BSD Magazine 2011-04: FreeBSD: portability with VMware

A new issue of the free BSD Magazine is available: FreeBSD: Portability with VMware (pdf)

From the table of contents

Interview with Dru Lavigne

Dru Lavigne is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux and BSD systems. She is author of BSD Hacks, The Best of FreeBSD Basics, and The Definitive Guide to PCBSD.

Why You Use FreeBSD Just May Start With A ‘Z’

You may have been using FreeBSD for a long time. You may have just started using it. Regardless of how long you’ve been using it, whether it’s been fifteen years or fifteen days, you have needs, and FreeBSD fulfills some or all of them.

OpenBSD improves upon /etc/rc.d/

The OpenBSD developers did not adopt a change like this until they were sure they had a mechanism that was both simple to implement and simple to use.

DragonFly News

There’s been some dramatic changes for DragonFly in the past month; all positive but having significant effects.

Package Management for the upcoming PC-BSD 9

Among the various improvements planned for PC-BSD 9.0, among the largest of these is the refreshed PBI package management format.

Converting a Physical Partition with FreeBSD to a vmware Image

Portability is something people increasingly value, because it has a number of advantages – you can, for example, carry your desktop (or server) anywhere with you and thus also all your very important personal data that you have created over some time, or perhaps over many years.

Build appliances with QEMU and OpenBSD

OpenBSD is the slimmest desktop OS. It is complete, functional and usable on any computer as long as your expectations are that of an engineer as opposed to a user.

Drupal on FreeBSD part 5

Continuing the series on the Drupal Content Management System, we will look at adding discrete PHP and Javascript code to our pages.

Mutt On OS X part 2

Last time (BSD Magazine 02/2011), we installed Mutt on OS X and read and sent mail from a Gmail account. This month, we’ll get one step closer to replacing Mail.app by learning a way to handle multiple accounts and how to search our Mac’s Address book from within Mutt.

Realtime Weather Data EMWIN on FreeBSD

Have ever run to the TV, turned on a radio, or browsed to a weather site, just to find out what the weather conditions are, or about to become? You can now have data delivered right to server, use in a web site, or sent as notifications to pagers via e-mail.

Benchmarking Different Kind of Storage

In this article we will examine 2 types of storage: an iSCSI and a local hard drive.

Content Management Made Easy The Open Source Way!

We take a look at the open-source Content Management Systems available for your enterprise website.

Download: BSD Magazine 2011-04: FreeBSD: Portability with VMware

Dru Lavigne: Confessions of a community manager

Dru is PC-BSD‘s Community Manager. At last weekend’s Scale 9x expo she talked about being a community manager and how to decide whether an open source project is ready to have one.

She talked about:

  • What is a community manager?
  • Is your project ready for a community manager?
  • Why have a community manager?

Read the article: Dru Lavigne: Confessions of a community manager (opensource.com)

BSD Magazine 2011/02: ZFS and FreeBSD

A new issue of the free BSD Magazine is available: ZFS and FreeBSD

Table of contents:

ZFS and FreeBSD

The Zettabyte Filesystem (ZFS) is one of the most advanced open source filesystems available today. Its design implements several revolutionary ideas with focus on data consistency, performance and ease of use.

FreeNAS

FreeNAS is a very interesting project with a history spanningapproximately 5 years. It’s a fusion of FreeBSD with a webgui andembedded device framework, which creates a NAS device basedon FreeBSD, fully manageable from a web-browser out of a PCwith an x86 or AMD64 architecture.

Network transparent rate limitation with ipfw

In this article I will explain how to setup a transparent bridge between your LAN and your Firewall/router. With “transparent” I mean that you won’t need to do any change on your network in order to use it.

Building an iSCSI storage with BSD

Highly loaded databases need a fast and reliable storage solution, something like a big server with many hard drives, probably with 4, 8, or 16 drives. Also, many 1U servers do not have the necessary storage capacity to offer services that need it.

How to setup a USB Memory stick for installing a pfSense SoHo Firewall/Router

This article covers the installation and initial configuration of a pfSense Firewall / Router on a small form factor PC.

Mutt On OS X

Whenever my boss walks by my desk, he can’t help but ask, „Why do you insist on using the command line for everything? Are you stuck in the 1970’s or something?”…

The Missing Links to Strategic Implementation

In regards to growth and strategy, the father of management and strategy, Peter Drucker was wont to say, “Everything must degenerate into work if anything is to happen.”

Browser Wars

With the rise of the Internet, there has been a considerable increase in the number of web browsers available for BSD platforms.

Interview with Dan Langille

BSDCan 2011 – An interview with Dan Langille, who will give you a closer look at the upcoming conference.

PC-SYSINSTALL – A new system installer backend for PC-BSD & FreeBSD

A presentation from BSDCan 2010 is an example of what you can expect from this years Conference.

Download BSD Magazine 2011/02: FreeBSD & ZFS

Available: BSD Magazine: BSD’s and Solaris (01-2011)

The Editors of the BSD Magazine have finished writing another issue: BSD’s and Solaris.

Drupal on FreeBSD – part 3
Rob Somerville
Continuing the series on the Drupal Content Management System, we will look at creating a store front for our new website using CCK and Views.

Email MX server in FreeBSD – Confguring FreeBSD as a mail MX server with Postfx
Francisco Reyes
This is a tutorial on how to setup a mail MX server using Postfix.

Installing NGINX and PHP 5.3.x on FreeBSD 8.1
Diego Montalvo
Have been using Apache as my default web server on FreeBSD servers since departing from IIS 4.0 and NT systems in 1999. Apache has always performed great on my installations and give the Apache Foundation great praise.

Text Terminal magic with tmux
Girish Venkatachalam
Once you get used to something you seldom like to go back to old ways. So much so that you get uncomfortable without it.

Writing ‘bots using XMPP
Eric Schnoebelen
One of my favorite topics, using XMPP/Jabber for productive, real world applications!

How to quickly make a bootable USB stick with FreeBSD
Juraj Sipos
This article covers the steps needed to make a bootable USB stick with FreeBSD – a quick howto that also applies to a USB drive.

FreeBSD and simple char device driver for real PCI-hardware
Anton Borisov
The FreeBSD operating system captivates the hearts and minds of it’s fans so much, that finds it’s way in very diversive industries such as hosting projects and backbone routers. It can run on small embedded devices, as well as on large, multi-core systems.

BSD’s and Solaris on the Desktop. Are they ready to serve?
Petr Topiarz
As I am a great unix fan, I use BSD daily, but I mainly use the beast on the servers. In my company, we run Linux on Desktops and I would like to change that too. Therefore I underwent this venture in order to see whether Unix is ready to replace Linux on the desktop or not.

Games Geeks Play!
Sufyan ibn Uzayr
In this article, we explore the various gaming options available for the BSD users.

Why can’t offce employees get along with open source offce suites?
Joshua Ebarvia
I have been working for 6 years now in an office setting. Since the organization I work for does not have that “big” funds for purchasing bleeding-edge software, we put our hands on some open source counterparts of the proprietary ones.

Download the latest BSD Mag issue here: BSD’s and Solaris

(Free)BSD miscelaneous links and news (week 1)

I. The Perfect Database Server: Firebird 2.5 And FreeBSD 8.1

Here is the guide on installing Firebird 2.5 from FreeBSD 8.1 Ports and creating your first test database; also we show you how to install Flamerobin GUI (administration tool) and the PHP driver for it: The perfect database server: Firebird 2.5 and FreeBSD 8.1

II. Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

The most common Linux file-systems we talk about at Phoronix are of course Btrfs and EXT4 while the ZFS file-system, which is available on Linux as a FUSE (user-space) module or via a recent kernel module port, gets mentioned a fair amount too. When it comes to the FreeBSD and PC-BSD operating systems, ZFS is looked upon as the superior, next-generation option that is available to BSD users. However, with the DragonFlyBSD operating system there is another option: HAMMER. In this article we are seeing how the performance of this original creation within the DragonFlyBSD project competes with ZFS, UFS, EXT3, EXT4, and Btrfs.

HAMMER is a file-system created by the DragonFlyBSD developers themselves and is the default choice when installing this BSD operating system, but UFS remains a choice too. The one sentence description about this file-system is that “[HAMMER] provides instant crash recovery, multi-volume file systems, integrity checking, fine grained history/undo, networked mirroring, and historical snapshots.” HAMMER uses no fsck, can be sized up to one Exabyte, supports up to 256 volumes of four petabytes in size, coarse-grained history provided by snapshots with up to sixty days history, live snapshot access, and data/meta-data is CRC-checked. Like Btrfs, HAMMER snapshots can be taken at any time, can be accessed live, and boasts a similar set of features. Other HAMMER file-system features include the ability to split it up into multiple pseudo file-systems, there is support for back-up pseudo file-systems, NFS-exportable snapshots, and there is support for slave-to-slave mirroring streams: Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

Matt Dillon’s, DragonFlyBSD’s project founder, thoughts on the test: HAMMER Benchmark Fun

III. Get Linux and FreeBSD hardware info with guide to commands

Switching between open source OSs can sometimes be confusing, since they may have different ways of doing things. A common task that may confuse some users when switching systems is getting hardware information. In the case of Linux-based OSs and FreeBSD, the following cheat sheet for figuring out how to do the same things on two different systems can ease some of the pain: Linux vs FreeBSD cheat sheet.

IV. Cost Optimization Through Open Source Software (iXsystems)

The lead article in this month’s edition of the Open Source Business Resource was contributed by iXsystems. It describes some of the business reasons behind the company’s choice to use only FreeBSD and PC-BSD systems in its own infrastructure and provides a cost/savings comparison for both software and maintenance costs. It also contains some good references and percentages if you’re looking for something to show your manager (via)

V. Creating an LVM-backed FreeBSD DomU in a Linux Dom0

As the topic suggests we’re going to play with Xen and set up a FreeBSD DomU inside a Linux Dom0.

FreeBSD quick news: Amazon EC2, OpenBSD and FBI

Some exciting and eyebrow raising news items:

FreeBSD on Amazon EC2

FreeBSD developer Colin Percival announced on his blog that FreeBSD 9-CURRENT now runs on Amazon EC2:

One of my largest complaints about Amazon EC2 ever since it launched has been my inability to run FreeBSD on it. Judging from the feedback I received to two earlier blog posts, I haven’t been alone. The problems keeping FreeBSD out of EC2 have always been more FreeBSD-related than Amazon-related, however, and over the past month I’ve been hacking away at FreeBSD’s Xen code, to the point where I can say something I’ve been waiting to say for a long time: FreeBSD now runs on Amazon EC2.

There are some caveats to this. First, at the moment only FreeBSD 9.0-CURRENT can run under EC2; I haven’t merged bug fixes back to the stable branches. Second, at the moment FreeBSD only runs on t1.micro instances, for reasons I can’t discuss (NDA) but hope will be resolved soon. Third, this code hasn’t received very much testing and is almost certain to have more serious bugs, so it should be approached as an experimental, not-ready-for-production-use system for now. Full post

OpenBSD & the FBI

Theo de Raadt, project leader of the OpenBSD project, has made an email public that reveals that the FBI built a backdoor into OpenBSD’s ipsec about a decade ago.

As of yet it’s not known if any of the revelations/allegations are true and if any other operating systems are affected. We will have to wait until developers have reviewed the code. What do you think about all this? Please drop a comment at the bottom.

This subject has been picked up by many websites and blogs. Here’s a selection:

  • FBI Poked Spy Hole in OpenBSD, Says Former Contractor – technewsworld.com
  • FBI ‘planted backdoor’ in OpenBSD – theregister.com
  • FBI Accused Of Decade-Old Cryptography Code Conspiracy – forbes.com
  • Developer claims FBI implemented backdoors in OpenBSD – itwire.com


(Free)BSD Events (November)

Below some links, photos and videos for some BSD related events in the last few weeks:

NYCBSDCon

NYCBSDCon took place on 14 Nov. Justin Sherill has summarised the 2 days: NYCBSDCon Notes. Will Backman, the man behind bsdtalk, has uploaded a short video showing off the facilities, food and talks:


BSD Day 2010

Some pictures of BSDDay 2010 (Budapest, Hungary, 20 Nov 2010) can be found here.

For the slide, check out the wiki page.

DragonFlyBSD

DragonFlyBSD is taking part in Google Code-In. Several Google Code-In tasks for DragonFlyBSD have already been claimed and finished.

There’s a 15 minutes interview on BSDTalk with Matthew Dillon about the recent 2.8 release of DragonFlyBSD. This interview was done at MeetBSD California 2010. Download/Listen: MP3OGG

NetBSD

Soren Jacobsen has announced the release of NetBSD 5.1: “The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that version 5.1 of the NetBSD operating system is now available. NetBSD 5.1 is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed critical for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements. Please note that all fixes in security/critical updates are cumulative, so the latest update contains all such fixes since the corresponding minor release. Some highlights include:

  • RAIDframe parity maps, which greatly improve parity rewrite times after unclean shutdown;
  • X.Org updates;
  • support for many more network devices;
  • Xen PAE dom0 support;
  • Xen PCI pass-through support.”

Zafer Aydogan announced Jibbed 5.1, a NetBSD-based live CD featuring automatic hardware detection and the Xfce desktop.

Of EoL, GSoC, paid development and why I love UNIX

FreeBSD 6.4 and 8.0 EoLs coming soon

On November 30th, FreeBSD 6.4 and FreeBSD 8.0 will have reached their End of Life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Since FreeBSD 6.4 is the last remaining supported release from the FreeBSD 6.x stable branch, support for the FreeBSD 6.x stable branch will also cease at the same point. Users of either of these FreeBSD releases are strongly encouraged to upgrade to either FreeBSD 7.3 or FreeBSD 8.1 before that date.

The FreeBSD Ports Management Team wishes to remind users that November 30 is also the end of support for the Ports Collection for both FreeBSD 6.4 RELEASE and the FreeBSD 6.x STABLE branch. Neither the infrastructure nor individual ports are guaranteed to work on these FreeBSD versions after that date. A CVS tag will be created for users who cannot upgrade for some reason, at which time these users are advised to stop tracking the latest ports CVS repository and use the RELEASE_6_EOL tag instead. (source)

FreeBSD at GSoC Mentor Summit

As in previous years, Google held a “Mentor Summit” to bring together representatives from the open source organizations that participated in the Google Summer of Code to share experiences of what worked, what didn’t, and generally learn from each other about shepherding students through the program. The mentor summit is always run Unconference-style and it is a great opportunity to meet, learn, and socialize with the many other open source organization… continues (Murray’s FreeBSD Notes)

FreeBSD Will Pay for Some KMS, GEM Love

“The good news, however, is that the FreeBSD Foundation is willing to finance a developer to work on bringing kernel mode-setting and Graphics Execution Manager support over to the FreeBSD kernel.”

Source & full story: FreeBSD Will Pay for Some KMS, GEM Love (phoronix.com)

Why I Love Unix

I love Unix because of all the wonderful things that I can do on the command line. When I first used Unix in 1983, it was love on first sight. With a list of the most basic commands by my side, I quickly discovered how much I could accomplish with several command strings strung together. Unix was nothing like what I’d been using up to that point in my brief data processing career. It was clever, modular and logical. With tools like grep and languages like awk, it was quite a bit of fun to discover how easily I could make the system do my bid. My ability to capture sequences of commands easily into scripts made it possible for me to encapsulate my clever commands, even share them with coworkers. The Unix culture seemed innovative, inviting my participation in creating an environment that really worked for me.

Full blog post: Why I love UNIX (itworld.com)

Other BSD related news

BSD Magazine (Oct-2010) issue: VPN and BSD

There’s another (free) issue available of the BSD Managzine: VPN and BSD (Oct 2010) (link)

Some of the articles are:

bsd magazine Oct 2010

Commissioning FreeBSD with the Drupal Content Management Framework – Part 1

With nearly 6000 modules and PHP support Drupal offers a sophisticated web development platform as well as a thriving community. Drupal, originally conceived by Dries Buytaert, has a reputation of being an extremely capable DContent Management System (CMS) albeit with a steep learning curve. While many criticisms concerning the complexity of the interface will be addressed in the forthcoming Drupal 7 release (which is currently in the alpha stage), Drupal 6 excels in stability, flexibility and high quality code. The developers also subscribe to a transparent policy towards security issues, and have a dedicated security team which ensures that core modules remain high quality. Used as the basis of many high profile sites.

Building VPNs on OpenBSD

A VPN is a network made up of multiple private networks situated at different locations, linked together using secure tunnels over a public (insecure) network, typically the Internet. VPNs are becoming increasingly popular, as they allow companies to join the LANs of their branches or subsidiaries into a single private network (site-to-site VPNs) or to provide mobile employees, such as sales people, access to their corporate network from outside the premises (remote-access VPNs), thus making accessing and sharing internal information much easier.

Closed-source and unsupported drivers with FreeBSD

Sooner or later you come to a conclusion that you need to have an enhanced mobility throughout your home place. And you decide to purchase an Wi-Fi card and put it into a home gate-keeper. Do you know about troubles that could bring this simple transaction like WiFi network card purchase?Some might ask – is it necessary to buy a WiFi-card instead of a simple AccessPoint (AP)? At first glance you can figure out that there exist the fine models of ADSL-modems with wireless capabilities and that could work as AP. However, it should be noticed that: a) not all home connections to an Internet-provider go through a „copper” like phone- or cable-line; b) you simply need to add a WiFi-capability to an already working gate; c) a WiFi-card itself costs several times cheaper of AP.

Download issue: VPN and BSD