FreeBSD on the Openmoko

New systems and architectures running Linux, will run sooner of later NetBSD or FreeBSD. The now well-known Asus Eee PC is an example of this. When launched it ran Linux, but soon developers were offering up their night’s sleep to get FreeBSD to run on it. And with success.

Openmoko is a project that aims to develop 1) a Linux based open source operating system designed for mobile phones (similar to Google’s Android) and 2) open source hardware devices on which Openmoko Linux runs. Unlike most other mobile phone platforms, these phones are designed to provide end users with the ability to modify the operating system and software stack.

Openmoko shipped its first product, the Neo 1973 mobile phone on 9 July 2007; and then turned into a start-up company with one aim: create great mobile products using open source Openmoko Linux.

Openmoko uses the Linux kernel, together with a graphical user environment using the X.Org server, GTK+ toolkit, and the Matchbox window manager.

In addition to Linux, the NetBSD and FreeBSD kernels have been adapted to run on the platform or are under development.

For the latest information and FreeBSD installation instructions visit the Openmoko FreeBSD page.

iXsystems offers professional FreeBSD and PC-BSD support

iXsystems announced  on 08/07/08 the launch of its Professional Services Division for FreeBSD and PC-BSD. The new Professional Services Division will provide Professional Enterprise Grade support, consulting, and development for FreeBSD and PC-BSD.

Service offerings include desktop support such as installation and basic customization of the operating system. Software application support is also offered and includes assistance configuring and installing third-party applications, either through the FreeBSD ports and packages system or via Push-Button Installers (PBIs), graphical utilities to remove and install PC-BSD software in a simple to use, self-contained format.

Also included are more customized support offerings across a wide range of server-related issues such as kernel tuning and system optimization, device driver creation, kernel, userland, and embedded systems development, and a host of other services. iXsystems offers 8×5 PC-BSD and FreeBSD OS support and has a devoted Service Support Office and US-based Call Center to assist with technical support issues.

We feel that offering Enterprise Grade Support for FreeBSD and PC-BSD will remove one of the main barriers that the platforms face to expanding adoption. While there may be some companies that are capable of supporting them, there are none, to my knowledge, currently offering services and support on an Enterprise level specific to FreeBSD and PC-BSD

says Matthew Olander, CTO of iXsystems.

For more information, read the announcement or head over to the iXsystems Support page.

Did you know you can buy workstations with PC-BSD pre-installed from iXsystems?

FreeBSD servers uptime Poll

FreeBSD is known to be a very reliable and rock-solid server operating system; You only need to check netcraft.com for systems with the longest uptime, and you’ll notice that in today’s top there are 7 servers running FreeBSD out of the top 10 (stats correct 21/07/08).

Just out of interest, if you run a FreeBSD server, how long has your server been running without reboot? If you have more than 1 servers, let’s know about the server with the longest uptime.

When was your FreeBSD server rebooted last?

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The new FreeBSD Core Team (2008-2010)

One of the major differences between FreeBSD and Linux, is that FreeBSD is coherent operating system, and that the building of it is steered and managed by a Core Team.

The bi-annual election is over and the votes are in. The following FreeBSD developers form the core team until 2010:

  • Robert Watson (172 votes)
  • Peter Wemm (160)
  • Kris Kennaway (157)
  • Murray Stokely (134)
  • George V. Neville-Neil (126)
  • Brooks Davis (116)
  • Wilko Bulte (114)
  • Hiroki Sato (111)
  • Giorgos Keramidas (91)

Peter Wemm is rejoining the team after a two-year break, and Kris Kennaway is joining the team for the first time. Outgoing members are Wes Peters and Warner Losh.

Join me in congratulating these guys for all the hard work over the years and wishing them the best for the future to make FreeBSD the best operating system in the world.

The FreeBSD core team would be equivalent to the board of directors if the FreeBSD Project were a company. The primary task of the core team is to make sure the project, as a whole, is in good shape and is heading in the right directions. Inviting dedicated and responsible developers to join our group of committers is one of the functions of the core team, as is the recruitment of new core team members as others move on (source)

Robert Watson did a presentation at Google a little while ago, titled “How the FreeBSD Project works”. You can watch the video on Google Video.

Part of FreeBSD’s reputation for quality and reliability comes from the nature of its development organization–driven by a hundreds of highly skilled volunteers, from high school students to university professors. And unlike most open source projects, the FreeBSD Project has developers who have been working on the same source base for over twenty years. But how does this organization work? Who pays the bandwidth bills, runs the web servers, writes the documentation, writes the code, and calls the shots? And how can developers in a dozen time zones reach agreement on the time of day, let alone a kernel architecture? This presentation will attempt to provide, in 45 minutes, a brief if entertaining snapshot into what makes FreeBSD run

Will Backman from BSDTalk has interviewed a few FreeBSD Core Team members on the back of the BSDCan 2007 conference. This interview gives an insight into the Team, how it works, how it gets elected etc. Listen to his podcast here

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BSD license vs GPL license

Every so many weeks you find that GPL license advocates attack the BSD license. These attacks are about freedom of sharing the code, and to what degree this should be allowed.

Chemisor, a BSD advocate, is of the opinion that a linguistic misunderstanding may be the root of the disagreements over the difference licensing philosophies. He publishes his thoughts on the quite-hostile-towards-BSD Slashdot.com. Quite courageous of him! Not unexpectedly this is the start of quite a lively discussion.

The first disagreement I wish to address concerns the statement “BSD projects are free, but GPL projects stay free.” GPL advocates cannot understand why the BSD advocates are not getting this point, and BSD advocates make accusations of Communism, which are then argued to death by both parties. The problem with the statement above is the different interpretation of the word “project.” I, and I suspect many other BSD advocates, generally separate the concept of “project” from “code.” While code is what projects are made of, I do not see it as valuable as the useful product a project provides. When I write a program, be it a site scraper, or a todo program, or a UI framework, I think of my project as the entity that matters. The fact that I may have copied some code from one to another is of no concern to me.

A GPL advocate sees an entirely different situation. To him, it is the code that comes first, and the applications built from that code are a secondary consideration. Even a single line of code is precious, whether it contains a complex spline formula or i += 2;. As an aside, I would expect this mindset to be more prone to reusing other people’s code instead of reimplementing it. Where I would scoff at a piece of code, call it utter garbage, and rewrite the damn thing from scratch, a GPL advocate would probably wrap the garbage in another API that he finds more palatable. In my opinion, this leads to bloat from wrappers, instability from the garbage that is still there, and loss of skills. What programmer from the current generation is up to the challenge of reimplementing libjpeg? But, I digress. I am here to explain, not bash, so please excuse this little rant.

Read further here

Further reading

If you want to know more about the differences between the GPL and the BSD license, have a look at these articles:

FreeBSD howto links (week 29)

FreeBSD howto and installation tips

FreeBSD howtos and installation tips

Here are some links to FreeBSD howto articles published this week. This may be of interest to those who don’t mind “getting their hands dirty”.

Building a router with pfSense (video)

Do you have extra computers lying around the house? In this episode, Matt shows us how to convert an old computer into a home network router.

Link (wideopenmind.com)

Installing A FreeBSD 7.0 DNS Server With BIND

This tutorial shows how to set up a FreeBSD based server that offers DNS services. This tutorial is written for the 64-bit version of FreeBSD, but should apply to the 32-bit version.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

Link (howtoforge.com)

How To Patch / Upgrade BIND 9.x Under FreeBSD Operating System

BIND 9 is part of core FreeBSD 7.x. How do I apply BIND 9 security patch under FreeBSD 7.x? Do I need to fetch entire source (buildworld) to patch BIND 9? How do I patch up recent BIND 9 DNS cache poisoning bug?

Link (www.cyberciti.biz)

FreeBSD Install Logwatch Tool For Log Analysis and Monitoring

How do I watch, monitor system log under FreeBSD systems and generate summery of critical UNIX log files via email?

Link (cyberciti.biz)

FreeBSD Install and Configure Webmin Web-based Interface ( Control Panel )

Q. How do I install webmin control panel for my FreeBSD server?

Link (cyberziti.biz)

ezjail – A jail administration framework

I want to set up some jails. They will each be very similar. They will each be used to test a slightly different configuration of Bacula. My tool of choice is ezjail, available in the ports tree.

With ezjail, I can:

  • create a jail flavour, upon which the creation of other jails can be based
  • centrally update the jail’s ports tree

Link (freebsddiary.org)

Wanted: SpreadFreeBSD.org community leaders

SpreadFreeBSD.org has been around for a couple of months now. So far I’ve added most of the content together with Matt Olander from iXsystems.

However, now the site gets more and more visitors, we’re looking for community leaders, forum admins and content providers to make this site a little bit more interactive where BSD lovers can “meet” and find out more about BSD operating systems.

If you’re interested in helping us, please get either in touch with myself of Matt Olander (matt at ixsystems dot com).

Many thanks in advance.

Never been on SpreadFreeSD.org?