Available: FreeBSD 7.4-RC2

The second Release Candidate build for the FreeBSD-7.4 release cycle is available from the FreeBSD website for testing. ISO images fcan be downloaded from most of the FreeBSD mirror sites. Check out the official announcement for further details about this release.

The original release date 24/1/2010 – today) won’t be achieved as per the 7.4 releng page. There’s yet a RC-3 to be announced, but quality is more important than sticking to dates and releasing an unfinished product with bugs.

Links: FreeBSD | FreeBSD 7.4 todo

What version of FreeBSD are you using (Poll)?

Time for a Poll. If FreeBSD is running nicely on your server then there’s not always a need to update or upgrade to the latest versions.

Some people are still running happily FreeBSD 4.x on their servers, whereas others like to stay up to date, or even test FreeBSD 9.

Out of interest, it would be nice to see which FreeBSD versions are currently being used (this excludes any operating systems based on FreeBSD, e.g. PC-BSD). If you use more than one version, you may select more.

If you’d like a comment as to why you’re using the version(s) you’re using, feel free to do so.

What version of FreeBSD are you using

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Miscelaneous (Free)BSD news and links (Week 2)

I End of Life Announcement for PC-BSD 7.x

With the release of version 8.2 just around the corner, and PC-BSD 9.0 slated for later this year, we will be stopping the production of new packages / PBIs for the PC-BSD 7.x series in the near future: End of Life Announcement for PC-BSD 7.x

II Required: Senior FreeBSD/UNIX/Linux Administrator

You might be our next Sr. Systems Engineer: Senior FreeBSD/UNIX/Linux Administrator

III FreeBSD: Virtual Network Switch

In the previous post, I have mentioned about I’m going to cover Open vSwitch and Vde implementation. However I think it is also interesting to cover how you can setup virtual switch with FreeBSD native system. As we all know bridging is actually software switching, therefore we can make use of bridge interface to achieve this. I will explain the 6 ports virtual network switch setup that is illustrated in the diagram below: FreeBSD: Virtual Network Switch

IV Installing pfSense on an Alix.6e1

The ALIX.6e1 hardware platform:

2 10/100 LAN / 1 miniPCI / 1 miniPCI Express / AMD LX800 / 256 MB / 2 USB / DB9 serial port / CF Card slot / Board size: 6 x 6 : Installing pfSense on an Alix.6e1

Available: FreeBSD 8.2-RC2

Ken Smith has announced the availability of FreeBSD 8.2-RC2. This is the second iteration of Release Candidates which will lead to 8.2-RELEASE.

Check out the updated release schedule and yet-to-completed tasks on the FreeBSD wiki.

The second Release Candidate for the FreeBSD 8.2 release cycle is now available. Initial testing of the 7.4-RC2 install images turned up an issue with the pre-built packages that will take a few more days to address. For this build only the amd64, i386, pc98, and sparc64 architectures are available.

Related to the upcoming release of FreeBSD 8.2 is the ports freeze: Ports Feature Freeze for 7.4 and 8.

FreeBSD Foundation requesting project proposals (2011)

The FreeBSD Foundation has requested proposals for potential funding. If you have any ideas how you can FreeBSD can be improved in 2011, why not submit you idea. In case you have no ideas but don’t mind getting paid for FreeBSD Development, have a look at the FreeBSD list of projects and ideas for volunteers.

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce we are soliciting the submission of proposals (submission document) 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.

(Free)BSD miscelaneous links and news (week 1)

I. The Perfect Database Server: Firebird 2.5 And FreeBSD 8.1

Here is the guide on installing Firebird 2.5 from FreeBSD 8.1 Ports and creating your first test database; also we show you how to install Flamerobin GUI (administration tool) and the PHP driver for it: The perfect database server: Firebird 2.5 and FreeBSD 8.1

II. Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

The most common Linux file-systems we talk about at Phoronix are of course Btrfs and EXT4 while the ZFS file-system, which is available on Linux as a FUSE (user-space) module or via a recent kernel module port, gets mentioned a fair amount too. When it comes to the FreeBSD and PC-BSD operating systems, ZFS is looked upon as the superior, next-generation option that is available to BSD users. However, with the DragonFlyBSD operating system there is another option: HAMMER. In this article we are seeing how the performance of this original creation within the DragonFlyBSD project competes with ZFS, UFS, EXT3, EXT4, and Btrfs.

HAMMER is a file-system created by the DragonFlyBSD developers themselves and is the default choice when installing this BSD operating system, but UFS remains a choice too. The one sentence description about this file-system is that “[HAMMER] provides instant crash recovery, multi-volume file systems, integrity checking, fine grained history/undo, networked mirroring, and historical snapshots.” HAMMER uses no fsck, can be sized up to one Exabyte, supports up to 256 volumes of four petabytes in size, coarse-grained history provided by snapshots with up to sixty days history, live snapshot access, and data/meta-data is CRC-checked. Like Btrfs, HAMMER snapshots can be taken at any time, can be accessed live, and boasts a similar set of features. Other HAMMER file-system features include the ability to split it up into multiple pseudo file-systems, there is support for back-up pseudo file-systems, NFS-exportable snapshots, and there is support for slave-to-slave mirroring streams: Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

Matt Dillon’s, DragonFlyBSD’s project founder, thoughts on the test: HAMMER Benchmark Fun

III. Get Linux and FreeBSD hardware info with guide to commands

Switching between open source OSs can sometimes be confusing, since they may have different ways of doing things. A common task that may confuse some users when switching systems is getting hardware information. In the case of Linux-based OSs and FreeBSD, the following cheat sheet for figuring out how to do the same things on two different systems can ease some of the pain: Linux vs FreeBSD cheat sheet.

IV. Cost Optimization Through Open Source Software (iXsystems)

The lead article in this month’s edition of the Open Source Business Resource was contributed by iXsystems. It describes some of the business reasons behind the company’s choice to use only FreeBSD and PC-BSD systems in its own infrastructure and provides a cost/savings comparison for both software and maintenance costs. It also contains some good references and percentages if you’re looking for something to show your manager (via)

V. Creating an LVM-backed FreeBSD DomU in a Linux Dom0

As the topic suggests we’re going to play with Xen and set up a FreeBSD DomU inside a Linux Dom0.

FreeBSD on Sony Playstation 3 (PS3)

Following reports (e.g. Hackers bust PS3 DRM wide open with private key hack)  that hackers had found a way to obtain Sony PlayStation 3‘s private cryptography key, it was only a matter of time of FreeBSD would be run on Sony’s latest gaming station.

The latest hack to come out of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) Congress being held in Berlin comes from the fail0verflow hacking squad, who say they’ve found a way to obtain the PS3′s private cryptography key, which is used to sign code.

With an exploit of this type, people could sign, and thus run any PS3 program. The system would then run it as though it were a valid PS3 game, and firmware upgrades won’t be able to stop it, either.

In fact, The team claims: “We only started looking at the PS3 after Other OS was killed.” OtherOS was a feature available in the first versions of the PS3. It allowed other operating systems, such as Linux or FreeBSD, to be installed on the system.

One week after the hack, FreeBSD is running indeed on PS3. There are still a few problems and rough edges, but they should be ironed out when FreeBSD 9.0 is released:

Yesterday, I imported support for the Sony Playstation 3 into our 64-bit PowerPC port, expanding our game console support into the current generation. There are still a few rough edges due to missing hardware support, but the machine boots and runs FreeBSD stably. These rough edges should be smoothed out in time for the 9.0 release.

For further instructions, check out the announcement post: Playstation 3 support now in HEAD