Miscelaneous news updates (arab-bsd, pf, cyphertite, PC-BSD)

Below a number of links to interesting FreeBSD (related) projects and resources.

ArabBSD

ArabBSD is a new FreeBSD related project, working to create an Arabian FreeBSD operating system:

ArabBSD is a project which aims to provide infrastructure for the most reliable and secure operating system FreeBSD. We aim to have our own Arab Operating System developers soon starting from the analysis of FreeBSD infrastructure,  block diagram formulation and call for research groups within each field.  Anyone who is interesting in operating systems and their news can join us. They will keep up with OS. OS is about everything in life containing all the types of programming. You can develop in the kernel and you can use this Operating System as a virtual environment for your project.

10 years of pf presentation

Henning Brauer has made his presentation from BSDCan 2011 available. Weighing in at 82 pages, he gives a detailed overview of what happened to the packet filter firewall (pf) in the last 10 years.

Interview with Kris Moore (PC-BSD)

PC Perspective‘s John Davis interviewed Kris Moore recently. They talk about PC-BSD’s hardware support, performance, games and the future. The full interview can be read here: Interview with Kris Moore, Founder and Lead Developer at PC-BSD.

There’s also an interview on Distrowatch by Jesse Smith on OS design elements. Jesse interviews Jenny Rosenberg and James Nixon (iXsystems). Read the full interview here:  In the eye of the beholder.

cyphertite

cyphertite is a high-security scalable solution for online backups that can be installed on FreeBSD. The project is looking for testers and feedback. cyphertite features include:

  • client-based system
  • IPv6 support
  • compresses and encrypts all data before transmission
  • deduplicates using fixed-size pieces of data called “chunks”
  • all network traffic is encrypted using openssl certificates and keys
  • realm deduplication i.e. only backs up a file once if it is on N computers that share the same user account
  • incremental backups for shorter backup window and smaller metadata files
  • local cache database of chunks already sent to server avoids unnecessary encryption and network traffic
  • pay according to storage space used, not per client machine
  • demonstrable privacy of client data with open source client

cyphertite.comInstall cyphertiteConfigure cyphertite

The Unix Method of Development Management

This is a mp3 recording of William Baxter’s NYCBUG presentation on The Unix Method of Development Management

Spanish video on PC-BSD

Sergio Ligregnio’s presentation on PC-BSD (in Spanish).


PBI 9.0 re-implemented for Free/PC-BSD

A few days ago I mentioned that Kris Moore would be attending AsiaBSDCon 2011. Due to the changed circumstances in Japan Kris won’t be able to make this presentation now.

However, from his slides on the new PBI 9.0 format you can pretty much figure out what he was going to present. These slides are available in PDF format: The PBI Format re-implemented for Free/PC-BSD.

PBI 9 will be part of the upcoming PC-BSD 9.0 and Kris has written up an article in the lasted BSD Magazine on his progress and what new features we can expect: A quick look at the upcoming PC-BSD 9.

 

PC-BSD 9-CURRENT testing snapshot

If you have some free time this week and wanting to check out some of the new features of the upcoming PC-BSD 9.0, you can download and test drive the latest snapshot of PC-BSD 9.0.

One of the most interesting features are support of multiple window managers (gnome, kde, fluxbox etc) and the new PBI format.

If you come across any issues or if you have any suggestions, you may report them to the testing mailing list.

Download the PC-BSD 9-CURRENT testing snapshot

Released: PC-BSD 8.2 (Hubble Edition)

Following the release of FreeBSD 8.2, iXsystems has now released PC-BSD 8.2.

As you will know, PC-BSD closely follows FreeBSD’s release cycle (on which it is based) but makes it easier for use on the desktop. As a sidenote, Dru Lavigne, PC-BSD’s Community Manager, is doing a presentation this weekend at Scale 2011 on how PC-BSD compares to Linux and FreeBSD. This is her presentation outline:


With regards to the release of PC-BSD 8.2 (Hubble Edition), this version contains a number of enhancements and improvements. For a full list of changes, have a look at the changelog.

Some of the notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.2-Release
  • KDE 4.5.5
  • Added ability to select file-system type and encryption during auto-partitioning
  • Able to toggle between MBR/GPT partitioning
  • Various bug fixes to the wireless / network managers

Version 8.2 of PC-BSD is available for download from the mirrors, as well as via torrent from gotbsd.net.

Available: PC-BSD 8.2-RC3

Following the release of FreeBSD 8.2-RC3, the third Release Candidate for PC-BSD 8.2 was announced today by Kris Moore, Lead Developer of PC-BSD.

This RC is expected to be the last RC version prior to release which is expected some time in the next 2-3 weeks.

In addition to some fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots, RC2 contains the following software components:

  • FreeBSD 8.2RC3
  • KDE 4.5.5
  • Xorg 7.5
  • Nvidia Driver 260.19.29
  • Nvidia Driver 173.14.25
  • Nvidia Driver 96.43.16

PC-BSD 8.2-RC3 is available for download from our mirrors. Everyone is encouraged to test this beta and to report any bugs to the testing mailing list. Instructions for beta testers can be found in the PC-BSD Handbook.

Available: PC-BSD 8.2-RC2

The PC-BSD Team has announced (pc-bsd blog) the availability of the second Release Candidate for PC-BSD 8.2. This will be the last beta version prior to release which is expected some time in the next 2–3 weeks.

In addition to some fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots, RC2 contains the following software components:

  • FreeBSD 8.2RC2
  • KDE 4.5.4
  • Xorg 7.5
  • Nvidia Driver 260.19.29
  • Nvidia Driver 173.14.25
  • Nvidia Driver 96.43.16

Links

Available: PC-BSB 9.0 testing snapshot

Kris Moore has announced another PC-BSD 9.0 testing snapshot:

“Another release of the PC-BSD 9 snapshot is now available for download. This snapshot includes a bunch of bug-fixes to the GDM login manager, some new meta-pkgs, and fixes to the PBI command-line utilities.

This snapshot also includes CD images that install the LXDE desktop, as well as the USBFULL image which contains all the available desktops and meta-pkgs.”

For more information and some tips on how to use the new PBI command line utilities, check out Dru’s blogpost on the PC-BSD blog: Next 9.0 Snapshot is Available for Testing

Miscelaneous (Free)BSD news and links (Week 2)

I End of Life Announcement for PC-BSD 7.x

With the release of version 8.2 just around the corner, and PC-BSD 9.0 slated for later this year, we will be stopping the production of new packages / PBIs for the PC-BSD 7.x series in the near future: End of Life Announcement for PC-BSD 7.x

II Required: Senior FreeBSD/UNIX/Linux Administrator

You might be our next Sr. Systems Engineer: Senior FreeBSD/UNIX/Linux Administrator

III FreeBSD: Virtual Network Switch

In the previous post, I have mentioned about I’m going to cover Open vSwitch and Vde implementation. However I think it is also interesting to cover how you can setup virtual switch with FreeBSD native system. As we all know bridging is actually software switching, therefore we can make use of bridge interface to achieve this. I will explain the 6 ports virtual network switch setup that is illustrated in the diagram below: FreeBSD: Virtual Network Switch

IV Installing pfSense on an Alix.6e1

The ALIX.6e1 hardware platform:

2 10/100 LAN / 1 miniPCI / 1 miniPCI Express / AMD LX800 / 256 MB / 2 USB / DB9 serial port / CF Card slot / Board size: 6 x 6 : Installing pfSense on an Alix.6e1

PC-BSD development in 2011

I’ve contacted the lead developers of different FreeBSD based projects and asked them about their development plans and ideas for 2011. Let’s start with PC-BSD today.

As you all know, PC-BSD is a free, open-source operating system based on rock-solid FreeBSD, focusing on ease-of-use and and double-click package installation (PBI). The PC-BSD project is now part of iXsystems, a company that builds storage solutions, pre-configured servers, and customised servers utilizing open source hardware and software.

Today Kris Moore, the project’s founder, announced PC-BSD 8.2RC1 and with regards to his plans for 2011 he writes:

“For 8.2, it is mainly a release to include the latest FreeBSD 8.2 / KDE 4.5.4. Also some
bug fixes are present for advanced partitioning, letting the user select between MBR/GPT,
and easily toggle between UFS+S/ZFS.

On the 9.0 front, we’ve implemented a new system of “meta-pkgs” which will let users customize their particular desktop based upon the available packages in the release. This means we can now select alternative desktop environments, such as Gnome/KDE/LXDE/XFCE and others. In order to accomplish this, all of our tools have been re-written in pure QT4, removing any requirements for KDE4 to be present.

Related to this, we’ve re-implemented our PBI system to be 100% shell, allowing it to run on native FreeBSD and not be particular about the window-manager being used. This newer PBI format also includes features to reduce the duplication of library files, digital signatures, repository management, binary patching and more. For the non-technical end user the PBI system will appear mostly the same, but for advanced users a whole set of command-line utilities will make the managing of PBI files easier and more powerfull than before.

Also on 9, we’ve switched to using UFS+SUJ (Soft-Updates Journaled) file-system by default, which is a great way to eliminate the need for a long fsck after a crash / power-loss, while not having the heavy requirements of ZFS.” (Bold by GvE)

I’ve used PBI’s since version 0.7.8. Though they worked, it was evident that PBI technology was only just born, but it’s now growing up and maturing nicely.

You’re doing a great job, Kris, and we’re all looking forward to PC-BSD 9.0, and beyond. Thanks to iXsystems for providing the support and hardware to make PC-BSD better with every release.

To check progress of PC-BSD 9.0, you may have a look at the PC-BSD 9.0 todo and the PBI 9 and beyond sections of the wiki.

Available: PC-BSD 8.2-RC1

The PC-BSD Team has announced the availability of the first Release Candidate for PC-BSD 8.2.

Version 8.2-RC1 contains a number of enhancements, improvements, and bug fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots. Some of the notable changes are:

  • Updated to FreeBSD 8.2-RC1
  • Fixed issue detecting the proper video card driver
  • Fixed some crashes when adding new users / groups
  • Added /sbin/nologin as a shell choice in the user manager
  • Let created users have a homedir of /nonexistant via the GUI
  • Fix customizing desktop languages when using a () in the description

Version 8.2-RC1 of PC-BSD is available for download from the mirrors. Everyone is encouraged to test this beta and to report any bugs to the testing mailing list. Instructions for beta testers can be found in the PC-BSD Handbook.