FreeBSD 13.2: WireGuard is finally back on board

With version 13.2, FreeBSD has released the third and last stable/13er release before version 14.0 – planned for mid-July. Release Candidate 4 (RC4) was supposed to be the last pre-release version of FreeBSD 13.2, but to test an additional fixed bug there was an RC5 – and then even an RC6 due to a problem in the AMD64 wakeup code. This fixed a bug in the suspend/resume cycle on some laptop models at the last moment.

WireGuard is a VPN software that is clearly superior to the competition like OpenVPN and is released for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. The developers wanted to integrate the code for WireGuard into the FreeBSD kernel so that it would become an integral part of pfSense 2.5. However, some pfSense users reported bugs related to WireGuard, which WireGuard developer Jason Donenfeld eventually investigated. Before the planned release of FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE, he discovered devastating bugs in the code, which was subsequently completely removed from the kernel. With FreeBSD 13.2, pretty much exactly one year later, these problems should have been fixed and WireGuard can be used again under the BSD without any contortions.

External components like OpenSSH are updated to version 92.p1 with some important security fixes and performance improvements. OpenSSL has been updated to version 1.1.1t. OpenZFS has updated FreeBSD from 13.1 from version 2.1.4 to 2.1.9, mainly with many changes in the GNU/Linux code and an adjustment to the Linux 6.1 kernel. Since FreeBSD can easily run GNU/Linux software via ABI support, there have been many adjustments in this area as well. Even kdump(1) on FreeBSD can now display the system calls of GNU/Linux software generated with ktrace(1) in a reasonably human-readable format.

Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) is now enabled by default for 64-bit programs. Bhyve, FreeBSD’s native hypervisor, can now allocate up to 16 vCPUs to virtual machines.

FreeBSD 13.2 also includes a workaround for a hardware page invalidation issue on Intel Alder Lake (12th Gen) and Raptor Lake (13th Gen) hybrid CPUs. The bug can lead to file system corruption with UFS and MSDOSFS and other storage corruptions. With the workaround, the e-cores automatically use a slower method of page invalidation. You can now create snapshots on UFS file systems if you use the new UFS journaling function.

FreeBSD 13.2 is now available as a free operating system for the amd64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, powerpc64le, powerpcspe, armv6, armv7, aarch64 and riscv64 architectures.

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