(Free)BSD quick news and links

FreeBSD

  • Returning committer: Niels Heinen (ports) (07/03/2010)
  • New committer: Neel Natu (src) (03/03/2010)

PC-BSD

1. Quick Poll – which pages would you like to see  printed from Dru’s latest book in the upcoming BSD Magazine issue?

2. How does PC-BSD 8.0 compare with Kubuntu 9.10?   This is probably comparing apples with pears, but for those liking comparison reviews, check PC-BSD 8.0 vs. Kubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

In a majority of the tests, Kubuntu 9.10 performed better than PC-BSD 8.0, but the tests we used in this article are just a subset of what is available to run on both platforms via the Phoronix Test Suite so for those deciding between running PC-BSD / FreeBSD it is important to run the tests relevant to you and also consider the other features at hand for both free software operating systems.

3. PC-BSD’s graphical firewall manager

PC-BSD is a desktop-oriented, FreeBSD-based distribution with KDE as the default desktop environment. The version due to be released shortly is PC-BSD 8. Because it the only BSD-based desktop distribution that’s in a position to compete with the best Linux desktop distributions, I’ll be publishing a number of articles over the next few weeks to introduce those not yet familiar with it to some of its management tools. This post takes a look at the graphical firewall manager.

OpenBSD

OpenSSH 5.4 released

Damien Miller (djm@) posted to announce@ with the announcement of OpenSSH 5.4. Some highlights of this release are the disabling of protocol 1 by default, certificate authentication, a new ‘netcat mode’, many changes on the sftp front (both client and server) and a collection of assorted bugfixes. The new release can already be found on a large number of mirrors and of course on www.openssh.com.

Please read on for the full release announcement

Taking a look at PC-BSD 8.0 (Distrowatch)

After having tried and reviewed FreeBSD 8, Jesse Smith has now taken PC-BSD 8 for a spin, and he’s overall very pleased with the speed, ease-of-use and the hardware support for his desktop PC. He is also very impressed with the PC-BSD Installer and its Package Manager.

He concludes his review with:

While on the topic of other operating systems, it’s hard for me, as a long-time Linux user, not to constantly compare PC-BSD to the penguin. Usually, these comparisons turn out favourably for PC-BSD. For example, PC-BSD runs faster on my systems than most of the full-sized Linux distributions and it generally used less memory. My notebook has an Intel video card and it’s a card that has tripped up some of the more popular distros, but PC-BSD handled it without any problems. Likewise, sound worked on both of my machines without any tweaking, a feat Linux isn’t always able to match. Some people might not like the PBI self-contained packaging approach, but the OS supports more traditional forms of package management, ensuring PBI files do not have to be used.

After using PC-BSD for a week, I’m very impressed with the project. With the exception of some of my notebook’s hardware, I ran into no serious problems. Fortunately the live DVD makes it easy to test hardware before committing to installation. The installer is a work of art, the package manager is easy to use, even for less experienced users. The desktop is attractive, stable and responsive on my machines. The documentation, which builds on the FreeBSD Handbook, is first class and the system’s defaults are reasonable. Having popular codecs and Flash pre-installed is a nice touch and makes PC-BSD ready-to-go straight out of the box. In my opinion, this operating system isn’t quite as user-friendly as Mandriva Linux or Linux Mint, but it’s not far behind and, on my hardware, it performs faster. In my eyes, PC-BSD is ready for The Desktop.

Full review: Taking a look at PC-BSD 8.0 (distrowatch.org)

PC-BSD 8.0 in blogosphere

PC-BSD 8.0 was released last week. Version 8.0 of this desktop-friendly and user-friendly FreeBSD version seems to be liked, mentioned and welcomed on many websites. The announcement made it even on the BSD-undriendly Slashdot.

Some other sites:

Released: PC-BSD 8.0 (Hubble Edition)

iXsystems has announced the availability of PC-BSD 8.0 (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2, and KDE 4.3.5.

PC-BSD 8.0 contains a number of enhancements and improvements over the 7.x series. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog.

Some of the notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2
  • KDE 4.3.5
  • Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
  • Run in Live mode directly from DVD
  • Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly via the GUI
  • Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64

From the press release:

iXsystems announced today the latest release of PC-BSD™, Version 8.0, Hubble Edition. This fully functional open source desktop operating system is built upon the new FreeBSD 8.0 release. FreeBSD is one of the most widely used UNIX-based operating systems, providing advanced performance and high levels of security and stability. The Hubble Edition contains a number of improvements and additions that make this release rock solid. The most notable features of PC-BSD 8.0 include a new system installer, integrated software manager, and a ports jail.

The new system installer is highly scriptable and contains many new features. Users may now upgrade from the previous release or restore from a backup created with Life-Preserver. With a single click, users can choose between the installation of PC-BSD or the traditional FreeBSD operating system. In addition, the installer provides support for ZFS on root partitions, Gmirroring of disks, and allows Geli disk encryption. This installer is perfect for a user installing on one machine or an Administrator installing on hundreds.

PC-BSD Hubble also features the ports console, which allows users to build and install ports in a jail environment without breaking the working desktop setup. The integrated Software Manager enhances PC-BSD’s general ease of use by allowing users to browse and install PBIs without launching a browser. The software manager also keeps the applications updated and allows users to recreate desktop icons at any time.

“PC-BSD Hubble Edition greatly enhances the users’ overall desktop experience, while offering new features for power users to take advantage of FreeBSD 8.0 improvements,” (Kris Moore)

PC-BSD websiteDownloadsChangelogRelease Notes

Distrowatch interview with Kris Moore (PC-BSD 8)

Distrowatch interviewed Kris Moore, the main developer of PC-BSD. The conversation is mainly about the upcoming PC-BSD 8.

Recently, I had a chance to exchange some e-mails with Kris Moore (pictured on the right), the founder of the PC-BSD project. For those of you interested in the BSD scene, PC-BSD is a desktop operating system which uses FreeBSD as its base. The PC-BSD team has been busy recently, preparing for their 8.0 release. Mr Moore kindly agreed to answer a few questions, which I’ll share here with you.

Interview with Kris Moore, PC-BSD (Distrowatch)

The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD (Book)

PC-BSD 8.0 is almost here, and so is The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD. This book is written by Dru Lavigne and due to be published later this month, 28 February.

Since its initial release in early 2006, the PC-BSD operating system has quickly become a popular desktop for both novice and experienced computer users. Novice users are initially amazed that such an attractive looking operating system is available for free. They quickly learn that it is also easy to use, free from viruses and spyware, provides the applications they need to perform their computing tasks, and has a large selection of additional software to choose from. Advanced users appreciate that it is built on top of FreeBSD, an operating system known for its security and stability, yet it still allows them to explore and tweak the system to meet their needs.

Pre-order on amazon: The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD

PC-BSD 8.0-RC Released

Only just realised I have forgotten to mention that PC-BSD 8.0RC was released.

Notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2
  • KDE 4.3.4
  • Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
  • Run in Live mode directly from DVD
  • Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly
  • Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64

The final version of PC-BSD 8.0 is not far off.