(Free)BSD quick news and links (week 16)

Welcome to the (Free)BSD leftovers for week 6. In this post we have a mix of news snippets, quick links, howto’s, links ’n software/package updates. Just a round up of those little things I saved up this week. Previous weeks’ roundups can be found here.

FreeBSD News

  1. FreeBSD & Google Summer of Code 2010
    FreeBSD Project is participating in Google’s Summer of Code programme for a sixth year. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for a grant to spend the summer improving the FreeBSD operating system! More information available on the FreeBSD Summer of code page.
    Students may now apply to participate at http://socghop.appspot.com/. Before applying you may wish to discuss your project ideas on the freebsd-hackers mailing list or on the #freebsd-soc IRC channel on EFNet. Project ideas can be found at: http://www.freebsd.org/projects/summerofcode.html
  2. Have you ever expressed your gratitude to a FreeBSD developer?
    You like FreeBSD and/or operating systems based on it, but have you have ever dropped that developer that maintains/implemented the feature that’s so important to you a note, saying “thank you”?
    Brandon Gooch, a system administrator at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, recently wrote the FreeBSD Foundation to express his gratitude towards FreeBSD developers in general and the recent wireless work in particular.


FreeBSD 9 developments (via):

  1. UFS journalling committed
    Jeff Roberson has committed soft-updates journalling to 9-CURRENT. It enables a small file system journal which works in combination with soft-updates to eliminate boot fsck’s. It is different from most other implementations of file system journalling in that it doesn’t journal raw blocks but sort of meta-data about meta-data
  2. GEOM disk IO scheduler framework
    A GEOM IO scheduler framework has been committed! The framework allows for multiple IO schedulers to be installed on top of GEOM providers (usually disk drives). As a consequence, potentially different schedulers can be installed on different drives. The work was done by Luigi Rizzo and Fabio Checconi.
  3. FreeBSD PowerPC 9.0 snapshot available (for testing)


FreeBSD Ports

  1. Can the current Ports directory and building of it be improved?
    “There has been some discussion lately about if and how to “revamp” the ports system to make it more usable by general users. (…) Unfortunately there has been very little feedback from users themselves – which is probably a mistake, but also – there was very little feedback from the population (not a particularily small one) that is the cross-section of users and developers. Some ideas were presented, but at the end it all started revolving around banding the gaps and smaller improvements that will, I think, be practically invisible to the end-users.”
    Ivan Voras has noted down his ideas in this post: of ports and of men.


Releases

  1. m0n0wall
    m0n0wall 1.32 is out, and it finally fixes the annoying Ethernet link state bug on ALIX boards (and others that use VIA network chips). Some more work has been done on IPv6 support, the DNS forwarder and the hardware monitor.
  2. NanoBSD
    NanoBSD on ALIX in iX 05/2010. This article  ago will appear on page 146 of ix magazine (DE) issue 05/2010


Websites / Social Media

  1. PC-BSD
    As far as i’m aware this page is not officially supported by PC-BSD  / iXsystems, but there is a Facebook PC-BSD page. There’s already quite a popular and active Facebook PC-BSD Group.
  2. iXsystems website
    As of this week iXsystems has a new website. I like the new version as it’s a lot cleaner and makes finding the right server easier. iXsystems is the corporate sponsor behind PC-BSD and FreeNAS.


Guides & Howto’s

  1. Setting up a headless torrent daemon in FreeBSD
    “I have FreeBSD running as a home server for a while now. One of the things I wanted the server to take care of is downloading torrents, so I could shut down my PC whenever I am downloading stuff. With transmission-daemon (net-p2p/transmission-daemon from ports) this is really simple.”  (tweakblogs.net)
  2. Run FreeNAS in Windows for Network Serving and Sharing
    Many of the popular servers are open source and usually are more widely supported for Linux and other Unix-like systems. However, most can be run right inside Windows. This is especially great for temporary solutions or for new or amateur administrators (serverwatch.com)


(Free)BSD Events

  1. Solution Linux 2010
    Last month   “Solutions Linux” took place in Paris, one of the major professional open source events in France. Here are some pictures of the BSD booths : http://www.bebik.net/cgi-bin/album.pl?album=2010SL
  2. A new BSDA Certification session will be held in Nantes, France on 1 June 2010 at BSDay Nantes. Check the BSD Certification calendar for events near you.
  3. BSD Professional Certification Exam Update
    A short progress report on what’s happening with the BSD


New FreeBSD Committers

Over the last few weeks a few more people have been given commit rights. It’s always good to see more people join the FreeBSD project.

  1. Ports
  • Sahil Tandon
  • Rene Ladan
  • Giuseppe Pilichi
  • Bernhard Fröhlich
  1. Source Code
  • Randi Harper
  • Ryan Stone
  • Ana Kukec


BSD / Unix Family News

  1. DragonFly BSD 2.6: towards a free clustering operating system
    This article gives in introduction into the background and history of DragonFlyBSD, its HAMMER filesystem, new features etc
    “The ultimate goal of DragonFly BSD is to allow programs to run across multiple machines as if they are running on one system. The operating system is still far from that goal, but Dillon has done a great deal of rewriting in nearly every subsystem of the kernel to lay the foundations for future work. Much of the rationale behind the design goals is explained on the project’s web site. It’s an interesting read, because it shows how they want to tackle an ambitious vision with a realistic plan…” continues (lwn.net)
  2. DragonFly BSD 2.6.1 with new swapcache released
    DragonFly BSD, the FreeBSD fork, has been updated to version 2.6.1 and incorporates a added a number of new features whilst updating the components of the clustering oriented operating system. A new swapcache has been incorporated which allows the swap space to also retain clean filesystem data and meta-data rather than just memory. (more)
  3. Why OpenBSD’s Release Process Works
    “Twelve years ago OpenBSD developers started engineering a release process that has resulted in quality software being delivered on a consistent 6 month schedule — 25 times in a row, exactly on the date promised, and with no critical bugs. This on-time delivery process is very different from how corporations manage their product releases and much more in tune with how volunteer driven communities are supposed to function. Theo de Raadt explains in this presentation how the OpenBSD release process is managed (video) and why it has been such a success”  (via)

  4. AIX 7.1 is coming
    IBM plans to deliver the next version of the AIX® operating system, AIX 7, and new releases of PowerVM™ and PowerHA SystemMirror for AIX. These new offerings are designed to help companies reduce cost, improve service and lower the risk of deploying and migrating applications to AIX on Power® Systems.The new capabilities planned for AIX 7 are designed to expand the scalability, reliability and manageability of AIX and the applications running on AIX. Key features will provide greater vertical scalability of up to 1024 threads or 256 cores in a single partition, a clustering infrastructure designed to provide highly availability applications with PowerHA SystemMirror and to simplify management of scale-out workloads. Additional AIX 7 will include new management capabilities based on IBM Systems Director that are designed to simplify the management of AIX system configuration. Finally AIX 7 will support the ability to run AIX 5.2 inside of a Workload Partition to allow consolidation of old workloads on new systems (source & more)
  5. IBM Prunes Low-Cost AIX Rev
    IBM has radically improved the bang for the buck on its Power7-based Power Systems 701 and 702 blade servers this week, and is expected to soon deliver similarly priced entry rack and tower servers. And now it has a new, lower-cost AIX 6.1 Express Edition that will match the less expensive hardware and therefore help Big Blue’s AIX platform better compete against Windows, Linux, HP-UX, and Solaris alternatives. The new AIX Express Edition takes the special low-cost pricing that was available only on JS series blade servers and now makes it available across the Power Systems line, including logical partitions on the largest Power 595 (and before too long Power 595) servers.

Development of Chromium (Chrome) for FreeBSD

A new and alternative open source business model.

Chromium / Google Chrome

Google Chrome does not need much introduction any more, especially not to those interested in open source software. It is the best browser available. It is fast, secure, supports bookmark sync and extensions. The Chromium project is the open-source core of the Chrome Browser, and as we reported before, it is also available on FreeBSD.

As Google doesn’t create FreeBSD builds (as yet?), porting Chromium to FreeBSD has to be done by volunteers, e.g. developers is Sprewell and Ben Laurie.

Chromium is Linux based, but it is possible to get it running on FreeBSD by applying some patches. However, more work is needed to stabilise and to include it in the ports tree, which Sprewel says may happen this month.

I’d like to get the last free build 42139 into ports sometime in the coming month.  It will only take that long because I’ve never submitted to ports before, so the packaging and submission process is all new to me.

Subscription based development

Instead of asking for donations to support his work, Sprewel has recently started offering subscriptions for Chromium development. If you are interested in Chrome and want to both continue running it on FreeBSD and its future development, consider supporting the development with a subscription.

Sprewell emailed me this week about this new open source business model:

The idea is to get paid for development by developing closed-source patches on a BSD-licensed, mostly open codebase, and contracting with subscribers that they will receive those patches within a time limit from the date they got that build, in my case 1 year.  I think linux has raced ahead of BSD largely because of the support/consultingware business model they’ve used with the GPL, but I think this type of mixed, time-limited business model could vault BSD-licensed software far ahead, to the point where it could compete with fully proprietary software.

All code for a particular build will be released to subscribers under the BSD license, within 1 year of a build being released. If the development costs for a particular issue are paid off before 1 year, the patch for that feature will be opened earlier. The goal is to keep pushing code back upstream within a year

According to Sprewell there are already a few subscribers. Let’s see how this model takes off.

Links

BSDTalk interview with Dru Lavigne

BSDTalk has a 28 minutes interview with Dru Lavigne.

Dru and Will  talk about her new book, The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD, and also about the new BSD Professional Certification exam.

BSDTalk 188 – Listen to the podcast: MP3 | OGG

There is now a PC-BSD Book Forum where readers can share their errata, requests for second editions, discuss book pages they found useful or which need improvement, and provide book reviews.

FreeBSD/CLANG compiler ready for testing

Currently FreeBSD uses GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) as its system compiler. Since the GCC project has moved to the GPLv3 license, the FreeBSD Project is forced to use version 4.2.1 or earlier.

However, an alternative compiler to GCC has emerged recently as a new possible candidate to become FreeBSD’s new system compiler, the BSD licensed CLANG (based on LLVM). License problems are not the only reason why developers have been working on porting this C compiler to FreeBSD, but it’s also clang’s features and performance that make it an interesting candidate.

The whole package of LLVM+clang has now reached a state that it can compile basically all of FreeBSD and a branch of FreeBSD integrating clang into it has been established.

Roman Divácký on behalf of the ClangBSD team announced this new milestone and called for testers:

“ClangBSD is a branch of FreeBSD that aims at integrating clang into FreeBSD, replacing GCC as a system compiler. Recently, we’ve achieved the state when clang can compile all of FreeBSD world on i386/amd64 platforms (including all the C++ apps we have and itself) and a bootable kernel. Thus we feel that the time has come to ask the FreeBSD community for wider testing on i386/amd64 (you sure can help with other platforms too”

At BSD Can 2010 (May 2010) Roman Divácký will do a  presentation on clang. (This event is in my FreeBSD Events & Conference Calendar). The talk aims to describe the history, current status and future possibilities of clang in FreeBSD as presented in the clangbsd branch.

I think that switching FreeBSD to Clang would be a good idea and I’m excited to see the clangbsd project is moving so fast. It would be great to see FreeBSD 9.0 or 8.x compiled with Clang, making FreeBSD GCC independent and we may see further improvements in speed.

Links

Some Panasonic TVs running FreeBSD

Android is becoming more and more popular. It is used in mobiles/cell phones, runs e-book readers, can be found in tablet computers etc etc, but Android is not just for smartphones anymore. A Swedish company has  unveiled the first Android-based TV and there’s been an announcement recently that it will be used in TVs.

But, don’t forget about FreeBSD. There are some indications that some Panasonic TVs use FreeBSD for the firmware for some of it’s plasma televisions (series VIERA G20 , G25 and VT).

Check the license agreement:

The Software (defined below) contains a number of individual copyrighted open source software programs, such as FreeBSD. Please refer to "Software Licence" menu on Product for applicable license terms.

Some users have also noticed that a UFS file system is created on external drives when recording videos to them.

If you have more details about this, please share via the comments below. (via)

FreeBSD supported branches update

The branches supported by the FreeBSD Security Officer have been updated to reflect the EoL (end-of-life) of FreeBSD 6.3.

Users of FreeBSD 6.3 are advised to upgrade promptly to a newer release, either by downloading an updated source tree and building updates manually, or (for i386 and amd64 systems) using the FreeBSD Update utility as
described in the relevant release announcement.

I have updated my FreeBSD Events & Conference Calendar to reflect these updates.

More info about security and supported branches: FreeBSD Security

FreeBSD Foundation accepting project proposals

Love FreeBSD? Love coding, taking FreeBSD to new hights and getting paid for your work?

If this is you, why not submit a proposal to the FreeBSD Foundation?

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce we are 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.

To find out more about the proposal process please download the application document (pdf).

Note, the deadline for submitting project proposals is March 1.

If you need some inspiration as to where you can help out, take a look at the FreeBSD Ideas page to see where FreeBSD can be improved and extended.