FreeBSD Mall receives Best of Concord Award (2009)

The U.S. Commerce Association recently announced that the FreeBSD Mall has been selected for the 2009 Best of Concord Award in the Computer Services category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to market FreeBSD and PC-BSD products effectively, and to be selected for this prestigious award”,

says Theresa Garner, Manager, FreeBSD Mall, Inc.

“FreeBSD Mall takes its commitment to customer service very seriously, and will continue its current tradition of providing outstanding software, documentation, and support to the FreeBSD community.”

Why FreeBSD 8 won’t rewrite the book

A major release of an operating system typically brings significant changes that require users to learn new skills.

But backers of the open source FreeBSD 8 operating system say that’s not necessarily going to be the case with its next major version.

FreeBSD 8 is currently in its beta release cycle with a final release targeted for August. The new release will be the first major release since FreeBSD 7 in February 2008, with the most recent point update being the 7.2 release in May of this year.

While the jump to 8.0 might seem a big step, FreeBSD contributor and Absolute FreeBSD author pointed out that most users have little to worry about.

“FreeBSD has a two-tier development process,” Lucas told InternetNews.com. “This two-tear method lets our users be very conservative, using only well-tested and widely deployed code, while we can further improve the code and add new features.”

“The newest version of FreeBSD, including the changes that were made just minutes ago, is called FreeBSD-current,” he explained. “Any new features go into FreeBSD-current for community testing and further development. Every so often, we cut a major release from FreeBSD-current. This is a .0 release, such as 8.0.”

Lucas added that once 8.0 is released, FreeBSD-current will continue receiving new features and further development. Once those features are tested and debugged, they might be backported to FreeBSD 8. As a result, the latest FreeBSD 7.2 release is based on an older version of FreeBSD-current, but includes bugfixes and additional features that have been tested on the development version of FreeBSD.

Another longstanding focus of FreeBSD is on simplifying the technical task of migrating to new releases.

Matt Olander, CTO at enterprise hardware systems vendor iXsystems, told InternetNews.com that his firm will be working to help his customers migrate from older versions of the OS to the new release when it’s out.

But Olander, who also serves on the FreeBSD Project’s marketing and public relations teams, described FreeBSD as “notoriously famous” for its easy migration across versions, with successful migrations to FreeBSD 7.x from far older editions like 4.x.

That makes it easy to recommend to customers, he added.

“We will install whatever platform the customer chooses, although we’re certainly partial to BSDs and FreeBSD in particular,” Olander said. “Usually my first question, if I’m brought into discussions for an opportunity and the customer is using another operating system, is ‘Have you tried that on FreeBSD?'”

What’s new in FreeBSD 8

FreeBSD is one of the earliest open source operating system projects and is a direct descendant of the original, open source BSD work performed at the University of California, Berkeley. According to Lucas, the FreeBSD Project is driven largely by volunteers with very few actually working as paid developers on the effort.

“While the FreeBSD team has excellent communication skills, many of our people have lives and careers outside of FreeBSD,” Lucas said.

That certainly hasn’t stunted the new capabilities baked into FreeBSD 8, however, with the OS — often thought of as primarily a server-based operating system — offering big improvements that may benefit desktop users, too.

“FreeBSD 8.0 includes many new features and abilities over the 7.x series,” Kris Moore, founder of the PC-BSD project, told InternetNews.com. “On the desktop side of things, probably the most important feature will be the new USB stack, which greatly improves support for USB devices, and fixes lots of long-standing bugs. Improvements to drivers [and] speed improvements are also in the works.”

PC-BSD is a desktop derivative of FreeBSD that is currently owned by iXsystems.

“So far, we’ve seen some major improvements from the newer FreeBSD base, such as the USB fixes, greatly improved Wi-Fi support, and a significant desktop responsiveness improvement,” Moore said, adding that work on PC-BSD version 8, which will based on FreeBSD 8, has just begun.

Despite the improvements in FreeBSD 8, the project’s supporters reaffirmed that the idea is to keep disruption to a minimum.

“The FreeBSD team works hard to minimize user surprises,” Lucas said, adding that the fact makes his book still relevant, despite having been first published in 2002. “Absolute FreeBSD’s usefulness will decrease over time, as with any tech book, but I expect it to be useful for a few years yet.”

Source: internetnews.com (15-07-2009)

Basic pfsense to pfsense IPSEC tunnel config

pfsense logo 100x100Rolfsa is another user who’s replacing Cisco PIX boxes with pfSense.

Part of my security redesign this year is to replace our aging Cisco PIX boxes with pfsense. Yesterday I spent the day setting up a simulated environment for 3 of our offices over an Internet connection. I was able to get the IPSEC tunnel up and running between two pfsense boxes pretty quick. Here’s a quick and dirty process for getting it all to work:

ANNOUNCEMENT: BSD Router Project (bsdrp)

Olivier Cochard-Labbé, an IP routing expert and founder of FreeNAS (a FreeBSD based Network-Attached-Storage system), has released the first alpha (0.1) image of his new project: BSD Router Project – http://bsdrp.net

bsdrp is an open source customised distribution of FreeBSD dedicated to offering IP routing services for small ISP’s.

The release 0.1 of BSDRP is a fully working prototype, to be used on real or virtual machines that boot from ATA device only (not usb).

This first release includes:

  • Base FreeBSD 8.0-CURRENT system (NanoBSD) for i386
  • Customized script (config, upgrade, help, command completion, etc…)
  • Quagga ready to use (OSPFv2, OSPFv3, RIP, RIPng and BGP)

You may ask, what is the difference between BSDRP and m0n0wall of pfSense.

  • The main goal of BSDRP is not firewalling but routing. If you need a firewall don’t use BSDRP: Use m0n0wall or pfSense.
  • BSDRP is not for a home use, but for compagny use (small ISP’s for example).
  • BSDRP doesn’t have a Web GUI: It’s to be configured from a CLI only (like Cisco or Juniper)
  • pfSense can be used for routing, but Olivier wanted to set up a Cisco or Juniper like project just for routing.

Thanks, Olivier, for contacting me to announce this project. If you have any (new) FreeBSD related products or services that you want to announce, submit it here.

Sun VirtualBox available as PC-BSD PBI

Virtualbox can now be easily installed as PBI on PC-BSD

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Virtualbox PBI

iXsystems releases iX-Apollo Extreme Series Workstation

iXsystems has unveiled the iX-Apollo Extreme Series, the first fully qualified PC-BSD workstation. The iX-Apollo Extreme Series ships with PC-BSD 7.x Pre-Installed and Pre-Configured. PC-BSD is a complete desktop operating system with a robust feature set including KDE 4.2.2. PC-BSD is inherently virus-resistant thereby offering stability, security and at the same time provides a comfortable user experience.

The iX-Apollo Extreme Series features the latest Intel Core i7 technology with support for up to eight logical cores. It utilizes up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, GigE LAN, 3D capable NVIDIA graphics. Additionally the iX-Apollo Extreme Series is powered by an ultra quiet 500 Watt power supply unit, which is equipped with universal input and active PFC. The power supply is also 80PLUS certified, making it efficient, eco-friendly, and less expensive to operate.

“The workstation gets more than 15,000 frames per second with effects turned off, and sees around 300 fps in Half-Life 2 with video settings maxed out. This Intel® Core™ i7 configuration is the best desktop experience I’ve had so far.  I downloaded Vavle’s Steam client and played Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike Source, and Left 4 Dead using PC-BSD.  I bought Half-Life 2 in 2004, but the Windows PC I had at the time could barely handle it. The load times alone made the game unplayable. Thanks to PC-BSD and some really nice hardware, I was finally able to enjoy the game the way it was intended,”

says James T. Nixon III, Webmaster, iXsystems.

“Aside from the amazing gaming performance, the workstation deploys desktop effects beautifully.  It sits quietly next to my television serving as a PC-BSD ‘Media Center’, making couch-computing the ‘only’ way to go!  Whether you’re writing a white paper in OpenOffice, watching movies with VLC, or enjoying the HD Flash videos on Hulu.com, PC-BSD continues to prove that anything is possible with the right hardware,”

says Ryan Hall, PC-BSD/iX-Apollo User.

FreeNAS 0.7RC1 (Sardaukar) released

Volker Theile has announced the availability of FreeNAS 0.7 RC1. This release candidate can be downloaded from here.

Majors changes:

  • Upgrade to FreeBSD 7.2.
  • Include ZFS support.
  • Upgrade iSCSI initiator to 2.1.1.
  • Replace iSCSI target by istgt. Thanks to Daisuke Aoyama for the WebGUI adaption. Please note, if you have used devices with the previous iSCSI target software you have to recreate your target.
  • Add WOL patch for nVidia(nfe(4)) and 3Com(xl(4)).
  • Upgrade mt-daapd/firefly to svn-1696.
  • Refactor ‘Diagnostics|Log’ WebGUI.
  • Add kernel patches to get ARTiGO A2000 hardware working.
  • Respect the modified log file location (via rc.conf for syslog, fuppes, mt-daapd, …) in the WebGUI
  • Upgrade transmission to 1.61. Add ‘Watch directory’ and ‘Extra options’ fields to ‘Services|BitTorrent’ WebGUI.
  • Add entry ‘FTP – Ban module’ to the list of log files in ‘Diagnostics|Log’ if the module is enabled
  • Add ‘iperf’, a tool to measure maximum TCP and UDP bandwidth
  • Add ‘bsnmp-ucd’ module that implements parts of UCD-SNMP-MIB.
  • Add SNMP client tools: bsnmpget, bsnmpset and bsnmpwalk
  • Add ‘Auxiliary parameters’ to ‘Services|SNMP’ that will be added to the end of the snmpd.config file.
  • Upgrade e2fsprogs to 1.41.5.
  • Upgrade rsync to 3.0.6.
  • Upgrade tftp-hpa to 0.49.

Visit the FreeNAS website for the latest info

Source: networkattacheddatastorage.com

AskoziaPBX – project update

askozia-pbx logo 100x100Askozia has set up a shop for components and pre-built appliances, with a percentage of all sales going into further development of AskoziaPBX.

AskoziaPBX: Porting to Linux, Going for Mainstream

We’re currently in the process of porting Askozia®PBX (an Open Source PBX solution based on Asterisk) to use Linux as its base operating system. This allows us to support architectures other than x86 and take advantage of Asterisk features not available on FreeBSD.

Many manufacturers have expressed interest in having a turn-key software solution available for their hardware offerings. Auerswald, a large German telephony equipment manufacturer, has sponsored our initial port to Linux and the Blackfin CPU architecture, now offering AskoziaPBX as an alternate firmware for their upcoming COMpact 3000 VoIP device.

What is needed for Asterisk based distributions to become as mainstream as a FRITZ!Box?

Asterisk’s flexibility lets it be tailored to different markets; which ones are laying undiscovered?

Watch the video or listen to MP3

New Release : 1.0.3

Another small update to the 1.0 series has been released adding a French localization (submitted by Jean-Pierre Lozano) as well as updating the Japanese and German localizations.

Also, the last few hard-coded AskoziaPBX strings have been made customizable for our branding customers. Your updated versions are also available for download.