Monday, June 6, 2011

FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems Announce IPv6-only Testing Versions of FreeBSD and PC-BSD

The Foundation is pleased to announce that Bjoern Zeeb has made good progress in the Improved IPv6 Support project and that testing snapshots for both FreeBSD and PC-BSD are now available in time for World IPv6 Day. From the press release:

The FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems announced today their commitment to support the efforts of World IPv6 Day to accelerate global IPv6 deployment. Earlier this year, the FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems jointly awarded Bjoern Zeeb a grant to create an IPv6-only version of the FreeBSD and PC-BSD open source operating systems.

FreeBSD is well-known as a network stack research and reference platform and its KAME-based reference implementation appeared over a decade ago. With the help of the community, FreeBSD has been serving releases from IPv6 enabled servers for more than 8 years and FreeBSD's website, mailing lists, and developer infrastructure have been IPv6 enabled since 2007. FreeBSD is used by critical Internet infrastructure such as root name servers, routers, firewalls and some of the world's busiest and most reliable web sites. PC-BSD is a complete desktop operating system, based on FreeBSD, having the casual computer user in mind.

Bjoern Zeeb explains the work as follows: "Similar to many modern operating systems, IPv6 in FreeBSD was an optional feature that implied IPv4 support. Since most "IPv6-ready" applications rely on dual-stack behavior, broken IPv6 support often goes unnoticed given the IPv4 fallback option. Providing an implementation of an IPv6-only kernel without IPv4 support provides the FreeBSD Project with the ability to test and fix such regressions while encouraging other software developers to improve their code for true IPv6 readiness. With PC-BSD serving the desktop community and FreeBSD targeting the server, infrastructure and embedded markets, we have created an ideal development and test platform for other open source and proprietary IPv6-aware application software."

Kris Moore, founder and lead developer of the PC-BSD Project notes that "PC-BSD, with its FreeBSD base, makes an ideal platform for the testing of end-user desktop applications and utilities in an IPv6 environment. We are proud to be able to offer an IPv6 desktop testing environment for World IPv6 Day."

FreeBSD testing snapshots are available here and PC-BSD testing snapshots are available here.

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