MaheshaBSD-2.0 Server Released

Juraj Sipos has announced the release of MaheshaBSD Server 2.0. This version comes with WordPress running on a USB memory stick.

This is the only distro in the World with WordPress running immediately without any installation process. Many poor people will have a quick FTP server with WordPress and they may open it also to the world.

Some brief notes on this release:

  • With phpMyAdmin installed in MaheshaBSD Server many tasks with MySQL will be easy as a breeze.
  • phpMyAdmin runs also remotely via TightVNC.
  • The USB image is writable.
  • MaheshaBSD Server has an educational purpose, too. It is also a social project. Many people in the Third World need money for education and many institutions fail to provide the valuable infrastructure (software, paying for development of software, etc.).
  • The SERVER was tested over the Internet;
  • tightvnc worked,
  • WordPress worked.

The Mahesha Project is hosted by RootBSD. You may download the documentation (pdf) or download the MaheshaBSD Server 2.0 (rar).

MaheshaBSD Server can be downloaded and used for free by individuals; companies are expected to donate to the project:

The price is 200/150/100/50/25, but only for institutions; it is free for personal use. Institutions may choose any price, thus the software will be valuable also for institutions in very poor countries. Anybody can write and use it for free.

Thanks Juraj for the heads up. I will be testing this release over the next few days and will give you feedback.

MaheshaBSD Server Edition – document sharing server

Juraj from the MaheshaBSD Project has announced the MaheshaBSD Server Edition.

The objective of MaheshaBSD Server is to provide users and small businesses/institutions a way to operate the simplest and least demanding FTP/WWW server for the purpose of sharing documents (information). MaheshaBSD Server can be used both for an in-house document sharing or over the internet.

MaheshaBSD Server Edition comes as a USB image and its purpose is to show Windows users the flexibility of running FreeBSD off a USB flash drive.

It immediately supports quotas; and also a possibility to redirect a NTFS drive via mount_nullfs to MaheshaBSD Server, so that users can just simply copy any file to my easy to use FTP/WWW server, as you can see on the picture attached in this email (not many BSD LiveCD’s support writing to NTFS drives unfortunately).

Some of the features included (taken from the Documentation):

  • Portability – with a straightforward FTP/WWW server running off the USB flash drive it is much easier to come up with such a flash drive to any computer available on your in-house (or home) network (LAN) than to disassemble your computer and put the hard drive to another computer where an operating system is already running;
  • No need to purchase expensive licenses for an operating system because MaheshaBSD Server is itself an operating system (FreeBSD);
  • Immediate possibility to use this server – users without any knowledge of Unix can use easy to use free programs such as WinSCP (a Windows GUI application for copying data via SFTP) – they will just copy files into MaheshaBSD Server’s FTP/WWW directory and they will be immediately displayed in a browser;
  • By setting up IP Forwarding on ports 21 (FTP), 22 (SSH), 80 (HTTP) in your router settings you will have an instant possibility to operate a public Internet FTP/WWW server;
  • Security – as long as your FTP (or WWW) server is not running in Windows as a separate program, the environment where certain cleverer individuals may  always find a way to steal your sensitive data (in case you choose a Windows FTP/web server software with unreported security holes), you will be in a great advantage as regards security;
  • A possibility to mount NTFS/FAT32 disks/flash drives/USB hard drives and use them as a place for FTP/WWW data storage. Both editions – MaheshaBSD and MaheshaBSD Server – can easily mount NTFS disks for write access, a feature not available in many BSD LiveCD distributions;
  • Remote Admin.

The full MaheshaBSD Server Edition documentation can be read here (pdf).

MaheshaBSD Server Edition is free for personal use and businesses are required to buy a  $200 license.

We have not been able to test the Server Edition yet, but a $200 license is quite a fee for a document server licens. It would be interesting to see how MaheshaBSD Server Edition compares with FreeNAS 8.2. We may do a comparison a some point in the future.

BSD Magazine (Mar 2012): Nessus, Exploitation Tools and Payloads

March’s issue of the BSD Magazine is now available: Nessus, Exploitation Tools and Payloads (free PDF download).

You’ll find the following subjects inside:

  • MaheshaBSD-2.0: What’s New On The Lake Manasarovar?
  • GhostBSD: A Brief Overview
  • How Do I Study for the BSDA Certification?
  • GDB and Truss for Debugging
  • PostgreSQL: MVCC and Vacuum
  • Beowulf Clusters with DragonflyBSD
  • Npppd: EasyPPTP VPN with OpenBSD
  • Anatomy of FreeBSD Compromise Part 4

Read and download Nessus, Exploitation Tools and Payloads (BSD Mag 12/03)

MaheshaBSD-2.0 Released

Juraj has announced version 2.0 of his MaheshaBSD project. MaheshaBSD is  a desktop OS based on FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE (i386) with IceWM.

MaheshaBSD has four goals:

1) It will boot off a CD or a USB stick and users may immediately start browsing the Internet with a possibility to watch youtube videos, use Skype, write documents, watch films (DivX, etc.), be anonymous (TOR), or listen to music.

2) To easily (without need for an installation) demonstrate the power of FreeBSD both on a CD and USB medium.

3) To bring some useful system/recovery utilities to people, but on the BSD platform – like TestDisk (which will recover lost partitions), PhotoRec (which will undelete files; it can also undelete files on USB sticks), Clamav (Antivirus), immediate NTFS R/W access (with ntfs-3g), chntpw (for resetting the Windows XP/W2K password, a very useful utility), and many other things – for example, MaheshaBSD can be used for presentations (you can bring it anywhere with you and show thousands of pictures to people, or present videos while giving a lecture, or watch videos with friends). 

4) To be modular and easy.

Changes from version 1.0 can be found here: http://www.freebsd.nfo.sk/maheshaeng.htm#whatisnew

The most important changes are:

1) support for Devanagari (an Indian script used to write in many Indian languages including Sanskrit) and IAST transliteration (support for transliteration of Sanskrit); it is based on an Xmodmap map I wrote

2) A possibility to run Skype (and give the same possibility to FreeBSD users as Linux/Windows users have) immediately after downloading it from the Internet.

3) Youtube runs immediately (however, a possibility to download native Adobe Flash Plugin is preserved).

To find out more about MaheshaBSD, visit http://www.freebsd.nfo.sk/maheshaeng.htm.

Thanks for contacting me regarding the release Juraj. If you have a FreeBSD related product, service or program, let us know.

MaheshaBSD development in 2011

Juraj Sipos has written up something about the state of MaheshaBSD and his development plans for 2011. I have emailed different developers and project founders asking what they are working on and what they are planning to release in 2011 (PC-BSD, pfSense, HeX Live).

First a little bit about MaheshaBSD: MaheshaBSD is based on FreeBSD 8.0 RELEASE (i386) and the purpose is to bring FreeBSD closer to users but keep FreeBSD untouched. MaheshaBSD can be used either for a demonstration or system administration, backup or data recovery; it’s not meant for ordinary, daily use.

Juraj says comparing MaheshaBSD with PC-BSD:

MaheshaBSD cannot compete with PC-BSD and it does not have that goal. The difference between the two is like between a torch and an electrical lamp (the latter one is PC-BSD).

Juraj writes with regards to MaheshaBSD, it’s goal and development plans:

“What I can share  is that I plan to collect all Hindu Vedas and puranas and put them on a CD. There is not such a thing on the Internet. This means also Sanskrit and IAST (transliteration of Sanskrit) documents and tools for transliteration – obviously, the one that are FREE (not copyrighted).

When someone plans to make a new release, he should made it the one that has things that all others have not. Making a LiveCD or another distribution brings chaos. But if there is no LiveCD in the world that has all the Vedas and puranas, then such a distro does not produce chaos.

My goal is to attract users to FreeBSD not because they only get just “a nice computer screen”, but because they will also have various utilities. My second goal is to draw FreeBSD near to people who never heard of it.

So on the back of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna I want to propagate FreeBSD and BSD operating systems. It is psychology. (I work in a psychological institution).

I noticed that many people looking at my website also clicked on the PC-BSD website (probably for the first time), so what I am doing is just a propagation (and advocacy).

New releases do not have much sense unless they have something special (or do something that other distros cannot). I think I would be happy with FreeBSD 4.8 even today. I tried DragonFly and enjoyed it very much. A new release of MaheshaBSD that would replace TestDisk from version 1 to 1.1 (the number is just an example) does not have much sense. I will probably make a FreeBSD 8.1 MFS and some scripts and will help users produce a new version of MaheshaBSD.”

Thanks, Juraj, for taking the time to write this up. It sounds like we are not going to see any great changes and surprise developments in 2011, but spreading use of FreeBSD is almost as important as developing and updating a FreeBSD based operating system. FreeBSD is very popular in Russia, and maybe one day it will be one of the top used O/S in the Hymalayas and surrounding countries.

More info on MaheshaBSD can be found at www.freebsd.nfo.sk and MaheshaBSD – a Live CD from the Hymalayas.

Introducing MaheshaBSD

Juraj Sipos contacted me earlier this week about a project he has been working on and now available for downloading: MaheshaBSD

What is MaheshaBSD

MaheshaBSD is a Live CD/DVD/USB version of FreeBSD based on FreeBSD 8.0 RELEASE (i386) with the IceWM window manager.

What does Mahesha mean or who is (s)he?

Mahesha is one of the 1008 names of Lord Shiva -’ Supreme god’ of the universe who stands above all ‘gods’. I use this name deliberately, as I think that BSD code stands supreme above all operating systems. Shiva’s weapon is the same as the FreeBSD’s one – the trident.

Purpose of MaheshaBSD

The purpose MaheshaBSD is to bring (Free)BSD closer to those users who are scared of Unix and consider BSD harder than Linux. BSD systems are not so difficult to understand if you can recognize how control (of the world) works.

You may  ask why MaheshaBSD was created. Well, according to Juraj it is not there to compete with PC-BSD and DesktopBSD. He says:

“It has the same goal as PC-BSD or DesktopBSD – that is, to open horizons of the (Free)BSD world to users not yet familiar with (Free)BSD. The MaheshaBSD’s purpose is to bring FreeBSD closer to users but keep FreeBSD untouched. (…)

PC-BSD and DesktopBSD require at least half an hour of time for basic installation and 2 or 3 more for installation of software that users may need. Some users may spend even days learning how to configure the system.”

DesktopBSD had a live CD, but the project is dead now, and PC-BSD has a live DVD version as of version 8.0 and has had vmware images for a long time for people to test-drive it. People have been and are able to test DesktopBSD and PC-BSD.

Goals of MaheshaBSD

MaheshaBSD has four goals:

  1. It will boot from a CD or a USB stick and users may immediately start browsing the Internet with a possibility to watch youtube videos, write documents, watch films, be anonymous (TOR), or listen to music.
  2. To easily (without need for an installation) demonstrate the power of FreeBSD both on a CD and USB medium.
  3. To bring some useful system utilities to people – like TestDisk (which will recover lost partitions), PhotoRec (which will undelete files), Clamav (Antivirus), NTFS RW functionality (ntfs-3g), and many other things, too.
  4. To be modular and easy. This distribution is deliberately kept small – no distro can satisfy thousands of users’ needs

If you like to try a(nother) FreeBSD Live CD, you may want to give this one a try. I have not had a chance to try MaheshaBSD yet, so I can’t say anything about its speed, ease of use  etc, but IceWM is not for me really.

It’s good to see new BSD initiatives, but one should remember that FreeBSD’s strength (apart from technical reasons) is  in its unity of the user community and its dedicated developers. We don’t really want to end up like Linux with 1001 different ‘distros’, some of which only differ by a few included programs. Let’s see how MaheshaBSD will develop in the future.

Links

MaheshaBSD | Screenshots | Download (hosted by RootBSD)