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.

Global Calendar for (Free)BSD Events: bsdevents.org

BSDEvents.org is now online where (Free)BSD related meetings (annual and monthly) are announced. On bsdevents you will find all the details for upcoming gatherings, such as venue maps , presentations, etc.

The site is maintained by Dru Lavigne who looks after the PC-BSD and FreeNAS blogs.

Dru already tweeted events on #bsdevents, but there’s only so much you can squeeze into 140 characters.

OpenJDK 6 updated to Build 25.

Greg Lewis has updated the OpenJDK® 6 port to Build 25. See the JDK 1.6.x page for more details.

This is a native port of OpenJDK to FreeBSD:

cd /usr/ports/java/openjdk6
make install clean

OpenJDK (Open Java Development Kit) is a free and open source implementation of the Java programming language.[2] It is the result of an effort Sun Microsystems began in 2006. The implementation is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) with a linking exception. The linking exception exempts components making use of the Java class library from the GPL licensing terms. OpenJDK is the official Java SE 7 reference implementation. (wikipedia)

Qt 4.8.1 and KDE SC 4.8.3 in ports

The long awaited KDE SC 4.8.3 was just committed to ports, along with Qt 4.8.1, Phonon 4.6.0, PyQt 4.9.1, and many more updates you shouldn’t care about. What you should be aware of is that KDE-Pim was finally updated and put in sync with the Software Compilation. As UPDATING suggests, if you want to stick with 4.4.11.1, you can replace deskutils/kdepim4 with deskutils/kdepim44.

Since Qt started using the raster graphics system engine by default (and the native one seems not to be an option anymore), you should add

kern.ipc.shmmni=1024
kern.ipc.shmseg=1024

to /boot/loader.conf