OpenBSD 5.3 Released

The start of May 2013 marks the release of OpenBSD 5.3.  Another release brings a swag of hardware improvements along with software features that will give users even more choices when they are building a server, router/firewall or desktop computer.

Some highlights that interest me are:

  • New drivers for virtio(4) devices: vio(4) (network), vioblk(4) (block devices, attaching as SCSI disks) and viomb(4) (memory ballooning).
  • Switch default disk I/O sort algorithm to NSCAN for improved fairness and response times.
  • Softdep speedup improvements by the revert of a previously necessary workaround to prevent kva starvation.
  • Large performance and reliability improvements in make(1), especially in parallel mode. make no longer does any busy waiting, it handles concurrent targets correctly, and displays more accurate error messages.
  • OpenSMTPD
  • Nginx 1.2.6 (+ patches)

The virtio drivers will enable users to take advantage of native performance and devices when it comes to KVM virtualisation in a HVM style deployment.  It is highly desirable option for those that want to use OpenBSD on KVM based VPSes.

OpenSMTPD (even though introduced in earlier versions) will give user a production ready SMTPD daemon to replace Sendmail(8).  Previously, OpenSMTPD had still been classed as beta though with the OpenBSD 5.3 release, the project has now declared it to be production ready.

Nginx went into production as of the OpenBSD 5.2 release.  Ongoing development of Nginx is seeing new features and bug fixes quickly merged and available for OpenBSD users in each release, giving end users a far better experience from a functionality and security level.

Please support the project and purchase the CD set or make a donation.  Once you have that and you want to get to work, simply choose your favourite mirror and get downloading – don’t download it from as it will be under extreme load, updating mirrors.  For those in Australia, the mirror that appears to get the -release first is Internode.  You can directly go to your architecture of choice via this link.