BSD TV launched

bsdtv.org has launched on blip.tv

Currently there are 3 videos listed:

1 BSDTV -NYCBUG

This video was made from the slides and audio recording of a NYCBUG meeting in Jan. of 2010. From the NYCBUG site: This presentation gives a brief high level overview of Hadoop. Next, we hit the ground running with a quick practical example of how Hadoop solves a “big data” problem. We also discuss how the demonstrated Hadoop processing model scales out to terabytes of data and hundreds or even thousands of computers.

2 BSD4LinuxUsers

Dru Lavigne, Chair of the BSD Certification Group gives an informative talk about the differences between Linux-based and BSD Operating Systems. This talk covers the different BSD Operating Systems (PCBSD, DragonFlyBSD FreeBSD NetBSD & OpenBSD) and how they compare with the numerous Linux-based distributions.

3 BSD Certification Group: A Case Study in Open Source Certification

Dru Lavigne, Chair of the BSD Certification Group gives an informative talk about the creation of the open source certification system for the BSD operating system. This talk covers the BSDA and BSDP certifications and the Psychometrically Valid testing process for confirming an in depth knowledge of the BSD operating system.

To get involved in bsdTV, contact Patric McEvoy

For those not aware, there’s also a YouTube BSD Conferences channel

Download Nvidia 195.36.08 FreeBSD display driver

Nvidia has released new video drivers for FreeBSD yesterday (v 195.36.08)

Nvidia is making quite a lot of gamers happy with the latest update to its display drivers for *NIX platforms (Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris). Nvidia 195.36.08 adds support for a few of the latest graphics adapters from the chip maker, specifically Quadro FX 880M, GeForce GTS 350M and GeForce GTS 360M. The latest Nvidia 195.36.08 driver also adds support for NVIDIA 3D Vision Stereo with Quadro GPUs. It also comes with a lot of updates and changes for the VDPAU API Nvidia developed to offload video processing and decoding to the graphics unit. (source)

Highlights of Nvidia 195.36.08:

  • Support for the following GPUs: Quadro FX 880M, GeForce GTS 350M, GeForce GTS 360M;
  • Support for NVIDIA 3D Vision Stereo on Linux with Quadro GPUs;
  • Unofficial preliminary support for xorg-server video driver ABI version 7, including xorg-server-1.7.99.2;
  • Altered NVIDIA X driver behavior in the case that no display devices are connected to the GPU;
  • Updated `nvidia-settings –query all` to report all available attributes queryable through all NV-CONTROL target types;
  • A lot of updates and fixes for the VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) library;
  • A very long list of bug fixes.

Complete change log and download FreeBSD Nvidia driver

FreeBSD 7.3-RC2 Available

The second Release Candidate build for the FreeBSD-7.3 release cycle is now available. Ken Smith announced FreeBSD 7.3 RC yesterday:

The third and what should be last of the test builds for the 7.3-RELEASE cycle, 7.3-RC2, is available for amd64, i386, pc98, and sparc64 architectures. [more]

The target schedule, the current status and things yet to be done before the final release is available here:

http://wiki.freebsd.org/Releng/7.3TODO

Most reliable webhosts – February 2010

According to last months Netcraft webhost reliability report, two web hosts in the top 10 run FreeBSD as their operating system.

After an email conversation with one of the guys from RootBSD last month, I realised that these statistics are useless. He writes:

Netcraft is not an impartial source for measuring uptime.  The problems with Netcraft for picking a webhost:

  • Hosts where their data collectors are located are obviously favored due to best latency and reliability — not having to cross over Internet paths
  • Only hosts who pay them 1200 GBP / year are included.
  • They are only measuring the web host’s website, which may not even be hosted on the same infrastructure as customer sites.

You see, I wasn’t aware that only paying webhosters were included. So it’s mainly the big ‘boys’ with big marketing budgets that are willing to pay for this service.

As this is not giving a true picture of the reliability and the use of FreeBSD within the hosting community, I will not refer to the monthly Netcraft report going forward.

RootBSD prefers webhostingstuff.com to show their reliability and uptime.

About RootBSD:

RootBSD was established with one goal in mind: provide reliable, flexible, and supported BSD-based hosting services to professionals and businesses. Originally we were searching for a quality service provider to work with us on providing hosting. A lengthy search yielded many providers that only offer BSD as a haphazard option to their packages designed for Linux or providers who simply don’t meet the business requirements in reliability and stability for which we were looking.RootBSD gives you the power to innovate and scale on top of the BSD operating systems. Our services are rock solid; in fact, you might call us the BSD hosting solution.

Find out more about RootBSD’s FreeBSD VPS Hosting (virtual private server)

RootBSD was established with one goal in mind: provide reliable, flexible, and supported BSD-based hosting services to professionals and businesses. Originally we were searching for a quality service provider to work with us on providing hosting. A lengthy search yielded many providers that only offer BSD as a haphazard option to their packages designed for Linux or providers who simply don’t meet the business requirements in reliability and stability for which we were looking.

RootBSD gives you the power to innovate and scale on top of the BSD operating systems. Our services are rock solid; in fact, you might call us the BSD hosting solution.

FreeBSD and the GPL

Every so many months the never ending discussion about the BSD vs GPL license heats up. Supporters for either license have their thoughts and opinions to why one license is better than the other. Some say that these discussions are a waste of time. Whichever license you defend/promote, if you’re interested in reading (and joining in) the discussions, have a look at these two sites:

1 FreeBSD and the GPL (IT Pro – itpro.com)

Linus Torvalds has said Linux wouldn’t have happened if 386BSD had been around when he started up. We trace the history of FreeBSD and how it’s affected the open source world.

The first free Unix-like operating systemavailable on the IBM PC was 386BSD, of which Linus Torvalds said in 1993: “If 386BSD had been available when I started on Linux, Linux would probably never have happened.”

386BSD was a direct descendant of Bill Joy’s Berkeley Software Distribution, which was the core of SunOS and other proprietary Unix distributions. 386BSD and the patchkit for the port to the Intel chip formed the basis for FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD, which have carried the torch for BSD and open source Unix to this day.

Read the whole article (BSD history and BSD/GPL license)

2 osnews.com dissussion

Read the discussion

FreeBSD HAST project completed

Pawel Jakub Dawidek was awarded a grant by the FreeBSD Foundation last year to implement storage replication software that will enable users to use the FreeBSD operating system for highly available configurations where data has to be shared across the cluster nodes.

The HAST (High Availability Storage Project) is now completed. Pawel reports:

I’m very happy to report to FreeBSD users that the HAST project I was working on for the last three months is ready for testing and already committed to the HEAD branch.

I’ll describe what HAST does in few words. HAST allows for synchronous block-level replication of any storage media (called GEOM providers, using FreeBSD nomenclature) over a TCP/IP network for fast failure recovery. HAST provides storage using the GEOM infrastructure, meaning it is file system and application independent and can be combined with any existing GEOM class. In case of a primary node failure, the cluster will automatically switch to the secondary node, check and mount the UFS file system or import the ZFS pool, and continue to work without missing a single bit of data.

I must admit the project was quite challenging, not only from the technical point of view, but also because it was sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation. The FreeBSD Foundation has a great reputation and is known to select the projects it funds very carefully. I felt strong pressure that should I fail, the FreeBSD Foundation’s reputation might be hurt. Of course, not a single dollar would be spent on a failed project, but the FreeBSD community’s expectations were very high and I really wanted to do a good job.

During the work a number of people contacted me privately offering help, explaining how important HAST is for FreeBSD and giving me the motivation to soldier on.

I hope that HAST will meet the community’s expectations and I myself am looking forward to using it

The final commit notice from Pawe? Jakub Dawidek briefly describes the project. A detailed discussion of the project is available form the FreeBSD Wiki.

This is a good example of how the wider FreeBSD community can financially support further development of FreeBSD, and it also shows the value that the FreeBSD Foundation brings to the community. To see more of these sort of projects started, funded and completed, why not support and donate to the Foundation so they can continue sponsoring more projects. (disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the FreeBSD Foundation)