KDE 4.3.0 for FreeBSD available


The KDE 4.3 Desktop

The KDE Community released today KDE 4.3 ( “Caizen”), bringing many improvements to the user experience and development platform. KDE 4.3 continues to refine the unique features brought in previous releases while bringing new innovations. With the 4.2 release aimed at the majority of end users, KDE 4.3 offers a more stable and complete product for the home and small office.

Read on for an overview of the changes in the KDE 4.3 Desktop Workspace, Application Suites and the KDE 4.3 Development Platform.

Desktop Improves Performance And Usability

The KDE Desktop Workspace provides a powerful and complete desktop experience that features excellent integration with Linux and UNIX operating systems. The key components that make up the KDE Desktop Workspace include:

  • KWin, a powerful window manager that provides modern 3D graphical effects
  • The Plasma Desktop Shell, a cutting-edge desktop and panels system that features productivity enhancements and online integration through customizable widgets
  • Dolphin, a user-friendly, network- and content-aware file manager
  • KRunner, a search and launch system for running commands and finding useful information
  • easy access to desktop and system controls through SystemSettings.

Martin Wilke has successfully ported over KDE 4.3 to FreeBSD

Links:

FreeBSD foundation newsletter – June 2009

The FreeBSD Foundation have released their quarterly update. It gives a nice overview of the projects and conferences that are funded by the Foundation.
Table of contents:
  • Letter From the President
  • 2009 Fundraising Drive
  • Dru Lavigne Helping Foundation
  • Safe Removal of Active Disk Devices
  • Wireless Mesh Support
  • Improvements to the FreeBSD TCP Stack
  • AVR32 Support
  • Problem Reporting Prototype
  • FreeBSD Powers Long Distance Wireless Link
  • DCBSDCon 2009
  • AsiaBSDCon 2009
  • Foundation at BSDCan and Developer Recognition
  • 2009 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients
  • BSDCan Spotlight
  • Financials

Read the whole issue here.

The foundation is still way away from their donation target. To support FreeBSD and the FreeBSD Foundation, why not make a donation on their website? If you ever decide to support my website, 10% of your donation will be given to the Foundation.

Since recent times, the Foundation have their own blog and twitter account.

RANCID on FreeBSD (howto)

Bruno put together a useful tutorial for setting up RANCID on FreeBSD:

RANCID is an application that allows you to track changes to network devices using a CVS tree. It will email you any changes made at scheduled intervals. You can read more about it here.

I’m going to implement RANCID on a FreeBSD box at work to track changes to my Cisco network devices. I’ve tested these directions on FreeBSD 6.3 and 7.2 and they should work on FreeBSD in general.

From the RANCID website:

RANCID monitors a router’s (or more generally a device’s) configuration, including software and hardware (cards, serial numbers, etc) and uses CVS (Concurrent Version System) or Subversion to maintain history of changes.

RANCID does this by the very simple process summarized here:

  • login to each device in the router table (router.db),
  • run various commands to get the information that will be saved,
  • cook the output; re-format, remove oscillating or incrementing data,
  • email any differences (sample) from the previous collection to a mail list,
  • and finally commit those changes to the revision control system

RANCID also includes looking glass software. It is based on Ed Kern’s looking glass which was once used for http://nitrous.digex.net/, for the old-school folks who remember it. Our version has added functions, supports cisco, juniper, and foundry and uses the login scripts that come with rancid; so it can use telnet or ssh to connect to your devices(s).Rancid currently supports Cisco routers, Juniper routers, Catalyst switches, Foundry switches, Redback NASs, ADC EZT3 muxes, MRTd (and thus likely IRRd), Alteon switches, and HP Procurve switches and a host of others.

Full howto here

Thanks Bruno for letting me know about your post.

FreeBSD Release Engineering Explained

freebsd project logo 100x100Murray Stokely has released the FreeBSD Release Engineering paper detailing the different phases of the release engineering process leading up to the actual system build as well as the actual build process and very important discussion on the future directions of development:

This paper describes the approach used by the FreeBSD release engineering team to make production quality releases of the FreeBSD Operating System. It details the methodology used for the official FreeBSD releases and describes the tools available for those interested in producing customized FreeBSD releases for corporate rollouts or commercial productization.

The development of FreeBSD is a very open process. FreeBSD is comprised of contributions from thousands of people around the world. The FreeBSD Project provides anonymous CVS[1] access to the general public so that others can have access to log messages, diffs (patches) between development branches, and other productivity enhancements that formal source code management provides. This has been a huge help in attracting more talented developers to FreeBSD. However, I think everyone would agree that chaos would soon manifest if write access was opened up to everyone on the Internet. Therefore only a “select” group of nearly 300 people are given write access to the CVS repository. These committers[5] are responsible for the bulk of FreeBSD development. An elected core-team[6] of very senior developers provides some level of direction over the project.

The rapid pace of FreeBSD development leaves little time for polishing the development system into a production quality release. To solve this dilemma, development continues on two parallel tracks. The main development branch is the HEAD or trunk of our CVS tree, known as “FreeBSD-CURRENT” or “-CURRENT” for short.

A more stable branch is maintained, known as “FreeBSD-STABLE” or “-STABLE” for short. Both branches live in a master CVS repository in California and are replicated via CVSup[2] to mirrors all over the world. FreeBSD-CURRENT[7] is the “bleeding-edge” of FreeBSD development where all new changes first enter the system. FreeBSD-STABLE is the development branch from which major releases are made. Changes go into this branch at a different pace, and with the general assumption that they have first gone into FreeBSD-CURRENT and have been thoroughly tested by our user community.

In the interim period between releases, monthly snapshots are built automatically by the FreeBSD Project build machines and made available for download fromftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/snapshots/. The widespread availability of binary release snapshots, and the tendency of our user community to keep up with -STABLE development with CVSup and “make world”[7] helps to keep FreeBSD-STABLE in a very reliable condition even before the quality assurance activities ramp up pending a major release.

Full Paper here

How many FreeBSD hackers does it take to change a lightbulb?

I’m sure this is written tongue-in-cheek, though there may be some truth in it here and there:

How many FreeBSD hackers does it take to change a lightbulb?

One thousand, one hundred and seventy-two:

Twenty-three to complain to -current about the lights being out;

Four to claim that it is a configuration problem, and that such matters really belong on -questions;

Three to submit PRs about it, one of which is misfiled under doc and consists only of “it’s dark”;

One to commit an untested lightbulb which breaks buildworld, then back it out five minutes later;

Eight to flame the PR originators for not including patches in their PRs;

Five to complain about buildworld being broken;

Thirty-one to answer that it works for them, and they must have cvsupped at a bad time;

One to post a patch for a new lightbulb to -hackers;

One to complain that he had patches for this three years ago, but when he sent them to -current they were just ignored, and he has had bad experiences with the PR system; besides, the proposed new lightbulb is non-reflexive;

Continues (blog.tusoffka.org)