This is a short chat about FreeBSD on the Raspberry Pi followed by some wise words from Peter Salus at BSDCan2011.
First of all, I want to let you know, that I’ve personally not been satisfied with the frequency of PC-BSD releases and updates. With us tracking the upstream FreeBSD releases, it has really tied our hands getting new releases out to the public. The past couple of releases had a delay of almost a year between them, which is WAY too long in my opinion. To further compound the problem, our build system wasn’t designed to do frequent updates of packages and our utilities, which made getting updates out to the community a long and tedious process. This is all going to change. What we are looking at going to now is more of a “Rolling-Release” model, first for our utilities & system packages, and eventually for the FreeBSD base itself.
Read the whole post: Status update and future plans
This is an interesting piece on mandatory access-control by the well-known computer researcher and FreeBSD Foundation member Robert Watson:
To discuss operating system security is to marvel at the diversity of deployed access-control models: Unix and Windows NT multiuser security; Type Enforcement in SELinux; anti-malware products; app sandboxing in Apple OS X, Apple iOS, and Google Android; and application-facing systems such as Capsicum in FreeBSD. This diversity is the result of a stunning transition from the narrow 1990s Unix and NT status quo to security localization—the adaptation of operating-system security models to site-local or product-specific requirements.
Distrowatch has favourable review of recently released PC-BSD 9.1:
…”Nothing is perfect and PC-BSD does have an Achilles’ heel, specifically hardware compatibility. As much as I enjoyed the polish and the features and the wonderful ease of use, I suspect hardware support will be the make or break issue for most people. On my desktop machine I could get PC-BSD working, but only with reduced resolution and video performance. On my laptop things basically worked well, but it took a little tinkering to get my wireless card up and running. When running the operating system in a virtual machine I installed the VirtualBox guest additions, but couldn’t get PC-BSD to display its desktop at full resolution. Luckily hardware support with PC-BSD is not a trial and error process, the hardware compatibility tool takes the surprises out of testing the distribution, even when running from the plain installation media.
I definitely recommend trying PC-BSD. This new release has really taken a step forward in usability and features compared to where the project was even a year ago. I would say 9.1 brings to the table a level of ease of use and trouble-free administration only found in a few of the top ranking Linux distributions. It is well worth the time to test drive this latest release.”
You can read the review in its entirety here: Making computing easier: PC-BSD 9.1.
If you’re not going to install PC-BSD 9.1 but are curious what it looks like, have a look at the screenshots on Chris Haney’s website.
The Arch Linux distribution has been modified to run off the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel as an alternative to using Linux. The developer of ArchBSD explained his reasoning as enjoying FreeBSD while also liking the Arch Linux philosophy of a ‘fast, lightweight, optimized distro’.
NetworkWorld has published a very positive review of FreeNAS:
“It takes something different to stand out in the crowded network-attached storage market. How does free, as in free beer and free speech, sound? Overall, FreeNAS offers a very positive story, with flexibility, ease of management, good performance – and a price that can’t be beat.”
At this point things are looking to be in good shape, I’m calling this a BETA because I’m very conservative, and because encryption can go wrong in such grand fashion. I’d rather this image wasn’t used for critical or production use. Make sure to have backups!
A belated FreeBSD April-June 2012 Status Report has been published. Another one should be available within the next few weeks covering the remainder of 2012.
This report covers FreeBSD-related projects between April and June 2012. This quarter was highlighted by having a new Core Team elected, which took office on July 11th to start its work with a relatively high number of new members. Note that this is the second of the three reports planned for 2012.