CrossOver Office and Games for FreeBSD / PC-BSD

Tom Wickline has written a short introduction on CrossOver Office for FreeBSD / PC-BSD.

Codeweavers, the company behind CrossOver, is according to their website, the leading corporate backer of the Wine Project. Wine is an open source software initiative that is systematically re-implementing the Win32 API under Unix. Wine makes it possible for PCs running Unix-based operating systems (like OS X and Linux) to run Windows application as if natively.  CrossOver is comparible to Bordeaux.

Tom writes:

CrossOver for FreeBSD is a commercial variant of Wine released by  CodeWeavers with (currently) limited support for many of today’s most popular office application and games. CrossOver Office and Games for FreeBSD is tested for performance and stability with many of todays most popular games such as Guild Wars, Eve Online, and Steam games like Half-Life 2 and Portal. As well as many of todays most popular Office application such as Microsoft Office 97 to 2007, Quicken, Quickbooks, Photoshop, Internet Explorer and many other not mentioned applications.

Read Tom’s full review here:  An introduction to CrossOver Office and Games for FreeBSD


Bordeaux | Codeweavers

Thanks, Tom, for emailing me about your review.

PC-BSD 8.1-RC1 Released and Dru joining PC-BSD

PC-BSD has announced the availability of PC-BSD 8.1-RC1 (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.1-RC, and KDE 4.4.4. Version 8.1 contains a number of enhancements and improvements.

Version 8.1 contains a number of enhancements and improvements. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog:

  • FreeBSD 8.1-RC1
  • KDE 4.4.4
  • Numerous fixes to the installation backend
  • Support for creating dedicated disk GPT partitioning
  • Improved ZFS support
  • Bugfixes to desktop tools / utilities


Release announcement –  Changelog – release notes – Download (via)

Dru Lavigne

Dru Lavigne will be joining the PC-BSD project as Director of Community Development as of 2 August:

“Lavigne is well-known for her writing on open source topics. She has used FreeBSD since 1996 and has written three books on the topics of FreeBSD and PC-BSD. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD, was released earlier this year. Lavigne also has a blog on IT Toolbox, A Year in the Life of a BSD Guru, that is widely read and helps to spread awareness and tips focused on the BSD community. In addition, Lavigne is former Managing Editor for the Open Source Business Resource, a monthly publication that examines the issues surrounding the commercialization of open source.

As a widely respected member of the BSD community, Lavigne’s expertise and wisdom will provide many benefits to the PC-BSD project. As Director of Community Development, Lavigne’s new job will include tasks such as PC-BSD bug reporting, project management, and documentation. The most important job of the new Director of Community Development will be to reach out to members of the PC-BSD community and encourage them to contribute and participate in the PC-BSD project.”

Full announcement: Dru Lavigne Appointed “Director of Community Development” for PC-BSD Project (prweb)

FreeBSD Foundation sponsors BSNMP enhancements

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Shteryana Shopova has been awarded a grant to make improvements to Bsnmp (snmp category).

This project includes several enhancements to the existing FreeBSD SNMP framework, including SNMPv3-compliant user authentication, packet encryption and view-based access control. In addition, the project also includes a new module that will allow full SNMP management and monitoring of the FreeBSD wireless networking stack. When the
project is completed, FreeBSD should be the OS of choice when building open source-based embedded wireless appliances due to the advanced capabilities of its wireless network stack, and the light-weight, secure and complete management solution that bsnmpd(1) will provide out of the box. Existing FreeBSD installations that use bsnmpd(1) for
monitoring will also benefit from the added security and finer-grained access-control to SNMP data.

“SNMP is the defacto standard for network monitoring,”

said Shteryana Shopova, FreeBSD developer. She also added,

“SNMP is used everywhere – in network servers, switches, routers, firewalls, workstations, ip phones, printers, UPSs, all sorts of embedded appliances. I am happy to have the opportunity to work on several additions to bsnmpd(1) that have been requested by the FreeBSD community.”

This project will be completed in October 2010.

Source: Bsnmp enhancements announcement (FreeBSD Announcement List)

Versiera 3.2 (FreeBSD) Released

NetCraft Communications Inc.,  global leader in infrastructure management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, has released Versiera 3.2, bringing extended management capabilities including host user account, process and service/daemon management to all supported platforms including FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD.

Versiera is a web-based Internet technology for management and monitoring of computer and network equipment from the smallest SHO networks to enterprise-class data centres and the largest of cloud environments. Versiera rivals the best enterprise management systems costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Organizations needing to incorporate the latest in management technologies, looking to cut operational costs, or consolidate management platforms can choose between the free full-featured Internet hosting services or purchase the enterprise-class Versiera appliances for their businesses. Versiera appliance scalability enables management and monitoring of infrastructures with tens of thousands of network devices.

“The landscape is shifting with enterprises and government organizations embracing the overwhelming potential Cloud Services are able to offer. Versiera is the only infrastructure management system designed to securely manage and monitor both cloud environments and enterprises designed to extend beyond the traditional boundaries of bricks and mortar”,

says Frank Pikelner, CTO of NetCraft Communications.

“With the latest release of Versiera we have focused to broaden its management capabilities and enabled such things as user account synchronization without the need for directory services”

he noted.

Here are a few highlights from the list of major improvements and new features in this release:

  • Remote Host User Account Management
  • Remote Host Process Management
  • Remote Host Service/Process Management
  • Host and Connection Maps now scale to 20,000 nodes (HTML5)
  • User Sessions across the Enterprise
  • Host Job Chaining
  • Monitoring of Secure Websites (HTTPS)
  • Host Maintenance Modes
  • Broader support of embedded platforms including Netgear, Cisco/Linksys, Asus, EnGenius

“Whether it’s for the enterprise or for the Internet, Versiera continues to innovative and challenge the competition with its unmatched list of features,” said NetCraft CEO, Ed Aarntzen.

Versiera offers the following compelling Systems Management and Monitoring Features:

  • Distributed Jobs/Scheduling: Versiera enables uniform job management across all support platforms including management of processes, user accounts, services/daemons, software distributions/removal.
  • Cross-platform: Versiera can monitor a wide range of open source and commercial platforms including Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, OS X and Solaris. Embedded platform support includes OpenWRT and DD-WRT.
  • Automated Documentation: automatically generate formal documents for one or more systems in PDF, RTF or HTML formats.
  • Infrastructure service/asset monitoring: DNS, DHCP, SMTP, HTTP, HTTPS and digital certificates.
  • Helpdesk: integrated ticketing system for workflow incident management.
  • Compliance: ability to generate enterprise standards models and track deviations.
  • Security: Versiera uses strong SSL encryption to protect all communications and to authenticate all connections between hosts and Versiera management systems.
  • Openness: Versiera uses industry standard protocols for communication and representing data. Versiera’s database is accessible to external tools and database schema is provided with the Enterprise product.
  • Accessibility: Versiera is available from scalable appliances for small to medium size businesses to full enterprise architecture solutions, as well as, a no cost Internet service directly from NetCraft Communications.

Source: NetCraft Communications Announces Availability of Versiera 3.2

Frank Pillner contacted me about this product release. If you sell/release FreeBSD related products, you can let me know too, and I’ll mention your product, service, etc etc here.

FreeBSD OpenSVC clustered service manager available

OpenSVC is now available for FreeBSD.

OpenSVC is a GPLv2 project automating the low-level operations needed 1/ to bring up system resources (virtual machine container, ip, disk groups, filesystem mounts, application launchers) on a node and 2/ to replicate data to secondary nodes (in local or remote sites). OpenSVC can be coupled to a tiers heartbeat daemon to form a full failover clustering stack.

OpenSVC offers a simple service start/stop/status/sync* command line interface.

OpenSVC can be deployed to drive all types of service on all major operating systems, and drive best-of-breed replication strategies available on users’ sites : rsync+snap, zfs, netapp, emc, drbd.

Generalized usage of OpenSVC brings easy group-actions in an heterogeneous datacenter, like those needed for disaster recovery plan activation, or a more localized outage.

Source: FreeBSD OpenSVC clustered service manager available

FreeBSD Project iPhone app

Edwin Groothuis created a FreeBSD  iPhone app that provides general information about FreeBSD, news, upcoming events, videos from YouTube (BSD conference) and so on. May be useful if you have an iPhone.

But the FreeBSD community is larger than just a map of the committers. There is a Newsflash on the website so you can see what is happening inside the project, there is a list of events related to (Free)BSD on the website, there is of course Planet FreeBSD, an aggregator of the various blogs of people related to the FreeBSD Project and there are videos of conferences on YouTube.

Put all together in a small app which collects all that data and presents it to the person holding the iPhone et voila, the FreeBSD Project app is here. (source)

Personally I don’t like the iPhone (concept), and I’m looking forward to a Android alternative ;-)

FreeBSD News: 3 years old

Well, this FreeBSD News website is 3 years old now. When I started out 3 years ago, I didn’t realise it was going to attrack so many (regular) visitors.

One big difference between Linux and FreeBSD is that there is a lot more Linux advocacy, whereas FreeBSD developers tend to concentrate on producing rock solid and stable code. Hopefully, this website has helped spread awareness of the FreeBSD operating system, also amongst Linux users.

FreeBSD was called “the unknown giant” by IBM back in 2005, and when I started posting news about FreeBSD, FreeBSD 6.1 was out. A lot has changed since. Some really neat features have been added (ZFS, DTrace, Superpages), VirtualBox and Chromium are running on FreeBSD) and FreeBSD 8.1 RC1 is out. FreeBSD is alive and kicking, and you can help spread the news too ;-)

Many thanks to those who have contacted me with links to news, product announcements (RootBSD, Netcraft, Bordeaux) and general feedback. Also, I’d like to show my appreciation to the 5 donors (esp. Edmondas Girkantas) who have kindly donated some funds in the last 3 years to help cover some of the costs running this website.

Being an analyst, I love numbers, statistics and trends. If you do too, here are some numbers for the last 3 years:

  • 1,008 posts were posted.
  • 791 comments were posted.
  • 335 different nicknames were used in the comments.
  • 44 post categories.
  • 47,442 spam blocked.

10 Most Popular Posts

  1. Flash 9 for FreeBSD 7.1 (howto)
  2. Differences between BSD and Linux
  3. Firefox 3 for FreeBSD
  4. FreeNAS supports Bittorrent
  5. FreeBSD flash player
  6. Install FreeBSD 8.0 from USB memory stick
  7. Running Google Chrome on FreeBSD
  8. Sun VirtualBox on FreeBSD
  9. DesktopBSD Live USB stick
  10. Embedded FreeBSD systems

Top 10 Commented Posts

  1. The Open Source community united – 34 comments
  2. FreeBSD flash player – 18 comments
  3. Zimbra on FreeBSD – petition – 17 comments
  4. Flash 9 for FreeBSD 7.1 (howto) – 11 comments
  5. Differences between BSD and Linux – 11 comments
  6. Why the BSDs get no love – 11 comments
  7. I’m faster than you! No I am! – 8 comments
  8. PC-BSD 7.0 Alpha – ready for testing – 8 comments
  9. FreeBSD based systems – what would you call them? – 8 comments
  10. PCBSD 7.0 Fibonacci alpha2 (video) – 8 comments

    Top 10 comment members

    1. kace (33)
    2. Oliver Herold (19)
    3. Eric (19)
    4. Mike (9)
    5. Oliver (9)
    6. gnemmi (9)
    7. Arab (7)
    8. Chris Buechler (7)
    9. Karl Fischer (7)
    10. Gonzalo Nemmi (7)

    FreeBSD 8.1 ports feature freeze starting soon

    In preparation for 8.1-RELEASE, the ports tree will be in feature freeze after release candidate 1 (RC1) is released, currently planned for June 11.

    If you have any commits with high impact planned, get them in the tree before then and if they require an experimental build, have a request for one in portmgr@ hands within the next few days.

    Note that this again will be a feature freeze and not a full freeze. Normal upgrade, new ports, and changes that only affect other branches will be allowed without prior approval but with the extra Feature safe: yes tag
    in the commit message. Any commit that is sweeping, i.e. touches a large number of ports, infrastructural changes, commits to ports with unusually high number of dependencies, and any other commit that requires the
    rebuilding of many packages will not be allowed without prior explicit approval from portmgr@ after that date.