BSD week – 4 BSD releases

In the last 7 days we’ve seen a new version released by each of the 4 major BSD operating systems: OpenBSD 4.5, NetBSDFreeBSD 7.2 and a “minor” DragonFlyBSD release  (2.2.1).

Who said BSD was dying? Video 1 – “BSD is dying” (2007)  - Video 2 – “BSD is still dying” (2009).

netbsd logoNetBSD 5

NetBSD, well-known for its high portability has arrived at version 5, which has been worked on for about 2 year. This release seems pretty interesting from a performance point of view. It’s claimed that NetBSD 5.0 now outruns NetBSD 4, FreeBSD 7.1 and Fedora 10.

In addition to scalability and performance improvements, a significant number of major features have been added. Some highlights are: a preview of metadata journaling for FFS file systems (known as WAPBL, Write Ahead Physical Block Logging), the ‘jemalloc’ memory allocator, the X.Org X11 distribution instead of XFree86 on a number of ports, the Power Management Framework, ACPI suspend/resume support on many laptops, write support for UDF file systems, the Automated Testing Framework, the Runnable Userspace Meta Program framework, Xen 3.3 support for both i386 and amd64, POSIX message queues and asynchronous I/O, and many new hardware device drivers. [source]

Release Notes  -  NetBSD Website

openbsd logoOpenBSD 4.5

OpenBSD,  renowned for its focus on security (incl OpenSSH), has released version 4.5. The latest version comes with improved hardware support, new tools and functionalities and upgraded ports.

Oh yeah, and there’s also a new release song.

Release Notes  -  OpenBSD website

dragonflybsd logoDragonFlyBSD 2.2.1

The new 2.2 release includes Hammer, a file system that includes instant crash recovery, multi-volume file systems, data integrity checking, fine grained history retention, and the ability to mirror data to other volumes. It has undergone extensive stress-testing and is considered production-ready!

Release Notes  -  DragonFly website

freebsd_logo-100x100FreeBSD 7.2

Read here about the release

7.2 review: improved virtualisation (nixcraft)

Blogs for “the other BSDs”: NetBSD, OpenBSD and DragonFlyBSD

This blog, FreeBSD – the unknown Giant, as the title suggests, covers only FreeBSD related stories and updates. However, over the last few months, I have received emails from my some readers asking why I don’t write about the “other BSDs”, such as OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonflyBSD.

Well, the answer is quite simple: “There’s no need to!” No, not because they’re not worth writing about, they certainly are, but because there are already some quality blogs dedicated to each of these BSD operating systems.  Hence my reason for not, or only occasionally, writing about then. Since these blogs are regularly updated with news, howtos and information on made progress, I’ve decided not to just copy, paste and republish what’s on those blogs.

To find out more about OpenBSD, visit the OpenBSD Journal. The DragonflyBSD digest is updated regularly with news relating to DragonflyBSD, and lately a lot on the progress of the newly created and much promising Hammer File System (HammerFS), whilst Hubert’s NetBSD blog brings the latest and greatest with regards to NetBSD.

Of course there are more many blogs and websites tracking the “big four”, but these are the best as far as I’m aware.

BSD Magazine – it’s coming!

BSD Magazine LogoI blogged before that there were plans of creating a FreeBSD Magazine. Just to let you know that the first issue can be expected around April 2008. It won’t be just about FreeBSD, but also about other BSD OSses, incl. OpenBSD and NetBSD, hence the name BSD Magazine. The website is now live at bsdmag.org. If you want to contribute or find out more about BSD Magazine, visit the website or contact Kate or Caroline.

Dru Lavige, Jan Stedehouder and myself will be writing something for the 1st issue.

Exciting future ahead for BSD

FreeBSD LogoTrollaxor has written up an interesting piece about the history and future of the major BSD systems: FreeBSD, netBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD and Darwin.

In the new year the Berkeley Software Distribution family of Unix-like operating systems is growing at a phenomenal rate and excitement over the possibilities for this operating system family is in the air. After unprecedented development and adoption as well as major shifts in the marketplace, it’s time to take a look at what’s new with this demonic family of operating systems.

FreeBSD

FreeBSD 5 was the darkest period in this operating system’s history and morale and marketshare were at an all-time low. The problem originated from merging BSD/OS into FreeBSD; though the two systems shared a lot of code, the difference of just a couple years was staggering. FreeBSD’s virtual memory and multi-processing code was immature, while BSD/OS’s libraries were archaic. Mating the two was a mess that cost FreeBSD face and kept users on an older branch from the Nineties, 4.11.

Now, with FreeBSD 7.0b on the horizon promising to wrap it all up, FreeBSD is once again taking the free Unix world by storm. It’s a tight, efficient codebase leveraging the best of BSD/OS, Darwin, and FreeBSD that users have been clamoring for. FreeBSD users and sites now have a shining future ahead of them.

… [discusses NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD & Darwin]

With all of these great improvements to the Berkeley operating system family in the last few years, BSD is clearly where it’s at. Linux is a throwback to when Open Source was a hot buzzword and sharing code was a novel idea. Now, Apple and company use it as standard coding procedure to share and improve the tech they have and leverage their individual strengths.

Even when taking the few commercial Unices that still exist into account, like AIX and Solaris, BSD still owns the arena in its frantic steamroll to the top of the supercomputing mountain. Whether you want the general wholesomeness of FreeBSD, the KGB-like security of OpenBSD, the more experimental NetBSD or DragonFlyBSD, or the utter perfection of Mac OS X, BSD has your bases completely covered with room to grow in the future.

Read the whole article here

(Free)BSD myths dispelled

FreeBSD myths dispelledAs the BSD projects (DragonFlyBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD) have grown in size, a number of persistent myths have grown up around them. Some of these are perpetuated by well meaning but misguided individuals, others by people pursuing their own agendas.

This page aims to dispel those myths while remaining as dispassionate as possible.

Review of “The Book of PF”

Dru Lavigne has reviewedThe Book of PF – A No-Nonsense Guide to the OpenBSD Firewall“. Peter N.M. Hansteen, the writer, has written this book as an expanded follow-up to his very popular online PF tutorial. PF (Packet Filter) is a robust packet filter that originated in OpenBSD and that has been ported to FreeBSD.

Dru concludes here short review with:

All in all, this book is very readable and a must-have resource for anyone who deals with firewall configurations. If you’ve heard good things about PF and have been thinking of giving it a go, this book is definitely for you. Start at the beginning and before you know it you’ll be through the book and quite the PF guru. Even if you’re already a PF guru, this is still a good book to keep on the shelf to refer to in thorny situations or to lend to colleagues.

Check the book details and other reviews here on Amazon. Recommended Buy.