Miscelaneous FreeBSD news updates (Go, nFore, NRPE, FUSE, Capsicum, KFreeBSD, GhostBSD)

Below you will find some links to recent news articles and blog posts relating to FreeBSD, it’s development and future that I hadn’t linked to yet. If you’re anything else noteworthy, please let us know.

Google says ‘Go’ to new programming language

Binaries have been released for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and OS X. Google announced the first stable release of its new programming language — dubbed “Go“. More.

HowTo: nForce2 sound on FreeBSD

I finally got around to replace the northbridge fan of my ABIT AN-7 powered desktop and with it boot its old FreeBSD 7.4-STABLE install. Though I have a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 4 I wanted to make sure I could go by with just the motherboard’s nForce2 integrated sound system, so I’ll explain how to enable the nForce2 sound on FreeBSD.

Installing NRPE on FreeBSD 9.0

NRPE is an addon that allows you to execute plugins on remote Linux/Unix hosts. This is useful if you need to monitor local resources/attributes like disk usage, CPU load, memory usage, etc. on a remote host.

With FreeBSD, there are at least two advantages to installing NRPE from the official FreeBSD ports.

First, the source code file in FreeBSD ports is already modified to work with FreeBSD. Second, FreeBSD ports contains many FreeBSD-specific plugins that can be used with the FreeBSD version of NRPE. More

FUSE For FreeBSD Nearing Completion

Porting FUSE to a FreeBSD kernel module has been a long-time coming. The FreeBSD FUSE kernel module port originally began as a Google Summer of Code project, but it wasn’t successful. In 2011, work on the port was restored via another year with Google Summer of Code, but at the end of the summer the FreeBSD FUSE implementation was still unstable and suffered data corruption issues. Now it seems that FreeBSD FUSE is finally getting hacked into shape and may be committed in the coming days. More

Cambridge’s Capsicum Framework Promises Efficient Security For UNIX/ChromeOS

“Communications of the ACM is carrying two articles promoting the Capsicum security model developed by Robert Watson (FreeBSD — Cambridge) and Ben Laurie (Apache/OpenSSL, ChromeOS — Google) for thin-client operating systems such as ChromeOS. They demonstrate how Chrome web browser sandboxing using Capsicum is not only stronger, but also requires only 100 lines of code, vs 22,000 lines of code on Windows! FreeBSD 9.0 shipped with experimental Capsicum support, OpenBSD has patches, and Google has developed a Linux prototype.”

While the ACM’s stories are both paywalled, the Capsicum project itself has quite a bit of information online in the form of various papers and a video, as well as links to (BSD-licensed) code and to various subprojects. (via)

Debian: kFreeBSD 9.0 Kernel Competing Against Linux 3.2

The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project has been quite interesting as one of the official Debian operating system ports. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD pairs the FreeBSD kernel with the Debian GNU user-land so that users can enjoy their traditional Debian applications while taking advantage of the FreeBSD kernel. With the recently released FreeBSD 9.0 kernel having worked its way into Debian Wheezy, how is the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel performance compared to the Linux 3.2 kernel? This Phoronix article provides those benchmarks and this one on OpenBenchmarks.

GhostBSD 2.5 Review

GhostBSD is a desktop distribution based on FreeBSD. It comes as an installable Live DVD image and is developed by Eric Turgeon and Nahuel Sanchez. The latest edition, GhostBSD 2.5, based on FreeBSD 9, is the project’s fourth release, and was made available for public download on January 24 (2012).

This article provides the first review of this distribution on this website, and it is based on test installations of the 32-bit version.

This article provides the first review of this distribution on this website, and it is based on test installations of the 32-bit version. The boot menu is shown below.

FreeBSD ZFS root install with bsdinstall (video)

This video shows how to install a full ZFS system using bsdinstall, on FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE. This is not like other tutorials where you just use the FreeBSD ISO as a live cd and then do everything manually, with this method you only have to set up the zfs zpool manually. The rest, user settings, network, time zone, etc is done by bsdinstall for your convenience.


The Z file system, developed by Sun™, is a new technology designed to use a pooled storage method. This means that space is only used as it is needed for data storage. It has also been designed for maximum data integrity, supporting data snapshots, multiple copies, and data checksums. A new data replication model, known as RAID-Z has been added. The RAID-Z model is similar to RAID5 but is designed to prevent data write corruption.

FreeBSD Foundation accepting funding proposals

The FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting the submission of proposals for work relating to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system. Proposals will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit, and cost-effectiveness.

Details regarding the proposal process are contained in the Proposals Call for Submission PDF (PDF)

If interested, important dates to mark are:

  • March 12: Call for proposals begins
  • April 30: Deadline for proposal submission
  • May 30th: Notification of acceptance/denial

Call for testing (CFT): BHyVe, GEM/KMS, KDE 4.8.2, KDevelop

Newly written code should be tested properly before it’s distributed widely. Programmers working on *BSD code pride themselves in writing and distributing quality code, but peer reviews and quality testing will always be necessary.

Every now and then you may come across Calls For Testing (CFT). Below you will find four links to recent CFTs.

I. Hands-on BHyVe

BHyVe is a type 2 Hypervisor for FreeBSD and PC-BSD that is similar to Linux KVM and consists of the vmm.ko kernel module, a few support utilities and a library. Because these are all loadable external components, they can be easily packaged and installed on an unmodified host. A BHyVe guest must currently be built with a few FreeBSD-specific shims that expedited development but the code is fundamentally portable. With a little help, BHyVe could support unmodified guests and be ported to other operating systems thanks to its simple design and permissive license.

Visit the BHyVe page for more details and instructions.

II. Call for Testers: PC-BSD GEM/KMS Snapshot

A testing snapshot that integrates the new DRM/GEM/KMS work is now available to testers. Full post with details and discussions: Call for Testers: GEM/KMS Snapshot.

III. Qt 4.8.1 and KDE SC 4.8.2

“While we wait for the ports feature freeze to be over, we invite you to test the upcoming updates in the KDE land:

  • Qt 4.8.1;
  • PyQt4 4.9.1;
  • KDE SC 4.8.2.
$ svn co http://area51.pcbsd.org/trunk/area51
# sh Tools/scripts/kdemerge -kmpq /usr/ports

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.” (via FreeBSD KDE)

IV. Kdevelop 4.3.0 available for testing

“Thanks to the contribution of Luca Pizzamiglio, Kdevelop was updated to 4.3.0 in area51, and you’re free to test it:

$ svn co http://area51.pcbsd.org/trunk/area51
# sh Tools/scripts/kdemerge -m /usr/ports
# portmaster devel/kdevelop-kde4

If no problems are found, it will probably be committed when KDE SC 4.8.2 comes to the tree.”  (via FreeBSD KDE)

FreeBSD Events Update (ILF, BSDCan, EuroBSDCon)

FreeBSD events come and go month after month. Time for an update on some past and upcoming FreeBSD events.

Indiana LinuxFest (ILF)

FreeNAS and PC-BSD will be represented at Indiana LinuxFest on Saturday, April 14 in Indianapolis, Indiana. CDs and other swag will be handed out at the BSD booth in the expo area.

If you are interested in learning more about FreeBSD administration (the operating system FreeNAS and FreeBSD are based upon), there is an all day course on FreeBSD for Linux System Administrators on Friday, April 13. There is no cost to attend either the course or the conference. Pre-registration is encouraged so that you don’t have to wait in line to register when you arrive.

BSDCan 2012

BSDCan 2012 will be held in Ottawa, Canada from 9 – 13 May. The schedule has been updated with some interesting FreeBSD releated tutorials and presentations,

  • Maintaining your own PBI package repository
  • IPv6 Tutorial
  • SSH
  • An Overview of Locking in the FreeBSD Kernel
  • BSD Multiplicity
  • auditdistd – Secure and reliable distribution of audit trail files
  • FreeBSD on Microsoft Hyper-v
  • Crowdsourcing security
  • Bullet Cache
  • pfSense 2.1: IPv6 and more
  • Fast reboots with kload
  • Intro to DNSSEC
  • Virtually-Networked FreeBSD Jails
  • FreeBSD Unified Deployment and Configuration Management
  • Building a FreeBSD based Virtual Appliance
  • High speed packet I/O: challenges and solutions.
  • Optimizing ZFS for Block Storage
  • FreeBSD on Freescale QorIQ Data Path Acceleration Architecture Devices
  • Overview of Amazon Web Services
  • pkgng
  • Solaris Boot Environments for FreeBSD

Hopefully all these representations will be video recorded and made available who cannot attend.

NLUUG’s Spring conference

Michael Dexter will be giving a presentation entitled The FreeNAS Storage Platform: A minute to learn, a lifetime to master at NLUUG’s Spring conference. This event will be held in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands on April 11th.

EuroBSDCon 2012

EuroBSDcon 2012 is the European technical conference for users and developers on BSD-based systems, and will be held from 18 – 21 October 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. There will be tutorials on Thursday and Friday and talks on Saturday and Sunday.

The EuroBSDcon conference organisers have put out a Call For Proposals and are inviting developers and users of BSD-based systems to submit innovative and original papers not submitted to other European conferences on BSD-related topics.  Topics of interest to the conference include, but are not limited to applications, architecture, implementation, performance and security of BSD-based operating systems, as well as topics concerning the economic or organizational aspects of BSD use.

Open Source Days 2012

There are some pictures of the BSD booth at Open Source Days (Copenhagen, 10-11 March)

Report from AsiaBSDCon

The FreeBSD Foundation was a Platinum Sponsor of AsiaBSDCon which was held in Tokyo, Japan from March 22-25. Hiroki Sato, the General Chair of the conference, provided the following status report.

BSD networking (MP3)

There’s an mp3 available of a recent presentations at NYCBUG BSD networking.

 

Upcoming Events

Here Comes the Cloud – BSD Magazine (April 2012)

April’s issue of the BSD Magazine is now available: Here Comes the Cloud (free PDF download).

You’ll find the following subjects inside:

  • Installing FreeBSD on Amazon AWS EC2 Cloud Services
  • Interview with Mark Price, President of Tranquil Hosting and owner of RootBSD
  • Taking the BSDA Certification Exam By Dru Lavigne
  • Installing OpenBSD 5.0 on VMware Server
  • MidnightBSD: Developing Applications Using mpor
  • The Greater Benefits of Open Source Software
  • PostgreSQL: Replication

Continue reading

iXsystems, and its developers

We all know that iXsystems does a great job promoting FreeBSD, building FreeBSD based products and supporting FreeBSD based projects (incl. PC-BSD, FreeNAS).

But, who are the developers that are part of this company? Who are the guys doing the coding and the programming?

The iXsystems blog has started a “Developers Corner” where you can find out more about iX developers:

The PC-BSD Ports Jail (video)

PC-BSD features the “Ports Jail”. In this video you will learn how to use it to install apps isolated from your system.


More information on Ports Jail and how to use it, can be found on the PC-BSD Wiki.

The FreeBSD Wiki has a helpful section on Jails too: FreeBSD Jails. The FreeBSD jail is mechanism implementing an operating system-level virtualisation that allows administrators to partition a FreeBSD-based computer system into several independent mini-systems called jails.