GhostBSD 3.5-BETA2 is now available

ghostbsd_logoEric Turgeon announced a couple of days ago GhostBSD 3.5-BETA2 operating system is available for download and testing.

The second beta build of the 3.5 development release is now available on SourceForge with LXDE and Xfce on amd64 and i386 architectures. Please be aware this release provides users, beta testers and developers with a system to test out new features in the upcoming release. It may contain buggy code and features, so we encourage you to run it only on non-critical systems.

Being based on FreeBSD 9.2 RC2, GhostBSD 3.5 Beta 2 comes with improved 64-bit drivers packages, as well as with fixed packages for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

This release is distributed only with the Xfce and LXDE desktop environments. The MATE and Openbox desktops are not yet ready, but the developer promises that they will be available in the next Beta release.

Changes between -BETA1 and -BETA2 include:

  • FreeBSD BETA2 to RC2.
  • Fix amd64 divers packages.
  • Fix amd64 and i386 packages.

Please remember this is a beta release and should not be used in a production environment.

About GhostBSD: GhostBSD is a user-friendly, FreeBSD-based operating system, for the desktop featuring the MATE, LXDE and OpenBox desktop environments. GhostBSD is aimed at home and office users and  comes with a graphical user interface and installer. GhostBSD can be used as a live CD or installed onto a hard disk.

GhostBSD 3.5-BETA1 (xfce) available

ghostbsd_logoEric Tureon has announced the availability of the first Xfce beta development images for the upcoming GhostBSD 3.5.

This release provides users and developers with a system to test out new features in the upcoming release.

Some of the new changes and additions are:

  • FreeBSD 9.2
  • Gnome2 replace with Mate 1.6
  • Xfce 4.10
  • Updated Installer updated
  • GTP disk scheme supported by the installer
  • Installer free disk option added
  • Portupgrade has been added to manage update and install software with FreeBSD ports.
  • Pkgng available to install software.

As always, beta software is for testing purposes only. If you come across any issues or bugs, please notify the developer(s).

FreeBSD 9.2-RC2 now available

freebsd_logo_textThe FreeBSD Project has announced the second release candidate for FreeBSD 9.2.

From the announcement, the most important changes between -RC1 and -RC2 are:

  • Fix a boot issue caused by some GPT partitioning tools.
  • Fix a regression that caused some PCI disk controllers disappearing during boot.
  • Fix the FTP path used to fetch distribution packages when installing from the bootonly.iso.
  • Fix a regression in sendmail that caused problems between the resolver and Microsoft DNS servers with AAAA lookups.
  • Disable MSIs with Adaptec 2230S and 2820SA (aac(4)).
  • Update FTP mirror list used by bsdinstall(8) and bsdconfig(8).
  • Fix panics caused by early interrupts in igb(4).
  • Fix panics when downing or unloading the mlx(4) driver.

You can check out the announcement for update instructions and download locations.

Following this RC release, the PC-BSD project announced PC-BSD 9.2-RC2. Yes, as you will have guessed, it is based on FreeBSD 9.2-RC2.

As always, BETA and RC versions should only be used for testing and evaluation purposes,  and never in production!

Miscellaneous FreeBSD news and links (FreeBSD, CloudSigma, DEF CON, Apple, vBSDCon)

These are a number of links to interesting news items and links you may want to check out:

FreeBSD 9.2 Feature Highlight: ZFS General Improvements

Along with the many user facing changes discussed previously, there are also a number of internal changes to ZFS that will be available with the release of FreeBSD 9.2. [freebsdnow]

 

FreeBSD Can Compete With Ubuntu Linux, Windows 8

The NVIDIA BSD performance is very good for OpenGL as shown in this article with a comparison of Windows 8 vs. Ubuntu 13.10 vs. FreeBSD 9.1. In fact, for some OpenGL workloads the Linux games are running faster on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 9.1 than Ubuntu!  [Phoronix]

 

CloudSigma’s new website

CloudSigma, which based in Zurich (Switzerland) and provide FreeBSD VPS services in Europe, has announced it has a new and more intuitive website. CloudSigma was founded to meet the growing need for a pure IaaS that places little or no restrictions on how its users deploy their computing resources.

 

Apple’s Operating System Guru Goes Back to His Roots

Hubbard left Apple last month to return to the world of open source UNIX, taking the chief technology officer post at a iXsystems, a company that offers servers and other data center hardware that runs FreeBSD. Apple was quite an education, and now, he wants to bring the “Apple approach” back to the open source game. [wired.com].

 

vBSDcon 2013 Registrations Open

In these most recent months, we have been developing the vBSDcon conference website hosted at www.vbsdcon.com.  It includes full details surrounding the schedule, agenda, and speakers for vBSDcon.  The most recent addition to the conference website is that registrations are now open!  [Announcement].

There’s also a new interview with Verisign CTO Burt Kaliski on BSDTalk (bsdtalk230).

 

DEF CON 21 Recap

Mike Biehn, an iXsystems employee and a veteran of DEF CON attended DEF CON 21  a few weeks ago. DEF CON 21 Recap.

 

 JabirOS 1.0.1 released

We’re pleased to announce new release of “The new JabirOS” after a long time! This version is based on FreeBSD 9.2-RC1. In this version , we’ve added  ”OpenBox” as default window manager and “SLiM” as default display manager. [jabirproject.org]

 

DNSSEC @ MDLUG.org

Michael W. Lucas’s talk about DNSSEC (about 20 mins into the video).

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots, and Some Suggestions

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoFreeNAS 9.1 has been released. We have read the blog posts, the press releases, and we probably all agree that this FreeBSD based NAS is becoming better and better with each release. FreeNAS is still ‘growing up’ and new features are added to each new version.

Since FreeNAS is still changing so much, maybe be developers can do something about the GUI side of things, i.e. the Web Interface.

The goal of FreeNAS is to simplify complex admin tasks in the underlying FreeBSD (nanobsd) base through a poin-and-click Web Interface: volumes can be created, permissions changed, data sharing turned on/off, music/video streaming set up, and most, if not all, ZFS features are included.

All this makes FreeNAS a powerful network attached system (NAS), especially if you consider it is open source and free to download, but I think the Web Interface can still do with some TLC as it can be confusing and is not always newbie friendly.

  • There are 6 menu buttons (top left) linking to “System”, “Network”, “Storage”, “Sharing”, “Services”, “Plugins” and “Jails”. In the Menu tree, under this bar, you will see the same (and more) links, unnecessary duplication. If “Account” is one of the main menus, why is this then one on the right hand top side, and not on the left with the others?
  • When you close / log out of the FreeNAS Web Interface and go back in, the menu tree is left expanded as it was left. It looks nicer if the tree was collapsed each time you open up the GUI.
  • Every time options are saved or when you cancel a screen, the whole menu tree is reloaded/refreshed, which takes about 1-2 seconds. This could be due to some settings or limitation in the Django framework, but it is annoying.
  • When you go into some of the (sub)menus and make changes, a tab gets added to the tab bar (top right), next to “Reporting” | “Settings” | “System Information”. What is the point of this? You’re not going to use your NAS GUI for hours (usually). You make the changes and come out of it. There’s no need for these shortcuts.
  • For new users of FreeNAS, it would be helpful if there was a short introduction with some step-by-step instruction on the first screen to help them set up the basic things (User, Volume, Privileges etc). Yes, there’s the FreeNAS handbook with everything set out step-by-step, but judging from questions on the FreeNAS forums I guess there are more users that don’t read through the manual than those who do.

Conclusion

Personally, I prefer the old FreeNAS 0.7 horizontal menu. It was, and is now in NAS4Free, easy to use and straightforward, with no duplication. The other thing I like in NAS4Free, is that you can make all changes on the opened screen, i.e. there are no pop-up windows with yet more settings. 

I appreciate a NAS GUI is not something you need every day. In an ideal world you install and set up your NAS and let it then run (headless), but there are still some areas where FreeNAS should improve to avoid confusion and duplication.

 

Screenshots

If you have no need to install or use FreeNAS, but are still interested to see what it looks like, have a look at the screenshots below (click on the pictures to magnify).

Main Screen

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Account Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

System Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Network Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Storage Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Sharing Protocols

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

FreeNAS Services

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Plugins Administration

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

FreeNAS Jails

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

System Processes (Running)

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Add Duplication Task

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

ZFS Volume Manager

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Add Replication (rsync) Task

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FreeNAS 9.1.0 released

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoiXsystems has announced the availability of FreeNAS 9.1:

“The FreeNAS development team is delighted to announce the general release of FreeNAS 9.1.0. This release offers massive improvements to the usability, extensibility, stability, and performance of FreeNAS. Everything from the web user interface, plugin management system, base operating system, ZFS file system, and even the source control used to manage the project have been substantially improved. “

There are many new features and upgrades in this new release which is based on FreeBSD 9-STABLE, some of which are:

  • User interface overhaul
  • (ZFS) Volume creation wizard
  • New encryption interface
  • Revamped plugin system
  • Multiple jails and jail types
  • Support of PC-BSD PBI packages
  • ZFS feature flags
  • LZ4 compression
  • TRIM support
  • Enhanced failed drive notifications
  • Improved memory use
  • Performance and stability enhancements from the yet unreleased FreeBSD 10
  • Code available on Github

You can download FreeNAS 9.1 from the FreeNAS download page. Make use you select the correct tab as FreeNAS 8.3 is selected by default.

PC-BSD rolling-release updated and 9.2-BETA1 Released

PC-BSD LogoKris Moore has announced new images for PC-BSD 9.1-RELEASE (Isotope Infusion) and PC-BSD 9-STABLE (Based upon FreeBSD 9.2-BETA1)

These releases are among the first in our new “Rolling-Release” model, and will allow you to easily keep your system updated with bi-monthly package set updates along side your regular PBI updates. In addition the images now include support for creating and booting from ZFS boot-environments. Due to the nature of implementing ZFS boot-environments, users on previous installs of 9.1-RELEASE will need to perform a re-installation in order to take advantage of these ZFS features. With the upcoming release of 9.2, currently in BETA, existing users may opt to wait for its release in order to migrate to the newer version. Many additional new features are also listed in the notes below.

Highlights for 9.1-RELEASE

* FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE

* Bootable ZFS Boot Environments
- Using GRUB2, any new ZFS boot-environments created via the “beadm” command will be added to the boot-loader and available at boot-time

* PNGNG support
- In addition to PBIs and the AppCafe, system admins and power users will now have access to a full PKGNG repository with frequent updates

* Switched over to CDN for downloads
- No more having to hunt for a closest mirror, downloads will automatically pull from our CDN service hosted by ScaleEngine

* New version of AppCafe
- New streamlining and PBI management functionality

* GitHub Migration
- All PC-BSD / TrueOS sources are now available via GitHub (https://github.org/pcbsd and https://github.org/trueos)

* Warden Updates
- Support for setting various jail options via the GUI
- Option to create jail “templates” based upon different versions of FreeBSD
- Support for VIMAGE jails
- Jails without any IPV4 or IPV6 address assigned

* Graphical PKGNG manager
- GUI supports basic or advanced mode, which allows full package management / upgrades

* Home directory encryption
- PEFS based encryption, allows users to encrypt their home-directory contents with their login password, which is only unencrypted while logged in

* Boot times improved substantially