Jess had a chance recently to ask iXsystems IT director Josh Paetzel a few questions about the up-coming PC-BSD release and iXsystems’ involvement with BSD.
FLOSS Weekly is a podcast covering free and open source software.
Will Backman has interviewed Randal Schwartz on BSDTalk (24 mins). They talk about Randal’s early experiences with BSD, permissive licenses, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris, perl, the BSDFund credit card, and the Floss Weekly podcast.
Last weekend brought about the latest alpha release of the upcoming PC-BSD 8.0. This is the first build based on FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE, with KDE 4.3.4, NVIDIA driver 195.22 (32-bit and 64-bit drivers included), a re-written system installer, and new artwork.
Here are some of the notable changes:
- FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE
- NVIDIA 195.22 drivers
- KDE 4.3.4
- brand new SysInstaller with new look and feel, new backend, support for a wider variety of file system layouts, ability to change and try different keyboard layouts
- install either PC-BSD or FreeBSD from the same disk
- Using glabel on file systems to prevent issues with device renaming
- improved splash graphics, theme data
- fixed KDE printer tool in system settings
- added new tool, ‘Life Preserver’, which allows backing up the system to a remote SSH + rsync system.
The current PC-BSD alpha is now considered feature complete, with the developers starting to focus on bug fixing rather than on adding new features.
According to the release announcement, a first public beta of PC-BSD 8.0 is expected within the next two weeks.
Please help us test. Feedback can be given on the testing mailing list
Authored by pfSense co-founder Chris Buechler and pfSense developer Jim Pingle, The Definitive Guide to pfSense covers installation and basic configuration through advanced networking and firewalling of the popular open source firewall and router distribution.
This book is designed to be a friendly step-by-step guide to common networking and security tasks, plus a thorough reference of pfSense’s capabilities. The Definitive Guide to pfSense covers the following topics:
- An introduction to pfSense and its features.
- Hardware and system planning.
- Installing and upgrading pfSense.
- Using the web-based configuration interface.
- Backup and restoration.
- Firewalling fundamentals and defining and troubleshooting rules.
- Port forwarding and Network Address Translation.
- General networking and routing configuration.
- Bridging, Virtual LANs (VLANs), and Multi-WAN.
- Virtual Private Networks using IPsec, PPTP, and OpenVPN.
- Traffic shaping and load balancing.
- Wireless networking and captive portal setups.
- Redundant firewalls and High Availability.
- Various network related services.
- System monitoring, logging, traffic analysis, sniffing, packet capturing, and troubleshooting.
- Software package and third-party software installations and upgrades.
The first review of the book is out now.
Congratulations to pfSense for their 5 year anniversary.
Dru Lavigne is currently working on a book on PC-BSD: Definitive Guide to PC-BSD
I’m about 2/3 of the way through book #3 on BSD, tentatively titled “The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD”. This book will be through Apress, and I’m excited that it will include a live DVD of PC-BSD 8.0 so you can follow along as you read it. The book is designed for users new to BSD up to existing PC-BSD/FreeBSD power users. Think of it as the type of book new users can grow into while existing users can still find nuggets of “I didn’t know that”. I’ve also concentrated on the importance of community–a concept new users aren’t used to and most tech books never mention.
A small update to the PBI Builder software, version 2.4, has been released.
This version adds a few new variables to the module creation process, which allows developers to pick “target” ports they wish to have autopopulated and added to the resulting PBI file.
Programs under PC-BSD are completely self-contained and self-installing, in a graphical format. A PBI file also ships with all the files and libraries necessary for the installed program to function, eliminating much of the hardship of dealing with broken dependencies and system incompatibilities. PBI files also provide developers and packagers with advanced scripting and user interaction in an entirely graphical format, making the entire install procedure similar to what a user would expect from other popular graphical operating systems.
For full details, please take a look at the changelog, and the wiki page.
- Download PBI Builder 2.4
- Installation / Usage instructions (wiki)
- Module creator guide (wiki)
- PBI developers mailing list
The alpha version number 2 of PC-BSD 8.0 is now ready for testing.
Notable changes in this release:
- FreeBSD 8.0-RC1
- Improvements to base system
- Using /usr/local LOCALBASE, allows users to easily modify their base desktop in the usual FreeBSD-ish way
- Port-Console tool, provides users a way to build / run ports in a jailed environment, without fear of destroying their working desktop setup
- Many bugfixes to the install / live image, fixed lots of hal/dbus issues with xorg and fixed many bugs running in LIVE mode from DVD.
- NVIDIA drivers for 32bit now included (Nvidia is working on the 64bit drivers, and we’ll include those when they are released)
- Misc other bugfixes, etc
Both the 32 and 64bit can be download ftp://ftp.pcbsd.org/pub/alpha-iso/
Please note, this is an ALPHA version; expect BUGS bugs and problems. We are still working on the new installer, and hope to have that impelemented in one of the next alphas.
PBIs are not yet being built for 8.0, but we are getting ready to do so, now that the release of FreeBSD 8.0 is getting closer.
If you come across any problems please drop us a note on the testing mailinglist
James Nixon has a post about the PC-BSD lifestyle:
Sitting next to my 47” Westinghouse LCD TV is the iXsystems Apollo Workstation. This workstation is powered by the 5500 series of the Intel® Xeon® processor, an Asus GeForce 9800 GT video card, and 4 gigs of RAM. It came with PC-BSD Galileo Edition (7.1) pre-installed and a handful of applications that immediately increased my quality of life tenfold.
Using free software instead of spending hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on commercial software is great, especially because I enjoy dabbling in Photoshop, FL Studio, Sony Music Studio, as well as playing games such as Left 4 Dead, Half-Life 2, and Eve Online.
The points he’s trying to get across are:
- PC-BSD is for Gamers
- PC-BSD is for Music Lovers
- PC-BSD is for Movie Buffs
- PC-BSD is for Everyone!
Read James’ Living The PC-BSD Lifestyle post
Version 2.3 of the PBI Builder software has been released for FreeBSD 7.x / PC-BSD 7.x. This update adds functionality to specify the version of FreeBSD you wish a target port to be compiled under. Also updated is the PBI Auto-Populate feature, which copies port files into the respective PBI automatically. For more details please refer to the changelog and wiki (installation – module creator guide).