m0n0wall beta 12 and FreeBSD 7.0 based pfSense

The m0n0wall and the pfSense projects have released a beta and 2 alpha versions respectively.

m0n0wall 1.3 beta 12 is out, containing a new feature: IPv6 support (routing and firewalling). The change log and the download link can be found on the beta page.

pfSense has a 1.2.1 alpha snapshot available for testing. This version contains a few bug fixes and the base OS has changed to FreeBSD 7.0. There’s also a 1.3 alpha snapshot available for testing. This version brings significant changes from 1.2 and brings all the great new features that have been added to pfSense over the past 8 months.

For the pfSense download links, upgrade instructions and more information visit the pfSense blog.

FreeBSD based systems – what would you call them?

The number of FreeBSD related operating systems is fortunately not as as high as the number of Linux distributions.

Most of you, if not all, will agree there are no FreeBSD distributions/distro’s due to the fact that FreeBSD is developed as a coherent operating system with a kernel and userland applications.

Existing FreeBSD based operating systems use the FreeBSD base and specialise in a certain field, e.g. DesktopBSD & PC-BSD concentrate on desktop use, pfSense and m0n0wall on routing/firewalling, AskoziaPBX on PBX systems etc etc. For more examples, check out this page.

Since these systems aren’t distro’s what would you call them? Please let me know on the poll below.

What would you call FreeBSD based operating systems?

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alpha3 release: PC-BSD 7.0 with KDE 4.1

PC-BSD LogoAfter several weeks of porting and hard work by KDE on FreeBSD and PC-BSD teams,  PC-BSD is pleased to make the first PC-BSD 7 Alpha with KDE 4.1 (beta2) available! This release is quite a bit different from our previous alphas, as the jump from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4.1 is very significant, and required the entire codebase to be ported over to compile / run with QT 4. As such, it is expected that many bugs appear in this alpha, and we appreciate your help in finding and fixing them.

Please note, as the 4.1 version of KDE is in beta, and there is still porting to be done on the BSD side of things, you may be able to help in this area as well. First, if you find bugs in the install + setup of PC-BSD, please let us know via the testing list, and we’ll begin working on them right away. However, if you find bugs in the KDE desktop itself, please be sure to check out the KDE bug database first, and determine if the bug should be reported there, or to the kde-freebsd porting team.

For example, we are already aware of a bug preventing Konsole from working. TIP: Use Alt-F2 to launch xterm instead.

Download links: CD1 (652Mb) | CD2 (578Mb)
MD5 CD1 = 96bc8de9771e28770268eab65889718a
MD5 CD2 = 59993ce3182b0ff4b541cb233c328cce

NOTES:

  • You will need to download BOTH CD’s to install PC-BSD from now on. KDE4 is quite a bit larger than 3.x, and one CD wont fit it anymore, even with LZMA compression.
  • Also, the porting of the PBI system over to KDE 4.1 is finished as well, and the build server is due to start working on the new 7 series PBIs sometime early next week. This should allow everybody to test a more complete desktop with our entire PBI catalog very soon.

Please remember this is a alpha snapshot so don’t complain when you find problems or errors but report them to the testing list instead.

Gnome PBI available for PC-BSD 1.5 Edison

Gnome Desktop environment logoPC-BSD is a straight-forward and easy-to-install KDE based operating system. However, on the PC-BSD forums a number of users have been saying they prefer the Gnome desktop environment over KDE and would welcome a Gnome based version of PC-BSD.

It is possible to install Gnome on PC-BSD from ports, but doing this can cause problems and take a lot of time.

For the time being there won’t be a Gnome based PC-BSD version, but Gnove lovers will be delighted to learn that Marcus from the FreeBSD Gnome Team has now created a Gnome PBI.

Download the Gnome PBI (413Mb)

Firefox 3 for FreeBSD

firefox logoMozilla Firefox 3 is now available for FreeBSD.

Firefox is an award winning, free, open-source web browser for many platforms and is based on the Mozilla codebase. It is small, fast and easy to use, and offers many advanced features:

  • Popup Blocking
  • Tabbed Browsing
  • Live Bookmarks (ie. RSS)
  • Extensions
  • Theme
  • FastFind
  • Improved Security

To install Firefox3 from the commandline in FreeBSD, PC-BSD or DesktopBSD enter:

portsnap fetch extract (if this is the first time you're using portsnap)
portsnap fetch update
cd /usr/ports/www/firefox3 && make install clean

Configure a professional firewall using pfSense

pfSense project logoThe Free Software Magazine has a good howto on installing and setting up pfSense.

This guide was written for Linksys, Netgear, and D-link users with no firewall or router experience. No experience is needed with FreeBSD or GNU/Linux to install and run pfSense. When you are finished, management of pfSense will be from a web interface just like any of the SOHO firewall/router appliances.

pfSense is a web-based firewall project that is similar, in terms of functionality, to the software in firewall appliances sold by Linksys, Netgear and D-Link. pfSense covers all the basic requirements offered by those appliances but offers so much more—in fact, it is really in a class by itself since it would be very difficult to find a commercial alternative that would provide what pfSense has to offer (or, anything cheaper than $2,000–$5,000).

Two good reasons to use pfSense

1. pfSense is a very powerful and stable project with advanced features. Users of pfSense have reported that it performs well even with hundreds of computers operating behind the firewall. pfSense has all the features of the SOHO units and much more. You can have multiple network subnets separate from each other using firewall rules. For example, you could have separate subnets for each business function; or separate Accounting, Marketing, Sales, and R&D from each other, while giving each one access to the Internet; or set up a HotSpot for your business, allowing users to access the Internet but not the company LAN (which usually contains a POS (Point Of Sale) system and/or proprietary information and non public computer systems).

2. If you are an experienced FreeBSD, GNU/Linux or Unix user you may wish to add applications from the FreeBSD repository. While running additional applications on a firewall can increase your exposure to potential risk of being hacked, it can still be extremely useful to add a few applications to pfSense. Once you get pfSense installed you can find a list of authorized ports under the System Packages tab. These can be installed with one click. The FreeBSD.org packages are added by the user via the shell the way it has been done for years. These FreeBSD.org packages are not officially supported by pfSense.

Not directly related to pfSense, but if you’re interested in professional qualifications maintaining and supporting firewall and routing platforms, have a look at the InfoSec Institute. InfoSec can help you receive your CISSP Certification and become an IT professional.

Read the howto or download the howto as PDF

Links: Free Software Magazine | pfSense howto | pfSense Project

FreeNAS 0.69 beta1 available

Folker Theile has announced the release of FreeNAS 0.69 beta 1, a tiny FreeBSD-based operating system for NAS services. From the changelog

  • Upgrade to FreeBSD 6.3;
  • add ‘lagg’ link aggregation and link failover interface support (kernel);
  • switch back to SCHED_4BSD scheduler; add generic web server service;
  • complete review and typo fixes in source code;
  • upgrade rsync to 3.0.2, smartmontools to 5.38, lighttpd to 1.4.19, e2fsprogs to 1.40.10, PHP to 5.2.6;
  • use SAJAX to update miscellaneous WebGUI pages every 5 seconds to display current states;
  • refactor complete S.M.A.R.T. WebGUI and ActiveDirectory WebGUI;
  • add ability to web server WebGUI to configure URLs requiring authentication;
  • replace Adaptec SCSI RAID administration tool aaccli with arcconf;
  • upgrade Adaptec AACRAID 32- and 64-bit driver to version 5.2.0 Build 15727;
  • replace UPnP media player MediaTomb with Fuppes

Download (MD5): i386 version (47.6MB) | amd64 version (51.7MB).