Wowza Media Server FreeBSD port

Dru mentiones thatWowza Media Server Pro, a commercial streaming server, was ported to FreeBSD.

One may think that this is just another ported software to the already huge collection of FreeBSD’s ports. But this is something more, as FreeBSD has just expanded its possibilities in the commercial streaming area.

The port was made by talented Polish engineers from InnerVision who are devoted to free and open source communities. It’s not the first FreeBSD port they have created, and as they say, definitely not the last.

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Kernel level cryptographic filesystem (GSoC)

Gleb Kurtsou has been working this summer working on FreeBSD kernel level cryptographic filesystem pefs as part of the Google Summer of Code. He thinks the project is now mature enough for public review and comments.

I’m using it to encrypt my mailbox for some time already without any issues. For testing I use mostly dbench and fsx tools.

Some of pefs features (comparing to other stacked filesystems):

  • Kernel level implementation (no fuse and similar stuff)
  • Random per file tweak value used for encryption
  • Saves metadata only in encrypted file name (doesn’t change file content)
  • Doesn’t change encrypted file size
  • Arbitrary number of keys
  • Mixing files encrypted with different keys in single directory
  • Transparent mode of operation (no encryption, read-only, allows accessing filesystem snapshots easily)
  • Key chaining (though user level utility)
  • Modern encryption algorithms (AES and Camellia in CTR mode, Salsa20)

To read more about the project and how to download/test it, check this email or Gleb’s blogposts (incl performance benchmarks)

Using mySQL and PostgreSQL on FreeBSD 8.0

Is it worth upgrading to 8.0 to run mySQL or PostgreSQL databases? Graphs say more than 1000 words

…what causes this massive speedup? FreeBSD 8 have superpages support turned on by default, and there was some hacking on the ULE schedulet too, which now can recognize the CPUs’ and their caches’ hierarchy and take those into account during its work.

For for performance graphs, go here.

FreeBSD Security Advisories (devfs, pipe, null)

The FreeBSD Security Team has issued the following security warnings:

FreeBSD-SA-09:14.devfs – Devfs / VFS NULL pointer race condition
FreeBSD-SA-09:13.pipe – kqueue pipe race conditions
FreeBSD-EN-09:05.null – No zero mapping feature

For background info, problem description, impact, workaround and solutions, have a look at the individual advisory pages.

Microsoft backed Barrelfish OS goes “open source”

Microsoft has released the first snapshot of the Barrelfish operating system, an operating system written especifically for multicore environments.

The Barrelfish team, a group of researchers from Microsoft Research Cambridge and the technology university ETH Zurich, says it is “motivated by two closely related trends in hardware design: first, the rapidly growing number of cores, which leads to a scalability challenge, and second, the increasing diversity in computer hardware, requiring the OS to manage and exploit heterogeneous hardware resources.”

Tthe project has been under way for about two years and builds on ideas researchers have had for years about how system will evolve to keep up with hardware advancements.

In Barrelfish, each core has its own kernel and does not share memory as it does in Windows or Linux. Instead, the cores communicate by passing messages, what researchers term a “multikernel” model.

Barrelfish is still in a research phase and its code released under the 3-clause BSD-style Open Source licence.  The software is free to download.

We all know how Microsoft has dealt with and treated opens source software in the past. Michael Kerner, from, remarks:

As a BSD style license and without any clear open/public source code repository, this isn’t an open source operating system like Linux or even say FreeBSD. The way I see it, open source here is a means of distribution and a way for people to openly see what the researcher have done and not necessarily as a means of collaboration or contribution.

Report from EuroBSDCon 2009

eurobsdcon2009Nik Clayton, site reliability engineer at Google,  has written up an account of what he’s seen, heard and done at EuroBSDCon 2009.

I’m no stranger to EuroBSDCon. After attending several very successful conferences in the US, three FreeBSD contributors and I decided that Europe needed a BSD conference too. In November 2001 we were proud to host 160 or so delegates in the first European BSD Conference. Over the last couple of years I haven’t been able to keep as up to date with the latest developments in the BSD world, so I was very interested to attendEuroBSDCon 2009, organised in collaboration with the UK Unix User Group.

With the conference split in to several tracks it was impossible to attend every talk, so I decided to focus primarily on those that talked about how BSD systems were helping people solve problems in the real world. Links to all the papers, slides, and in some cases audio from the presentations can be found at conference schedule page.

The first talk I attended was “How FreeBSD Finds Oil,” given by Harrison Grundy. Harrison runs a consultancy company in the US providing clustered computing systems to oil and gas companies.

Continues here…

Links to audio files, pdf’s and slideshows can be found here.

Most reliable hosting sites – September 2009

netcraft logoNetcraft‘s monthly reliability monitoring showed a bit of a mixed picture in September. Linux took the number 1 place.  IN the top10 FreeBSD took places 3, 7 and 10.

DataPipe (who use FreeBSD) was one of the most reliable hosting company sites in August, and only narrowly missed out on the same achievement in September. DataPipe has shown some good results over the past six months, notching up five top-ten appearances, including three first places.

All the details here.

FreeBSD: Like Linux

Kuvaton has a picture of operating systems, comparing them with cars. Or should I say, a picture of cars compared with operating systems?

FreeBSD: Like Linux but takes more cargo on the expense of being less customable.


I like the VMS one. What do you think of these comparisons? OK, fair or ridiculous?

This picture reminds me of the OS user mugshots that I posted a while back.