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FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE Release Notes


The release notes for FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE contain a summary of the changes made to the FreeBSD base system on the 10.2-STABLE development line. This document lists applicable security advisories that were issued since the last release, as well as significant changes to the FreeBSD kernel and userland. Some brief remarks on upgrading are also presented.


This document contains the release notes for FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE. It describes recently added, changed, or deleted features of FreeBSD. It also provides some notes on upgrading from previous versions of FreeBSD.

The snapshot distribution to which these release notes apply represents a point along the 10.3-STABLE development branch between 10.2-RELEASE and the future 10.4-RELEASE. Information regarding pre-built, binary snapshot distributions along this branch can be found at

All users are encouraged to consult the release errata before installing FreeBSD. The errata document is updated with "late-breaking" information discovered late in the release cycle or after the release. Typically, it contains information on known bugs, security advisories, and corrections to documentation. An up-to-date copy of the errata for FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE can be found on the FreeBSD Web site.

This document describes the most user-visible new or changed features in FreeBSD since 10.2-RELEASE.

Typical release note items document recent security advisories issued after 10.2-RELEASE, new drivers or hardware support, new commands or options, major bug fixes, or contributed software upgrades. They may also list changes to major ports/packages or release engineering practices. Clearly the release notes cannot list every single change made to FreeBSD between releases; this document focuses primarily on security advisories, user-visible changes, and major architectural improvements.

Upgrading from Previous Releases of FreeBSD

[amd64,i386] Binary upgrades between RELEASE versions (and snapshots of the various security branches) are supported using the freebsd-update(8) utility. The binary upgrade procedure will update unmodified userland utilities, as well as unmodified GENERIC kernel distributed as a part of an official FreeBSD release. The freebsd-update(8) utility requires that the host being upgraded have Internet connectivity.

Source-based upgrades (those based on recompiling the FreeBSD base system from source code) from previous versions are supported, according to the instructions in /usr/src/UPDATING.

Upgrading FreeBSD should only be attempted after backing up all data and configuration files.

Security and Errata

This section lists the various Security Advisories and Errata Notices since 10.2-RELEASE.

Security Advisories

Advisory Date Topic


18 August 2015

Fix multiple integer overflows in libbsdxml(3).


25 August 2015

Multiple vulnerabilities


29 September 2015

Remote denial of service


26 October 2015

Multiple vulnerabilities


5 December 2015

Multiple vulnerabilities


14 January 2016

ICMPv6 error message vulnerability


14 January 2016

Panic threshold bypass vulnerability


14 January 2016

Incorrect futex handling


14 January 2016

setgroups(2) system call vulnerability


14 January 2016

MD5 signature denial of service


14 January 2016

Insecure default configuration file permissions


14 January 2016

OpenSSH client information leak


27 January 2016

Multiple vulnerabilities.


27 January 2016

issetugid(2) system call vulnerability.


30 January 2016

SSLv2 cipher suite downgrade vulnerability.

Errata Notices

Errata Date Topic


18 August 2015

Fix make(1) syntax errors when upgrading from FreeBSD 9.x and earlier.


18 August 2015

Fix incorrect netstat(1) data handling on 32-bit systems.


18 August 2015

Allow size argument to vidcontrol(1) for syscons(4).


25 August 2015

Insufficient check of supported pkg(7) signature methods.

16 September 2015

Fix pw(8) regression when creating numeric users or groups.


16 September 2015

Fix libc handling of signals for multi-threaded processes.


16 September 2015

Implement pubkey support for pkg(7) bootstrap.


4 November 2015

kqueue(2) write events never fire for files larger than 2GB.


4 November 2015

Applications exiting due to segmentation violation on a correct memory address.


14 January 2016

bmake and filemon(4) stability issues.

14 January 2016

Invalid TCP checksum issue.


14 January 2016

YP/NIS library bug.


This section covers changes and additions to userland applications, contributed software, and system utilities.

Userland Application Changes

The ar(1) utility now supports a -D flag to prevent real mtime, uid, gid, and file mode values from being inserted. This is called "deterministic mode" and useful for making the resulting archives reproducible. This behavior is enabled by default, and can be disabled by specifying a -U flag. (r287326,288202) (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

The camcontrol(8) fwdownload subcommand has been improved. Changes include better support of SATA drives, downloading firmaware to IBM LTO drives, -q flag to suppress information output, and opcodes subcommand to issue the REPORT SUPPORTED OPCODES service action of the SCSI MAINTENANCE IN command. (r286965)

The cp(1) utility has been updated to include a new flag, -s, which creates a symbolic link to the specified source. (r291774)

A bug in the ctladm(8) utility which could return a non-zero value even if it succeeds has been fixed. (r285929)

A bug in the grdc(6) program which caused a wrong display in the 12-hour mode has been fixed. (r288185)

The ifconfig(8) utility now reports SFP/SFP+ data when a -v flag is specified and the NIC driver provides them. (r286810) (Sponsored by Yandex LLC)

Bugs in the inetd(8) daemon which could cause a crash when an RPC entry is defined and an IPv6 address is specified in -a flag have been fixed. (r288048)

The jail(8) utility has been updated to include a new flag, -l, which ensures a clean environment in the target jail when used. Additionally, jail(8) will run a shell within the target jail when run no commands are specified. (r286064)

The last(1) utility now supports reboot as a pseudo-user name which prints all system reboot entries (SHUTDOWN_TIME and BOOT_TIME records). This was accidentally removed as of FreeBSD 9.0. (r286952)

The mv(1) utility now returns 1 instead of 64 when more than two arguments are specified and the target is not a valid directory. (r287027)

The mkimg(1) utility has been updated to include support for NTFS filesystems in both MBR and GPT partitioning schemes. (r287122)

A bug in the mkimg(1) utility which prevented dynamic VHD format from working with QEMU has been fixed. (r287122)

A bug in the netstat(1) utility which showed the statistics in the number of packets divided by 1024, not 1000 has been fixed. (r287593)

The pciconf(8) utility has been updated to use the PCI ID database from the misc/pciids package, if present, falling back to the PCI ID database in the FreeBSD base system. (r287746)

A new utility, sesutil(8), has been added, which is used to manage ses(4) devices. (r288710) (Sponsored by

Support for a -manage-gids flag has been added to nfsuserd(8). This option can be enabled at boot time by setting an rc.conf(5) variable nfs_server_managegids to YES. (r292231)

The pkill(1) utility now supports jail(2) name in a -j option in addition to jail(2) ID. (r287269)

userdel and usermod subcommand of the pw(8) utility now supports a -y flag. (r287084)

The resolver library has been updated to reload /etc/resolv.conf if the modification time has changed. (r292462) (Sponsored by Dell, Inc.)

The initial implementation of "reroot" support has been added to the reboot(8) utility, allowing the root filesystem to be mounted from a temporary source filesystem without requiring a full system reboot. (r293744) (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

The timeout(1) utility has been added. This utility runs a command with a time limit and is compatible with GNU timeout. (r287392)

The watchdogd(8) daemon now supports a -x exit_timeout option to specify the timeout period in seconds to leave in effect when the program exits. (r287080)

The ypinit(8) script now supports eui64 NIS map file. (r287375)

Contributed Software

A bug in libarchive(3) library which could report an error when handling a sparse file entry in a tar file has been fixed by importing changeset bf4f6ec64e. (r286082)

Time zone database has been updated to version 2015f. (r286751)

The file(1) utility has been updated to version 5.25. (r290152)

The xz(1) utility has been updated to version 5.2.2, which provides support for multi-threaded compression. (r292588)

The ntpd(8) utility has been updated to version 4.2.8p5. (r293650)

The unbound(8) utility has been updated to version 1.5.7. (r294190)

The less(1) utility has been updated to version v481. (r294286)

The unbound-control-setup script has been removed from the base system. (r295690)

The unbound(8) utility has been updated to enable the insecure-lan-zones option in preference of listing each AS112 zone individually. (r295691)

The OpenSSL suite has been updated to version 1.0.1s. (r296317)

The OpenSSH suite has been updated to version 7.2p2. (r296853)

Installation and Configuration Tools

The bsdinstall(8) utility has been updated to support ZFS installation on EFI-based systems. (r295264) (Sponsored by ScaleEngine, Inc.)

/etc/rc.d Scripts

The rc.d/netwait script has been updated to wait for network interfaces that attach late in the boot process, such as some USB network cards. (r294680)

Firewall rules set by firewall_type="SIMPLE" now uses ipfw(4) tables for addresses to be blocked. (r287091)

The rc.d/netif script now updates only static routes when an interface is specified. (r287737)


This section covers changes to kernel configurations, system tuning, and system control parameters that are not otherwise categorized.

The vt(4) terminal console driver now supports ALT_BREAK_TO_DEBUGGER and debug.kdb.alt_break_to_debugger sysctl variable when kernel debugger support (options KDB) is enabled. (r286742)

The vt(4) terminal console driver now supports kern.vt.bell_enable sysctl variable to enable or disable terminal bell. The default is 1 (enabled). (r287782)

A thread_create() function has been added as an API to create userspace thread in kernel space. (r286843)

Kernel Bug Fixes

The kqueue(2) system call has been updated to handle write events to files larger than 2 gigabytes. (r288167) (Sponsored by Multiplay)

Kernel Configuration

[amd64,i386] The pms(4) driver has been removed from GENERIC kernel. (r286132) (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

System Tuning and Controls

A sysctl(3) variable kern.features.invariants has been added. It shows if the kernel is compiled with INVARIANTS or not. (r287438)

A bug which could prevent a loader tunable kern.racct.enable from working has been fixed. (r286322] (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

Devices and Drivers

This section covers changes and additions to devices and device drivers since 10.2-RELEASE.

Device Drivers

The puc(4) driver now supports MSI interrupts and prefers it to the legacy interrupts. This behavior can be disabled by setting hw.puc.msi_disable loader tunable. (r287926)

A bug in the uart(4) driver which could cause a polarity reversal of PPS (Pulse Per Second) capture events has been fixed. The trailing edge of a positive PPS pulse and the leading edge of the next pulse were used as "assert" and "clear" event respectively. (r287037)

The uart(4) driver now supports runtime configuration of PPS signal source captured by the driver via dev.uart.pps_mode and dev.uart.0.pps_mode sysctl variables. The values 0, 1, and 2 correspond to disabled, capturing pulses on the CTS line, and capturing pulses on the DCD line, respectively. The default value is 2. (r287037)

The uftdi(4) driver now supports UFTDIIOC_READ_EEPROM, UFTDIIOC_WRITE_EEPROM, and UFTDIIOC_ERASE_EEPROM ioctl(2) to read/write serial EEPROM attached to the controller chip. (r287035)

Storage Drivers

Legacy ata(4) drivers such as ataahci, ataadaptec, and mv_sata have been removed in favor of the new drivers such as ahci(4), siis(4), and mvs(4). (r280451)

The CTL High Availability implementation has been rewritten. (r288732) (Sponsored by iXsystems)

The ctl(4) driver has been updated to support CD-ROM and removable devices. (r288810)

The isp(4) driver has been updated and improved: added support for 16Gbps FC cards, improved target mode support, completed Multi-ID (NPIV) functionality. (Sponsored by iXsystems)

Network Drivers

The ixgbe(4) driver has been updated to version 3.1.13-k. (r295524) (Sponsored by Limelight Networks, Intel Corporation)

Firmwares for model T4 and T5 bundled with the cxgbe(4) driver have been updated to version (r286895)

Hardware Support

This section covers general hardware support for physical machines, hypervisors, and virtualization environments, as well as hardware changes and updates that do not otherwise fit in other sections of this document.

Hardware Support

The ismt(4) driver has been added, providing support for recent Intel® SMBus 2.0 controllers. (r293675)

Virtualization Support

The xen(4) driver has been updated to include support for blkif indirect segment I/O. (r287802)


This section covers changes and additions to file systems and other storage subsystems, both local and networked.


The zfs(8) l2arc code has been updated to take ashift into account when gathering buffers to be written to the l2arc device. (r287665) (Sponsored by ClusterHQ)

Boot Loader Changes

This section covers the boot loader, boot menu, and other boot-related changes.

Boot Loader Changes

Initial terminal emulation support has been added to loader.efi for UEFI-based systems. (r294445)

Initial ZFS boot support has been added to the EFI implementation. (r294999) (Sponsored by Multiplay)

The UEFI loader has been updated to support multiple ZFS boot environments, such as those provided by sysutils/beadm. (r295475) (Sponsored by ScaleEngine, Inc.)

Boot Menu Changes

The UEFI boot menu has been updated to enable the "Beastie" menu, similiar to the traditional sc(4) boot menu. (r294446)


This section describes changes that affect networking in FreeBSD.

The epair(4) virtual Ethernet interface and the lagg(4) pseudo interface now support VIMAGE kernel. (r287594,287723)

A bug in the epair(4) virtual Ethernet interface which could cause a panic when running ifconfig(8) create and destory quickly has been fixed. (r287594)

sysctl(3) variables in the lagg(4) pseudo interface`* have been removed in favor of per-interface ifconfig(8) flags and options. `ifconfig -v command shows them. (r287723)

Bugs in the lagg(4) pseudo interface which could cause a system panic have been fixed. (r287723)

A bug in pf(4) packet filter which could cause a rule with no log parameter to log the matched packet has been fixed. (r286125) (Sponsored by Netgate)

A bug in FreeBSD IPv6 stack which did not invoke an LLENTRY_DELETED event when an L2 address was deleted from the link-level address table for IPv6. (r286316)

Obsolete APIs, SIOCGDRLST_IN6 and SIOCGPRLST_IN6 in FreeBSD IPv6 stack have been removed. (r287733)

Last modified on: January 26, 2021 by Sergio Carlavilla Delgado