(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.

FreeBSD

  • 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 freebsd-custom.wikidot.com/

DragonFlyBSD

  • 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)

OpenBSD

  • 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)

 

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

BSD Magazine 2011-04: FreeBSD: portability with VMware

A new issue of the free BSD Magazine is available: FreeBSD: Portability with VMware (pdf)

From the table of contents

Interview with Dru Lavigne

Dru Lavigne is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux and BSD systems. She is author of BSD Hacks, The Best of FreeBSD Basics, and The Definitive Guide to PCBSD.

Why You Use FreeBSD Just May Start With A ‘Z’

You may have been using FreeBSD for a long time. You may have just started using it. Regardless of how long you’ve been using it, whether it’s been fifteen years or fifteen days, you have needs, and FreeBSD fulfills some or all of them.

OpenBSD improves upon /etc/rc.d/

The OpenBSD developers did not adopt a change like this until they were sure they had a mechanism that was both simple to implement and simple to use.

DragonFly News

There’s been some dramatic changes for DragonFly in the past month; all positive but having significant effects.

Package Management for the upcoming PC-BSD 9

Among the various improvements planned for PC-BSD 9.0, among the largest of these is the refreshed PBI package management format.

Converting a Physical Partition with FreeBSD to a vmware Image

Portability is something people increasingly value, because it has a number of advantages – you can, for example, carry your desktop (or server) anywhere with you and thus also all your very important personal data that you have created over some time, or perhaps over many years.

Build appliances with QEMU and OpenBSD

OpenBSD is the slimmest desktop OS. It is complete, functional and usable on any computer as long as your expectations are that of an engineer as opposed to a user.

Drupal on FreeBSD part 5

Continuing the series on the Drupal Content Management System, we will look at adding discrete PHP and Javascript code to our pages.

Mutt On OS X part 2

Last time (BSD Magazine 02/2011), we installed Mutt on OS X and read and sent mail from a Gmail account. This month, we’ll get one step closer to replacing Mail.app by learning a way to handle multiple accounts and how to search our Mac’s Address book from within Mutt.

Realtime Weather Data EMWIN on FreeBSD

Have ever run to the TV, turned on a radio, or browsed to a weather site, just to find out what the weather conditions are, or about to become? You can now have data delivered right to server, use in a web site, or sent as notifications to pagers via e-mail.

Benchmarking Different Kind of Storage

In this article we will examine 2 types of storage: an iSCSI and a local hard drive.

Content Management Made Easy The Open Source Way!

We take a look at the open-source Content Management Systems available for your enterprise website.

Download: BSD Magazine 2011-04: FreeBSD: Portability with VMware

Dru Lavigne: Confessions of a community manager

Dru is PC-BSD‘s Community Manager. At last weekend’s Scale 9x expo she talked about being a community manager and how to decide whether an open source project is ready to have one.

She talked about:

  • What is a community manager?
  • Is your project ready for a community manager?
  • Why have a community manager?

Read the article: Dru Lavigne: Confessions of a community manager (opensource.com)

BSD Magazine 2011/02: ZFS and FreeBSD

A new issue of the free BSD Magazine is available: ZFS and FreeBSD

Table of contents:

ZFS and FreeBSD

The Zettabyte Filesystem (ZFS) is one of the most advanced open source filesystems available today. Its design implements several revolutionary ideas with focus on data consistency, performance and ease of use.

FreeNAS

FreeNAS is a very interesting project with a history spanningapproximately 5 years. It’s a fusion of FreeBSD with a webgui andembedded device framework, which creates a NAS device basedon FreeBSD, fully manageable from a web-browser out of a PCwith an x86 or AMD64 architecture.

Network transparent rate limitation with ipfw

In this article I will explain how to setup a transparent bridge between your LAN and your Firewall/router. With “transparent” I mean that you won’t need to do any change on your network in order to use it.

Building an iSCSI storage with BSD

Highly loaded databases need a fast and reliable storage solution, something like a big server with many hard drives, probably with 4, 8, or 16 drives. Also, many 1U servers do not have the necessary storage capacity to offer services that need it.

How to setup a USB Memory stick for installing a pfSense SoHo Firewall/Router

This article covers the installation and initial configuration of a pfSense Firewall / Router on a small form factor PC.

Mutt On OS X

Whenever my boss walks by my desk, he can’t help but ask, „Why do you insist on using the command line for everything? Are you stuck in the 1970’s or something?”…

The Missing Links to Strategic Implementation

In regards to growth and strategy, the father of management and strategy, Peter Drucker was wont to say, “Everything must degenerate into work if anything is to happen.”

Browser Wars

With the rise of the Internet, there has been a considerable increase in the number of web browsers available for BSD platforms.

Interview with Dan Langille

BSDCan 2011 – An interview with Dan Langille, who will give you a closer look at the upcoming conference.

PC-SYSINSTALL – A new system installer backend for PC-BSD & FreeBSD

A presentation from BSDCan 2010 is an example of what you can expect from this years Conference.

Download BSD Magazine 2011/02: FreeBSD & ZFS

Available: BSD Magazine: BSD’s and Solaris (01-2011)

The Editors of the BSD Magazine have finished writing another issue: BSD’s and Solaris.

Drupal on FreeBSD – part 3
Rob Somerville
Continuing the series on the Drupal Content Management System, we will look at creating a store front for our new website using CCK and Views.

Email MX server in FreeBSD – Confguring FreeBSD as a mail MX server with Postfx
Francisco Reyes
This is a tutorial on how to setup a mail MX server using Postfix.

Installing NGINX and PHP 5.3.x on FreeBSD 8.1
Diego Montalvo
Have been using Apache as my default web server on FreeBSD servers since departing from IIS 4.0 and NT systems in 1999. Apache has always performed great on my installations and give the Apache Foundation great praise.

Text Terminal magic with tmux
Girish Venkatachalam
Once you get used to something you seldom like to go back to old ways. So much so that you get uncomfortable without it.

Writing ‘bots using XMPP
Eric Schnoebelen
One of my favorite topics, using XMPP/Jabber for productive, real world applications!

How to quickly make a bootable USB stick with FreeBSD
Juraj Sipos
This article covers the steps needed to make a bootable USB stick with FreeBSD – a quick howto that also applies to a USB drive.

FreeBSD and simple char device driver for real PCI-hardware
Anton Borisov
The FreeBSD operating system captivates the hearts and minds of it’s fans so much, that finds it’s way in very diversive industries such as hosting projects and backbone routers. It can run on small embedded devices, as well as on large, multi-core systems.

BSD’s and Solaris on the Desktop. Are they ready to serve?
Petr Topiarz
As I am a great unix fan, I use BSD daily, but I mainly use the beast on the servers. In my company, we run Linux on Desktops and I would like to change that too. Therefore I underwent this venture in order to see whether Unix is ready to replace Linux on the desktop or not.

Games Geeks Play!
Sufyan ibn Uzayr
In this article, we explore the various gaming options available for the BSD users.

Why can’t offce employees get along with open source offce suites?
Joshua Ebarvia
I have been working for 6 years now in an office setting. Since the organization I work for does not have that “big” funds for purchasing bleeding-edge software, we put our hands on some open source counterparts of the proprietary ones.

Download the latest BSD Mag issue here: BSD’s and Solaris

(Free)BSD miscelaneous links and news (week 1)

I. The Perfect Database Server: Firebird 2.5 And FreeBSD 8.1

Here is the guide on installing Firebird 2.5 from FreeBSD 8.1 Ports and creating your first test database; also we show you how to install Flamerobin GUI (administration tool) and the PHP driver for it: The perfect database server: Firebird 2.5 and FreeBSD 8.1

II. Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

The most common Linux file-systems we talk about at Phoronix are of course Btrfs and EXT4 while the ZFS file-system, which is available on Linux as a FUSE (user-space) module or via a recent kernel module port, gets mentioned a fair amount too. When it comes to the FreeBSD and PC-BSD operating systems, ZFS is looked upon as the superior, next-generation option that is available to BSD users. However, with the DragonFlyBSD operating system there is another option: HAMMER. In this article we are seeing how the performance of this original creation within the DragonFlyBSD project competes with ZFS, UFS, EXT3, EXT4, and Btrfs.

HAMMER is a file-system created by the DragonFlyBSD developers themselves and is the default choice when installing this BSD operating system, but UFS remains a choice too. The one sentence description about this file-system is that “[HAMMER] provides instant crash recovery, multi-volume file systems, integrity checking, fine grained history/undo, networked mirroring, and historical snapshots.” HAMMER uses no fsck, can be sized up to one Exabyte, supports up to 256 volumes of four petabytes in size, coarse-grained history provided by snapshots with up to sixty days history, live snapshot access, and data/meta-data is CRC-checked. Like Btrfs, HAMMER snapshots can be taken at any time, can be accessed live, and boasts a similar set of features. Other HAMMER file-system features include the ability to split it up into multiple pseudo file-systems, there is support for back-up pseudo file-systems, NFS-exportable snapshots, and there is support for slave-to-slave mirroring streams: Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

Matt Dillon’s, DragonFlyBSD’s project founder, thoughts on the test: HAMMER Benchmark Fun

III. Get Linux and FreeBSD hardware info with guide to commands

Switching between open source OSs can sometimes be confusing, since they may have different ways of doing things. A common task that may confuse some users when switching systems is getting hardware information. In the case of Linux-based OSs and FreeBSD, the following cheat sheet for figuring out how to do the same things on two different systems can ease some of the pain: Linux vs FreeBSD cheat sheet.

IV. Cost Optimization Through Open Source Software (iXsystems)

The lead article in this month’s edition of the Open Source Business Resource was contributed by iXsystems. It describes some of the business reasons behind the company’s choice to use only FreeBSD and PC-BSD systems in its own infrastructure and provides a cost/savings comparison for both software and maintenance costs. It also contains some good references and percentages if you’re looking for something to show your manager (via)

V. Creating an LVM-backed FreeBSD DomU in a Linux Dom0

As the topic suggests we’re going to play with Xen and set up a FreeBSD DomU inside a Linux Dom0.