FreeBSD Foundation requesting Project Proposals (2009)

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced the soliciting of proposal submissions for work relating to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system.  A budget of $30,000 was allocated to fund multiple development projects. Proposals will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit and cost-effectiveness.

To find out more about the proposal process please read this PDF.

Hopefully this will result in some interesting project proposals!


Introducing VirtualBSD

VirtualBSD is a desktop ready FreeBSD 7.1 RELEASE, in the form of a VMware appliance, based on the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment. Many of the most common and useful applications are ready to run, and the desktop has been styled to look a bit like Mac OS X .

Intended Audience

VirtualBSD is clearly aimed at people with VMware Player (or better) who:

1) Have never tried FreeBSD so far;
2) Wanted to, but didn’t have the right hardware;
3) Used FreeBSD in the past, but have since moved to a different OS and are struck by nostalgia from time to time;

Installed Applications

The full list of the installed applications would be way too long (and boring) but chances are you will find VirtualBSD very functional right out of the box. Still, here’s some of the most notable inclusions:

  • Firefox 3.0.5 (and plugins)
  • Thunderbird 2.0.19
  • Pidgin 2.5.4
  • Xchat 2.8.6
  • 3.0
  • Gimp 2.6.4
  • VLC 0.9.8a
  • Transmission 1.42
  • Samba 3.0.34
  • CUPS 1.3.9

WARNING: This is a VMware appliance. In other words, it’s NOT a live CD and can’t be used for a standard installation — you’ve been warned! This image can be “played” in the free vmware player.

Many thanks to Reece Tarbert for reporting this.

FreeBSD Security Advisory (telnetd)

The FreeBSD Security Team has issued the following security warning:

FreeBSD-SA-09:05.telnetd – telnetd code execution vulnerability

I Background

The FreeBSD telnet daemon, telnetd(8), implements the server side of the TELNET virtual terminal protocol. It has been disabled by default in FreeBSD since August 2001, and due to the lack of cryptographic security in the TELNET protocol, it is strongly recommended that the SSH protocol be used instead. The FreeBSD telnet daemon can b enabled via the /etc/inetd.conf configuration file and the inetd(8) daemon.

The TELNET protocol allows a connecting client to specify environment variables which should be set in any created login session; this is used, for example, to specify terminal settings.

II. Problem Description

In order to prevent environment variable based attacks, telnetd(8) “scrubs” its environment; however, recent changes in FreeBSD’s environment-handling code rendered telnetd’s scrubbing inoperative, thereby allowing potentially harmful environment variables to be set.

For a workaround, solution and patch etc go here

available: KDE 4.2.0 (“The Answer”) for FreeBSD

Martin Wilke has announced the availability of KDE 4.2.0 for FreeBSD. KDE 4.2 (for Linux) was announced on 27 January and only 2 weeks later it’ been ported to FreeBSD by Martin and his team.

What is new:

Where KDE 4.1 was, according to the development team, “aimed at casual users”, KDE 4.2 is billed as a “compelling
offering for the majority of end users.” There have been further enhancements to the plasma desktop with new applets allowing better desktop customisation. The configuration options for the desktop have also been expanded and the revamped system tray shows reports from every conceivable process, from system messages to the status of large downloads.

The KWin window manager has learned a couple of new tricks. By default, it now switches on 3D and compositing effects automatically, on suitable hardware and manages these effects autonomously, without the aid of Compiz. With the help of the new Kephal library, the window manager now offers additional options for running multiple monitors.

The Dolphin file manager has been partly revised, and should now be easier to use. As part of the Google Summer of Code, KMail has been redesigned, resulting in both a better appearance and better IMAP support. The KDE browser Konqueror also includes several new features.

New supported languages include Arabic, Icelandic, Basque, Hebrew, Romanian, Tajik and several Indian languages (Bengali India, Gujarati, Kannada, Maithili, Marathi) indicating a rise in popularity in this part of Asia.

New ports for KDE 4.2.0:

  • arabic/kde4-l10n Arabic
  • misc/kde4-l10n-bn_IN Bengali (India)
  • misc/kde4-l10n-eu Basque
  • misc/kde4-l10n-gu Gujarati
  • hebrew/kde4-l10n Hebrew
  • misc/kde4-l10n-is Icelandic
  • misc/kde4-l10n-kn Kannada
  • misc/kde4-l10n-mai Maithili
  • misc/kde4-l10n-mr Marathi
  • misc/kde4-l10n-ro Romanian
  • misc/kde4-l10n-tg Tajik
  • math/eigen2 Lightweight library for vector and matrix math
  • graphics/kipi-plugins-kde4 KDE4 kipi graphics plugins
  • sysutils/policykit-kde PolicyKit manager for KDE

FreeBSD 6.4 support is dropped.

Many thanks to Martin for his dedication and hard work

(Free)BSD links round up (week 6)

Week 6 round up: Welcome to the (Free)BSD leftovers for week 6. In this post we have a mix of news snippets, quick links, howto’s, links ‘n software/package updates. Just a round up of those little things I saved up this week. Previous weeks’ roundups can be found here.

(Free)BSD News

  1. New Sidekick Will Run NetBSD, Not Windows CE
    Many sites are reporting that the next Sidekick LX 2009/Blade, from Danger (acquired by Microsoft early in 2008), is going to run NetBSD as their operating system, causing Microsoft’s recruiters to look for NetBSD developers
    “After Danger was bought by Microsoft in 2008, one would expect that their upcoming models will run Microsoft’s embedded operating system Windows CE as operating system. Apparrently that’s not the case, and the new Sidekick will rather run NetBSD as operating system. It seems Danger did too much work that they didn’t want to throw away.”  More…

(Free)BSD Releases

  1. NetBSD 5.0 RC1 released
    The announcement says: “On behalf of the NetBSD Release Engineering team, I am proud to announce that the first release candidate of NetBSD 5.0 is now available for download” More…
    Hubert F’s NetBSD Blog says: “Probably the two most significant improvements in NetBSD 5.0 will be journalling for UFS  and the move from XFree to Download now, or have a look at the changes in 5.0



New FreeBSD committers
The following people have been awarded  with update rights this week:

  • Beat Gätzi (ports)

Guides ‘n howtos

  • Notes on Installing Sguil Using FreeBSD 7.1 Packages  (Richard Bejtlich)
    “It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the Sguil ports for FreeBSD, so I decided to see how they work. In this post I will talk about installing a Sguil sensor and server on a single FreeBSD 7.1 test VM using packages shipped with FreeBSD 7.1.”
    Sguil: The Analyst Console for Network Security Monitoring –
    Link to howto:
  • Upgrading FreeBSD Packages   (Richard Bejtlich)
    In my last post I discussed upgrading from FreeBSD 7.0 to 7.1. In this post I’ll mention packages that needed to be updated.
    In the last post I showed two installed packages using the native pkg_info command. … I decided to use Portupgrade to update packages installed on the system. Portupgrade was not on the box so I added it via pkg_add. I used the -n switch to do a “dry run” to see what version would be added.
    Link to howto:

Ports ‘n Packages
The following interesting and useful programs are now availble as (updated) ports or packages:

  • N/A

Status report KDE 4.2 and FreeBSD 6.4 support

Martin Wilke announced that KDE 4.2 (FreeBSD) is ready for testing. He’s also interested to find out how many users are using KDE4 on FreeBSD 6.4. As there are only 2 people actively working on porting KDE4 and keeping it up-to-date, it’s too time consuming to keep FBSD 6.4 supported. If you’re able and willing to help Martin and his team, please let him know.

KDE 4.2 is more or less ready for testing, but we have some open tasks before we will officially call for testing. We would like to know how many people are still using KDE4 on FreeBSD 6.4? We are considering dropping support for 6.x.

Let me explain.

First of all it is sad to say, but currently there are only 2 people who actively work on KDE4. It is _really_hard work to get KDE4 ready for FreeBSD. Also it is getting harder to build KDE4 with gcc 3.x. Of couse if somebody want to support KDE4 on 6.x you are welcome to our team! Try to compile KDE, make patches and push them upstream! So, in order to move forward we may have to drop 6.x support. We just don’t have the manpower to build multiple versions.

Read further and leave a comment about dropping/keeping KDE4/FBSD6.4 support.

4 CD FreeBSD 7.1 set @

FreeBSD Logo4 disk FreeBSD 7.1  CD set is now available from

FreeBSD 7.1 is the second release from the 7-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 7.0 and introduces some new features.

Some of the changes are:

  • The ULE scheduler is now the default in GENERIC kernels for amd64 and i386 architectures. The ULE scheduler significantly improves performance on multicore systems for many workloads.
  • Support for using DTrace inside the kernel has been imported from OpenSolaris. DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework.
  • A new and much-improved NFS Lock Manager (NLM) client.
  • Boot loader changes allow, among other things, booting from USB devices and booting from GPT-labeled devices.
  • The cpuset(2) system call and cpuset(1) command have been added, providing an API for thread to CPU binding and CPU resource grouping and assignment.
  • am-utils has been updated from version 6.0.10p1 to version 6.1.5.
  • ISC BIND has been updated to version 9.4.2-P2.
  • awk has been updated from 1 May 2007 release to the 23 October 2007 release.
  • bzip2 has been updated from version 1.0.4 to version 1.0.5.
  • CVS has been updated to version
  • hostapd has been updated to version 0.5.10 + radius ACL support.
  • libarchive has been updated to version 2.5.5.
  • ncurses library has been updated to version 5.6-20080503.
  • NTP has been updated to version 4.2.4p5.
  • OpenPAM has been updated from the Figwort release to the Hydrangea release.
  • OpenSSH has been updated from version 4.5p1 to version 5.1p1.
  • The resolver(3) library has been updated to one of ISC BIND 9.4.3.
  • sendmail has been updated from version 8.14.2 to version 8.14.3.
  • The timezone database has been updated from the tzdata2007h release to the tzdata2008h release.
  • wpa_supplicant has been updated to version 0.5.10 + syslog support.
  • The GNOME desktop environment has been updated from 2.20.1 to 2.22.
  • The KDE desktop environment has been updated from 3.5.8 to 3.5.10.


FreeBSD is an open source community project and can be downloaded for free. However, to support the Project, why not consider buying the CD set? FreeBSD Mall is owned by iXsystems, who support FreeBSD whereever they can (financially, servers and marketing).

Details and buy-link here.