OpenBSD 4.6 release ships new services, eases installation

Latest version sports a new mail server and an easier installation; core network and routing tools also improved.

The OpenBSD project has announced the availability of release 4.6, which debuts a new mail server and an easier installation among many other feature enhancements and bug fixes for the open source operating system.

OpenBSD founder and release manager Theo de Raadt announced the installer has “almost been rewritten, primarily with a focus on simplifying the installation process”.

For example, automatic disk layout can now be used during installation, allowing for “simple” single-disk installs.

VLAN support is now available in some installation media, and a standard user account can now be created during the install process.

OpenBSD is a Unix-like operating system renowned for its security and claims more than ten years of releases, with only two remote holes in the default install.

OpenBSD release 4.6 ships a new mail server, smtpd, which is a privilege-separated SMTP daemon.

Other enhancements to network service tools include: the Web server (httpd) can now serve files larger than 2GB; the FTP server (ftpd) now logs both the remote IP and remote hostname when receiving a new connection; and the load-balancer (relayd) now allows both UDP and TCP redirections.

In addition, SSL sessions are now maintained by relayd for each checked host, resulting in subsequent checks being lighter and faster on the server.

Pf, the OpenBSD packet filter, is now enabled by default and there are numerous improvements to the OpenBGPD and OpenOSPFD routing daemons.

Generic network stack improvements include support for virtual routing and firewalling with the addition of routing domains.

OpenBSD 4.6 also ships OpenSSH 5.3, a new version of the remote connection tool, which no longer limits home directory paths to 256 characters.

In terms of storage, improvements in the RAID software include new rebuild support, such as the ability of RAID 1 volumes to now be rebuilt.

Boot time assembly has also been improved, with volume and chunk ordering now being respected. Duplicated chunks and version mismatches are now easier to spot and repair, and volumes with missing members are now brought online.

For hardware support, OpenBSD 4.6 sees improvements in Sparc64 and SGI systems, display drivers, network (including wireless) drivers, as well as a new driver for USB video devices.

A list of changes from the previous version is available online.

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