Briefly, FreeBSD is a UNIX operating system based on U.C. Berkeley's 4.4BSD-lite release for the i386 platform (and recently the alpha platform). It is also based indirectly on William Jolitz's port of U.C. Berkeley's Net/2 to the i386, known as 386BSD, though very little of the 386BSD code remains. A fuller description of what FreeBSD is and how it can work for you may be found on the FreeBSD home page.
Release Notes: The ZFS filesystem now supports TRIM when used on solid state drives. The virtio(4) drivers have been added to the GENERIC kernel configuration for amd64 and i386 architectures. The ZFS filesystem now supports lz4 compression. OpenSSL has been updated to version 0.9.8y. DTrace hooks have been enabled by default in the GENERIC kernel. DTrace has been updated to version 1.9.0. Sendmail has been updated to version 8.14.7. OpenSSH has been updated to version 6.2p2. This release imports unmapped I/O support from head/.
Release Notes: This is the fifth release from the 8-STABLE branch; it improves the functionality of FreeBSD 8.3 and introduces some new features. Highlights include Gnome 2.32.1, KDE 4.10.1, feature flags 5000 version of the ZFS filesystem, and support for all shipping LSI storage controllers.
Release Notes: A GPU driver with GEM/KMS support. The netmap(4) fast userspace packet I/O framework. ZFS improvements from the illumos project. An oce(4) driver for the Emulex OneConnect 10Gbit Ethernet card. An sfxge(4) driver for 10Gb Ethernet adapters based on the Solarflare SFC9000 controller. Xen Paravirtualized Backend Ethernet Driver (netback) improvements. An hpt27xx(4) driver for HighPoint RocketRAID 27xx-based SAS 6Gb/s HBA. The GEOM RAID class is enabled by default, supporting software RAID by deprecated ataraid(8). Kernel support for the AVX FPU extension. Improvements in IPv6 hardware offload support.
Release Notes: usb(4) now supports the USB packet filter. The TCP/IP stack now supports the mod_cc(9) pluggable congestion control framework. A graid(8) GEOM class was added to support various BIOS-based software RAID controllers (replacement for ataraid(4)). The ZFS subsystem was updated to SPA version 28. GNOME version 2.32.1 and KDE version 4.7.4 were included.
Release Notes: A new installer, bsdinstall(8), was provided. The Fast Filesystem now supports soft updates journaling. ZFS was updated to version 28. ATA/SATA drivers were updated to support AHCI and moved into an updated CAM framework. A Highly Available Storage (HAST) framework was added. Kernel support for was provided for Capsicum Capability Mode, an experimental set of features for sandboxing support. User-level DTrace was included. The TCP/IP stack now supports pluggable congestion control frameworks, and five congestion control algorithm implementations are available.