New FreeBSD Foundation Funded Project: Porting Efika

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Aleksandr Rybalko has been awarded a grant to port FreeBSD to the Genesi Efika MX SmartBook laptop and SmartTop nettop devices.

Both use the Freescale i.MX515, an ARM Cortex-A8 System-on-Chip (SoC). These low power devices will provide convenient reference platforms for FreeBSD on ARM, as they are low-cost complete systems. The Smartbook includes a 10″ display, 3G connectivity and a battery life of 6 to 8 hours for $199.

When this project is completed, it will be possible to run X11 applications on FreeBSD on the Efika, with full support for sound and networking.  It will also make it much easier to support other devices, such as some Android tablets, that ship with the i.MX515 SoC.

This project will be completed by the end of 2012.

Efika is a line of power efficient ARM architecture and Power Architecture based computers manufactured by Genesi. In Esperanto efika means “efficacious, effective, or efficient” (wikipedia).

BSD Magazine (Nov 2012): Run FreeBSD as NAT Instance in Cloud

Run FreBSD as NAT instance in CloudNovember’s issue of the BSD Magazine is now available: Run FreeBSD as NAT Instance in Cloud (free PDF download).

You’ll find the following subjects inside:

NETGEAR Universal Wifi Adapter

The trend towards increased internet connectivity of media devices (TV’s, gaming consoles, DVR’s) has brought a work-around for one of few my frustrations with BSD operating systems – the limited support for newer wireless adapters. Many of these media devices have an ethernet port, but no way to attach a wireless adapter. Several companies have stepped up to this opportunity and have created universal wireless adapters that connect to the ethernet port rather than an expansion port. Since the device connects to the ethernet port, no driver is needed. Since no driver is needed, these devices should work with BSD operating systems. In this article, I will test Netgear’s Universal Wifi Adapter, model WNCE2001.

Automating the Deployment of FreeBSD and PC-BSD Systems

In PC-BSD 9.x every installation is fully-scripted, due to the the pc-sysinstall backend. This backend can also be used to quickly automate the deployment of FreeBSD servers and PC-BSD desktops using a PXE boot environment. In PC-BSD & TrueOS 9.1 and higher, this functionality is easy to setup and deploy using the “pc-thinclient” utility. PXE booting allows you to boot systems via the LAN interface, as opposed to using traditional media, such as DVD or USB. In order for clients to boot via PXE they will need a PXE capable network adapter.

Network Concepts, Routing and Firewalls

This article is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about networking, routers and firewalls. We will discuss this topic in terms of a BSD/PF firewall/router.

FreeBSD as a NAT Instance in Amazon Cloud

Amazon VPC lets you launch instances in a virtual network that closely resembles a traditional network that you might operate in your own data center. You place publicly accessible servers (for example, web servers, DNS server etc.) into a public-facing subnet, and place your backend systems (databases, application servers etc.) in a private subnet with no Internet access. Instances in the private subnet can access the Internet only by routing their traffic through a NAT instance in a public subnet. This article is intended for beginners wanting to install and run FreeBSD as a NAT instance in Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).

PostgreSQL: Indexes (Part 2)

This article continues the previous one, presenting the readers with a few index examples and how the access costs are computed by the query planner. All the examples shown here have been tested on a PostgreSQL 9.1 cluster running on a FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE machine; all the example source code are available in a GitHub repository.

FreeBSD Enterprise Search with Apache Solr (Part 3)

One of the important facets of enterprise search is to be able to search internal (Intranet) and external websites. On a smaller scale, it is relatively trivial to assemble some code in PHP or Perl to pull web pages from a site, extract the links from the HTML and then “wash, rinse, repeat”. The difficulty arises when we want to index, rank, and effectively manage these results on a large scale. Almost 10 years ago, Apache Nutch was developed as the key technology to crawl 100 million webpages, and has proved time and again that it is an efficient scalable solution. Nutch can be clustered, it is robots.txt friendly, and using modular plug-ins ans schemas, can be tuned to bias certain results first. While Nutch integration and tuning is quite specialized, it is fairly trivial to configure Nutch to dump results of a crawl session into MySQL (or any other JDBC based database for that matter), and rank / review these queries in Solr.

Download and read the whole magazine: Run FreeBSD as NAT Instance in Cloud

FreeBSD throws the Clang/LLVM Switch

Following the decision to move away from the GCC compiler to Clang, there has been a lot of discussions about the pros and cons.

One such thread can be found on Slashdot: FreeBSD Throws the Clang/LLVM Switch: Future Releases Use LLVM.

This page contains two interesting links if you’re interested in Clang, how it works and how it differs from GCC:

Clang FreeBSD’s default compiler – November 5th is Clang-Day

Brooks Davis mentioned on the FreeBSD src-head mailinglist a few days ago that November 5th was going to be Clang-day and that he was going to make Clang the default compiler for FreeBSD 10. He has now committed the patch as promised.

This change follows a few years of preparation, feeding back improvements to the Clang and LLVM source code bases, and nightly builds of FreeBSD using LLVM over two years. Future snapshots and all major FreeBSD releases will ship compiled with LLVM by default.

 After years of hard work by many FreeBSD and LLVM developers, make clang the default compiler on i386 and amd64 systems.

FreeBSD news and links round-up – week 44

Welcome to the weekly (Free)BSD news round-up (week 44) where we have a mix of news snippets, links, howto’s and software/package updates for you all. These tid-bits are all very interesting and news worthy, yet too small to package as individual posts.

FreeBSD News

A FreeBSD Success Story

… Then, we switched the server to a new one, quad core, sixty gigabytes of ram and two terabytes of disk. This time, I chose FreeBSD because I knew that it would work greatly ! Linux could have worked too, maybe we could have more performance, but it would not be as easy to manage as our FreeBSD box… More

FreeBSD Ports

Bernhard Fröhlich joined the FreeBSD Ports Team in October.

Releases

1. FreeNAS 8.3 User Guide

The FreeNAS 8.3.0 Users Guide is available for download as EPUB, HTML and PDF.

2. M0n0wall 1.34b1 released

Manuel Kasper has announced Beta1 of M0n0wall 1.34.

“A maintenance version in the m0n0wall 1.3 branch has been released: 1.34b1 includes the CSRF-related fixes recently made to the beta branch, as well as a few others security-relevant things. Nothing is high priority, but once 1.34b1 has received some wider testing, it will be re-released as 1.34, and 1.33 users will be recommended to upgrade.”

Software/package updates

1. FreeBSD/Raspberry Pi

Gonzo has mentions that he has moved his FreeBSD/Raspberry Pi project into FreeBSD Head / Current.

2 KNemo 0.7.4 receives major improvements for FreeBSD

KNemo is a tool that monitors the network traffic and provides a tray widget for every network interface, support for network statistics, and different icon themes.

Highlights of the release are:

• Bugs in the BSD backend has been fixed;
• Wrong traffic bug reported on FreeBSD has been repaired;
• Wrong encryption state for mixed WEP connections on FreeBSD has been fixed;
• Default gateway previously undetected on FreeBSD is now working properly;
• A monochrome icon theme has been added;
• Support for the legacy system tray icon has been removed;
• Embedded plotter code has been dropped in favor of libksignalplotter.

Websites / Social Media

As some of you may have seen already RootBSD has a new website. It looks very clean and slick and looks more ‘web 2.0′ than the previous version.

RootBSD was established with one goal in mind: to provide reliable, flexible, and supported BSD-based hosting services to professionals and businesses. Our extensive selection of FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Linux hosting packages means there is a right package for almost everyone.

(Free)BSD Events

1. PfSense Weekend (Brazil)

There will be a classroom pfSense weekend in Porto Alegre (Brazil) from 14-16 December. More details on http://www.cursopfsense.com.br/

New FreeBSD Committers

In October 2012 the following people became new committers or were given enhanced FreeBSD update rights: Simon J. Gerraty (src), Erwin Lansing (src, ports) and Eitan Adler (src, ports, doc).

BSD / Unix Family News

OpenBSD 5.2 arrives with improved multi-core support.

The OpenBSD project has released version 5.2 of its free BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. According to its developers, the most important change in the new release is the switch from user-level to kernel-level threads. This allows programs with multiple threads to use multiple CPU cores. (via)

FreeBSD Events Update (MeetBSD, KyivBSD)

We have a quick FreeBSD related events update: one that’s upcoming(MeetBSD) and one that has taken place already (KyivBSD).

MeetBSD California 2012

MeetBSD California will be held this upcoming weekend, November 3-4 at Yahoo! in Santa Clara, CA.

Josh Paetzel will be presenting “FreeNAS: Storage for Open Source” and Kris Moore will be presenting “The Warden – FreeBSD and Linux Jail Management

KyivBSD 2012

KyivBSD 2012 took place in September. Andrei has written up a summary (EN – Google Translate) of the day. Another conference took place that same weekend which had an effect on the number of visitors. The page contains links to the videos and presentation summaries.

Minimal FreeBSD desktop, with OpenBox (howto)

FreeBSD Forums user Taz has put together a very detailed howto showing you exactly how to setup a minimal FreeBSD installation with the OpenBox window manager.

If this is something you’ve been wanting to do for awhile but didn’t know where to start or what to tweak etc, have a look. You can’t go wrong.

After deciding that FreeBSD was going to be my new primary OS the question was “how to set it up for desktop usage?”. FreeBSD handbook helped me with this a lot in the beginning. But if you follow the handbook you will probably end up with GNOME or KDE desktop environment and this “how to” is about minimal but functional desktop on FreeBSD.

Fact is that FreeBSD is more than capable of being a desktop OS the only question is what are your own preferences/requests. Mine were: minimalism, functionality, speed, low memory footprint and avoiding linuxisms.

[howto] minimal FreeBSD desktop