OpenJDK on FreeBSD

Ivan Voras writes (19/02/2009) that he’d love to rewrite his finstall project (FreeBSD GUI Installer) in Java, which may result in license issue. OpenJDK would be  a much more preferable option:

OpenJDK looks like it might “soon” be ported to FreeBSD (though judging by the progress it looks like the official FreeBSD Java crowd is working on OpenJDK 1.7 which has not been released yet, instead of OpenJDK 1.6, which is).

Well, as of today, OpenJDK is available for FreeBSD.

For those unacquainted with OpenJDK, OpenJDK is an open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition. Much of the OpenJDK code is licensed under the GPL version 2 with the Classpath exception. The Java Hotspot virtual machine source code is licensed under the GPL version 2 only.

This is a small step, but may have far reaching benefits.

(Free)BSD links round up (week 8)

Welcome to the (Free)BSD leftovers for week 8. In this post we have a mix of news snippets, links, howto’s  ‘n software/package update. Just a roundup of those little things I saved up throughout the week. Previous roundups can be found here.


(Free)BSD News

  1. Desktop NetBSD Project
    An interesting discussion was started by Andrew Doran on the NetBSD mailing list regarding the ease of install of a “modern” desktop for users.The primary goal for the Desktop NetBSD project is:

    Given a NetBSD CD and a reasonably modern x86 computer, make it possible to install a useful desktop system in under 15 minutes, responding to only a few prompts in the process. 

    Announcement |  Project website



  2. New FreeBSD USB2/ USB4BSD  Stack

    “We are in the final stages of bringing in the new usb stack. Features include: SMP, better device support, speed increases.We hope to make it in for 8.0. It will really take a unified effort to make this all work and I look forward to all contributors input.

    We have a few large steps ahead of us and I wanted to lay out the schedule so that people understand what is coming and what to expect.

    At this point we expect there to be no style or changes in usb2 that are not bugfixes until Phase 3 “Hand off”. The reason for this is to prevent bugs from creeping in and allow the maintainer to focus 100% on bugs and feature parity with the oldusb stack.”

    Here is the plan and timeline



  1. OpenBSD turns 4.5-BETA
    Miod Vallat has tagged OpenBSD 4.5-BETA. Snapshots should be available soon for testing, check the mirrors for availability.  

    OpenBSD Project Page  |  Read the full commit message

  2. DragonFly 2.2 released
    The DragonFly 2.2 release is here! The HAMMER filesystem is considered production-ready in this release; It was first released in July 2008. The 2.2 release represents major stability improvements across the board, new drivers, much better pkgsrc support and integration, and a brand new release infrastructure with multiple target options.
    DragonFlyBSD Project Page  |  Release Announcement 


New FreeBSD committers
The following people have been awarded with update rights this week:

  • Andriy Gapon (Source)


Guides ‘n howtos

  • Stopping HTTP brute force attacks with BruteBlock & IPFW (Chris Buckley)
    Chris Buckley writes about how to stop HTTP brute force attacks using BruteBlock and ipfw.n
    Link to howto (thanks to Edmondas)
  • Machine backups using tarsnap (Tim Bishop)
    “I’ve got a dedicated server that I’ve been backing up for the past few years. My crude backup system involved taring everything to local disk and then rsyncing it to a remote server. It worked well at first, but as the amount of data grew it was taking half a day to run. Add to that the amount of disk space being used by the local copy and I had to find a better solution…..”
    Link to howto (thanks to Kevin

New FreeBSD videos on BSDConferences YouTube channel

Recently a few more (Free)BSD related videos have been added to the BSDConferencec Youtube channel. These videos were taken at last years AsiaBSDCon:

FreeBSD Foundation requesting Project Proposals (2009)

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced the soliciting of proposal submissions for work relating to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system.  A budget of $30,000 was allocated to fund multiple development projects. Proposals will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit and cost-effectiveness.

To find out more about the proposal process please read this PDF.

Hopefully this will result in some interesting project proposals!


Introducing VirtualBSD

VirtualBSD is a desktop ready FreeBSD 7.1 RELEASE, in the form of a VMware appliance, based on the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment. Many of the most common and useful applications are ready to run, and the desktop has been styled to look a bit like Mac OS X .

Intended Audience

VirtualBSD is clearly aimed at people with VMware Player (or better) who:

1) Have never tried FreeBSD so far;
2) Wanted to, but didn’t have the right hardware;
3) Used FreeBSD in the past, but have since moved to a different OS and are struck by nostalgia from time to time;

Installed Applications

The full list of the installed applications would be way too long (and boring) but chances are you will find VirtualBSD very functional right out of the box. Still, here’s some of the most notable inclusions:

  • Firefox 3.0.5 (and plugins)
  • Thunderbird 2.0.19
  • Pidgin 2.5.4
  • Xchat 2.8.6
  • 3.0
  • Gimp 2.6.4
  • VLC 0.9.8a
  • Transmission 1.42
  • Samba 3.0.34
  • CUPS 1.3.9

WARNING: This is a VMware appliance. In other words, it’s NOT a live CD and can’t be used for a standard installation — you’ve been warned! This image can be “played” in the free vmware player.

Many thanks to Reece Tarbert for reporting this.

FreeBSD Security Advisory (telnetd)

The FreeBSD Security Team has issued the following security warning:

FreeBSD-SA-09:05.telnetd – telnetd code execution vulnerability

I Background

The FreeBSD telnet daemon, telnetd(8), implements the server side of the TELNET virtual terminal protocol. It has been disabled by default in FreeBSD since August 2001, and due to the lack of cryptographic security in the TELNET protocol, it is strongly recommended that the SSH protocol be used instead. The FreeBSD telnet daemon can b enabled via the /etc/inetd.conf configuration file and the inetd(8) daemon.

The TELNET protocol allows a connecting client to specify environment variables which should be set in any created login session; this is used, for example, to specify terminal settings.

II. Problem Description

In order to prevent environment variable based attacks, telnetd(8) “scrubs” its environment; however, recent changes in FreeBSD’s environment-handling code rendered telnetd’s scrubbing inoperative, thereby allowing potentially harmful environment variables to be set.

For a workaround, solution and patch etc go here

PC-BSD 7.1(“Galileo”) Alpha1

Now that KDE 4.2 is available for FreeBSD, the PC-BSD Project has released a first alpha-built of PC-BSD 7.1.

PC-BSD LogoHighlights of the build are:

  • FreeBSD 7.1-Stable
  • Xorg 7.4
  • KDE 4.2

As you will remember the PC-BSD version numbering changed last year to reflect the version of the underlying FreeBSD system. PC-BSD 7.1 is based on FreeBSD 7.1 (stable)

There were some initial problems  with the Xorg update to 7.4 which caused a new slew of problems which had to be fixed before even getting to alpha quality. It looks like Xorg 7.4 is the cause of some problems, but they should be fixed up inthe ports a bit more right now.


Here’s the DVD ISO for 32bit to play with:
MD5 (PCBSD7.1-ALPHA1-x86-DVD.iso) = 1de22b5129211e745ec53bb9fceea7fd

This is ALPHA quality, expect bugs, but please report them to help us improve the software. This will require a fresh install, the upgrade
portion will be working later on, after the new System Installer is committed and included.

Should you come across any problems or bugs, please report them to the PC-BSD Testing mailinglist.

A quick review of PC-BSD 7.0

Adriaan de Groot has posted some feedback on his initial experiences with PC-BSD:

It would never do to return from FOSDEM with the same OS on my laptop as when I left; so now I have been running PC-BSD instead of OpenSolaris for a week;

For the rest I’m bouncing back and forth between “that’s really cool” and “it’s FreeBSD, of course it works.” I won’t comment on the package management system (PBI, alongside the usual FreeBSD ports) or installation (graphical, instead of the FreeBSD text-based one). Instead, it’s the KDE4 that is delivered with PC-BSD.

PC-BSD is interesting because it is a KDE4-only setup; version 7.0 comes with KDE 4.1.3. The whole point of the distro is to deliver a polished, intergrated version of FreeBSD with KDE4 on it. There was recently a question on the dot: “which distro would you recommend?” Well, there’s only one that I know of that wholeheartedly delivers KDE4 and nothing else. That’s a good kind of fixation to have (and of course, portinstall gnome2 is always a possibility; then you get a fairly pristine GNOME2 built from source).

Some of my other favourite things with KDE4 show up again as well, like the hands on the clock being weird under a combination of resizing and theme changes. SlimGlow might – just might – be my favourite theme, but it too needs a good hammering to get the gradients out (not relevant for PC-BSD, but for some thin client applications). There’s some inconsistency in the icons .. oh, wait, that’s supposed to be a satellite dish .. for network status, but that is somewhat manageable.

Anyway, this is wandering away from PC-BSD and into KDE 4.1.3 review territory, because it comes down to this: PC-BSD delivers a KDE4 experience very close to what the KDE project itself produces as source. It’s nice. I like it that way.

Read the whole review

Thanks to Edmondas for reporting this story.

available: KDE 4.2.0 (“The Answer”) for FreeBSD

Martin Wilke has announced the availability of KDE 4.2.0 for FreeBSD. KDE 4.2 (for Linux) was announced on 27 January and only 2 weeks later it’ been ported to FreeBSD by Martin and his team.

What is new:

Where KDE 4.1 was, according to the development team, “aimed at casual users”, KDE 4.2 is billed as a “compelling
offering for the majority of end users.” There have been further enhancements to the plasma desktop with new applets allowing better desktop customisation. The configuration options for the desktop have also been expanded and the revamped system tray shows reports from every conceivable process, from system messages to the status of large downloads.

The KWin window manager has learned a couple of new tricks. By default, it now switches on 3D and compositing effects automatically, on suitable hardware and manages these effects autonomously, without the aid of Compiz. With the help of the new Kephal library, the window manager now offers additional options for running multiple monitors.

The Dolphin file manager has been partly revised, and should now be easier to use. As part of the Google Summer of Code, KMail has been redesigned, resulting in both a better appearance and better IMAP support. The KDE browser Konqueror also includes several new features.

New supported languages include Arabic, Icelandic, Basque, Hebrew, Romanian, Tajik and several Indian languages (Bengali India, Gujarati, Kannada, Maithili, Marathi) indicating a rise in popularity in this part of Asia.

New ports for KDE 4.2.0:

  • arabic/kde4-l10n Arabic
  • misc/kde4-l10n-bn_IN Bengali (India)
  • misc/kde4-l10n-eu Basque
  • misc/kde4-l10n-gu Gujarati
  • hebrew/kde4-l10n Hebrew
  • misc/kde4-l10n-is Icelandic
  • misc/kde4-l10n-kn Kannada
  • misc/kde4-l10n-mai Maithili
  • misc/kde4-l10n-mr Marathi
  • misc/kde4-l10n-ro Romanian
  • misc/kde4-l10n-tg Tajik
  • math/eigen2 Lightweight library for vector and matrix math
  • graphics/kipi-plugins-kde4 KDE4 kipi graphics plugins
  • sysutils/policykit-kde PolicyKit manager for KDE

FreeBSD 6.4 support is dropped.

Many thanks to Martin for his dedication and hard work