The FreeBSD Project was again accepted as a mentoring organisation into the Google Summer of Code. The Project is now looking for potential students, mentors and projects. If you have an idea for a potential FreeBSD related summer of code project that isn’t already listed here then please contact Murray Stokely (murray at freebsd dot org). Likewise, if you are interested in mentoring a student this year then please get in touch. Students can find all the details about applying for FreeBSD related Summer of Code projects on the FreeBSD Summer of Code web pages.
- The VM has been configured with 768Mb of memory.
- The root password is “password”
- ZFS is enabled by default
- The /usr/ports filesystem is located in a ZFS pool
- The Ethernet interface is bridged to the host and uses DHCP
So, if you’ve been wanting to play with or try out FreeBSD 7.0 or ZFS “safely”, download it and give it a whirl.
Some of the changes:
- Remove consolehm sensor support because it doesn’t work/recognize up-to-date hardware.
- Validate minutes/hours/days/months/week days configuration on misc WebGUI pages
The more exciting news is that work on FreeNAS 0.7 which will be based on FreeBSD 7.0 has started. According to Volker it’s going smoothly and the migration to FreeBSD 7.0 is going easier than expected. This is the current state:
- Migrate to FreeBSD 7.0: 80% done
- Migrate the internal disk/geom management and config file: 40% done (lot’s of internals function to change)
- Review all the disk/mount point management WebGUI: 0%
- Adding gjournal, ZFS and gvistor: 0%
FreeNAS also announced that Vault Networks has offered a server for FreeNAS development. This server hosts a FreeNAS Virtual Machine for online demonstration. If you’re interested in trying out FreeNAS, but don’t have any hardware available yet, have a play with the online demo. Really cool.
The arrival of FreeBSD 7.0 has set set FreeBSD based projects on fire: FreeNAS 0.7 , PC-BSD 1.6 and pfSense 1.3 are all planning to have a new version based on FreeBSD 7.0 available soon. I’d expect DesktopBSD 1.7 (or will it be 2.0?) to be based on 7.0 too.
The pfSense Team have outlined their development plans for version 1.3 which will be base on FBSD 7.0. It’s the plan to release the next version within the next month.
This release already contains some significant new features. Among them are:
- Traffic shaper completely rewritten – now supports any number of internal interfaces and multiple WAN interfaces. This work is 99% finished and is working exceptionally well in our testing.
- User manager – multiple administrative users can be created, with varying levels of access. Access groups can be defined to easily grant identical access rights to multiple users. Rights can be defined individually for each page in the web interface.
- LDAP authentication – LDAP is integrated into the user manager so pfSense can authenticate from any LDAP server. Microsoft Active Directory and Novell eDir have been thoroughly tested, though any LDAP server should work. You can even define groups in your directory and assign rights in pfSense to those groups.
- Significant OpenVPN improvements
- Routing improvements
Keep up the good work, Chris (and the other team members). Looking forward to trying out 1.3.
Experienced Linux and BSD users might moan and groan about the Windows-ness of it, but it really is slick.
Although package installation resembles very much the Windows way” it works, and that’s most important for “casual user” who doesn’t have experience with Linux or BSD.
Conclusion: PC-BSD is a very capable general purpose desktop operating system. It is certainly as capable as any of the major Linux distributions out there. The particular thing that makes it stand out is its novel approach to software management, which makes it easier for the newbie to use.
The major issue I see is lack of support. PC-BSD is very niche and that is likely to cause some issues when it comes to support. There is an active forum-based community, which I am sure is very helpful, but the level of support simply can’t compete with the communities built around other operating systems, such as Ubuntu.
Apart from that, I really am struggling to find criticism for PC-BSD, aside from the minor quirks and some of the rather irritating installation restrictions.
Sure, it might be an unusual choice, but for the standard web/productivity tasks it does as good a job as anything else that’s out there. And isn’t that what really matters?
Since the conclusion of the SMPng project, the focus of SMP development in FreeBSD has shifted from deploying locking infrastructure to careful profiling and optimization of kernel SMP strategies for increased performance on common workloads. FreeBSD 7.0 was the first release to benefit from this optimization work.
The status of this work includes MySQL workload benchmarks and memory allocator performance in the new FreeBSD 8 branch. Also, here is a recent presentation showing FreeBSD compared to several other operating systems like NetBSD, DrangonFly, Solaris, and Linux.