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.

FreeBSD quick news: Amazon EC2, OpenBSD and FBI

Some exciting and eyebrow raising news items:

FreeBSD on Amazon EC2

FreeBSD developer Colin Percival announced on his blog that FreeBSD 9-CURRENT now runs on Amazon EC2:

One of my largest complaints about Amazon EC2 ever since it launched has been my inability to run FreeBSD on it. Judging from the feedback I received to two earlier blog posts, I haven’t been alone. The problems keeping FreeBSD out of EC2 have always been more FreeBSD-related than Amazon-related, however, and over the past month I’ve been hacking away at FreeBSD’s Xen code, to the point where I can say something I’ve been waiting to say for a long time: FreeBSD now runs on Amazon EC2.

There are some caveats to this. First, at the moment only FreeBSD 9.0-CURRENT can run under EC2; I haven’t merged bug fixes back to the stable branches. Second, at the moment FreeBSD only runs on t1.micro instances, for reasons I can’t discuss (NDA) but hope will be resolved soon. Third, this code hasn’t received very much testing and is almost certain to have more serious bugs, so it should be approached as an experimental, not-ready-for-production-use system for now. Full post

OpenBSD & the FBI

Theo de Raadt, project leader of the OpenBSD project, has made an email public that reveals that the FBI built a backdoor into OpenBSD’s ipsec about a decade ago.

As of yet it’s not known if any of the revelations/allegations are true and if any other operating systems are affected. We will have to wait until developers have reviewed the code. What do you think about all this? Please drop a comment at the bottom.

This subject has been picked up by many websites and blogs. Here’s a selection:

  • FBI Poked Spy Hole in OpenBSD, Says Former Contractor – technewsworld.com
  • FBI ‘planted backdoor’ in OpenBSD – theregister.com
  • FBI Accused Of Decade-Old Cryptography Code Conspiracy – forbes.com
  • Developer claims FBI implemented backdoors in OpenBSD – itwire.com


(Free)BSD Events (November)

Below some links, photos and videos for some BSD related events in the last few weeks:

NYCBSDCon

NYCBSDCon took place on 14 Nov. Justin Sherill has summarised the 2 days: NYCBSDCon Notes. Will Backman, the man behind bsdtalk, has uploaded a short video showing off the facilities, food and talks:


BSD Day 2010

Some pictures of BSDDay 2010 (Budapest, Hungary, 20 Nov 2010) can be found here.

For the slide, check out the wiki page.

DragonFlyBSD

DragonFlyBSD is taking part in Google Code-In. Several Google Code-In tasks for DragonFlyBSD have already been claimed and finished.

There’s a 15 minutes interview on BSDTalk with Matthew Dillon about the recent 2.8 release of DragonFlyBSD. This interview was done at MeetBSD California 2010. Download/Listen: MP3OGG

NetBSD

Soren Jacobsen has announced the release of NetBSD 5.1: “The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that version 5.1 of the NetBSD operating system is now available. NetBSD 5.1 is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed critical for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements. Please note that all fixes in security/critical updates are cumulative, so the latest update contains all such fixes since the corresponding minor release. Some highlights include:

  • RAIDframe parity maps, which greatly improve parity rewrite times after unclean shutdown;
  • X.Org updates;
  • support for many more network devices;
  • Xen PAE dom0 support;
  • Xen PCI pass-through support.”

Zafer Aydogan announced Jibbed 5.1, a NetBSD-based live CD featuring automatic hardware detection and the Xfce desktop.

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