MirOS BSD #10 (MirOS ξ) Release Notes

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MirOS BSD #10 (MirOS ξ) Release Notes

The MirOS Project proudly presents release #10 of MirOS BSD: MirOS ξ (xi). A mini-ISO for the installation can be downloaded from mirbsd.org. This image can be burned to a CD and used for installing over the network. The full CD image can be downloaded [no longer, 2014-05-13] via BitTorrent or using the Metalink.

Please see this news item for information regarding hashes of the release ISO.

Note: while our development snapshots are distributed as combined Live and Install CDs, the release ISO is not a Live CD due to the size of the data included.

MirOS BSD is a secure operating system, originally based on OpenBSD, for i386 and sparc machines. Read more about it at the "About MirOS" page.

The minimum system requirements are a Pentium or SPARC v8 CPU with "enough RAM": 32 MiB for SPARC, 64 MiB for text mode on i386, or 96 MiB for X11. The standard installation needs at least 250 MiB on the hard disk; for X11 and ports, 1 GiB or more is recommended.

Virtualisation environments: qemu-system-sparc is not yet enough, but getting close. qemu (native on i386) is very fine, but slow. qemu-system-i386 is not tested. bochs works, but is even slower. VirtualBox is buggy and does not work with a lot of operating systems, MirBSD being among them. Parallels Desktop is a superb speedy method to run MirBSD on a Macintosh, as BootCamp is not enough yet. We had limited success (i.e. works, but not tested well) with Xen+HVM (Vanderpool, Pacifica), VMware Server, MS VirtualPC (both on Windows and on the Macintosh).

Instructions for installing MirOS are contained in the install.i386(7) or install.sparc(7) manpages.


This is the first release since almost two years: MirOS BSD #9 had been released in June 2006. In these two years, the changes and improvements have been too numerous to list them all here. The following is just a quick overview.

i386 and sparc. MirOS BSD #10 has been released simultaneously on both supported architectures. The sparc architecture is no longer lagging behind. This means that MirOS is one of the best-supported operating systems for 32-bit SPARC machines.

Internationalization.  MirOS BSD gained support both for multi-byte and wide-character strings including conversion functions etc. libiconv from the citrus project has been integrated. UTF-8 is the default charset in the system. Under X, support for it is complete; on the other hand, the text console (wscons) is not Unicode-capable at the moment. After logging in, either use screen(1) from MirPorts or issue the command:

$ script -lns

mksh.  The MirOS Korn Shell, mksh, is now at release R33. It is a great interactive shell but lends itself equally well for scripting purposes. Its code was cleaned up (warnings, const cleanup) and checked for security problems both by the developers and by Coverity, Inc. Many bugs have been fixed, and UTF-8 is fully supported.

Optional pkgsrc support.  As an option, pkgsrc from NetBSD can be installed and used in parallel as a complement to MirPorts.

Speed and bugfixes.  Bugs in all parts of the system have been fixed. Due to some speed optimizations, the system should generally feel faster. The linker now correctly supports shared library interdependencies, which makes porting software easier.

Compatibility.  Even if MirOS BSD uses its own binary format, OpenBSD and Linux binaries can be run at native speed using the kernel binary emulation. Thus, software like the Opera browser can be installed and used on MirOS BSD.

Binary security upgrades.  As for all stable MirOS releases, security upgrades will be released both in source and binary form. Binary upgrades can just be unpacked on every system.

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