FreeBSD 7.0-RC2 available

Ken Smith has announced the availability of the second release candidate for FreeBSD 7.0:

The second Release Candidate for FreeBSD 7.0 is now available on most of the FTP mirror sites. Users of i386 or amd64 systems may wish to perform a binary upgrade to 7.0-RC2 using code recently added to the FreeBSD-update utility. On systems running 7.0-BETA4 or 7.0-RC1, the instructions for minor upgrades should be followed for this purpose; on systems running older releases or BETAs (including 7.0 BETAs prior to BETA4) the lengthier instructions for major upgrades should be followed. We sincerely hope this will be the last of the public tests for 7.0 and that the -RELEASE builds will start in about a week and a half. If bug(s) considered big enough to be show-stoppers are found we will of course reconsider but hopefully we’re in good enough shape now to proceed with the release.

Here is the full release announcement

Quiet week for FreeBSD

This week has been fairly quiet for FreeBSD. There’s nothing much to report. Suppose everybody is waiting for FreeBSD 7.0 to be released. I’ll post the usual Friday – quick news post tomorrow.

This week I’ve been playing round with FreeNAS. PCs are being upgraded in my department at work, so I could take home one of the spare computers (P4). I’m now using this one as my FreeNAS server.

BSD Magazine – it’s coming!

BSD Magazine LogoI blogged before that there were plans of creating a FreeBSD Magazine. Just to let you know that the first issue can be expected around April 2008. It won’t be just about FreeBSD, but also about other BSD OSses, incl. OpenBSD and NetBSD, hence the name BSD Magazine. The website is now live at bsdmag.org. If you want to contribute or find out more about BSD Magazine, visit the website or contact Kate or Caroline.

Dru Lavige, Jan Stedehouder and myself will be writing something for the 1st issue.

Depenguinator – version 2.0

Beastie kills TuxIn December 2003, I wrote a script for remotely upgrading a linux system to FreeBSD. I gave it a catchy name (‘Depenguinator’, inspired by the ‘Antichickenator’ in Baldur’s Gate), announced it on a FreeBSD mailing list and on Slashdot, and before long it was famous. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for changes in the layout of FreeBSD releases to make the Depenguination script stop working; so for the past three years I have been receiving emails asking me to update it to work with newer FreeBSD releases,

Colin Percival wrote on his website. If you want to ‘kill’ some ‘penguins’, download the Depenguinator and let it do it’s job ;-)

Global software development in the FreeBSD Project

Yesterday I came across a study done by Diomidis Spinellis about the development of FreeBSD. It was written in 2006 but it still gives some useful insight in and statistics about the FreeBSD Project (How the FreeBSD Project works).

FreeBSD is a sophisticated operating system developed and maintained as open-source software by a team of more than 350 individuals located throughout the world. This study uses developer location data, the configuration management repository, and records from the issue database to examine the extent of global development and its effect on productivity, quality, and developer cooperation. The key findings are that global development allows round-the-clock work, but there are some marked differences between the type of work performed at different regions. The effects of multiple dispersed developers on the quality of code and productivity are negligible. Mentoring appears to be sometimes associated with developers living closer together, but ad-hoc cooperation seems to work fine across continents.

1 Introduction
FreeBSD is a sophisticated operating system available for a number of modern architectures. It is a complete operating system (rather than just a kernel, like Linux) derived from BSD Unix, the version of Unix developed at the University of California, Berkeley. FreeBSD, known for its stability and reliability, runs the servers of large portals like Yahoo and hosting providers like the Host Department; parts of it also form the basis for Apple’s Mac OS X. Given the global nature of the FreeBSD development model, the objective of this work is to examine its extent, determine its effects on quality and productivity, and explore how geographic distance affects cooperation among the project’s members.

Full paper