Of EoL, GSoC, paid development and why I love UNIX

FreeBSD 6.4 and 8.0 EoLs coming soon

On November 30th, FreeBSD 6.4 and FreeBSD 8.0 will have reached their End of Life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Since FreeBSD 6.4 is the last remaining supported release from the FreeBSD 6.x stable branch, support for the FreeBSD 6.x stable branch will also cease at the same point. Users of either of these FreeBSD releases are strongly encouraged to upgrade to either FreeBSD 7.3 or FreeBSD 8.1 before that date.

The FreeBSD Ports Management Team wishes to remind users that November 30 is also the end of support for the Ports Collection for both FreeBSD 6.4 RELEASE and the FreeBSD 6.x STABLE branch. Neither the infrastructure nor individual ports are guaranteed to work on these FreeBSD versions after that date. A CVS tag will be created for users who cannot upgrade for some reason, at which time these users are advised to stop tracking the latest ports CVS repository and use the RELEASE_6_EOL tag instead. (source)

FreeBSD at GSoC Mentor Summit

As in previous years, Google held a “Mentor Summit” to bring together representatives from the open source organizations that participated in the Google Summer of Code to share experiences of what worked, what didn’t, and generally learn from each other about shepherding students through the program. The mentor summit is always run Unconference-style and it is a great opportunity to meet, learn, and socialize with the many other open source organization… continues (Murray’s FreeBSD Notes)

FreeBSD Will Pay for Some KMS, GEM Love

“The good news, however, is that the FreeBSD Foundation is willing to finance a developer to work on bringing kernel mode-setting and Graphics Execution Manager support over to the FreeBSD kernel.”

Source & full story: FreeBSD Will Pay for Some KMS, GEM Love (phoronix.com)

Why I Love Unix

I love Unix because of all the wonderful things that I can do on the command line. When I first used Unix in 1983, it was love on first sight. With a list of the most basic commands by my side, I quickly discovered how much I could accomplish with several command strings strung together. Unix was nothing like what I’d been using up to that point in my brief data processing career. It was clever, modular and logical. With tools like grep and languages like awk, it was quite a bit of fun to discover how easily I could make the system do my bid. My ability to capture sequences of commands easily into scripts made it possible for me to encapsulate my clever commands, even share them with coworkers. The Unix culture seemed innovative, inviting my participation in creating an environment that really worked for me.

Full blog post: Why I love UNIX (itworld.com)

Other BSD related news

Linux vs BSD with a little focus on OpenBSD

Juraj Sipos, the founder of MaheshaBSD, has published an article listing the difference between Linux and BSD:

“This article is not about the history of Unix; however, Unix is such a complex issue that it deserves few words in this respect: BSD family of Unix systems is based upon the source code of real Unix developed in Bell Labs, which was later purchased by the University of California. Thus, the name of the family of Unix systems called BSD is derived from “Berkeley Software Distribution”. The contemporary BSD systems stand on the source code that was released in the beginning of 1990’s (Net/2 Lite and 386/BSD release).

No one person or any entity owns BSD. Enthusiastic developers create it and many of its components are open-sourced.

BSD is behind the philosophy of TCP/IP networking and the Internet thereof; it is a developed Unix system with advanced features. Except for proprietary BSD/OS, the development of which was discontinued, there are currently four BSD systems available: FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and Mac OS X, which is derived from FreeBSD. There are also various forks of these, like PC-BSD – a FreeBSD clone, or MirOS, an OpenBSD clone. The intention of such forks is to include various characteristics missing in the above BSD systems, on which these (forks), no matter how well they are designed, only strongly depend. PC-BSD, for example, has more graphical features than FreeBSD, but there are no substantial differences between these two. PC-BSD cannot breathe without FreeBSD; FreeBSD or OpenBSD are independent of one another.”

Continues (linuxmagazines.com): Linux vs BSD with a little focus on OpenBSD

(Free)BSD quick news and links

FreeBSD

  • Returning committer: Niels Heinen (ports) (07/03/2010)
  • New committer: Neel Natu (src) (03/03/2010)

PC-BSD

1. Quick Poll – which pages would you like to see  printed from Dru’s latest book in the upcoming BSD Magazine issue?

2. How does PC-BSD 8.0 compare with Kubuntu 9.10?   This is probably comparing apples with pears, but for those liking comparison reviews, check PC-BSD 8.0 vs. Kubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

In a majority of the tests, Kubuntu 9.10 performed better than PC-BSD 8.0, but the tests we used in this article are just a subset of what is available to run on both platforms via the Phoronix Test Suite so for those deciding between running PC-BSD / FreeBSD it is important to run the tests relevant to you and also consider the other features at hand for both free software operating systems.

3. PC-BSD’s graphical firewall manager

PC-BSD is a desktop-oriented, FreeBSD-based distribution with KDE as the default desktop environment. The version due to be released shortly is PC-BSD 8. Because it the only BSD-based desktop distribution that’s in a position to compete with the best Linux desktop distributions, I’ll be publishing a number of articles over the next few weeks to introduce those not yet familiar with it to some of its management tools. This post takes a look at the graphical firewall manager.

OpenBSD

OpenSSH 5.4 released

Damien Miller (djm@) posted to announce@ with the announcement of OpenSSH 5.4. Some highlights of this release are the disabling of protocol 1 by default, certificate authentication, a new ‘netcat mode’, many changes on the sftp front (both client and server) and a collection of assorted bugfixes. The new release can already be found on a large number of mirrors and of course on www.openssh.com.

Please read on for the full release announcement

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.