(Free)BSD quick news and links


  • Returning committer: Niels Heinen (ports) (07/03/2010)
  • New committer: Neel Natu (src) (03/03/2010)


1. Quick Poll – which pages would you like to see  printed from Dru’s latest book in the upcoming BSD Magazine issue?

2. How does PC-BSD 8.0 compare with Kubuntu 9.10?   This is probably comparing apples with pears, but for those liking comparison reviews, check PC-BSD 8.0 vs. Kubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

In a majority of the tests, Kubuntu 9.10 performed better than PC-BSD 8.0, but the tests we used in this article are just a subset of what is available to run on both platforms via the Phoronix Test Suite so for those deciding between running PC-BSD / FreeBSD it is important to run the tests relevant to you and also consider the other features at hand for both free software operating systems.

3. PC-BSD’s graphical firewall manager

PC-BSD is a desktop-oriented, FreeBSD-based distribution with KDE as the default desktop environment. The version due to be released shortly is PC-BSD 8. Because it the only BSD-based desktop distribution that’s in a position to compete with the best Linux desktop distributions, I’ll be publishing a number of articles over the next few weeks to introduce those not yet familiar with it to some of its management tools. This post takes a look at the graphical firewall manager.


OpenSSH 5.4 released

Damien Miller (djm@) posted to announce@ with the announcement of OpenSSH 5.4. Some highlights of this release are the disabling of protocol 1 by default, certificate authentication, a new ‘netcat mode’, many changes on the sftp front (both client and server) and a collection of assorted bugfixes. The new release can already be found on a large number of mirrors and of course on www.openssh.com.

Please read on for the full release announcement

AsiaBSDCon 2010

AsiaBSDCon 2010 will be held from 11-14 March in Tokyo

AsiaBSDCon is a conference for users and developers on BSD based systems. The next conference will be held in Tokyo, in 11-14 March, 2010. The conference is for anyone developing, deploying and using systems based on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD, Darwin and MacOS X. AsiaBSDCon is a technical conference and aims to collect the best technical papers and presentations available to ensure that the latest developments in our open source community are shared with the widest possible audience.

AsiaBSD 2010 Schedule and timetable

FreeBSD Twitter feed list

For those interested in following news on Twitter: I (http://twitter.com/gvanessen) have created a custom FreeBSD news list: http://twitter.com/gvanessen/freebsd

This list if made up of the following feeds:

If you’re aware of any other interesting, mainly FreeBSD related twitter feeds, let me know and I’ll add them as well.

FreeBSD webcam support: video4bsd

Hans Petter has been working hard recently on webcamd, making Linux webcam drivers work on FreeBSD.

Webcamd is a port of Video4Linux USB webcam drivers into userspace. It is a 500KiloByte daemon that enables use of hundreds of different USB based webcam devices under the FreeBSD-8/9 operating system. The webcam daemon is basically an application which is a port of Video4Linux USB webcam drivers into userspace on FreeBSD. The daemon currently depends on libc, pthreads, libusb and the VIDEO4BSD kernel module.

Webcamd is a small daemon that enables use of hundreds of different USB based webcam and DVB devices under the FreeBSD-8.0 and later operating system. The webcam daemon is basically an application which is a port of Video4Linux USB drivers into userspace on FreeBSD. The daemon currently depends on libc, pthreads, libusb and libcuse4bsd.

Licensing wise the webcamd is GPL’ed due to the external Video4Linux part which is GPL’ed, though some files inside the webcamd remains BSD licensed which allows for building similar BSD licensed daemons.

Check out his website for a step-by-step howto: video4bsd daemon. The software can also be installed from ports: /usr/ports/multimedia/webcamd

FreeBSD Errata: Deadlock in ULE scheduler

A problem has been identified with the FreeBSD 7 series ULE Scheduler :

FreeBSD has two schedulers: the classic 4BSD scheduler and a newer, more SMP-aware scheduler called ULE. The 4BSD scheduler was the default scheduler until FreeBSD 7.0. Starting with FreeBSD 7.1 the default scheduler is ULE.

The scheduler is responsible for allocating CPU time to threads and assigning threads to CPUs. Runnable threads (i.e. threads which arenot waiting for a blocking operation, such as an I/O operation, memory allocation or lock acquisition, to complete) are assigned to a CPU and placed in that CPU’s run queue. Each thread and each CPU’s run queue is protected by a separate lock.

II. Problem Description

When a thread is reassigned from one CPU to another, the scheduler first acquires the thread’s lock, then releases the source CPU’s run queue lock. The scheduler then acquires the target CPU’s run queue lock and holds the lock while it adds the thread to the queue and signals the target CPU. Finally it reacquires the source CPU’s run queue lock before unlocking the thread. A thread on the target CPU, having been notified of the reassigned thread’s arrival on the target CPU’s run queue, will then acquire the thread’s lock before switching it in.

Read the whole errata

For general information regarding FreeBSD Errata Notices and Security Advisories, including descriptions of the fields above, security branches, and the following sections, please visit http://security.freebsd.org