Call for Testing (CfT): xorg 7.7

Martin Wilke has put out a call for people to help him test xorg 7.7, an open source implementation of the X Window System.

The FreeBSD Xorg Team is pleased to announce Xorg 7.7 Release. We are very happy to be able to Call for testing shortly after the Xorg team annouced 7.7 release. This CFT is also open for discussion on how we should move forward with xorg release as we are facing some issues and we would like to ask for your opinion. Right now we have 2 existing xorg versions in our Ports Tree. The situation is quite bad due to our poor graphic card support. That means we do not have much choice but to take it as how it is now. But with regards to mesa support, we have to face some new challenges.

Read the whole post and the instructions here: [CFT] Xorg 7.7 ready for testing!

 

BSDCan 2012 – “The technical BSD conference

Martin Cracauer, a FreeBSD developer, went to BSDCan 2012 and wrote up his experience on the Open Source at Google blog: BSDCan 2012 – “The technical BSD conference”. I’m sure this will have been read by many with an open source interst (26716 RSS followers). Good marketing!

The FreeBSD Foundation funded some FreeBSD developers’ and contributors’ travel expenses. In return they have sumarised what the did at BSDCan, how they got involved and what it means to them.

Read the feedback from:

Some of the BSDCan presentations can be viewed here, in case you missed them.

Why should you be using FreeBSD?

David Chisnall, a FreeBSD developer, asked on the FreeBSD mailing list why people are using FreeBSD: Why Are You Using FreeBSD?

You may have guessed, but there are many, different reasons.  The following are some reasons why FreeBSD is still alive and FreeBSD users don’t have a need to migrate to Linux:

  • The FreeBSD community focuses more on the technology than on licensing and ‘evangelism’
  • FreeBSD is Stable. Simple!
  • Well-structured, complete operating system (i.e. filesystem, kernel and its config, etc)
  • The ports system; it’s stable and mostly up-to-date
  • FreeBSD known for its ability to handle heavy network traffic with high performance and rock solid reliability
  • FreeBSD is the system of choice for high performance network
  • A kick-ass combo of features and very server-focused.
  • FreeBSD is NOT Linux = FreeBSD is stable, reliable, simple
  • FreeBSD is not as fragmented as Linux
  • The one community. There’s one community, always willing to help out.
  • The BSD license. Contrary to popular belief, it has brought a lot of high quality development to FreeBSD
  • Universal toolkit. FreeBSD scales easily from the thinnest embedded system, to various desktops to huge servers — all with the same familiar tools and environment.

These and other reasons can now be found on the Why Use FreeBSD wiki page.

Obviously, since we all have different likings and requirements, FreeBSD won’t be of use to all. Based on feedback from the mailinglist Phoronix also summarised the reasons why not to use FreeBSD.

Thanks to Charles Rapenne for reminding me to post this.

FreeBSD Security Advisory (Crypt)

The FreeBSD Security Team has identified an issue in crypt and has issued the following security advisory: FreeBSD-SA-12:02.crypt (30/05/2012).

I. Background

The crypt(3) function performs password hashing with additional code added to deter key search attempts.

II. Problem Description

There is a programming error in the DES implementation used in crypt() when handling input which contains characters that can not be represented with 7-bit ASCII.

III. Impact

When the input contains characters with only the most significant bit set (0×80), that character and all characters after it will be ignored.

For a workaround and solution, check out the security advisory: FreeBSD-SA-12:02.crypt

FreeBSD Security Advisory (OpenSSL)

The FreeBSD Security Team has identified a security issue in openssl.

I. Background

FreeBSD includes software from the OpenSSL Project. The OpenSSL Project is a collaborative effort to develop a robust, commercial-grade, full-featured Open Source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2/v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocols as well as a full-strength general purpose cryptography library.

II. Problem Description

OpenSSL failes to clear the bytes used as block cipher padding in SSL 3.0 records when operating as a client or a server that accept SSL 3.0 handshakes. As a result, in each record, up to 15 bytes of uninitialized memory may be sent, encrypted, to the SSL peer. This could include sensitive contents of previously freed memory.

OpenSSL support for handshake restarts for server gated cryptograpy (SGC) can be used in a denial-of-service attack.

To find out more about the impact, a work-around and solution, check out the advisory page:FreeBSD Security Advisory (openssl)

FreeBSD upcoming events updates (MeetBSD, EuroBSDCon, GSoC)

MeetBSD California 2012

meetBSD 2012 will be held on Yahoo!’s campus in Sunnyvale, California, from 3 – 4 November 2012 and will be co-hosted by Yahoo! and iXsystems.

MeetBSD California is no normal conference – it’s a meeting of the minds from all over the BSD community. MeetBSD California 2012 will feature community-scheduled break-out sessions, discussions groups, and 5-10 minute “lightning talks,” as well as longer talks from seasoned BSD experts. 

MeetBSD California 2012 aims to engage the best of both worlds between traditional planned-speaker-centered conferences and the community-planned unConference model. Day one will be devoted primarily to planned talks, while day two will be scheduled entirely by the attendees, allowing anything from impromptu tutorials to hacking sessions. This is your conference, and we can’t wait to see you there!

EuroBSDCon 2012

BSDTalk has uploaded a 14 minutes interview with Paul Schenkeveld about the upcoming EuroBSDCon 2012 (Warsaw, Poland, 18-21 October): bsdtalk213 – EuroBSDCon with Paul Schenkeveld

GSoC 2012

Not strictly upcoming, but ongoing: Google’s annual Summer of  Code (2012) has kicked off. FreeBSD is represented by 15 projects.

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers post-secondary student developers ages 18 and older stipends to write code for various open source software projects. We have worked with open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund projects over a three month period.