FreeBSD and Windows software (Wine)

There’s some encouraging news about running Windows applications on WINE on FreeBSD 7. More and more native Windows application can now be run on FreeBSD without too much tweaking. Wine-Review has recently been testing, running and benchmarking the installation of native Windows applications through WINE:

If you want to read up on some background info re WINE read this quick intro.

FreeBSD 7.0-BETA4 Available

The FreeBSD betas are coming out, one after the other. The 7.0-BETA4 builds are now available. If you would like to download an ISO image to install from they are available here (MD5 checksums here).

If you would like to use cvsup to update an older machine the branch tag to use is still RELENG_7.

For users of FreeBSD Update due to some last-minute bumps in system libraries, installed third-party applications must be recompiled as per normal for a “major” upgrade, even if upgrading from an earlier 7.0 BETA.

Announcement (05/12/207)

DesktopBSD added to Vietnam BSD/Linux Mirror

The Saigon Linux Group (SLG) added DesktopBSD to the Vietnam BSD/Linux Mirror.

The Vietnam BSD/Linux Mirror is the only public mirror available in Vietnam to promote open source technology within Vietnam managed by the Saigon Linux Group with the bandwidth and IP address donated by GHP Far East Co., Ltd.

The SLG hopes to continue it’s support of both BSD and Linux by offering more distributions and software on it’s servers in the new year.

Source: saigonlinux.com (05/12/2007)

iXsystems announces distribution agreement with Micro Center

After the distribution agreement with Fry’s Electronics, iXsystems has announced (10/12/2007) an agreement with Micro Center:

“iXsystems announced today a distribution agreement with Micro Center, a leading edge provider of computer products, whereby all Micro Center stores nationwide will carry PC-BSD Version 1.4, Da Vinci Edition. The agreement marks the first time that the PC-BSD operating system is made available for purchase at Micro Center.

PC-BSD is a fully functional desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 6.2-STABLE. FreeBSD is one of the most pervasive UNIX-like operating systems in the world. It is widely recognized as the most stable and secure server operating system available today.

PC-BSD will be stocked in 21 Micro Center store locations, which can be found all throughout the United States

PC-BSD will be stocked in 21 Micro Center store locations, which can be found all throughout the United States

said Theresa Garner, General Manager of FreeBSD Mall.

As a result, this historic agreement will ensure that PC-BSD, the open source desktop operating system running FreeBSD under the hood, becomes available to a mainstream market at a nationwide level.

The increasing availability of PC-BSD, especially through this agreement with Micro Center, will enable first-time users to successfully experience the superiority of this operating system firsthand,

said Kris Moore, Director of PC-BSD Software Development.

Unlike most other open source operating systems, PC-BSD’s programs are self-contained and do not have shared dependencies. As a result the installation of one program does not necessarily mean the possible disruption of another. The end result is a trouble-free user experience for both technical and non-technical users.

PC-BSD is expected to become available in all Micro Center stores nationwide by Wednesday, December 19. Micro Center has stores in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.”

Source: PR Web (10/12/2007)

DigitalUnderground TV: M0n0wall

On the <a href=”http://digitalunderground.tv/”>Digital Underground</a> (episode 4) <em>Frank Linhares</em> and <em>Mike Lazazzera</em> discuss the open source FreeBSD based M0n0wall (from minute 34:03).

Other subjecs discussed are: Windows UI Hacking, MythTV and revive an old iPod

<a href=”http://www.metacafe.com/watch/937256/digital_underground_episode_4/”>Digital Underground – Episode 4</a>

Perils of .0 releases

FreeBSD Logo (big)Ivan Voras has created an excellent page listing all the new and exciting features that will find their way into FreeBSD 7.0. Now with 3 betas released of FreeBSD 7.0 there are still some issues and bugs that need to be resolved. Ivan has done a post outlining where issues and problems can be expected, but he assures 7.0 is still perfectly usable:

“As 7.0 is approaching release, a recurring question on the mailing lists is (in its many forms) “how stable is it?”. The answer really depends on what you are planning to do with it, but there are several known errors, bugs and misfeatures which will surely be present in 7.0-RELEASE. If your workload includes some of those, you better wait for the next release before putting a 7.x in production. If not, go ahead: by all means it’s stable enough.

Here’s the list of problems currently known to me, as of 7.0-BETA3. The list is probably not complete (so it may grow over time), and some of the problems listed may not be relevant to your workload, so take it with a grain if salt.

  • ZFS is sometimes unstable (or at least not as stable as UFS), especially under low memory conditions, on both i386 and amd64
  • tmpfs is somtimes unstable in subtle ways (not very repeatable)
  • unionfs doesn’t work over cd9660 (this one is obscure and only hurts LiveCD makers)
  • removing mounted USB drives still doesn’t work (and USB support in general has most of the old problems)
  • gcc program profiling doesn’t work
  • java doesn’t work stable with some applications (tomcat sometimes crashes)
  • while performance was greatly improved for database-like tasks, there are reports that complex tasks like heavy web applications could have performance problems.

I don’t want to sound pessimistic – of course there are also many good news.”

Whole post here: Lotsa FreeBSD (27/11/2007)

AsiaBSDCon 2008 update

AsiaBSDCon 2008 is scheduled for March 27-30 in Tokyo. The deadline for paper proposals has been extended to December 11th. A mailing list has been set up for those who want to stay up-do-date with the latest announcements.

AsiaBSDCon is a conference for users and developers on BSD based systems. The next conference will be held in Tokyo, in March of 2008. The conference is for anyone developing, deploying and using systems based on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD, Darwin and MacOS X. AsiaBSDCon is a technical conference and aims to collect the best technical papers and presentations available to ensure that the latest developments in our open source community are shared with the widest possible audience.

New PBI Build Server

PC-BSD is in the process implementing a new PBI build system, which automatically tracks the FreeBSD ports collection, and generates new PBIs from these ports, daily. Please watch the pcbsd.org site for more information about this new build system over the next few days.

The following PBIs have been created automatically by the server:

  1. FireFox 2.0.0.10
  2. Thunderbird 2.0.0.9
  3. Wine 0.9.48
  4. K3B 1.0.3
  5. GIMP 2.4.0
  6. KTorrent 2.2.2
  7. Kdesvn 0.13.0
  8. FileZilla 3.0.1

Minor PC-BSD update (1.4.1.1)

An online update from PC-BSD 1.4.1 -> 1.4.1.1 has been released today, as both a standalone PBI patch & Online Update. This version includes an update to the CUPS 1.3.3 package, as well as other fixes / improvements to printing support. Users may upgrade to this version via the Online Update utility in PC-BSD 1.4.1, or by downloading a patch installer on our updates page.

Frenzy 1.1 – development continued

After a long period of silence the development of Frenzy will be continued. The next version will be more sysadmin-oriented (most of desktop applications will be removed and installation to HDD will be disabled).

Since unionfs is usuable in FreeBSD now, Frenzy will heavily use it’s advantages. The most notable feature is Frenzy Extension Modules (FEM), which allow to add applications to LiveCD/LiveUSB without rebuilding (similar feature in Damn Small Linux and SLAX).

Public beta build of Frenzy 1.1 will be available soon.

Source : Frenzy forum (16/11/2007)