FreeBSD News – quick links (week 17)

I News & Articles

FreeBSD for Web and E-Mail Servers

I’m not touting FreeBSD over Linux. Within the Unix-like community, and even within the Linux world, it’s easy to find heated arguments over the various versions of operating systems. It seems that no matter what software or computer system some people use, they will fight to the death to prove theirs is the best. I can only tell you that FreeBSD works well for us. For years, ComputorEdge.com ran well on a Linux box. The only reason that we didn’t continue was concerns for the age of the hardware. When we brought in new servers, we installed FreeBSD. Once Apache—the same Web server we used on the Linux computer—was installed, the movement of the site to the new machine was fairly simple.

I had to learn to use FreeBSD, but now I’ve developed a certain comfort level. I could go to a Linux computer and do many of the same things I do now, but there are just enough differences for it to feel foreign to me. I’m sure that this is true to some extent even when moving between versions of Linux.

The Linux world is taking many more steps toward making the individual user more comfortable with using it as a replacement for Windows. If I were looking to do that, then I would probably start with Linux. However, if your primary objective is to build a server—for the Web, e-mail, or another intensive application—it would be difficult to go wrong with FreeBSD. More…

pfSniffer? A non-firewall use for pfSense

Several years ago my company looked into getting Distributed Sniffer Appliances, made by Network General. These are devices that attach to an Ethernet segment (at a branch office) and allow you to remotely connect and pull traces. Ideally, we would have loved to have these in each remote location so that we could more easily troubleshoot problems that seemed to crop up regularly. They looks like very nice appliances, but Network General wanted an arm and a leg for each one, so we passed.

We recently had a need for this sort of thing and I had a great idea. Many months ago, I noticed that pfSense had added a very nifty feature called Packet Capture. Essentially, the pfSense WebGUI has an interface to tcpdump, allowing you to put in some simple filter criteria (source/destination IP Address) and have a trace executed on a particular interface. This is a really nice feature for troubleshooting your firewall, but I thought that this could be used to make a distributed “pfSniffer”. More…

II Releases

New PC-BSD PBI Builder released

The PBI builder is a powerful command-line script system, which can be used to convert a FreeBSD port into a PBI file. The configuration for this process is stored as a module, which can then be used to rebuild the PBI automatically. Developers can then submit these finished modules to PC-BSD Software, where they will be added to a build server, which rebuilds the PBI every time the underlying port is updated. More…

Portscout Services Started!

Time to make my Portscout public for all.

What is Portscout? Portscout is a tool which looks for new versions of software in the
FreeBSD ports tree and potentially other software repositories. More…

III Howto

SpamAssassin Installed in 10 minutes.

In our example we are going to install SpamAssassin from the ports. This example is suitable for a small company with up to few dozen of mailboxes. More…

BSD Magazine – update

Just a quick update with regards the BSD Magazine post that I put on yesterday.

Dru Lavigne has received the BSD magazine today and posted the contents of this issue on her blog:

  • Dru Lavigne, FreeBSD 7.0 Installation and Configuration
  • Michael Lucas, FreeBSD’s bsnmp
  • Jan Stedehouder, Pushing BSD an an Open Source Desktop
  • Svetoslav Chukov, PC-BSD Overview
  • Richard Bejtlich, Sguil 0.7.0 on FreeBSD 7.0
  • Jay Kruizenga, How to Dual-Boot Vista with BSD
  • Peter Hansteen, Keep Smiling, Waste Spammers’ Time
  • Henrik Lund Kramshoj, Defense in Depth and FOSS
  • Donald Hayford, NetBSD on the NSSSSLU2
  • Girish Venkatachalam, OpenBSD pf
  • Eric Schnoebelen, Instant Messaging with jabber/XMPP
  • Federico Biancuzzi, Interview with FreeBSD Developer Jeff Roberson
  • Mikel King, What is in a Certification
  • Henrik Lund Kramshoj, Review of the Book of PF

The FreeBSD Foundation April update

The following is taken from the FreeBSD Foundation update for April 2008:

FreeBSD foundation logo

Java Update

We are pleased to announce we have hired Kurt Miller to provide Java 1.6 binaries for FreeBSD 7. He has begun working full-time on this project. Kurt did the Java 1.5 binaries for FreeBSD 5.5 and 6.1. We are happy to have him back on board again to provide this needed support quickly! We also have Jung-uk Kim working on Java 1.6 binaries for FreeBSD 6.3.

AsiaBSDCon 2008

The foundation was proud to be a sponsor of AsiaBSDCon in March. One way we support the project and community is by sponsoring FreeBSD related conferences. These conferences allow developers to meet with other developers to discuss and work on their projects. It also gives them a chance to see what other developers are doing.

We were pleased to provide travel grants to 3 FreeBSD people to attend this conference. We sponsored Zhouyi Zhou and Dongmei Liu both Google Summer of Code students. And, Prakash Poudyal from Kathmandu University. Soon, we will include reports from travel grant recipients on our website.

BSDCan 2008

We are pleased to sponsor BSDCan this year. We are also the sponsor of the BSDCan Developer Summit. We have approved travel grants for 10 FreeBSD people to attend this conference. With the increase in our budget, we have been able to provide more travel grants!

We are excited that most of the board members will be attending this conference. We will have a table and giving away cool items when you make a donation. Please stop by to introduce yourself and tell us how you would like to see us help the project and community.

Fundraising Update

So far this year we have raised $32,000. You can help by approaching your employer and asking them to donate to the foundation!

FreeBSD usergroups

Murray Stockely has updated the usergroup listing on the FreeBSD website to better organize the groups by country/continent. The page now also includes a world map showing the group locations:

FreeBSD Usergroup listing

BSD groups are also listed on meetup.com: http://bsd.meetup.com/

Check out where your nearest group is and its meeting calender, go along and meet up with other BSD’ers.

CrossOver Games announced

CodeWeavers, the makers of CrossOver Office, have announced a new product: CrossOver Games

CodeweaversNow gamers can play the games they want, on whatever platform they want! With CrossOver Games, you can run many popular Windows games on your Intel OS X Mac or Linux PC (or FreeBSD, PC-BSD and DesktopBSD, GvE) Whatever your tastes — first-person shooters, fantasy, strategy, MMORPGs — CrossOver Games provides the capability to run many popular games titles. CrossOver comes with an easy to use, single click interface, which makes installing your games simple and fast. Once installed, your game integrates seamlessly into your Desktop. Just click and run! Best of all, you do it all easily and affordably, without needing a Microsoft operating system license.

CrossOver Games is built on the latest versions of Wine, based on contributions from both CodeWeavers and the open-source Wine community… Unlike other CrossOver products, which are aimed primarily at office productivity applications (and hence maximum stability), CrossOver Games aims to bring you the latest, greatest, bleeding edge improvements in Wine technology. This means that the newest games run faster and better under CrossOver than under other versions of CrossOver, or other version of free Wine, for that matter.

Jeremy White from CodeWeavers has made the announcement that an experimental build of CrossOver Games is now available for PC-BSD users. However, this unsupported edition should also work on FreeBSD or DesktopBSD, allowing users to play Windows games on their desktop.

The FreeBSD version of CrossOver Games can be downloaded here (registration required).

Notes

  • Remember this is an experimental build!
  • If you are on FreeBSD 6.x, you will need to apply a system patch from http://wiki.freebsd.org/Wine to enable wine to function properly. Users of FreeBSD 7.0 and higher do not need this patch

FreeBSD News – quick links (week 16)

Howto’s

Interesting pages