FreeBSD news and links round-up – week 44

Welcome to the weekly (Free)BSD news round-up (week 44) where we have a mix of news snippets, links, howto’s and software/package updates for you all. These tid-bits are all very interesting and news worthy, yet too small to package as individual posts.

FreeBSD News

A FreeBSD Success Story

… Then, we switched the server to a new one, quad core, sixty gigabytes of ram and two terabytes of disk. This time, I chose FreeBSD because I knew that it would work greatly ! Linux could have worked too, maybe we could have more performance, but it would not be as easy to manage as our FreeBSD box… More

FreeBSD Ports

Bernhard Fröhlich joined the FreeBSD Ports Team in October.

Releases

1. FreeNAS 8.3 User Guide

The FreeNAS 8.3.0 Users Guide is available for download as EPUB, HTML and PDF.

2. M0n0wall 1.34b1 released

Manuel Kasper has announced Beta1 of M0n0wall 1.34.

“A maintenance version in the m0n0wall 1.3 branch has been released: 1.34b1 includes the CSRF-related fixes recently made to the beta branch, as well as a few others security-relevant things. Nothing is high priority, but once 1.34b1 has received some wider testing, it will be re-released as 1.34, and 1.33 users will be recommended to upgrade.”

Software/package updates

1. FreeBSD/Raspberry Pi

Gonzo has mentions that he has moved his FreeBSD/Raspberry Pi project into FreeBSD Head / Current.

2 KNemo 0.7.4 receives major improvements for FreeBSD

KNemo is a tool that monitors the network traffic and provides a tray widget for every network interface, support for network statistics, and different icon themes.

Highlights of the release are:

• Bugs in the BSD backend has been fixed;
• Wrong traffic bug reported on FreeBSD has been repaired;
• Wrong encryption state for mixed WEP connections on FreeBSD has been fixed;
• Default gateway previously undetected on FreeBSD is now working properly;
• A monochrome icon theme has been added;
• Support for the legacy system tray icon has been removed;
• Embedded plotter code has been dropped in favor of libksignalplotter.

Websites / Social Media

As some of you may have seen already RootBSD has a new website. It looks very clean and slick and looks more ‘web 2.0′ than the previous version.

RootBSD was established with one goal in mind: to provide reliable, flexible, and supported BSD-based hosting services to professionals and businesses. Our extensive selection of FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Linux hosting packages means there is a right package for almost everyone.

(Free)BSD Events

1. PfSense Weekend (Brazil)

There will be a classroom pfSense weekend in Porto Alegre (Brazil) from 14-16 December. More details on http://www.cursopfsense.com.br/

New FreeBSD Committers

In October 2012 the following people became new committers or were given enhanced FreeBSD update rights: Simon J. Gerraty (src), Erwin Lansing (src, ports) and Eitan Adler (src, ports, doc).

BSD / Unix Family News

OpenBSD 5.2 arrives with improved multi-core support.

The OpenBSD project has released version 5.2 of its free BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. According to its developers, the most important change in the new release is the switch from user-level to kernel-level threads. This allows programs with multiple threads to use multiple CPU cores. (via)

BSD Magazine (Oct 2012): Network Security & Auditing

October’s issue of the BSD Magazine is now available: Network Security & Auditing (free PDF download).

You’ll find the following subjects inside:

  • VX ConnectBot: Open Source SSH Client for Android Devices
  • Installing Xfce Desktop Environment on OpenBSD 5.1
  • Browse the Internet Differently
  • FreeBSD Enterprise Search with Apache Solr (Part 2)
  • PostgreSQL: Indexes
  • Unix IPC with FIFOs
  • Capture Session Data with Argus on FreeBSD
  • Securing your Family with pfSense and IPSec
  • Installation and Setup of the Halon Virtual Security Router

Thanks Charles (he wrote the article on Xombrero) for reminding me to post this.

FreeBSD SMP scalable PF coming to FreeBSD HEAD

Gleb Smirnoff writes on the FreeBSD PF Mailing List about a some improvements he has made to make Packet Filter (PF) SMP-scalable and faster:

“As you already may now, last half a year I’ve been working on making pf SMP-scalable and faster in general. More info can be found here:

Since that announce in June, I’ve been running experimental code for more than 2 months in production on several routers. Also, some brave people volunteered to be beta-testers and also run the experimental branch in last couple of months. Code proved to be stable enough.

The new code performs better in production: less CPU load, less jitter, more responsive system under high load. It performs better under synthetic benchmarks like random generated UDP flood. It performs much better when DoS comes in.”

BSD Mag (Sep 2012): What’s new in PC-BSD 9.1

September’s issue of the BSD Magazine is now available: What’s new in PC-BSD 9.1 (free PDF download).

We are now living in an age of cloud computing and sharing content and news, privately and publicly. However, it seems cloud companies struggle to keep our data private and don’t seem to always respect users’ privacy, so why not set up your own cloud?

If you want to stay in control of your own data and share it only with those you want to share it with, have a look at ownCloud. Kris Moore from the PC-BSD Project has an article showing how to set up ownCloud on PC-BSD. Very useful.

You’ll find the following subjects inside the latest issue of BSD Mag:

What’s New in PC-BSD 9.1

PC-BSD 9.1 adds many new features, ranging from more graphical utilities available within Control Panel, a redesigned installer, a server installation wizard, and improved jail management. This article introduces these new features. PC-BSD 9.1 is expected to be released during September, 2012. This article introduces some of the new features of this release.

Setting up Your OwnCloud Instance via the Warden™

In this article we will be taking a look at the OwnCloud software, specifically how to do the initial installation and configuration inside a jail run by PC-BSD’s® jail management utility, the Warden™. First we will take a look at a setup done from a PC-BSD graphical interface, and then explore the same setup from the command-line using TrueOS™, the server version of PC-BSD.

Nmap: The Network Swiss Army Knife

Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is a GPL utility for network discovery and security auditing. Many systems and network administrators find it very useful for network inventory, monitoring hosts and services uptime, debugging network related problems, and many other tasks. From this article you will learn the basic functionalities of Nmap 6.

Unix IPC with Pipes

This article explains one of the earliest forms of inter-process communication (IPC) in Unix. Pipes were the original form of Unix IPC and were present in Third Edition of Unix (1973). They can only be used to communicate between related processes, but despite this limitation they still remain one of the most frequently employed mechanisms for IPC.

FreeBSD Enterprise Search with Apache Solr

Back office integration and cross platform search has always posed major challenges especially in large organizations with many legacy systems. With Apache Solr these barriers can be overcome and the power of enterprise search realised. In this new series the author will show you step by step how to commission an Apache Solr search engine.

Hardening FreeBSD with TrustedBSD and Mandatory Access Controls (MAC)

Most system administrators understand the need to lock down permissions for files and applications. In addition to these configuration options on FreeBSD, there are features provided by TrustedBSD that add additional layers of specific security controls to fine tune the operating system for multilevel security. By reading this article you will learn the configuration of the mac_bsdextended module and how to use the ugidfw utility

Interview with Jeroen van Nieuwenhuizen

Jeroen van Nieuwenhuizen was the chair of the EuroBSDcon 2011 organizing committee. Currently, he is one of the members of the EuroBSDcon Foundation board. He came in contact with Unix in 1997 and started to work with the BSDs in 2002. In his daily life Jeroen works as a Unix Consultant for Snow B.V. BSD Magazine asked him some questions regarding event organization and opportunities to participate in organizing EuroBSDcon.

BSD Magazine has also a “Best of 2011? issue available for purchase.

August BSD Mag: Tuning ZFS on FreeBSD and Set up a VPN Server

The August issue of BSD Magazine is out: Tuning ZFS on FreeBSD.

From the table of contents:

Tuning ZFS on FreeBSD
By Martin Matuska

ZFS is a modern 128-bit file system based on the copy-on-write model. It originates from the OpenSolaris project and has first appeared in FreeBSD in 2008. ZFS has many innovative features including an integrated volume manager with mirroring and RAID capabilities, data checksumming and compression, writable snapshots that can be transferred between systems and many more. In this article the author is going to discuss several tuning options including sysctl(2) knobs and give examples how can ZFS performance and efficiency can be measured and evaluated. This article is intended for FreeBSD users with ZFS version 28 available since 8.3-RELEASE and 9.0-RELEASE.

MPD5 – VPN Server with FreeBSD Setup and Management
By Antonion Francesco Gentile

Mpd5 is a fast, flexible and secure way to make VPN connections on FreeBSD. It requires very few resources and supports a wide range of protocols, a great tool for network managers. By reading this article you will learn to setup and manage a VPN server PPTP based.

PostgreSQL Partitioning
By Luca Ferrari

In the previous articles the main features of PostgreSQL, including server-side programming were shown. In this article a simple application scenario will be used to demonstrate the capability of partitioning huge amounts of data into different tables in different spaces transparently.

Securing DNS Transactions
By Paul Ammann

In the June 2012 issue, we outlined the threats, security objectives, and protection approaches for various DNS transactions. This article provides the steps involved in implementing those approaches, as well as operational best practices that go with those implementations.

MaheshaBSD Server Edition Has Been Just Released!
By Juraj Sipos

Many newcomers to FreeBSD find it difficult to setup their own FTP/WWW server quickly and, on the other hand, experienced users sometimes need to take precautions for unexpected crash situations – that is, to have a strategy for time economization and portability, as these two are valuable assets in our rushing world. From this article you will find out ow to run a simple and smart FTP/WWW server.

Here Comes the Cloud – BSD Magazine (April 2012)

April’s issue of the BSD Magazine is now available: Here Comes the Cloud (free PDF download).

You’ll find the following subjects inside:

  • Installing FreeBSD on Amazon AWS EC2 Cloud Services
  • Interview with Mark Price, President of Tranquil Hosting and owner of RootBSD
  • Taking the BSDA Certification Exam By Dru Lavigne
  • Installing OpenBSD 5.0 on VMware Server
  • MidnightBSD: Developing Applications Using mpor
  • The Greater Benefits of Open Source Software
  • PostgreSQL: Replication

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