Users of OpenBSD 2.9-STABLE are advised that this code branch will no longer be maintained starting June 1st, 2002. Miod Vallat says, "After this day, there will be NO MORE fixes commited to this branch. People relying on 2.9-STABLE are strongly advised to upgrade to a more recent release (preferrably 3.1 as it becomes available) as soon as possible.".
OpenBSD is on a six month development cycle. The last official version, OpenBSD 3.0, was released on December 1st, 2001. The next version, 3.1, is due to be released on June 1st, 2002. (At some point, more information on this upcoming release will appear here.)
Last November we spoke with OpenBSD creator Theo de Raadt, who offered much insight into the world of OpenBSD development. From his description of their development cycle, we know that OpenBSD developers are working this month on a final image of 3.1 (while in development referred to as -current). Some time around May 1, -current will become the official 3.1 release and production will begin on the CD's. The -current tree, currently locked to all but those making important bug fixes, will be reopened, entering what Theo calls "the insane month", explaining that this is "because many developers have completed projects over the last two months which were not permitted in because of the lock."
Theo describes OpenBSD development as evolutionary instead of revolutionary. Understanding this concept helps one to properly anticipate 3.1. As reflected in the following email, the OpenBSD packet filter, PF, has undergone significant improvements with this release. (PF was introduced in 3.0, after the previous packet filter, IPFilter, was removed due in part to issues with its license.) 3.1 also offers support for wavelan bridging, and the Sparc64 port underwent a memory model change. The full list of improvements can be found on this page.
OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt announced today that OpenBSD now supports wavelan bridging: "In the past, many of you have asked if you can do wavelan bridging. We kept saying no, because you cannot run the wavelan in AP mode. There's no way to to put these cards into AP mode. For prism II based cards, however, you now can. Be sure to use a very new firmware on the cards, though."
Theo de Raadt recently announced that the Sparc64 port of OpenBSD has had a memory model change. Due to this change, there will be no supported upgrade from 3.0 to the upcoming 3.1 release. Instead, one will need to reinstall... In rather non-technical speak, Theo explains, "You must reinstall, due to the binaries having been changed in fiddly internal ways." He adds, "So just reinstall if you have a sparc64, ok? You will be happy. Some compiler bugs are fixed as a result!"
This only affects the Sparc64 port - no others.
With the recent zlib bug getting a fair amount of press, I was curious of its potential impact on OpenBSD's security record. Reading through the past couple day's mail, I found I wasn't alone in this curiousity. Todd Miller says, "Actually, I committed a fix for the problem in January. We didn't realize it was a security problem at the time (and neither did the zlib folks)".
Theo sent out a brief note on the misc OpenBSD mailing list, announcing the release of "a bunch of new snapshots". Of particular need for focus are two driver changes: