FreeBSD Installer and FreeBSD Version polls (results)

Many thanks to everybody who recently took a minute voting in the “FreeBSD Installer preference” poll and the “FreeBSD version usage” poll.

Below the numbers, percentages and the charts.

1. What kind of FreeBSD Installer do you like?

2. What version of FreeBSD are you using?

These polls are in no way scientific and may not be reflective of views and preferences of the FreeBSD community as a whole, but they give some interesting pictures.

There are at least two servers with FreeBSD 1.x  churning away and at least 13 are still running FreeBSD 4.x. I suppose these are cases of “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. About 80% of the votes were for FreeBSD 7.x and 8.x.

Interestingly, about 50% of the votes were for a FreeBSD installer where you can choose to go either GUI or ncurses.

FreeNAS 8.0 Released

iXsystems has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8-RELEASE. Along with the new .0 release, the FreeNAS website received a make-over.

Some of FreeNAS 8’s main features are:

1. FreeNAS 8.0-RELEASE supports NFS, CIFS, AFP, FTP and TFTP as filesharing mechanisms.  It also supports exporting devices via iSCSI as an iSCSI target.

2. Active Directory or LDAP for user authentication.

3. The ZFS and UFS2 filesystems are supported.  ZFS is the primary filesystem and enables usage of many features, including quotas, snapshots, compression and replication that are not available in UFS2.

Download FreeNAS 8.0

More information and background information to follow later today.

(Free)BSD quick news ‘n links (week 17)

Below some links to some FreeBSD resourses that you guys may be interested in, and other BSD related items I’ve come across.


  • Chromium 10, Google’s blazingly fast internet browser, is now available in the FreeBSD Ports directory (www/chromium).
  • New FreeBSD Installer test and walkthrough. Michael W. Lucas tests the new FreeBSD installer (bsd install) and gives his feedback (incl screenshots). He likes most of the changes and improvements, but is not altogether happy yet.
  • FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE Custom XFCE builds available. Download from


  • DragonFlyBSD 2.10 Released. DFBSD devs have released version 2.10 with better hardware and multiple processor support. The HAMMER file system now supports deduplication.
  • DragonFlyBSD devs are looking for testers to try out the internet browser on DragonFlyBSD (Chromium for DragonFly)


  • A Puffy in the corporate aquarium. There’s an interesting article on the Undeadly OpenBSD blog of m:tier, a London consultancy that works with Fortune 500 companies to equip them with OpenBSD firewalls, servers and desktops. OpenBSD has a reputation for high security and being a difficult operating system to use for new user, but m:tier helps companies to use for everything:

As a company we are very dedicated to what we do because we are “forced” to use our operating system of choice and we want our customers to be as happy as we are at using it :-)

So our paid job is hacking on and deploying, maintaining, supporting… OpenBSD installations. We are also required to hack on things that can be merged back into OpenBSD itself and when it’s not possible, then we change what we did so that it can be. Of course some developments are very specific to what we do and have no place in the project’s CVS tree.

So, amongst other services, we set up and maintain several 100% OpenBSD-based infrastructures (going from the entry site firewall to the secretary’s workstation) and this is what I’m going to talk about here.  Continues

  • MarBSD-X is a OpenBSD based Live CD with support for X (via)

BSD Certification

The BSD Certification Group (BSDCG) announced today that it has partnered with Schroeder Measurement Technologies (SMT) to increase the geographic availability of BSD certification exams. Through its sister company, Iso-Quality Testing (IQT), SMT maintains a testing center network of carefully selected partners, including college/university testing centers and computer-related businesses to provide testing services in a secure, proctored environment. Testing centers are available in over 300 cities in 19 countries. (full press release)


Submit your real world pf.conf

As some of you may know, is a cross-platform, graphical firewall management utility that supports iptables, ASA, PIX, FWSM, Cisco router access lists, pf, ipfw, ipfilter, and HP ProCurve ACL firewalls. Vadim Kurland and Mike Horn, the lead fwbuilder developers, have begun work on providing complete pf.conf import functionality, the last piece that was missing to provide 100% pf support. This work is a direct result of several customers expressing interest in the addition of pf configuration import and they expect the work to be completed by this summer.

In order for them to be confident that as many permutations as possible are covered, they are looking for BSD users who can share their real world pf.conf files. The configs need to contain valid IP addresses, but users can sanitize the configs by globally replacing “real” IP addresses with “fake” IP addresses.  Users who are concerned about privacy can encrypt their file with Vadim’s public PGP key:

You can send your pf.conf file(s) to configs at netcitadel dot com. They will also be looking for testers as the work nears completion. Please help spread the word through social media and by posting to other mailing lists that may be interested.

Google SoC 2011 FreeBSD Accepted Projects

FreeBSD Google summer of codeGoogle has announced today that the following FreeBSD related projects have been accepted for the annual Google Summer of Code (2011).

With 17 approved projects, FreeBSD is one of the Top 10 supported projects.

  1. Path-based file system MAC policy (Alan Alvarez)
  2. Implement TCP UTO (Catalin Nicutar)
  3. Replacing the old regex implementation (Gábor Kövesdán)
  4. Capsicum application adaptation and core libraries (Ilya Bakulin)
  5. Finish porting FUSE to FreeBSD (Ilya Putsikau)
  6. FreeBSD/arm port to NXP LPC32x0 (Jakub Klama)
  7. pkgng: Implementation of sub-commands to convert .rpm and .deb to pkgng package format (Joffrey Lassignardie)
  8. Implement the RPS/RFS in FreeBSD (Kazuya GODA)
  9. FreeBSD port of NetworkManager (Kulakov Anton)
  10. Testing temporal properties of FreeBSD with Temporally Enhanced Security Logic Assertions (Mateusz Kocielski)
  11. Extending Capsicum for Common System Services (Nathan Dautenhahn)
  12. Disk device error counters (Oleksandr)
  13. Multiqueue BPF support and other BPF features (Takuya ASADA)
  14. SMB (smbfs) infrastructure work (Walter Artica)
  15. Multibyte Encoding Support in Nvi (Zhihao Yuan)
  16. (Re)implement the BFS scheduler in FreeBSD (rudot)
  17. Adding DWARF2 Call Frame Information (xxp)

Well done, to everyone who got in.

FreeBSD Security Advisory (mountd)

The FreeBSD Security Team has identified a security bug in mountd.

I. Background

The mountd(8) daemon services NFS mount requests from other client machines. When mountd is started, it loads the export host addresses and options into the kernel using the mount(2) system call.

II. Problem Description

While parsing the exports(5) table, a network mask in the form of “-network=netname/prefixlength” results in an incorrect network mask being computed if the prefix length is not a multiple of 8.

For example, specifying the ACL for an export as “-network″ would result in a netmask of being used instead of the correct netmask of

III. Impact

When using a prefix length which is not multiple of 8, access would be granted to the wrong client systems.

For a workaround and solution, check out the security advisory: FreeBSD Security Advisory (mountd)

FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Jan – Mar 2011)

FreeBSD’s quarterly status report for 2011 Q1 is now available. This report covers FreeBSD related projects between January and April 2011. During this quarter, developers focused on releasing FreeBSD 7.4 and 8.2, which were released in February 2011. Currently, the project is starting to work on the next major version, 9.0.

It’s good to see so much activity, projects and contribution to FreeBSD, most of which is done by dedicated volunteers.

From the table of contents:


FreeBSD Team Reports

Network Infrastructure






Google Summer of Code

Link: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Jan – Mar 2011)

iXsystems’ recent contributions to FreeBSD and FreeNAS

iXsystems has been working hard recently to make the FreeBSD and FreeNAS operating systems even better storage solutions. Some of their recent announcements:

New GEOM-based FreeBSD RAID Driver

“Recently iX completed work on graid, a revised software-assisted RAID driver for FreeBSD. The graid driver replaces the existing ataraid driver with a new GEOM-based implementation. This allows graid to create stable, OS-independent software RAID arrays.

OS-independence in a RAID array means that no matter which operating system you use or install, the RAID will be recognized and addressed the same way. This also allows for the metadata format the RAID is built with to be migrated to another type.

Synchronizing a RAID across multiple operating systems is difficult to do manually, and the stakes are high if the user isn’t careful. For this reason, it is preferable to automate the process in order to protect user data and avoid headaches”. More

The GEOM-base FreeBSD driver will be merged with FreeBSD Current.

II iXsystems Teams with Fusion-io to Deliver FreeNAS Appliance

iXsystems has also announced it is collaborating with server-deployed memory innovator Fusion-io to introduce the Titan FreeNAS Pro Appliance.

Fusion-io provides a next generation storage memory platform for data decentralization that significantly improves processing capabilities within a datacenter by relocating process-critical data from centralized storage to the server where it is being processed.

The addition of server-deployed ioMemory technology to the Titan FreeNAS Pro Appliance creates a storage server that utilizes non-volatile memory to significantly increase data center efficiency and offer enterprise grade reliability, availability and manageability, with potential performance improvements of up to 10x.

The Titan FreeNAS Pro with Fusion’s ioMemory technology has the ability to fully saturate multiple 10Gb Ethernet connections, full ZFS support, and a host of software and hardware features. More

III FreeNAS 8.0-RC5 Released

FreeNAS 8.0-RC5 was released last week and is the final community peek at FreeNAS 8 before the release. Two major bits that are new are volume drive replacement in the GUI, and the ability to add to ZFS volumes, which also doubles as the ability to create stacked ZFS volumes, such as a stripe of RAIDZs (RAID 50) or a stripe of mirrors (RAID 10).

Release Candidate 5 contains both bug fixes and new functionality over previous release candidates and betas.

This release candidate is the result of a flurry of bug fixes for issues noticed by people using RC4, as well as some added functionality.  This image will now be handed over to QA to begin preparations for 8.0-Release.

New in 8.0-RC5:

The ability to create “stacked” ZFS configurations is now present in the GUI. This also goes hand in hand with the ability to add devices to ZFS volumes. For ZFS the volume wizard will now accept an existing volume name when adding volumes.  If an existing volume name is specified, the volume being created will be added to the existing volume as a stripe.  In this manner one can create complex volumes such as RAID 10, RAIDZ+0, RAIDZ2+0, RAIDZ3+0 in the same manner as conventional RAID controllers build complex volumes.

We are looking forward to the final release of 8.0. It has been a long time since FreeNAS 0.7(.2) became available.

IV FreeBSDMall now shipping FreeBSD 8.2 and 7.4 CDs/DVDs

FreeBSD 8.2 is the latest release from the 8-STABLE branch which introduces many new features along with many improvements to functionality present in the earlier branches.

V mFreeNAS 7 comes to iOS

This is not a release by iXsystems, but since it’s relating to FreeNAS we will mention it here: Walter from has released mFreeNAS 7 for iOS. An Android version is already available: mFreeNAS 7 for Android.

With mFreeNAS it is possible to access your FreeNAS remotely from your iPhone or Android phone and perform some basic tasks.

Thanks Walter for your email!

iXsystems is an all-around FreeBSD company that builds FreeBSD-certified servers and storage solutions, runs the FreeBSD Mall, and is the corporate sponsor of the PC-BSD and FreeNAS Projects.

Configure advanced features with pfSense 2.0 (Packt Pub’s new book)

Packt Publishing, the publishers of Learning FreeNAS, are now in the process of publishing pfSense 2 Cookbook.

This book helps users discover the power of pfSense‘s core functionality. It is written by Matt Williamson and is filled with examples of interfaces, firewall rules, NAT port-forwarding, VPN services, etc.

pfSense 2 Cookbook helps readers determine their deployment scenario, their hardware, throughput, andinterface requirements, and to select the right platform version of pfSense. They will be able to configure essential networking services such as DHCP, DNS, Dynamic DNS, and will be able to provide external Remote Desktop Access to an internal machine.

Through this book readers will learn to create multiple WAN interfaces, virtual IPs, a virtual LAN, gateways, and bridged interfaces. They will be able to configure traffic-shaping and Quality of Service (QoS), firewall redundancy with a CARP firewall failover, and external logging with syslog.

Talking about CARP, I came across a very interesting site explaining how to set up a CARO cluster, step-by-step: There’s enough material available and howtos explaining how to set this up, but this little demo, is super clear.

When I have read the book, I’ll let you know more about the contents.

More information can be found here: pfSense 2 Cookbook, and a free chapter, dealing with DHCP and DNS, can be downloaded here: pfSense 2 Cookbook – sample chapter.

Released: Portable C Compiler (pcc 1.0)

Thanks to funding by BSD Fund,  Anders Magnusson has released the first stable release of PCC 1.0.0 (Portable C Compiler) for i386 adn amd64. PCC was developed in order to create an alternative C compiler to GCC, but licensed under BSD.

pcc should be a well-working compiler on i386 and amd64 on a number of OSes, including the BSD’s, most Linuxes and also Microsoft Windows….

The compiler is based on the original Portable C Compiler by S. C. Johnson, written in the late 70’s. About 50% of the frontend code and 80% of the backend code has been rewritten. See the PCC History wiki page for details.

If you’re not familiar with PCC, the following from wikipedia may be of interest (portable c compiler):

The Portable C Compiler is an early compiler for the C programming language written by Stephen C. Johnson of Bell Labs in the mid-1970s—based in part on ideas from earlier work by Alan Snyder in 1973.

One of the first compilers that could easily be adapted to output code for different computer architectures, the compiler had a long life span. It shipped with BSD Unix until the release of 4.4BSD in 1994—when it was replaced by the GNU C Compiler. It was very influential in its day, so much so that at the beginning of the 1980s, the majority of C compilers were based on it.

The keys to the success of pcc were its portability and improved diagnostic capabilities:

  • The compiler was designed so that only a few of its source files were machine-dependent.
  • It was relatively robust to syntax errors and performed more thorough validity checks.


Links: ReleasePCC page