FreeBSD begins process to support secure boot

The FreeBSD project has begun the process of making it possible for the operating system to run alongside Windows 8 on a computer which has secure boot enabled.

Secure boot is a feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface or UEFI, the replacement for the BIOS on the motherboard.

Microsoft has implemented secure boot for Windows 8, using cryptographic keys for authenticating the kernel that is being loaded. This means that any other operating system looking to load itself on a secure boot-enabled Windows 8 system has to also be able to authenticate itself.

Some GNU/Linux distributions have developed their own methods of booting on such hardware. However, installing such distributions alongside Windows 8 is still not an easy task for the average user.

Continue reading Marshall McKusik’s interview with itwire: FreeBSD begins process to support secure boot

 

(*Updated*) Miscellaneous FreeBSD news and Updates

This is a collection of links to recent updates and news around FreeBSD (package) development and conferences.

FreeBSD Development

Update on FreeBSD/armv6 in QEMU

USB driver for FreeBSD/Beaglebone

Default PC-BSD PCDM Theme (Contest)

AMD Radeon KMS Still Being Ported To FreeBSD

 

FreeBSD Package Management

After almost a year of development pkg 1.1 has reached the ports tree.

Introducing py-pkg: Python wrappers for libpkg

 

Conferences

BSDCan Trip Report (Florian Smeets)

Trip Report from USENIX ATC 2013 (Murray Stockely)

EuroBSD 2013 details and updates

BSDCan 2013 FreeBSD Developer Summit Report, with updates on

  • Beyond Buildworld…
  • Documentation
  • Network Receive Performance
  • Ports and Packages
  • UEFI
  • Virtualization

Other 

Fixing Network Attached Storage with commodity hardware and BSD (FreeNAS+ZFS) (boingboing)

Joshua Parker Ruehlig’s FreeNAS plugins

Eight-Way BSD & Linux OS Comparison

FreeBSD, 20 years young

freebsd-birthday-20-yearsFreeBSD celebrates its 20th birthday this week. On 19 June 1993, David Greenman, Jordan Hubbard and Rod Grimes  announced the creation of their new fork of the BSD 4.3 operating system, and its new name: FreeBSD

 

To: interim@bsd.coe.montana.edu (Interim 0.1.5)
Subject: Re: “386BSD” trademark (fwd)
From: David Greenman <davidg@implode.rain.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 93 17:26:02 -0700

> Okay folks.. taking new name suggestions.. we have:
>
> BSDFree86 – Rod, who is going with Jordans improved NON BSDI name..
> Free86BSD – Jordan, Rod likes this one two…
> – (F86BSD for short)
>
> vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
>                v                                                                     v
>                v          This is the hat to drop yours in!       v
>                v                                                                     v
>                vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

How about just simply “FreeBSD”? No confusion, no fuss, seems like a good compromise to me. :-)

-DG

To read more about FreeBSD’s history, have a look here (freebsd.org) and here (wikipedia).

FreeBSD Security Advisory: mmap

software-bug-signThe FreeBSD Security Team has identified an issue in mmap and has issued the following security advisory: FreeBSD-SA-13:06.mmap (18/06/2013).

The FreeBSD virtual memory system allows files to be memory-mapped. All or parts of a file can be made available to a process via its address space. The process can then access the file using memory operations rather than filesystem I/O calls.

The ptrace(2) system call provides tracing and debugging facilities by allowing one process (the tracing process) to watch and control another (the traced process).

Due to insufficient permission checks in the virtual memory system, a tracing process (such as a debugger) may be able to modify portions of the traced process’s address space to which the traced process itself does not have write access.

This error can be exploited to allow unauthorized modification of an arbitrary file to which the attacker has read access, but not write access. Depending on the file and the nature of the modifications, this can result in privilege escalation.

For a solution, check out the security advisory: FreeBSD-SA-13:06.mmap

BSD Magazine (June 2013): FreeBSD on Rails

June’s issue of the BSD Magazine is now available: FreeBSD on Rails (free PDF download).

FreeBSD Mag June 2013You’ll find the following subjects inside:

  • A backup server with FreeBSD for mixed networks in SOHO environment
  • Keep OpenBSD customers satisfied
  • FreeBSD in Xen Cloud Platform (XCP)
  • FreeBSD on Rails
  • Manage your Ruby Versions Under FreeBSD
  • The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Creating PBI’s with EasyPBI
  • Sofin, the Software Installer

Continue reading

TrueNAS Unified Storage Appliance now Citrix Certified

ixsystems logoiXsystems, the all-around FreeBSD company that builds FreeBSD certified servers and storage solutions, has announced that their TrueNAS Unified Storage Appliance has been now been certified as Citrix Ready.

“The Citrix Ready program helps customers identify third party solutions that are recommended to enhance virtualization, networking, and cloud computing solutions from Citrix. TrueNAS completed a rigorous verification process to ensure compatibility with Citrix XenServer®, providing confidence in joint solution compatibility.

The Citrix Ready program makes it easy for customers to identify complementary products and solutions that can enhance Citrix environments. Customers can be confident that TrueNAS™ has successfully passed a series of tests established by Citrix, and can be trusted to work effectively with XenServer to keep virtual machines available and business running smoothly.

TrueNAS has been verified for use with XenServer through both NFS and iSCSI. TrueNAS includes a wide variety of protocols and services to support both file-based and block-based usage. Completion of Citrix Ready verification is a step forward, confirming TrueNAS’s ability to integrate into virtualized environments. Many iXsystems clients already back their XenServer infrastructure with TrueNAS, enjoying easy management and reliable performance.

As a member of the Citrix Ready program, we are able to offer our clients intelligent solutions that combine TrueNAS unified storage with Citrix XenServer,” said Peter Allen, Applied Engineering Specialist. “The offering demonstrates our plans to work with trusted partners, through the Citrix Ready partner ecosystem, in order to provide the highest quality experience for our clients.”

The TrueNAS Unified Storage Appliance is Trusted to Enhance Citrix Virtualization Solutions

The move from Linux to FreeBSD

Another happy, new FreeBSD user:

I found a major difference between Linux and FreeBSD: performance and memory usage. The performance was nearly same as Linux, but slightly better. Memory usage change, was drastic. FreeBSD is just too good at managing memory.

 

After the trial VPS, I started moving my stuff from the Gentoo VPS to the new one. Ran it for testing few days, and it continued to amaze me. FreeBSD’s official slogan is “The Power to Serve”. So much true is that! And that ended up as migrating other VPSes to FreeBSD as well.

Read the whole post here: The move from Linux to FreeBSD