After releasing the first beta version of FreeBSD 12.0, several more beta versions and release candidates were created in quick succession. As always, developers have the rule that FreeBSD will not be released while there are problems. Now that they are fixed, FreeBSD 12.0 has been released. FreeBSD 12.0 will be released two years and two months after the last big new version 11.0. This has since been updated twice, so that the differences from FreeBSD 12.0 to FreeBSD 11.2 are sometimes small.
FreeBSD 12.0 updates among others OpenSSH to version 7.8p2 and Clang to 6.0.1. Numerous other programs received extensions or updates. The standard library got getrandom and getentropy functions compatible with Linux and other BSD systems.
The kernel now uses the VIMAGE option by default. The ext4 file system is now fully supported. Some drivers have also been updated or added, some obsolete ones have been removed. The DRM drivers for modern chips have been removed from the kernel, they are now installable through the ports collection. The kernel has the older and simpler drivers.
There were also many updates in the Ports collection. Among other things, KDE Plasma is now available in version 5.12.5. The release notes give more details.
FreeBSD 12.0 supports many architectures. Installation images are not available for everyone, but at least for x86 (32 and 64 bit), PowerPC (32 and 64 bit), Sparc 64 bit, ARM 64 bit, ARMv6 and ARMv7 (32 bit) with variants for Banana Pi, Beaglebone , Cubieboard, Cubieboard 2, Cubox Hummingboard, Generic Systems, Raspberry Pi B, Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, Panda Board and Wallboard. For aarch64, amd64, and i386, the project also offers preinstalled virtual machine images in the QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and Raw formats. Images for the EC2 cloud from Amazon and the Google Compute Engine are also available.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht