OpenBSD 4.3 released

An update to the popular Unix-like distribution includes new security features, drivers, software packages and bug fixes
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

The OpenBSD project has released version 4.3 of the popular descendant of Berkeley Software Distribution, featuring a large number of new drivers, software packages and bug fixes.

The distribution, released late last week, is available via FTP or by ordering a set of CDs, a distribution mechanism the project uses to help pay its costs.

OpenBSD has a focus on security and the project claims to have had only two remote security vulnerabilities in the default version over the project's more than 10-year history. Other areas the project concentrates on include portability, integrated cryptography and standardisation, according to OpenBSD.

The operating system is a descendent of Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix derivative developed at the University of California, Berkeley. OpenBSD is more directly related to NetBSD, from which it forked in 1995. OpenBSD is the second most popular BSD derivative among BSD users after FreeBSD, according to a survey by the BSD Certification Group.

Software included with the new distribution includes Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, MySQL 5.0.51a, OpenOffice.org 2.3.1 and PostgreSQL 8.2.6, OpenBSD said.

The new version also includes numerous new drivers for improving hardware compatibility; new tools, such as snmpd(8) for implementing the Simple Network Management Protocol; improvements to the installation process; and improvements to specific applications, including the networking tool OpenNTPD 4.3 and the secure communications tool OpenSSH 4.8, OpenBSD said.

"This is our twenty-third release on CD-ROM, and twenty-fourth via FTP," said project leader Theo de Raadt, in a statement. "We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of more than 10 years with only two remote holes in the default install. As in our previous releases, 4.3 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system."

Following an OpenBSD tradition, developers also released a song, entitled "Home to Hypocrisy", to accompany the distribution release. The song refers to a dispute that erupted in December 2007 between Free Software Foundation head Richard Stallman and de Raadt.

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