good news.

3 Comments

  1. [...] of FreeBSD 7.0 there are still some issues and bugs that need to be resolved. Ivan has done a post outlining where issues and problems can be expected, but he assures 7.0 is still perfectly usable: [...]

    Pingback by Perils of .0 releases « FreeBSD - the unknown Giant — December 3, 2007 @ 9:34 pm

  2. >removing mounted USB drives still doesn’t work (and USB support in general has most of the old problems)

    HAL? I’m using Fluxbox and manually mount/dismount usb drives without any problems.

    >ZFS is mostly unstable (or at least not as stable as UFS), especially under low memory conditions, on both i386 and amd64

    http://prefetch.net/blog/index.php/2007/11/28/is-zfs-ready-for-primetime/

    It’s not even really stable in Solaris.

    >java doesn’t work stable with some applications (tomcat sometimes crashes)

    Did have problems with Java to some extent in FBSD 6.x too.

    But there are e.g. some problems with Wifi, especially WPA encryption. Using it together with if_rum will panic the kernel (see the ML). Together with if_ral it will lead to lost connections. Furthermore it’s not possible to read a single UDF formated DVD-RAM (whether it’s from MacOS, Windows or Linux).

    It’s of course stable enough for daily use, but sometimes it’s just PITA too apart from server use. It really depends on your application at home or at work.

    Comment by Oliver Herold — December 18, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  3. [...] of FreeBSD 7.0 there are still some issues and bugs that need to be resolved. Ivan has done a post outlining where issues and problems can be expected, but he assures 7.0 is still perfectly [...]

    Pingback by Perils of .0 releases | FreeBSD - the unknown Giant — June 26, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

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