BSD at LinuxWorld 2008

pc-bsd girl and pc-bsd babe, in real life Gloria Galicia (photo left) and Perla Ibarra (photo middle), were representing FreeBSD/PC-BSD at the LinuxWorld 2008, San Francisco.

I work for one of the sponsors of BSD. I’ve never been to a trade show before and wanted to check it out and support BSD

says Galicia. Both ladies were at the BSD Booth with Matt Olander, CTO at iXsystems, to answer questions about FreeBSD and PC-BSD (incl. the upcoming PC-BSD 7 Fibonacci).

This operating system has been under steady development since the ’70s, and we’re a viable alternative to Linux,

said Matt Olander.

Source: wired.com (08/08/2008)

PC-BSD 7 status update

Kris Moore has put an update on the PC-BSD website about the PC-BSD 7

… preparing for the next major release of PC-BSD, also known as PC-BSD 7. This new version will be based on FreeBSD 7, and include KDE 4.1 as the primary desktop interface. We are currently releasing weekly Alpha ISO’s, that allow us to test out the new features, and fix bugs associated with the switch to a FreeBSD 7 and KDE 4.1 base.

He also notes there’s a new version of the PBI Builder software available.

Read the full status update

iXsystems offers professional FreeBSD and PC-BSD support

iXsystems announced  on 08/07/08 the launch of its Professional Services Division for FreeBSD and PC-BSD. The new Professional Services Division will provide Professional Enterprise Grade support, consulting, and development for FreeBSD and PC-BSD.

Service offerings include desktop support such as installation and basic customization of the operating system. Software application support is also offered and includes assistance configuring and installing third-party applications, either through the FreeBSD ports and packages system or via Push-Button Installers (PBIs), graphical utilities to remove and install PC-BSD software in a simple to use, self-contained format.

Also included are more customized support offerings across a wide range of server-related issues such as kernel tuning and system optimization, device driver creation, kernel, userland, and embedded systems development, and a host of other services. iXsystems offers 8×5 PC-BSD and FreeBSD OS support and has a devoted Service Support Office and US-based Call Center to assist with technical support issues.

We feel that offering Enterprise Grade Support for FreeBSD and PC-BSD will remove one of the main barriers that the platforms face to expanding adoption. While there may be some companies that are capable of supporting them, there are none, to my knowledge, currently offering services and support on an Enterprise level specific to FreeBSD and PC-BSD

says Matthew Olander, CTO of iXsystems.

For more information, read the announcement or head over to the iXsystems Support page.

Did you know you can buy workstations with PC-BSD pre-installed from iXsystems?

alpha3 release: PC-BSD 7.0 with KDE 4.1

PC-BSD LogoAfter several weeks of porting and hard work by KDE on FreeBSD and PC-BSD teams,  PC-BSD is pleased to make the first PC-BSD 7 Alpha with KDE 4.1 (beta2) available! This release is quite a bit different from our previous alphas, as the jump from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4.1 is very significant, and required the entire codebase to be ported over to compile / run with QT 4. As such, it is expected that many bugs appear in this alpha, and we appreciate your help in finding and fixing them.

Please note, as the 4.1 version of KDE is in beta, and there is still porting to be done on the BSD side of things, you may be able to help in this area as well. First, if you find bugs in the install + setup of PC-BSD, please let us know via the testing list, and we’ll begin working on them right away. However, if you find bugs in the KDE desktop itself, please be sure to check out the KDE bug database first, and determine if the bug should be reported there, or to the kde-freebsd porting team.

For example, we are already aware of a bug preventing Konsole from working. TIP: Use Alt-F2 to launch xterm instead.

Download links: CD1 (652Mb) | CD2 (578Mb)
MD5 CD1 = 96bc8de9771e28770268eab65889718a
MD5 CD2 = 59993ce3182b0ff4b541cb233c328cce

NOTES:

  • You will need to download BOTH CD’s to install PC-BSD from now on. KDE4 is quite a bit larger than 3.x, and one CD wont fit it anymore, even with LZMA compression.
  • Also, the porting of the PBI system over to KDE 4.1 is finished as well, and the build server is due to start working on the new 7 series PBIs sometime early next week. This should allow everybody to test a more complete desktop with our entire PBI catalog very soon.

Please remember this is a alpha snapshot so don’t complain when you find problems or errors but report them to the testing list instead.

Gnome PBI available for PC-BSD 1.5 Edison

Gnome Desktop environment logoPC-BSD is a straight-forward and easy-to-install KDE based operating system. However, on the PC-BSD forums a number of users have been saying they prefer the Gnome desktop environment over KDE and would welcome a Gnome based version of PC-BSD.

It is possible to install Gnome on PC-BSD from ports, but doing this can cause problems and take a lot of time.

For the time being there won’t be a Gnome based PC-BSD version, but Gnove lovers will be delighted to learn that Marcus from the FreeBSD Gnome Team has now created a Gnome PBI.

Download the Gnome PBI (413Mb)

Firefox 3 for FreeBSD

firefox logoMozilla Firefox 3 is now available for FreeBSD.

Firefox is an award winning, free, open-source web browser for many platforms and is based on the Mozilla codebase. It is small, fast and easy to use, and offers many advanced features:

  • Popup Blocking
  • Tabbed Browsing
  • Live Bookmarks (ie. RSS)
  • Extensions
  • Theme
  • FastFind
  • Improved Security

To install Firefox3 from the commandline in FreeBSD, PC-BSD or DesktopBSD enter:

portsnap fetch extract (if this is the first time you're using portsnap)
portsnap fetch update
cd /usr/ports/www/firefox3 && make install clean

Converting FreeBSD into PC-BSD

This post describes an example of how one can manually convert a FreeBSD installation into a PC-BSD one using the install disk. There are more elegant ways of doing it, such as pulling things from PC-BSDs SVN and compiling only PC-BSD specific components.

More

PC-BSD 7.0 Alpha – ready for testing

Yes, you’re reading the title right. PC-BSD 7.0 is coming and this version has been named 7.0 on purpose.

We will be changing our versioning scheme to correspond with FreeBSD, thus PC-BSD 7.0 will be based off of FreeBSD 7.0, PC-BSD 7.1 on FreeBSD 7.1, and so forth. This should help make it obvious as to what version of BSD we are running, and keep us more in line with FreeBSD itself. This should also make it clear that we’re tracking all FreeBSD releases and have no intention to fork or break away from this great operating system.

An early test release of PC-BSD 7.0, which is based on the FreeBSD 7.0 release, has been uploaded for test purposes.

Please note that this release is an ALPHA, which means it is NOT feature complete yet, and should only be used for early testing. Also: most PBI’s will NOT work on it, since all the legacy library support from FreeBSD 6 hasn’t been implemented yet.

If you are able to test this release, please let us have your feedback (gerard at@ pcbsd dot. org or core at@ lists dot. pcbsd dot. org). At this moment we’re most interested in feedback as to hardware support or installation problems, i.e. if there is something that works in FreeBSD 7.0, but does not appear to be working in PC-BSD, please let us know so we can get it fixed.

File Download: ftp://ftp.pcbsd.org/pub/alpha-isos/i386/PCBSD7-Alpha-x86-Thu.iso

MD5: e0d20b8ca06175a8d28a864da7b495d9

Many thanks for your help in testing!

FreeBSD News – quick links (week 17)

I News & Articles

FreeBSD for Web and E-Mail Servers

I’m not touting FreeBSD over Linux. Within the Unix-like community, and even within the Linux world, it’s easy to find heated arguments over the various versions of operating systems. It seems that no matter what software or computer system some people use, they will fight to the death to prove theirs is the best. I can only tell you that FreeBSD works well for us. For years, ComputorEdge.com ran well on a Linux box. The only reason that we didn’t continue was concerns for the age of the hardware. When we brought in new servers, we installed FreeBSD. Once Apache—the same Web server we used on the Linux computer—was installed, the movement of the site to the new machine was fairly simple.

I had to learn to use FreeBSD, but now I’ve developed a certain comfort level. I could go to a Linux computer and do many of the same things I do now, but there are just enough differences for it to feel foreign to me. I’m sure that this is true to some extent even when moving between versions of Linux.

The Linux world is taking many more steps toward making the individual user more comfortable with using it as a replacement for Windows. If I were looking to do that, then I would probably start with Linux. However, if your primary objective is to build a server—for the Web, e-mail, or another intensive application—it would be difficult to go wrong with FreeBSD. More…

pfSniffer? A non-firewall use for pfSense

Several years ago my company looked into getting Distributed Sniffer Appliances, made by Network General. These are devices that attach to an Ethernet segment (at a branch office) and allow you to remotely connect and pull traces. Ideally, we would have loved to have these in each remote location so that we could more easily troubleshoot problems that seemed to crop up regularly. They looks like very nice appliances, but Network General wanted an arm and a leg for each one, so we passed.

We recently had a need for this sort of thing and I had a great idea. Many months ago, I noticed that pfSense had added a very nifty feature called Packet Capture. Essentially, the pfSense WebGUI has an interface to tcpdump, allowing you to put in some simple filter criteria (source/destination IP Address) and have a trace executed on a particular interface. This is a really nice feature for troubleshooting your firewall, but I thought that this could be used to make a distributed “pfSniffer”. More…

II Releases

New PC-BSD PBI Builder released

The PBI builder is a powerful command-line script system, which can be used to convert a FreeBSD port into a PBI file. The configuration for this process is stored as a module, which can then be used to rebuild the PBI automatically. Developers can then submit these finished modules to PC-BSD Software, where they will be added to a build server, which rebuilds the PBI every time the underlying port is updated. More…

Portscout Services Started!

Time to make my Portscout public for all.

What is Portscout? Portscout is a tool which looks for new versions of software in the
FreeBSD ports tree and potentially other software repositories. More…

III Howto

SpamAssassin Installed in 10 minutes.

In our example we are going to install SpamAssassin from the ports. This example is suitable for a small company with up to few dozen of mailboxes. More…