FreeBSD 10.3 arrives, adds Skylake support and improves UEFI boot loader

The FreeBSD Foundation on Monday released the latest stable version of FreeBSD.

Version 10.3 of FreeBSD has now been released, offering stability improvements on version 10.2 and a host of new features.

The update, released on Monday, is available for amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64, sparc64, and armv6 architectures. The stable version follows three release candidates published through March and updates version 10.2 released in August.

While most consumers might not even be aware of FreeBSD, the open source operating system underpins infrastructure at some of the world's largest IT organisations, such as Netflix and WhatsApp, whose CEO Jan Koum in 2014 donated $1m to its chief maintainers, the FreeBSD Foundation.

Version 10.3 of FreeBSD, which runs on the BSD kernel, offers users "substantially improved" compatibility with Linux systems while updated drivers now support machines running on Intel's Skylake chips, according to FreeBSD.org.

Contributors have also made several improvements to the UEFI boot loader, including ZFS boot capability, as well as improvements to graphics.

On the storage driver front, improvements include an updated isp driver that now supports 16 Gbps Fibre Channel cards, while the ctl other drivers now supports CD-ROM and removable devices.

A detailed breakdown of new features can be found in FreeBSD's release notes.

Contributors to version 10.3 include the The FreeBSD Foundation, Yahoo!, NetApp, Internet Systems Consortium, ByteMark Hosting, Sentex Communications, New York Internet, Juniper Networks, NLNet Labs, iXsystems, and Yandex.

The next major release of FreeBSD will be version 11.0, which is scheduled for release around July.

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