OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD 3.8 Released

Contributed by dhartmei on from the release-time dept.

The official release announcement will soon appear on misc@:
We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 3.8. This is our 18th release on CD-ROM (and 19th via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of eight years with only a single remote hole in the default install. As in our previous releases, 3.8 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system:

As usual, see for the current list of primary ftp servers, which carry the tarballs as of now.

- Improved hardware support, including:                                                                 
  o New aps driver for the built-in accelerometer found in some IBM ThinkPad laptops.                   
  o New art driver for Accom Networks Artery T1 and E1 cards.                                           
  o New auixp driver for the ATI IXP series integrated AC'97 audio controller.                          
  o Basic RAID management using bioctl(8) in the ami(4) MegaRAID driver.                                
  o New ciss driver for Compaq Smart ARRAY 5 and 6 RAID controllers.                                    
  o New epic driver for SMC 83C170 ethernet adapters.                                                   
  o New ichwdt driver for Intel 6300ESB ICH watchdog timer.                                             
  o New pcn driver for the AMD Am79c97x (PCnet) ethernet adapters.                                      
  o New safte driver for SCSI Accessed Fault-Tolerant Enclosures, and a rewritten                       
    ses driver for SCSI Enclosure Services, both allowing monitoring through                            
    sysctl and sensorsd.                                                                                
  o New ueagle driver for Analog Devices Eagle ADSL modems.                                             
  o New uipaq driver for iPAQ USB serial.                                                               
  o New viasio driver for VIA VT1211 LPC Super I/O hardware sensors.                                    
  o New zaudio driver for the built-in Zaurus audio CODEC.                                              
  o Improved com driver for serial port PCMCIA cards, such as cellular modems                           
    on Zaurus.                                                                                          
  o Improved support for many umass devices.                                                            
  o Updated driver from X.Org for the Intel i810 family graphics chipset,                               
    including support for the external VGA output on laptops.                                           
- New tools:                                                                                            
  o bioctl(8), a RAID management interface.                                                             
  o ipsecctl(8), a simple IPsec management tool.                                                        
  o stat(1), displaying file status obtained from stat(2) or lstat(2).                                  
  o hostapd(8), a wireless Host Access Point daemon.                                                    
  o ifstated(8), a daemon monitoring ethernet interfaces status.                                        
  o watchdogd(8), companion to the hardware watchdog devices.                                           
  o ztsscale(8), a tool to calibrate the Zaurus touch screen.                                           
  o xidle(1), a tool to run a program on X inactivity.                                                  
  o gzsig(1), create and verify cryptographic signatures built into gzip file headers.                  
  o sasyncd(8), a daemon to synchronize IPSec SA's for failover gateways.                               
- New functionality:                                                                                    
  o mount_udf(8), providing UDF (DVD) filesystem support.                                               
  o Network interface aggregation, using the virtual trunk(4) interface.                                
  o Partial wide character and locale support in the C and C++ libraries.                               
  o wd(4) disks have the security feature frozen before being attached                                  
    to prevent malicious users setting a password that would prevent the                                
    contents of the drive from being accessed.                                                          
  o On the OpenBSD/sparc64 platform, StackGhost buffer overflow exploit                                 
    protection has been added.                                                                          
  o zaudio(4) changes the mute values if the headphones are plugged in or out.                          
- New functionality for ospfd(8), the Open Shortest Path First Daemon:                                  
  o ospfd is now able to redistribute static, connected and default routes.                             
  o ospfctl is now able to display all relevant information.                                            
  o Interoperability with cisco and Extreme has been improved.                                          
  o Support for parsing and displaying parsed configuration file, similar to bgpd.                      
  o Support for cryptographic authentication has been added.                                            
  o Interface finite state machine has been reworked, primarily to improve                              
  o The performance of the shortest path first calculation has been improved.                           
  o Numerous bugs have been discovered and fixed during the last 6 months.                              
- New functionality for bgpd(8), the Border Gateway Protocol Daemon:                                    
  o bgpd is now able to redistribute static and connected routes dynamically.                           
  o Full route label support; pf(4) can filter based on information bgpd                                
    attaches to the routes.                                                                             
  o An additional per prefix weight has been added used to evaluate prefixes                            
    with equal AS path length.                                                                          
  o New route decision tunable rde med compare always to force bgpd to compare                          
    the MED independent of the peer AS.                                                                 
  o IPv6 support.                                                                                       
- Assorted improvements and code cleanup:                                                               
  o malloc(3) has been rewritten to use the mmap(2) system call,                                        
    introducing unpredictable allocation addresses and guard pages, which                               
    helps in detecting heap based buffer overflows and prevents various                                 
    types of attacks.                                                                                   
  o libc(3) source code has been converted to ANSI C.                                                   
  o realpath(3) is now thread safe.                                                                     
  o Several pathname races and potential buffer handling problems have been                             
    fixed in pax(1).                                                                                    
  o Problems with signal delivery on OpenBSD/sparc and OpenBSD/sparc64 have                             
    been fixed.                                                                                         
  o Reliability of signal handlers using floating point on                                              
    OpenBSD/i386 and OpenBSD/macppc has been improved.                                                  
  o NFS write performance has been improved greatly.                                                    
  o Countermeasures against various blind ICMP attacks have been implemented.                           
- Over 3200 ports, 3000 pre-built packages, improved package tools.                                     
- As usual, many improvements in manual pages and other documentation.                                  
- OpenSSH 4.2:                                                                                          
  o Adds a new compression method that delays the start of zlib                                         
    compression until the user has been authenticated successfully. The                                 
    new method ("Compression delayed") is on by default in the server and                               
    eliminates the risk of any zlib vulnerability leading to a compromise                               
    of the server from unauthenticated users.                                                           
  o Added support for the improved arcfour cipher modes from                                            
    draft-harris-ssh-arcfour-fixes-02. The improves the cipher's                                        
    resistance to a number of attacks by discarding early keystream                                     
  o Many improvements to connection multiplexing, including a new                                       
    opportunistic multiplexing mode, automatic fallback to plain                                        
    connections when multiplexing fails and support for multiplexed X11                                 
    and agent forwarding.                                                                               
  o Many additional bug fixes and improvements, as described in the                                     
    release announcement.                                                                               
- This release of OpenBSD includes the following major components from                                  
  outside suppliers:                                                                                    
  o X.Org 6.8.2 (+ patches, and i386 contains XFree86 3.3.6 servers (+ patches)                         
    for legacy chipsets not supported by X.Org)                                                         
  o Gcc 2.95.3 (+ patches) and 3.3.5 (+ patches)                                                        
  o Perl 5.8.6 (+ patches)                                                                              
  o Apache 1.3.29, mod_ssl 2.8.16, DSO support (+ patches)                                              
  o OpenSSL 0.9.7g (+ patches)                                                                          
  o Groff 1.15                                                                                          
  o Sendmail 8.13.4, with libmilter                                                                     
  o Bind 9.3.1 (+ patches)                                                                              
  o Lynx 2.8.5rel.2 with HTTPS and IPv6 support (+ patches)                                             
  o Sudo 1.6.8p9                                                                                        
  o Ncurses 5.2                                                                                         
  o Latest KAME IPv6                                                                                    
  o Heimdal 0.6.3 (+ patches)                                                                           
  o Arla 0.35.7                                                                                         
  o Binutils 2.15 (+ patches)                                                                           
  o Gdb 6.3                                                                                             
If you'd like to see a list of what has changed between OpenBSD 3.7                                     
and 3.8, look at                                                                                                                                                      
Even though the list is a summary of the most important changes                                         
made to OpenBSD, it still is a very very long list.                                                     

(Comments are closed)

    1. By tamo ( on

      Yeah, great improvements, on both hardware support and libraries!

      Being a Japanese, I'm excited by locale support in particular,
      and looking forward to seeing ncursesw and real wc/mb functions.

  2. By ninjaz ( on

    Looks excellent! I just updated my 3.7 root-on-RAIDframe box by compiling and installing a 3.8 kernel with RAIDframe enabled prior to following the 3.8 upgrade instructions. Everything went off without a hitch!

    1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

      Would you mind sharing your root-on-RAIDFRAME experience with us ? please.

      1. By ninjaz ( on

        It was about as simple as I explained. The platform is i386. I got the 3.8 sources by CVSup, then compiled a 3.8 kernel under 3.7 with option RAID_AUTOCONFIG and pseudu-device raid 4

        Once I had compiled and installed the kernel on the RAID-root, I mounted the boot device where the kernel resides (/dev/wd0a in this case), and copied /bsd there. After rebooting, I followed the standard 3.7 - 3.8 upgrade instructions on (i.e., extracting the new distribution tar files for the upgrade, etc.)

        All this was done over an ssh login, as there is no serial console, and the server is over 2000 miles away.

        It was the first time I tried it this way. Normally I make staging system on /dev/wd0a, and compile a new kernel there as a first step. I had seen the technique I used this time described on a mailing list, though, so I gave it a shot and had good luck. :-)

  3. By Ann Onamiss ( on

    ...I still haven't received my pre-ordered 3.8 CDs :(

    1. By almeida ( on

      Mine arrived in Massachusetts last week. And, the jewel case and little plastic tabs were in tact. That makes my fifth CD in a row that arrived without damage.

      1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        Lucky you. Mine were broken, as they were last time I ordered (3.6) :(

    2. By waldonova ( on

      What bums me out is...

      Get order confirmation on 10 Oct.

      See posting at undeadly that CDs are shipping on 20 Oct.

      See iso torrent posted at comp.unix.bsd.openbsd.misc on 1 Nov.

      See "421 There are too many connected users, please try later." at ftp site on 1 Nov.

      Still don't have my CDs on 1 Nov.

      So, I paid for the darn things and I'm the last kid on the block to have 3.8?

      1. By paddy ( on

        You will almost certainly have better results if you use a local mirror, if you are not already using one.

        A list of mirrors is available here:

      2. By Brian P. ( on

        "Get order confirmation on 10 Oct. "

        Not to be a jerk but.........I have learned that if one wants them before the release date then you should order them on the same day that pre-orders are up or maybe a day or two later..............pre-orders were up on Sep 15


        1. By Peter van Oord van der Vlies ( on

          I have ordere mine on 21 and the cd with shirt arrived the 1nov. If i was at home the 31st then i had that day.

        2. By Dave Steinberg ( on

          I'll second this, I ordered mine on the day of the announcement, and I got my CDs by around the 24th or 25th of October. I was pleasantly surprised, and able to setup a new server with 3.8 a solid week before it was released! Yes, the tabs were broken, but I have more important things to think about.

    3. By OpenBSD CD Fairy ( on

      "I still haven't received my pre-ordered 3.8 CDs"

      Which is commom.

  4. By pdemb ( on

    Locale? Cool 8-)

  5. By Bayu Krisnawan ( on

    Hmm... Nice! Now i'm running openbsd-gnome for my workstation

  6. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    Good stuff. And after reading some emails from Theo lately, it seems he's not being quite the harsh jerk he used to be.

    1. By Brad Smith ( brad at comstyle dot com on

      And the point of this comment is?

      1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        The point is that you appear to be a sucker for trolls ;)

        1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

          Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like such a dick with that comment. Wish I had an edit button.

      1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        Neat email - but who alive can resist the lure of the blinking light? I miss those from the days spent working in a hospital data centre. The ending comment was classic DeRaadt.

    1. By Gerardo Santana ( gerardo.santana gmail on

      I wonder why OpenBSD 3.8 i386 appears twice

  8. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    And pkg_add -u/-r is working fine so far. Upgrading packages is easier than ever.

    1. By thomasw.xhrl ( on

      ditto here; great stuff OpenBSD!

  9. By Mike K. ( on

    This is my home made bootable installation CD ISO available via BitTorrent. It is minimal in that it only contains the 3.8/i386 directory(and files). I have tested it and it boots and does the complete install just fine. Web Site Enjoy...

    1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

      This version definatly deserves a purchase. The price is so very minimal if you consider all it's astonishing and/or potential uses and superb code quality. OpenBSD = What OSS was meant to be!

    2. By Anonymous Coward ( on

      It is easy enough for anyone who's read "man mkisofs" to make ISOs for their own personal purposes; I have done this many times myself. But personally I don't think we should be distributing distribute them. The OpenBSD team has made a decision about freely available ISOs and I think we ought to respect it.

      1. By Amir Mesry ( on

        I agree, I make ISO's for myself, but I don't post links and such because, either you know how to make one, or you buy it. I would like to see OpenBSD sold in Book Stores.

        1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

          I've had my local library purchase one some time ago, along with some books. I'm considering requesting them to purchase another version (3.8) and a couple other libraries too.

      2. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        The OpenBSD team did not decide to disallow freely available ISOs. They (or Theo?) just decided about _their_ ISOs.

        While certainly we should support the continuing development of OpenBSD (for example by buying the official ISOs on CD) it is completely ok and legal to make and distribute unofficial ISOs.

  10. By toxa ( on

    why new acpid(8) daemon doesn't noticed?

  11. By Anonymous Coward ( on


    Use a local nfs mount as a workaround. Re: RIP stackable filesystems (mod 0/0)
    by Anonymous Coward (IP on Wed Nov 9 13:29:29 2005 (GMT)
    List: openbsd-misc
    Subject: Re: mount_null gone?
    From: jimmy () inet-solutions ! be
    Date: 2005-09-05 6:58:15
    Message-ID: 1125903494.431bec8700248 () webmail ! boxke ! be
    [Download message RAW]

    Quoting Gijs Nijholt <>:

    > What's particularly strange, it's that the command (/sbin/mount_null)
    > exists, but on executing the following command:
    > gijs@basecamp> sudo mount_null /extended/ /home/gijs/fileserver/
    > ...I get the following error:
    > mount_null: /home/gijs/fileserver/: Filesystem not supported by kernel
    > Both filesystems are FFS, and it worked really well in 3.6.
    > Can anyone tell me how to fix this problem?
    > On 9/4/05, Gijs Nijholt <> wrote:
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > After some digging through mailinglist archives, it seems that
    > > mount_null is no longer in the GENERIC since OpenBSD 3.7 (and
    > > mount_union as well)
    > > This is not mentioned in the release notes as far as I can verify.
    > >
    > > Why is it gone and what is the alternative?
    > > (I need a way to mount my /extended partition into /home/users and
    > > /var/www/users/user, which are both chrooted in respectively ftp and
    > > apache)
    > >
    > > Or how can I get mount_null back without reinstalling the system?
    > >
    > > Thanks in advance.
    > > Gijs Nijholt

    This was planned imho, a few months after reporting this:
    I got response from Otto that nullfs isn't supported anymore.

    I think the code is to old and hasn't a maintainer to support
    it any further (I could be wrong).

    Take a look at mount_nullfs(8) from freebsd for example:


    This code also needs an owner in order to be less dangerous - serious
    hackers can apply by sending mail to <> and announcing
    their intent to take it over.

    Kind Regards,
    Jimmy Scott

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