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