In this article I will write about the latest release from FreeBSD, 8.0. This is a major version that offers new functionality and much improved parts of the code.
Why are major releases so special?
Major releases offer the possibility to include changes in the system that are not allowed in stable branches. This could be new applications or API/ABI interfaces, or serious changes to datastructures and things like that. FreeBSD brings out major releases every 18 months. Ofcourse the 18 months may vary, depending on the amount of new features and problems found while preparing for the first .0 release. The schedule should guide as a reference on when to expect something new.
FreeBSD 8 will be the latest version of FreeBSD that is currently on the market, it was preceded by FreeBSD 6 and 7, where we found features like ZFS, Improved Jail support, the widely known Danish Axe was used to further take out the GIANT lock, and many more features that had been in the previous release.