FreeBSD 7.2 EoL coming soon

On June 30th, FreeBSD 7.2 will reach its End of Life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Users of this release are strongly encouraged to upgrade to FreeBSD 7.3 before that date; FreeBSD 7.3 will be supported until the end of March 2012. Please note that since FreeBSD 7.1 has been designated for ‘Extended’ support, it will continue to be supported until the end of January 2011, i.e., FreeBSD 7.1 will be supported longer than FreeBSD 7.2.

The End of Life date for FreeBSD 7.2 was originally announced as May 31, but was delayed by one month in accordance with Security Team policy in order to allow a 3 month window between the release of FreeBSD 7.3 and the End of Life of FreeBSD 7.2 to allow time for systems to be upgraded.

The freebsd-update(8) utility can be used to upgrade i386 and amd64 systems from 7.2-RELEASE (or 7.2-RELEASE-pX for some X) to 7.3-RELEASE using binary updates (i.e., without compiling from source) as described in the 7.3-RELEASE announcement; given an adequate internet connection, this process usually takes 15 minutes or less.

More: FreeBSD 7.2 EoL coming soon

Download FreeBSD 8.1 BETA1

FreeBSD 8.1 BETA1 is available for downloading on (most of) the mirrors, as mentioned on the FreeBSD Stable Mailinglist:

The first of the test builds for the FreeBSD 8.1 release cycle is now available for amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, pc98, and sparc64 architectures. Files suitable for creating installation media or doing FTP based installs through the network should be on most of the FreeBSD mirror sites by now.

For those who cannot wait, this is the link: http://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ISO-IMAGES-i386/8.1/

You can change the link to a mirror closer to you by adding your country code, e.g.   http://ftp.dk.freebsd.org/ etc etc

FreeBSD Google SoC Projects started

The FreeBSD Project  received many applications from students  wanting to participate in Google’s Summer of Code program. This year 18 student proposals to work with the FreeBSD Project were accepted as part of this program.

For those with projects that were not accepted this year, the FreeBSD Project is always willing to help mentor students so they can learn more about operating system development through our normal community mailing lists and development forums. The FreeBSD Foundation can also be approached for project funding.

Read the official announcement (FreeBSD GSoC) for more information. The complete list of student projects selected for funding can be found in the FreeBSD Summer of Code wiki.

  • May 24: Start of coding
  • July 12-16: Mid-term Evaluations
  • August 9: End of coding
  • August 16-20: Final Evaluations

(FreeBSD Events Calendar)

iXsystems hosts MeetBSD California 2010

Open source server and storage solution provider iXsystems will once again host MeetBSD California. This year, MeetBSD will be an informal 2-Day BSD Camp taking place at Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California on November 5th and 6th.

MeetBSD California promises to be a fun and engaging plunge into the BSD operating system world, just as it was back in 2008 when the event first took place. Allen Gunn, Executive Director of Aspiration, will facilitate this year’s “unconference”, which will consist of Break Out Sessions, Informal Discussions, and 5-10 minute “Lightning Talks” on a variety of open source development topics, including ZFS, HAST, jails, OS virtualization, and sysinstall.

MeetBSD California 2010 will culminate with an after-party taking place at Hacker Dojo on the evening of Saturday, November 6th.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the BSD family of operating systems, or ready to share some of your FreeBSD wisdom, MeetBSD California 2010 will offer an enjoyable forum for lively discussion on a wide range of BSD-related topics.

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Release cycle for 8.1-RELEASE begun

Ken Smith made the following announcement on the FreeBSD Stable mailinglist with regards to the upcoming FreeBSD 8.1:

We are about a week away from starting code freeze for the 8.1-RELEASE release cycle. Since sometimes that means stable/8 gets a little less reliable due to higher than normal levels of developer activity I’ll adjust the branch to say it is 8.1-PRERELEASE now.

The target schedule for the release cycle is available here:  http://www.freebsd.org/releases/8.1R/schedule.html

And the wiki page to track the current status of the release (started but not heavily used yet) is here: http://wiki.freebsd.org/Releng/8.1TODO

The current target release date is July 9th, 2010. You can find these and other FreeBSD related dates in the FreeBSD Events Calendar.

Minimizing downtime using NanoBSD, ZFS and jails

With more and more services and applications running on your average server, upgrading the operating system and application software becomes trickier and larger service windows are needed performing these upgrades.

Over the last four years Paul Schenkeveld (PSconsult) has searched for means and methods to keep software up to date with minimum downtime and inconvenience for users and maximum consistency. The result is a model which combines the strength of NanoBSD, ZFS and jails to build servers where application upgrades result in downtime of only a few seconds and kernel upgrades only need the time to reboot without installing in (tampering with) the running system. This system is in production now for several months on 6 to 8 servers at four different sites.

LWN.net has an article explaining Paul’s approach:

On May 6, NLUUG held its Spring Conference with the theme System Administration. There were a lot of talks about very specific tools or case studies, but one struck your author because it married conceptual simplicity with a useful goal: Minimizing service windows on servers using NanoBSD + ZFS + jails by Paul Schenkeveld. Over the last four years, Paul has searched for methods to upgrade applications on a server with minimal downtime. The system he implemented is in production now on various servers, which require only a few seconds downtime for an application upgrade and the same amount of time for a rollback if the upgrade fails.

[...]

Combining these three technologies (NanoBSD, ZFS, and jails), Paul reached his goal of setting up a FreeBSD server that can be upgraded with minimal downtime. All user-visible applications run in jails. Underneath the jails, a minimal FreeBSD operating system runs, built using the NanoBSD script. This holds the kernel, some low-level services, and the tools for building a new system image for upgrading the operating system. The NanoBSD system image can be put on a partition of a regular disk drive, but Paul prefers to put it on a separate flash drive, because NanoBSD is specifically designed for it and using a separate drive for the operating system makes it easier for the system administrator when the hard drives with the jails fail.

Read the whole article:
NLUUG: Minimizing downtime on servers using NanoBSD, ZFS, and jails

Paul presented the above also in Tokio at AsiaBSDCon 2010: