FreeBSD 9.2-RC2 now available

freebsd_logo_textThe FreeBSD Project has announced the second release candidate for FreeBSD 9.2.

From the announcement, the most important changes between -RC1 and -RC2 are:

  • Fix a boot issue caused by some GPT partitioning tools.
  • Fix a regression that caused some PCI disk controllers disappearing during boot.
  • Fix the FTP path used to fetch distribution packages when installing from the bootonly.iso.
  • Fix a regression in sendmail that caused problems between the resolver and Microsoft DNS servers with AAAA lookups.
  • Disable MSIs with Adaptec 2230S and 2820SA (aac(4)).
  • Update FTP mirror list used by bsdinstall(8) and bsdconfig(8).
  • Fix panics caused by early interrupts in igb(4).
  • Fix panics when downing or unloading the mlx(4) driver.

You can check out the announcement for update instructions and download locations.

Following this RC release, the PC-BSD project announced PC-BSD 9.2-RC2. Yes, as you will have guessed, it is based on FreeBSD 9.2-RC2.

As always, BETA and RC versions should only be used for testing and evaluation purposes,  and never in production!

Miscellaneous FreeBSD news and links (FreeBSD, CloudSigma, DEF CON, Apple, vBSDCon)

These are a number of links to interesting news items and links you may want to check out:

FreeBSD 9.2 Feature Highlight: ZFS General Improvements

Along with the many user facing changes discussed previously, there are also a number of internal changes to ZFS that will be available with the release of FreeBSD 9.2. [freebsdnow]

 

FreeBSD Can Compete With Ubuntu Linux, Windows 8

The NVIDIA BSD performance is very good for OpenGL as shown in this article with a comparison of Windows 8 vs. Ubuntu 13.10 vs. FreeBSD 9.1. In fact, for some OpenGL workloads the Linux games are running faster on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 9.1 than Ubuntu!  [Phoronix]

 

CloudSigma’s new website

CloudSigma, which based in Zurich (Switzerland) and provide FreeBSD VPS services in Europe, has announced it has a new and more intuitive website. CloudSigma was founded to meet the growing need for a pure IaaS that places little or no restrictions on how its users deploy their computing resources.

 

Apple’s Operating System Guru Goes Back to His Roots

Hubbard left Apple last month to return to the world of open source UNIX, taking the chief technology officer post at a iXsystems, a company that offers servers and other data center hardware that runs FreeBSD. Apple was quite an education, and now, he wants to bring the “Apple approach” back to the open source game. [wired.com].

 

vBSDcon 2013 Registrations Open

In these most recent months, we have been developing the vBSDcon conference website hosted at www.vbsdcon.com.  It includes full details surrounding the schedule, agenda, and speakers for vBSDcon.  The most recent addition to the conference website is that registrations are now open!  [Announcement].

There’s also a new interview with Verisign CTO Burt Kaliski on BSDTalk (bsdtalk230).

 

DEF CON 21 Recap

Mike Biehn, an iXsystems employee and a veteran of DEF CON attended DEF CON 21  a few weeks ago. DEF CON 21 Recap.

 

 JabirOS 1.0.1 released

We’re pleased to announce new release of “The new JabirOS” after a long time! This version is based on FreeBSD 9.2-RC1. In this version , we’ve added  ”OpenBox” as default window manager and “SLiM” as default display manager. [jabirproject.org]

 

DNSSEC @ MDLUG.org

Michael W. Lucas’s talk about DNSSEC (about 20 mins into the video).

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots, and Some Suggestions

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoFreeNAS 9.1 has been released. We have read the blog posts, the press releases, and we probably all agree that this FreeBSD based NAS is becoming better and better with each release. FreeNAS is still ‘growing up’ and new features are added to each new version.

Since FreeNAS is still changing so much, maybe be developers can do something about the GUI side of things, i.e. the Web Interface.

The goal of FreeNAS is to simplify complex admin tasks in the underlying FreeBSD (nanobsd) base through a poin-and-click Web Interface: volumes can be created, permissions changed, data sharing turned on/off, music/video streaming set up, and most, if not all, ZFS features are included.

All this makes FreeNAS a powerful network attached system (NAS), especially if you consider it is open source and free to download, but I think the Web Interface can still do with some TLC as it can be confusing and is not always newbie friendly.

  • There are 6 menu buttons (top left) linking to “System”, “Network”, “Storage”, “Sharing”, “Services”, “Plugins” and “Jails”. In the Menu tree, under this bar, you will see the same (and more) links, unnecessary duplication. If “Account” is one of the main menus, why is this then one on the right hand top side, and not on the left with the others?
  • When you close / log out of the FreeNAS Web Interface and go back in, the menu tree is left expanded as it was left. It looks nicer if the tree was collapsed each time you open up the GUI.
  • Every time options are saved or when you cancel a screen, the whole menu tree is reloaded/refreshed, which takes about 1-2 seconds. This could be due to some settings or limitation in the Django framework, but it is annoying.
  • When you go into some of the (sub)menus and make changes, a tab gets added to the tab bar (top right), next to “Reporting” | “Settings” | “System Information”. What is the point of this? You’re not going to use your NAS GUI for hours (usually). You make the changes and come out of it. There’s no need for these shortcuts.
  • For new users of FreeNAS, it would be helpful if there was a short introduction with some step-by-step instruction on the first screen to help them set up the basic things (User, Volume, Privileges etc). Yes, there’s the FreeNAS handbook with everything set out step-by-step, but judging from questions on the FreeNAS forums I guess there are more users that don’t read through the manual than those who do.

Conclusion

Personally, I prefer the old FreeNAS 0.7 horizontal menu. It was, and is now in NAS4Free, easy to use and straightforward, with no duplication. The other thing I like in NAS4Free, is that you can make all changes on the opened screen, i.e. there are no pop-up windows with yet more settings. 

I appreciate a NAS GUI is not something you need every day. In an ideal world you install and set up your NAS and let it then run (headless), but there are still some areas where FreeNAS should improve to avoid confusion and duplication.

 

Screenshots

If you have no need to install or use FreeNAS, but are still interested to see what it looks like, have a look at the screenshots below (click on the pictures to magnify).

Main Screen

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Account Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

System Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Network Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Storage Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Sharing Protocols

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

FreeNAS Services

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Plugins Administration

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

FreeNAS Jails

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

System Processes (Running)

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Add Duplication Task

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

ZFS Volume Manager

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Add Replication (rsync) Task

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter – August 2013

The FreeBSD Foundation has published its Semi-Annual Newsletter with the following subjects:

This newsletter give a nice overview of what projects the Foundation has been supporting and what direction the FreeBSD project is moving at.

FreeBSD 9.2-RC1 available

freebsd_logo_textGlen Barber has announced the first release candidate build for the FreeBSD 9.2:

The first release candidate builds of the 9.2-RELEASE release cycle
are now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc,
powerpc64, and sparc64 architectures.

Changes between -BETA2 and -RC1 include:

  • Expand the list of devices claimed by cxgbe(4).
  • Fix a panic in the racct code when munlock(2) is called with incorrect values.
  • Remove ctl(4) from GENERIC. ctladm(8) now automatically loads the corresponding module as necessary. This reduces the default memory footprint and allows FreeBSD to work on i386 machines with 128 MB of RAM out of the box.
  • Fix zfs send -D hang after processing requiring a CTRL+C to interrupt.

Announcement | FreeBSD 9.2 Release Schedule | FreeBSD Website

FreeBSD 9.2-BETA2 available

Glen Barber has announced the availability of the second BETA build for the FreeBSD-9.2 release cycle.

The second BETA build of the 9.2-RELEASE release cycle is now available
on the FTP servers for the amd64, i386, powerpc64 and sparc64
architectures.

ISO images and, for architectures that support it, the memory stick images
are available here.

If you notice problems you can report them through the normal GNATS PR
system or here on the -stable mailing list.

Changes between -BETA1 and -BETA2 include:

  • Fix an interoperability problem between FreeBSD NFS Server
  • (version 4) and Linux NFS (version 4) clients.
  • Fix nvme(4) and nvd(4) to support non 512-byte sector sizes.
  • Fix freebsd-update(8) for -BETA2 by removing a file with non-POSIX
  • characters in its name. This file is not needed for FreeBSD
  • builds, and caused freebsd-update(8) to error on -BETA1.
  • Fix an XHCI regression.
  • Fix a bug in ipv6_prefix_IF.
  • Fix address range specification with various ifconfig(8) options.
  • Fix Denial of Service vulnerability in named(8). (SA FreeBSD-SA-13:07.bind)