PC-BSD and pfSense books

Authored by pfSense co-founder Chris Buechler and pfSense developer Jim PingleThe 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.

pc-bsd logo 100x100Dru 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.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Released: PBI Builder 2.4

pc-bsd logo 100x100A 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.

Main websites:

PC-BSD 8.0 – Alpha2

pc-bsd logo 100x100The 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

Living The PC-BSD Lifestyle

pc-bsd logo 100x100James 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

Released: PC-BSD PBI Builder 2.3

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 (installationmodule creator guide).

Download PBI Builder

PC-BSD 7.1.1 Released

The PC-BSD Team has  announced the availability of PC-BSD 7.1.1

Version 7.1.1 contains a number of bugfixes and improvements from PC-BSD 7.1, including KDE 4.2.4, improvements to printing support, Xorg Server 1.6.1, and much more.

For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog. Users who wish to upgrade from PC-BSD 7.0.x / 7.1 are able to do so via the upgrade / repair option during the installation.

Version 7.1.1 of PC-BSD for i386 and amd64 based platforms is available for download from our mirrors, for purchase from The FreeBSD Mall, as well as via torrent from www.gotbsd.net.

FreeBSD Mall receives Best of Concord Award (2009)

The U.S. Commerce Association recently announced that the FreeBSD Mall has been selected for the 2009 Best of Concord Award in the Computer Services category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to market FreeBSD and PC-BSD products effectively, and to be selected for this prestigious award”,

says Theresa Garner, Manager, FreeBSD Mall, Inc.

“FreeBSD Mall takes its commitment to customer service very seriously, and will continue its current tradition of providing outstanding software, documentation, and support to the FreeBSD community.”

Sun VirtualBox available as PC-BSD PBI

Virtualbox can now be easily installed as PBI on PC-BSD

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Virtualbox PBI