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OpenBSD 7.5: Best New Features

A new release, OpenBSD 7.5 is now available with new updates.

OpenBSD 7.5 is now officially released, continuing its legacy of providing a free, UNIX-like operating system focused on security, portability, and correctness.

Forked from NetBSD, this BSD variant have evolved into a major operating system providing a secure computing environment.

Let’s have a look at the key highlights.

OpenBSD 7.5: Best New Features

Among the standout features of OpenBSD 7.5 is the newly introduced support for encrypting the root partition during installation. This enhancement adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that sensitive data remains protected even in the event of unauthorized access. Moreover, the inclusion of pinsyscalls system call enables finer control over system call execution, enhancing system integrity and mitigating potential security risks.

To remove the threat probability, OpenBSD 7.5 removes support for indirectly calling system calls via the syscall function. This change, combined with the pinsyscalls mechanism, strengthens system defenses by restricting access to system calls, thereby thwarting potential exploitation attempts.

For ARM64 systems, OpenBSD 7.5 expands support for pointer authentication (PAC) and branch target identification (BTI) mechanisms, further fortifying the platform against memory corruption attacks. Additionally, the introduction of IPv6 support for the ppp network interface enhances network connectivity and compatibility, catering to the evolving needs of modern computing environments.

Furthermore, OpenBSD 7.5 brings significant improvements to the packet filtering capabilities of the pf firewall, optimizing performance on multiprocessor systems and enhancing visibility into network traffic. The updated netstat utility now provides detailed statistics on route caching effectiveness, empowering users with insights to optimize network performance and security configurations.

Elsewhere on the Virtualization stack, the VMM hypervisor receives notable enhancements, including multithreading support for the vionet device implementation and enhanced stability on systems utilizing Intel VMX instructions. These improvements bolster the reliability and performance of virtualized environments, catering to the needs of both developers and enterprise users.

OpenBSD 7.5 also introduces several new drivers and support for additional hardware, ensuring broader compatibility and seamless integration with a diverse range of devices. From display controllers used in Apple devices to Qualcomm IEEE 802.11ax wireless chips, the platform continues to expand its hardware support matrix, accommodating the needs of diverse user communities.

Let’s find out about the key improvements on apps and desktops.

You can now enjoy an updated KDE Plasma 5.27 user environment, further enhancing the desktop experience on OpenBSD. With support for KDE Plasma 5.27.10, KDE Applications 23.08.4, and KDE Frameworks 5.115.0, users can leverage the latest features and improvements in the KDE ecosystem.

The release of OpenBSD 7.5 also includes updates to critical components such as LibreSSL and OpenSSH, ensuring users benefit from the latest security patches and performance optimizations. Additionally, the extensive library of third-party applications available via ports has been updated, providing users with access to the latest versions of popular software packages.

In summary, here’s a list of key app or package version upgrades of this release:

  • Asterisk 16.30.1, 18.21.0, 20.6.0
  • Audacity 3.4.2
  • CMake 3.28.3
  • Chromium 122.0.6261.111
  • FFmpeg 4.4.4
  • Firefox 123.0.1, ESR 115.8.0
  • GCC 8.4.0, 11.2.0
  • GHC 9.6.4
  • GNOME 45
  • Go 1.22.1
  • JDK 8u402, 11.0.22, 17.0.10, 21.0.2
  • Krita 5.2.2
  • LLVM/Clang 13.0.0, 16.0.6, 17.0.6
  • LibreOffice
  • Lua 5.1.5, 5.2.4, 5.3.6, 5.4.6
  • MariaDB 10.9.8
  • Mono
  • Mutt 2.2.13 and NeoMutt 20240201
  • Node.js 18.19.1
  • OCaml 4.14.1
  • OpenLDAP 2.6.7
  • PHP 7.4.33, 8.0.30, 8.1.27, 8.2.16, 8.3.3
  • Postfix 3.8.6
  • PostgreSQL 16.2
  • Python 2.7.18, 3.9.18, 3.10.13, 3.11.8
  • Qt 5.15.12 (+ kde patches), 6.6.1
  • R 4.2.3
  • Ruby 3.1.4, 3.2.3, 3.3.0
  • Rust 1.76.0
  • SQLite 3.44.2
  • Shotcut 07/23/29
  • Sudo
  • Suricata 7.0.3
  • Tcl/Tk 8.5.19, 8.6.13
  • TeX Live 2023
  • Thunderbird 115.8.1
  • Vim 9.1.139, Neovim 0.9.5
  • Xfce 4.18.1

You can download the ISO / IMG files of this release from the below page.

amd64: install65.iso

smd64: install65.img

If you are running OpenBSD 7.4, you can upgrade to this new version using sysupgrade utility. A detailed upgrade step to 7.5 outlined here.

Via release announcement

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