After an extended series of beta releases, the FreeBSD team has released version 10.0 of the venerable operating system. FreeBSD 10.0 contains major improvements in the kernel, better hardware support, improved virtualization, root on ZFS, and many more welcome changes. As promised, this release removes more GPL licensed components, replacing them with BSD licensed equivalents, most notably replacing gcc with clang as the default compiler. The choice of the FreeBSD team to distance themselves from the GNU project and their philosophy on licensing is controversial, but further differentiating FreeBSD from Linux may be just what the system needs to regain its popularity.
Full release notes are available here. Where Linux has been the wild kid on the block, FreeBSD was always the wiser, more grounded older brother. Unfortunately, the wild kid was also the more popular one, gaining the attention of developers and corporations alike. Over the years the two systems have both matured, and Linux adopted the stability of its older sibling, while constantly gaining in popularity. In the past few years, Linux equivalents to FreeBSD Jails like LXC have developed to be both reliable and sophisticated. Further, tests run by FreeBSD developers have shown FreeBSD to be slower than Linux in real-world tasks.