FreeBSD cvs-src summary for 07/12/04 to 13/12/04

This is a regular weekly summary of FreeBSD's cutting-edge development. It is intended to help the FreeBSD community keep up with the fast-paced work going on in FreeBSD-CURRENT by distilling the deluge of data from the CVS mailing list into a (hopefully) easy-to-read newsletter. This newsletter is marked up in reStructuredText, so any odd punctuation that you see is likely intended for the reST parser.

You can get old summaries, and an HTML version of this one, at Please send any comments to Mark Johnston (mark at

For Lukasz Dudek and Szymon Roczniak's Polish translations of these summaries, which may lag the English ones slightly, please see



Last week, I mentioned Scott Long (scottl)'s work on the amr driver for Adaptec MegaRAID cards, which inconveniently turned out not to exist. amr actually stands for AMI MegaRAID, which is the same American Megatrends, Inc. of BIOS fame. The MegaRAID card is no longer made by AMI, though: they sold their RAID business to LSI several years ago. Therefore, amr stands for "LSI MegaRAID", and Adaptec was entirely uninvolved until I came along.

I apologize to anyone confused or annoyed by this. Thanks to Andre Guibert de Bruet for pointing out this slip, and to Scott for the background story on AMI and LSI.

New features

Major enhancements to 802.11 support

Sam Leffler (sam) committed some major enhancements to the 802.11 wireless network support code. Some of the improvements he listed are:

  • 802.11g support, for 802.11g cards supporting up to 54 Mbps
  • WPA and 802.11i, the new security standard to replace WEP
  • 802.1x, which provides access control and key management
  • WME and WMM (Wireless Media Extensions and Wireless Multimedia), which provide basic quality-of-service to 802.11
  • Power saving functionality
  • Cryptography, authentication, and access control plugin frameworks

Improvements to Atheros 802.11 support

Sam Leffler (sam) significantly improved the support for Atheros's 802.11 chips, found in numerous cards from D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, SMC, Sony, and other manufacturers. Please see the ath(4) manual page for a full list of adapters.

Driver added for extra features on IBM laptops

Takanori Watanabe (takawata) added support for extra features on IBM laptops. These features include extra buttons and lights, as well as volume control and handling of built-in wireless networking.

Initial support for Promise SATAII chips

Soeren Schmidt (sos) committed a preliminary driver for the Promise SATAII Serial ATA chip. The hardware for this work was donated by

ITE IT8212F (Gigabyte) RAID controller supported

Soeren Schmidt (sos) added support for the ITE IT8212F RAID controller, which is found on many Gigabyte motherboards. The hardware for this was donated by Yahoo.

axe driver for USB 2.0 NICs merged to 4.x

Scott Mitchell (rsm) committed the axe driver, which supports USB NICs with chips from ASIX Electronics, to 4.x. Supported devices include parts from Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear; please see the axe(4) manual page for more details.

Notable changes

4.11 freeze begins

Ken Smith (kensmith) began the code freeze of 4-STABLE in preparation for the release of FreeBSD 4.11. Any commits to the branch require release engineering approval.

PPP no longer enables ECHO if LQR negotiation fails

Brian Somers (brian) updated the PPP code to add an option to enable and disable ECHO requests. When PPP connects with LQR enabled, it tries to negotiate with its peer to exchange LQR (Link Quality Report) data. This allows for detailed link quality monitoring. Previously, if the peer didn't agree to this, PPP would send ECHO LQR requests instead. These requests don't contain useful quality data, but they allow PPP to monitor the peer's status, and it would drop the connection if five in a row went unanswered.

Since the change, this is no longer the case. Full LQR and echo-only LQR can be enabled and disabled independently; to get the old behavior, set "enable echo" in your PPP configuration file.

NOSECURE build knob removed from 4.x, use NOCRYPT instead

Marius Strobl (marius) removed the NOSECURE build knob from 4-STABLE, since it was not working as intended (eliminating crypto but allowing Kerberos), and to make it work would have made it the same as the NOCRYPT knob. If you are using NOSECURE, please switch to NOCRYPT.

Committer changes

Gleb Smirnoff (glebius) is no longer in need of a mentor.

Mark Santcroos (marks) is also free of mentoring.

Other bug fixes

Alan Cox (alc) fixed a bug that could cause a kernel panic when memory-mapped IO is done on files larger than 2 GB. This closes PR 73010.

Christian S. J. Peron (csjp) fixed a bug that could cause lockups when userid-based firewall rules (like uid) were used in conjunction with a Giant-free network stack. With this fix, it is no longer necessary to set the sysctl debug.mpsafenet to 0 to use userid-based rules.

Poul-Henning Kamp (phk) fixed a bug in the UFS2 filesystem that could cause the system to refuse to mount a good disk if a blank disk was previously present in the same drive.