Topic bsd

BSDNow episode 111: Xenocratic Oath

in bsd on (#R6NN)
This week on BSD Now, the *BSD communities' podcast - OpenBSD developer Brandon Mercer discusses the state of IT in health care; The NetBSD 7.0 Release, and other headlines:
  • Building your own OpenBSD based Mail server
  • Recipe for building a 10Mbps FreeBSD based router
  • Getting started with OpenBSD's new UEFI bootloader
  • CloudFlare develops interesting new netmap feature
  • "Open Source as a Career Path" FreeBSD panel discussion
Watch now: YouTube , or Direct download @

NeXTBSD, aka FreeBSD-X

in bsd on (#JQ97)
FreeBSD hackers Jordan Hubbard and Kip Macy surprised an audience of Bay Area FreeBSD Users in August 2015 by laying out their version for a new architecture, based vaguely on BSD but with a microkernel and an event-driven framework consisting of something like libdispatch and launchd. Those are big changes if you are familiar with what FreeBSD has looked like for all of its life.

The good news is, this doesn't mean the destruction of the FreeBSD we all know and love. In fact, Hubbard, who is also the CTO of iXsystems (developers of FreeNAS and PC-BSD, both products derived from FreeBSD) aren't aiming to impact FreeBSD but rather change the fundamental architecture of iXsystems' own products.

The slide deck walks you through the proposed, new architecture. Better still, watch the talk yourself, before heading herefor some useful comments to help sort it all out. Others are watching this project with suspicion, too. Check out this excellent rebuttal on the DarknEdgy blog, which suggests, among other criticisms, that the Mach microkernel is an anachronism.

As a FreeBSD fan, I'm glad they're treating this as a separate product and not hacking up the FreeBSD source tree: that gives us time to see how this shakes out.

Microsoft donates over $25,000 to support OpenSSH

in bsd on (#DSRC)
Microsoft has become The OpenBSD Foundation's first ever Gold contributor ($25,000 to $50,000), in large part due to the OpenSSH project. The donation was made following the PowerShell's Team's blog last month, announcing their future plans to implement the widely requested SSH protocol. In recent years, and attributed to change in leadership, Microsoft has done an about face in support of open-source, beyond just pushing .NET.

The Foundation helps fund work on some widely distributed, under-funded open source projects, including OpenBSD, OpenBGPD, LibreSSL, and OpenNTPD, to name a few. This donation is a boon to the cash strapped projects, where users often out-donate corporations, who directly profit from the software. The 2015 fund raising campaign has raised $125,000 which just tops last year's contributions after the fallout of OpenSSL, and the branch of LibreSSL.

End of the m0n0wall project

Anonymous Coward
in bsd on (#382N)
m0n0wall is an embedded firewall distribution based on FreeBSD. It provides a small image which can be put on Compact Flash cards, CD-ROMs, or hard disks, and includes a web-based GUI to control all aspects of the firewall without having to type a single shell command.

The developer of m0n0wall has announced the project is ending, effective immediately. He suggests switching to a m0n0wall-inspired spin-off, such as pfSense, FreeNAS, AskoziaPBX, or OPNsense in particular.
while m0n0wall has made an effort to keep up, there are now better solutions available and under active development. Therefore, today I announce that the m0n0wall project has officially ended. No development will be done anymore, and there will be no further releases. The forums and the mailing list will be frozen at the end of this month. All the contents of the website, repository, downloads, mailing list and forum will be archived in a permanent location on the web so that they remain accessible indefinitely to anyone who might be interested in them.

FreeBSD 10.1 Released!

in bsd on (#2V56)
The FreeBSD team has released FreeBSD 10.1!

You can read more about some of the highlights at the FreeBSD announcement, but in brief, they include: updated network drivers, updates to ZFS, sendmail, the use ofunbound in place of bind as default resolver, the bhyve hypervisor, and lots of userland updates.

Important to this FreeBSD user is the new vt virtual console driver, as 10.0 introduced a bug that disabled virtual consoles for anyone with an Intel video chip (imagine a FreeBSD install that requires a GUI!). Lots of work is being put into this new driver, to bring FreeBSD's virtual consoles up to speed with Linux.

As always, the new version comes in ISO and USB formats, netboot, and more; and for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64, sparc64, and armv6 architectures.

FreeBSD v1.0 announced 21 years ago today

in bsd on (#2TW4)
Wow, we're getting old. FreeBSD v1.0 was announced 21 years ago today; it was considered the first "production ready" version of the now popular operating system. The original announcement is here.
From: (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Newsgroups: comp.os.386bsd.announce
Subject: FreeBSD 1.0 RELEASE now available
Date: 1 Nov 1993 16:12:20 -0800

The first "official" release of FreeBSD 1.0 is now available, no more greek letters - this is the "production" release.

While a fair number of bugs were also whacked between EPSILON and RELEASE, the following additional features deserve special mention:

A dynamic buffer cache mechanism that automagically grows and shrinks as you use the memory for other things. This should speed up disk operations significantly.
The Linux sound driver for Gravis UltraSound, SoundBlaster, etc. cards.
Mitsumi CDROM interface and drive.
Updated install floppies.
More fail-safe probing of devices on the ISA bus. This makes it much harder for devices to conflict with each other.
Advance syscons support for XFree86 2.0.
Of course, Jordan Hubbard is still with us and still helping make FreeBSD awesome. But we've come a long way since XFree86 2.0 and the Intel 386 architecture. Where were you in 1993? What's changed in your computing lifestyle since then?

Friday Distro: PC-BSD

in bsd on (#2RPD)
story imageThese two XKCD comics about installing FreeBSD are increasingly out of date (but just as funny). But getting FreeBSD on your system has gotten easier than ever, and PC-BSD is a big part of that. Started as a hobby by FreeBSD enthusiast Kris Moore1 in 2005, PC-BSD's goal was just to make a pleasant, well-constructed desktop with a good installer on top of a FreeBSD system. They succeeded so wildly that not only did FreeBSD system provider iXsystems decide to buy them, but rival project Desktop-BSD essentially gave up the ghost (they're back now, and thinking about striking off in a new direction.

What's PC-BSD? It's not a "distro" in the Linux sense. It's FreeBSD with a better installer, configured to build you a desktop, not a server (although you can do that too). It's a project that makes it easier to use FreeBSD's systems and architecture to create a great desktop experience. Put in the installer disk, pour yourself a coffee, and twenty minutes later you are at a KDE4 desktop and online. But PC-BSD pioneered another technology that makes it easy to use: the PBI installer packages. PBIs ("push button installer") are essentially the equivalent of Mac OSX Applications, which install into a top-level "Applications" directory and include within all the relevant libraries. That makes them bigger than your typical Unix package installs, but you can also delete, upgrade, or install them without touching any other part of your system, which is useful. Because iXsystems also bought the FreeNAS project, FreeNAS installs now benefit from the technology too: with a single click, FreeNAS will create a FreeBSD jail and install a PBI into it, giving you compartmentalised functionality on your NAS (the Plex media server is one of them, for example).

Why would a Linux user bother with something like PC-BSD? The old adage, "Linux is for those who hate Microsoft; BSD is for those who love Unix" is probably appropriate. But because PC-BSD is FreeBSD, you get all of the benefits of FreeBSD too: fantastic documentation, and system components that were all designed, managed, packaged, and tested together. You also get FreeBSD's quirks and hardware compatibility challenges too (the installer never noticed my USB wifi, for example) but if you can get past the hardware issues, you are sitting at a tight, well-designed system that is pretty easy to tinker with and pretty hard to mess up. obviously, if you manage a FreeBSD server, this makes it easy to test things off your production system, too.

More about PC-BSD at their webpage, and at I also wrote about my first impressions with PC-BSD in 2006 here.

1Kris Moore is the guy behind the BSDNow podcast, too.

PC-BSD's new Lumina desktop is advancing fast

in bsd on (#2R4Y)
story imageEarlier this year the folks at PC-BSD announced they would be developing a new desktop environment by the name of Lumina. The official PC-BSD blog <recently posted a progress update on the Lumina desktop that shows they are making huge progress. There are screen shots and a list of updated features.

PC-BSD is a popular desktop-oriented BSD flavor that is really just FreeBSD with extras.
Lumina is a new light weight window manager built on Fluxbox using the Qt toolkit. The development is spearheaded by Ken Moore of the PC-BSD project.

There's lots more about Lumina at their Lumina FAQ. Most important of all is the question "Why a new desktop environment?" Their answer is related to the fact that because the other desktops are built first on Linux they must be ported, which is taking more and more time and energy; furthermore, many desktops now depend on Linux-specific functionality that makes the port almost impossible.

The Lumina desktop will also provide BSD-specific features through its file manager, like full ZFS snapshot restore capability.

[Ed. note: sneak preview, but I was planning on doing this one for Distro Friday tomorrow. Stay tuned.]

Twentieth anniversary of the FreeBSD Ports Tree

in bsd on (#2QW8)
Twenty years ago a guy by the name of Jordan Hubbard began the first FreeBSD ports tree. Two decades later it's an essential part of any FreeBSD install, allowing source code-level access to a huge ecosystem of software, all installable in either binary package or make-config-install format. That's not Jordan's only contribution either: FreeBSD owes sysinstall and the original package management system to him as well (retired in FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE for a next generation system).

In commemoration of the big 2-0, BSDFrance commissioned this video. It's quite well done.

BSD/Linux users, what are your opinions of the ports tree vs. repositories vs. app stores? Happy 20th, FreeBSD Ports Tree.

[Ed. note: 2014-08-27 21:18 thrilled to see we now have our very own BSD topic. About time; there have been several BSD articles here!]

BSDNow Episode 42: Devious Methods

in bsd on (#3PB)
This week on BSDNow the BSD communities' podcast, features an interview with Bryce Chidester on running a BSD-based shell provider, a video tutorial 'Chaining SSH connections', and other highlights:Watch now: YouTube, or Direct Downloads at