FreeBSD 7.0-BETA1 Available

FreeBSD Logo (big)Now that FreeBSD 7.0-beta1 has been released, the final stage of the FreeBSD-7.0 Release cycle has begun. The FreeBSD 7.0-BETA1 ISO images for Tier-1 architectures are now available for download on most of the FreeBSD mirror sites. The more people that test and report bugs, the better FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE will be. For more information about the FreeBSD 7.0 release process, please check the official schedule and the todo list.

Those of you that are confident enough to try beta versions, please test this beta version and report any problems to the developers. The following is the official announcement to the FreeBSD Current mailinglist:

“We have entered the final phases of the FreeBSD-7.0 Release cycle which also means the beginning of the FreeBSD-6.3 Release cycle. Because the people who support the ports for FreeBSD also need to go through a freeze cycle as part of releases we had decided to combine the two releases to try and minimize the impact on the ports maintainers.

The current plan is to interleave the BETAs/RCs of the 7.0 and 6.3 releases, trying to follow this for the dates when the builds will get started (with them becoming available on the FTP mirrors a day or two after the builds start):

Version – 7.0 – 6.3
BETA1 – 10/17 – 10/24
BETA2 – 10/31 – 11/7
RC1 – 11/14 – 11/21
RC2 – 11/28 – 12/5
REL – 12/12 – 12/19

Tomorrow (10/23) the RELENG_6 branch will be marked “6.3-PRERELEASE” to note that we have entered the 6.3 release cycle.

The schedule dates are, as usual, tentative. At this point RELENG_6 is pretty mature so that schedule should be fairly accurate. Being a new branch it is at least somewhat likely the dates for 7.0 will wind up slipping.

The 7.0-BETA1 builds have completed and are on many of the FreeBSD mirror sites. If you want to update an existing machine using cvsup use RELENG_7 as the branch tag. Instructions on using FreeBSD Update to perform a binary upgrade from FreeBSD 6.x to 7.0-BETA1 will be provided via the freebsd-stable list when available.

BSDConTR – Turkey BSD conference

The BSD Conference in Turkey is over now. Diomidis Spinellis, a FreeBSD committer since 2003, wrote about the conference on his blog

This has been a wonderful experience. The conference’s location, the Rectorate of the Marmara University, (SultanAhmet, Istanbul), was impressive, and near many even more remarkable sights, the guesthouse of the University were extremely convenient, and the conference’s program was had many interesting talks. The translators did a superb job translating from and to Turkish. Our hosts organized our day to the last detail, taming successfully the difficulties we encountered from the city’s sometimes chaotic traffic and the daunting (to us) public transport.

Although I’ve been a (fairly undistinguished) FreeBSD committer since May 2003, at the conference I met for the first time face to face other fellow members of the FreeBSD project: Pawel Dawidek, the person behind the port of the ZFS file system to FreeBSD, and Kris Kennaway, who presented the impressive progress that the release of FreeBSD 7.0 represents.

Read the whole post here: International BSD Conference in Turkey

Building bootable FreeBSD/i386 images

From time to time I hear people complain at how hard it is to build an image from the FreeBSD sources. This week, I’ll explain how I built a bootable i386 image on a USB flash device and also make some observations about the results.

Recently, I needed to create a bootable i386 image. The easiest way was to build one on my amd64. Here’s what I did. I setup my environment for the build (steps 1-3), built FreeBSD/i386 userland and kernel (steps 4 and 5), prepared the flash (steps 6-11), installed userland and the kernel (steps 12 and 13), added the extra files needed for boot (steps 14-18).

The detailed commands are here

Managing Multiple FreeBSD Systems

It is quite simple to manage multiple FreeBSD systems on your network, and to keep them maintained to the same revision level. The buildworld process can be quite long, but luckily, you only need to do it once, no matter how many FreeBSD machines you operate. In this document, I will describe how to keep multiple machines updated from only one copy of the ports tree, and one copy of the system sources.

Step-by-step instructions here

FreeBSD 6.2 EoL =~ s/January/May/

In light of the longer-than-expected window between 6.2-RELEASE and 6.2-RELEASE, the End-of-Life date for FreeBSD 6.2 has been adjusted from January 31st, 2008 to May 31st, 2008.  As a result, FreeBSD 5.5, FreeBSD 6.1, and FreeBSD 6.2 will all cease to be supported at the end of May 2008.

FreeBSD users should plan on upgrading to either FreeBSD 6.3 or FreeBSD 7.0 once those have been released (hopefully by the end of December). FreeBSD 6.3 will be supported until the end of 2009, while FreeBSD 7.0 will be supported until the end of 2008.


DenyHosts on FreeBSD 6.2

If you run a nix server for a little while, you’ll notice that bots will try to gain illegitimate access to your server through ssh. While this unsettles a lot of people, there’s really nothing to worry about as long as you don’t permit root logins and have a strong password policy.

Nonetheless, taking just an extra measure of security is a good idea, and this is where DenyHosts comes into the picture. DenyHosts is a small Python script which makes password-guessing on your OpenSSH deployments virtually impossible, by allowing only a limited number of login attempts to your sshd. After a set number of tries, DenyHosts simply denies the given IP further attempts. What’s even cooler about DenyHosts, is that the most recent version (2.0) allows you to benefit from over 23.400 other peoples ban lists, thus meaning you’re saving yourself a lot of worrying about those pesky login attempts. An added bonus is that you’ll save yourself a few kB’s of network traffic and a few CPU cycles by straight-out denying any previous offenders a connection to your server. :)

Learn how to set it up here

FreeBSD: the best server OS

I’ve configured and maintained over 100 UNIX-based servers over the years starting with Slackware Linux 2.0 back in 1995. Over all course of all the deployments I’ve become very biased about my operating systems. Linux clearly has a solid lead with desktop applications, but for server deployments and maintainability, I believe firmly in FreeBSD….

I’m not going to get into all of the other reasons I prefer using UNIX, because there are too many, but specifically for FreeBSD, these small things add up to big savings in administration time and less headaches. I try not to get too focused on one specific technology when evaluating an operating system. I try more to look specifically at where the savings are for me. I simply want the operating system to support what I’m trying to do in the least amount of time feasible and I believe FreeBSD does that for me. If you’re pragmatic and functional and are willing to learn a little UNIX, I highly recommend giving FreeBSD a try as your server operating system.

Full article here

Time for a new FreeSBIE ISO image

FreeSBIEIt looks like people want it , so I think it is a really good idea. I must admit I’ve not a lot of time to work on it, so I’ll probably end up using the same configuration of FreeSBIE-2.0.1

The great news is unionfs will be enabled by default, like in FreeSBIE-1.x.

The only caveat is: will it be stable enough? I know Hiroki SATO committed some fixes to it to HEAD just after the “approval lock” on HEAD was removed, and it may be a good idea to backport them to RELENG_7, so that users gain a better FreeSBIE experience. Time will tell.

Matteo’s original post here

Create FreeBSD magazine?

What do you think about creating a FreeBSD magazine? Waste of time? Perfect niche?
Kasia is thinking of starting a magazine devoted to FreeBSD. What do you think? Leave your feedback here

We have just decided to open and enter the American market a new – totally devoted to FreeBSD magazine.
To meet your expectation, I would like to invite you to active cooperation in creating new magazine.

What about the profil of magazine? Have you got any special themes, you would like to read about?

What do you think about regular sections such as:

  1. What’s new (about latest-released FreeBSD-related products, applications)
  2. Get started! (theory through practice! – that is how to install, configure and work with different FreeBSD-baced programs, applications)
  3. How-Tos
  4. Admin
  5. mms (Multimedia Section)
  6. Tips & Trics
  7. Let’s Talk