FreeBSD HAST project completed

Pawel Jakub Dawidek was awarded a grant by the FreeBSD Foundation last year to implement storage replication software that will enable users to use the FreeBSD operating system for highly available configurations where data has to be shared across the cluster nodes.

The HAST (High Availability Storage Project) is now completed. Pawel reports:

I’m very happy to report to FreeBSD users that the HAST project I was working on for the last three months is ready for testing and already committed to the HEAD branch.

I’ll describe what HAST does in few words. HAST allows for synchronous block-level replication of any storage media (called GEOM providers, using FreeBSD nomenclature) over a TCP/IP network for fast failure recovery. HAST provides storage using the GEOM infrastructure, meaning it is file system and application independent and can be combined with any existing GEOM class. In case of a primary node failure, the cluster will automatically switch to the secondary node, check and mount the UFS file system or import the ZFS pool, and continue to work without missing a single bit of data.

I must admit the project was quite challenging, not only from the technical point of view, but also because it was sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation. The FreeBSD Foundation has a great reputation and is known to select the projects it funds very carefully. I felt strong pressure that should I fail, the FreeBSD Foundation’s reputation might be hurt. Of course, not a single dollar would be spent on a failed project, but the FreeBSD community’s expectations were very high and I really wanted to do a good job.

During the work a number of people contacted me privately offering help, explaining how important HAST is for FreeBSD and giving me the motivation to soldier on.

I hope that HAST will meet the community’s expectations and I myself am looking forward to using it

The final commit notice from Pawe? Jakub Dawidek briefly describes the project. A detailed discussion of the project is available form the FreeBSD Wiki.

This is a good example of how the wider FreeBSD community can financially support further development of FreeBSD, and it also shows the value that the FreeBSD Foundation brings to the community. To see more of these sort of projects started, funded and completed, why not support and donate to the Foundation so they can continue sponsoring more projects. (disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the FreeBSD Foundation)

Released: PC-BSD 8.0 (Hubble Edition)

iXsystems has announced the availability of PC-BSD 8.0 (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2, and KDE 4.3.5.

PC-BSD 8.0 contains a number of enhancements and improvements over the 7.x series. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog.

Some of the notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2
  • KDE 4.3.5
  • Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
  • Run in Live mode directly from DVD
  • Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly via the GUI
  • Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64

From the press release:

iXsystems announced today the latest release of PC-BSD™, Version 8.0, Hubble Edition. This fully functional open source desktop operating system is built upon the new FreeBSD 8.0 release. FreeBSD is one of the most widely used UNIX-based operating systems, providing advanced performance and high levels of security and stability. The Hubble Edition contains a number of improvements and additions that make this release rock solid. The most notable features of PC-BSD 8.0 include a new system installer, integrated software manager, and a ports jail.

The new system installer is highly scriptable and contains many new features. Users may now upgrade from the previous release or restore from a backup created with Life-Preserver. With a single click, users can choose between the installation of PC-BSD or the traditional FreeBSD operating system. In addition, the installer provides support for ZFS on root partitions, Gmirroring of disks, and allows Geli disk encryption. This installer is perfect for a user installing on one machine or an Administrator installing on hundreds.

PC-BSD Hubble also features the ports console, which allows users to build and install ports in a jail environment without breaking the working desktop setup. The integrated Software Manager enhances PC-BSD’s general ease of use by allowing users to browse and install PBIs without launching a browser. The software manager also keeps the applications updated and allows users to recreate desktop icons at any time.

“PC-BSD Hubble Edition greatly enhances the users’ overall desktop experience, while offering new features for power users to take advantage of FreeBSD 8.0 improvements,” (Kris Moore)

PC-BSD website – Downloads – ChangelogRelease Notes

GhostBSD live DVD with an installer

The GhostBSD Team have released an updated BETA (Live DVD) with in installer. GhostBSD is a Gnome based FreeBSD Live DVD (not maintained by the official FreeBSD project)

I have finish a GhostBSD live DVD with an installer on it. But the installer its not a beta or an release. it just to promote and have help to finish thy installer. All are default on it. all is programmed in python and glade. You can find all the source code in /install path. The folder are pybakend and installer.

GhostBSD live DVD with an installer

Distrowatch interview with Kris Moore (PC-BSD 8)

Distrowatch interviewed Kris Moore, the main developer of PC-BSD. The conversation is mainly about the upcoming PC-BSD 8.

Recently, I had a chance to exchange some e-mails with Kris Moore (pictured on the right), the founder of the PC-BSD project. For those of you interested in the BSD scene, PC-BSD is a desktop operating system which uses FreeBSD as its base. The PC-BSD team has been busy recently, preparing for their 8.0 release. Mr Moore kindly agreed to answer a few questions, which I’ll share here with you.

Interview with Kris Moore, PC-BSD (Distrowatch)

BSD releases: FreeBSD 7.3-RC1, PC-BSD 8.0-RC2 and FreeNAS 0.7.1

Over the last week we have seen new versions of FreeBSD, PC-BSD and FreeNAS:

FreeBSD 7.3-RC1 (link)

Ken Smith has announced the release candidate of FreeBSD 7.3, a new version of the project’s legacy branch:

“The second of the test builds for the 7.3-RELEASE cycle, 7.3-RC1, is now available for amd64, i386, pc98, and sparc64 architectures. The schedule has slipped by about a week but so far it looks like we are on track for just having one more public test build (7.3-RC2) followed by the release itself. If you notice problems you can report them through the normal Gnats PR system or on the freebsd-stable mailing list. There have been some significant changes to the ports that are not incorporated in this set of pre-built packages (e.g. the default version of Perl has been updated to 5.10). If you are using csup/cvsup methods to update an older system the branch tag to use is now RELENG_7_3. The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of i386 and amd64 systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.”


PC-BSD 8.0-RC2 (link)

The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.0-RC2 (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2, and KDE 4.3.5

PC-BSD 8.0 contains a number of enhancements and improvements over the 7.x series. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog. Some of the notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2
  • KDE 4.3.5
  • Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
  • Run in Live mode directly from DVD
  • Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly
  • Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64

FreeNAS 0.7.1 (link)

Changelogdownload

FreeBSD 8.0 installation walk-through

Vincent Danen who works on the Red Hat Security Response Team has written a quick walk-through of the FreeBSD 8.0 installation procedure:

FreeBSD, and the other BSDs, are exceptionally stable and powerful operating systems, but they can be quite different from Linux. Although they share common principles and ideals, and a huge amount of software, when it comes down to it, FreeBSD and Linux are two different beasts. This doesn’t make FreeBSD better or worse, but it is something to be aware of. Perhaps the most challenging thing about FreeBSD is the initial installation. While PC-BSD, another BSD variant, has made a lot of headway in making BSD easy to use, FreeBSD is still king as far as the BSD’s go.

With the recent 8.0 release, it may be time to give FreeBSD a look. FreeBSD is favoured by many for service management and hosting, running Web servers and mail servers, etc. But it works as a fully functional desktop as well. This tip will take a quick walk through the installation. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on whether or not you are familiar with installing FreeBSD, the installer has not changed significantly over the years. Yes, it is still text-based.”

… continues

FreeBSD 8.0 installation walk-through (techrepublic)

Released: Bordeaux 2.0 for FreeBSD / PC-BSD

If you love using Linux or BSD operating systems you may find yourself sometimes in situations that you need to use Windows software. If that is you, then you may be interested in Bordeaux, a program that lets you run Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Photoshop software etc on Linux or FreeBSD / PC-BSD.

Steven Edwards of the Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 2.0.0 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD today.

Bordeaux 2.0.0 marks major progress over older releases. With version 2.0.0 and onward Bordeaux Group are bundling their own Wine build and many tools and libraries that Wine depends upon. With this release Wine 1.1.36 is bundled, together with Cabextract, Mozilla Gecko, Unzip, Wget and other support libraries and tools.

Support for Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) has impreved and preliminary support for Internet Explorer 7 is in this release. Many small bugs have been fixed and the back-end tweaked.

Supported Applications/Games:

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2000
  • Microsoft Office 97
  • Microsoft Office Visio 2003
  • Microsoft Office Project 2003
  • Adobe Photoshop 6
  • Adobe Image Ready 3
  • Adobe Photoshop 7
  • Adobe Image Ready 7
  • Adobe Photoshop CS
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
  • Steam and Steam based Games
  • Apple QuickTime 6.5.2 Player
  • IrfaView 4.25 (Image files only)
  • Winetricks support

The program costs $20 and is available as i386 .sh installer or as PC-BSD PBI installer. If you have the patience and knowledge you can achieve almost the same with Wine, winetricks etc, but there’s nothing wrong taking the easy option.

Bordeaux for FreeBSD/PC-BSD Users |  Bordeaux for Linux Users

bordeaux wine windows software

The Bordeaux Technology Group is a software services and development company specializing in Windows compatibility software. Users of Linux systems from time to time find themselves in the need to run specialized Windows software. The Bordeaux suite enables access to these programs and data in a seamless and low cost manner without requiring licensing of Microsoft Technology.

Health Check: FreeBSD – “The unknown giant”

A piece of FreeBSD history advocacy on H-Online:

“FreeBSD is the most accessible and popular of the BSDs, has code at the heart of Darwin and Apple’s OS X, and has powered some of the more successful sites on the Web, including Hotmail, Netcraft and Yahoo!, which before the rise of Google was the busiest site on the internet.

FreeBSD rose from the ashes of 386BSD, the original effort to port BSD to the Intel chip, and claims a code lineage that reaches back to Bill Joy’s Berkeley Software Distribution of the late seventies. The 386BSD port was begun in 1989 by Bill and Lynne Jolitz, and was destined to be the original free Unix-like operating system for the IBM PC. The first public release of 386BSD (Version 0.0) was on St. Patrick’s Day, 1991, accompanied by a series of articles in Dr Dobbs journal, which documented the process.

The first functional release of 386BSD was Version 0.1, which was released on Bastille Day, 1992.

FreeBSD emerged in 1993, after the self-imposed task of supporting 386BSD on their own had proved too much for Bill and Lynne Jolitz. The patchkit which had been the underpinning for the BSD port to the 386 was revived and became the basis for the first FreeBSD release.”

More on h-online: Health Check: FreeBSD – “The unknown giant”