PC-BSD 9.0-RC2 now Available

As most of you will be aware, PC-BSD 9.0-RC2 became available about a week ago.

There is an issue with upgrading from RC1 to RC2, but it’s easily fixed. This is due to some changes in KDE which also affects the look and feel. So if you have the bandwidth, it’s probably best to download a new ISO instead of upgrading.

 

pfSense, 7 years young. Congratulations

pfSense is Seven

The pfSense  (which stands for…) project exists 7 years this week, well, that is the age of the pfSense domain. I’m sure the project existed long before that in Chris Buechler, the project founder’s head.

Congratulations to Chris and his team for the great job they’re doing and all the work they’ve done so far. According to some update stats there are currently ca. 100,000 known live pfSense installs.

pfSense and PBI’s

Some say that PC-BSD‘s PBI package format is not needed in addition to other *BSD ways of installing software, and that it’s “un-UNIX”. I think it’s a very user-friendly, point-and-click way for installing software, and advanced users don’t need to use it.

It’s great to see that not only FreeNAS, the NAS O/S, but also pfSense will be supporting PBI packages in the future:

Moving packages to PBIs – the package system in 2.1 will switch to using the PBI package system, originally from PC-BSD, though also used by some on stock FreeBSD installs. The benefit of using PBIs is each package has all its dependencies included in the package, which eliminates the dependency messes that can happen currently, such as one package requiring a certain version of a dependent package but another requiring a different version, uninstallation of one package stomping on another package by uninstalling a dependency it requires, uninstallation of a package breaking the base system by deleting things it uses (though we already work around that one automatically), easing clean uninstall of packages, amongst other benefits. This will be a great improvement in the package system for 2.1. (source)

If you’re looking for a feature rich (BSD) firewall, why not consider pfSense?

PC-BSD 9.0RC1 available & new website

The first release candidate for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.0 is now available! This release includes the latest FreeBSD 9.0-RC1 base, along with numerous bug fixes and enhancements.

Notable changes in this release are:

  • Added support for installing to BootCamp partitions on Apple OSX systems
  • Added checks for invalid characters in the username
  • Added button to installer allowing toggle between US keyboard layout and currently selected
  • Added improved portjail init scripts
  • Life-Preserver now defaults to backing up to a remote directory set as the client hostname
  • Add some sanity checks to pbi-manager when creating new repositories
  • Fixed bugs setting the proxy server in pbi-manager / AppCafe (Uses the default config in networking GUI)
  • Improved the default firewall ruleset
  • Enable IPv6 support on all nic’s by default
  • Added options to pbi-manager which enables tmpfs memory building
  • Improved pc-thinclient setup to use pre-built FreeBSD world instead of building from source
  • Fix bug in pbi-manager when doing binary updates to ensure it is only attempted on the correct build
  • Fix issues installing with mirrors / raidz on ZFS

Source: PC-BSD 9.0RC1 Available (PC-BSD blog)

Have you seen PC-BSD’s new website? It has now the same look and feel as FreeNAS and iXsystems (Both PC-BSD and FreeNAS are projects supported by iXsystems).

 

PC-BSD 9.0-BETA3 available

Following the release of FreeBSD 9.0-BETA3 earlier this week, Kris Moore has release PC-BSD 9.0-BETA3 now. This release includes the latest FreeBSD 9.0-BETA3 base, along with numerous bug fixes and enhancements.

Notable changes in this release:

  • Fix issue enabling flash plugin after installation
  • Fix bug with handbook not launching in LXDE
  • Fix issue performing updates on ZFS systems with separate /boot UFS partition.
  • Add lxmenu-data port, which provides nicer LXDE menu framework
  • Fix enabling ibus from GDM
  • Include “mga” driver in base
  • Add option to install only “openbox” as a window-manager
  • Fix bug doing PBI patching and checking the FreeBSD version
  • Improve PBI manager allowing ~/bin entries to point to wrapper scripts
  • Fix bug upgrading and installing the nvidia driver
  • Fix bugs installing from LIVE mode

When updating to BETA3 from BETA2, please apply the “System Updater Bugfixes” patch first, in order to ensure that your update process goes smoothly.

Should you come across any show stoppers or issues, please share them on the PC-BSD Testing Mailing List.

Links

Taking PC-BSD 9.0-BETA2 for a spin

Rares Aioanei tested BETA2 and wrote up his experience on linuxcareer.com (taking pc-bsd 9.0-BETA2 for a spin) and he concludes with:

Everything seems to fall into place pretty neat, and we sure like the ride so far. You might wanna ask : “why would I want to switch from my Linux desktop?” Well, if you’re happy with your Linux desktop, just continue using it. However, I think BSD might offer the same or a little more: the system is one big entity (kernel plus userland), as opposed to Linux, which is a kernel having userland tools “glued” on top, ZFS, DTrace, live upgrades, good documentation and a fantastic community, among others. We recommend you at least try PC-BSD and see if it’s your cup of tea.

PC-BSD & FreeBSD 9.0 BETA1 ready for testing (confirmed)

The availability of FreeBSD 9.0 BETA1 has now been confirmed by Ken Smith: FreeBSD 9.0-BETA1 Available:

The first BETA build of the 9.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available. Since this will be the first release on a brand new branch I’ll cross-post the announcements on both -current and -stable. But just so you know most of the developers active in head pay more attention to the -current mailing list. If you notice problems you can report them through the normal Gnats PR system or on the -current mailing list.

The 9.0-RELEASE cycle will be tracked here: http://wiki.freebsd.org/Releng/9.0TODO

You can download the i386 image from here and the AMD64 is available here.

Since the PC-BSD project closely follows the FreeBSD release schedule, PC-BSD 9.0 BETA1 is available too: Release Announcement: PC-BSD 9.0-BETA1.

The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of the first beta release in the new9.x series. 9.0-BETA1 is now available for download from the website or ftp server.

Miscelaneous news updates (arab-bsd, pf, cyphertite, PC-BSD)

Below a number of links to interesting FreeBSD (related) projects and resources.

ArabBSD

ArabBSD is a new FreeBSD related project, working to create an Arabian FreeBSD operating system:

ArabBSD is a project which aims to provide infrastructure for the most reliable and secure operating system FreeBSD. We aim to have our own Arab Operating System developers soon starting from the analysis of FreeBSD infrastructure,  block diagram formulation and call for research groups within each field.  Anyone who is interesting in operating systems and their news can join us. They will keep up with OS. OS is about everything in life containing all the types of programming. You can develop in the kernel and you can use this Operating System as a virtual environment for your project.

10 years of pf presentation

Henning Brauer has made his presentation from BSDCan 2011 available. Weighing in at 82 pages, he gives a detailed overview of what happened to the packet filter firewall (pf) in the last 10 years.

Interview with Kris Moore (PC-BSD)

PC Perspective‘s John Davis interviewed Kris Moore recently. They talk about PC-BSD’s hardware support, performance, games and the future. The full interview can be read here: Interview with Kris Moore, Founder and Lead Developer at PC-BSD.

There’s also an interview on Distrowatch by Jesse Smith on OS design elements. Jesse interviews Jenny Rosenberg and James Nixon (iXsystems). Read the full interview here:  In the eye of the beholder.

cyphertite

cyphertite is a high-security scalable solution for online backups that can be installed on FreeBSD. The project is looking for testers and feedback. cyphertite features include:

  • client-based system
  • IPv6 support
  • compresses and encrypts all data before transmission
  • deduplicates using fixed-size pieces of data called “chunks”
  • all network traffic is encrypted using openssl certificates and keys
  • realm deduplication i.e. only backs up a file once if it is on N computers that share the same user account
  • incremental backups for shorter backup window and smaller metadata files
  • local cache database of chunks already sent to server avoids unnecessary encryption and network traffic
  • pay according to storage space used, not per client machine
  • demonstrable privacy of client data with open source client

cyphertite.comInstall cyphertiteConfigure cyphertite

The Unix Method of Development Management

This is a mp3 recording of William Baxter’s NYCBUG presentation on The Unix Method of Development Management

Spanish video on PC-BSD

Sergio Ligregnio’s presentation on PC-BSD (in Spanish).