FreeBSD Mall donates FreeBSD discs to NSRC workshops in Africa

The FreeBSD Mall, a provider of high quality FreeBSD software, documentation, support, and services to the open source community, recently donated FreeBSD CDs and DVDs to the NSRC (Network Startup Resource Center) for UNIX / FreeBSD workshops being held in Malawi and Tanzania.

The NSRC is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading networking knowledge to diverse regions throughout the world. Open source operating systems are excellent instructional tools for NSRC workshops due to their easy and free acquisition and superior security and stability.

FreeBSD Mall has donated FreeBSD CDs and DVDs to NSRC and AfNOG (African Network Operators Group) workshops since as far back as 2000. Over 1300 participants have been instructed in approximately 50 NSRC and AfNOG workshops and tutorials. Discs donated by FreeBSD Mall are distributed to students who complete the workshops, allowing them to take home official copies of the software they were just trained on and continue to use those skills. O’Reilly Media also provides books so that people may continue the education process at home in combination with the software.

During NSRC workshops, students learn about network development and the logic behind it. Students are then “let loose” on hardware and software to experiment and learn hands-on with FreeBSD and UNIX. Beginners learn the ropes by installing the operating systems and learning basic commands and techniques. As students progress to the intermediate and advanced classes, they learn and experience more complex commands and tasks.

The NSRC uses these lab-based workshops to teach through doing; a process which also helps students to ensure that they can execute the skills they’ve learned to teach them to others in their community. With copies of FreeBSD in their hands, graduates of the workshops develop skills in networking and system administration in order to better their local community and find related jobs.

“I want to say a BIG thank you to FreeBSD Media. You may not know this, but through your support, we have now trained over 100 female Unix administrators on FreeBSD in the past three years. This is by no means a small number, when you look around your IT department and realize that there are very few women working in the tech industry.” – Dorcas Muthoni, General Manager, OpenWorld Ltd. and NSRC/AfNOG Workshop Organizer

(via)

FreeBSD Mall now shipping FreeBSD 8.1

Four-Disc CD Set, Dual-Sided DVD now available for purchase

The FreeBSD Mall is now shipping FreeBSD® Version 8.1, the second release of the FreeBSD 8-STABLE branch in AMD64 and i386 architectures.

FreeBSD Version 8.1 is the first update to FreeBSD Version 8.0, which added Virtual Access Points (VAP) support to 802.11 wireless networking, and allowed virtual machine administrators to create their own nested jails. The 8.1 release includes new features and improves upon the features that were introduced in FreeBSD Version 8.0.

The 8.1 release implements a ZFS Loader, allowing users to boot directly to ZFS. The ZFS pool has been updated to version 14. Also, NFSv4 support is improved, providing a more secure network filesystem for server based file serving.

In addition FreeBSD 8.1 updates sendmail to version 8.14.4, OpenSSH to version 5.4p1, ISC BIND to version 9.6.2-P2, and OpenSSL to version 0.9.8n. Desktop updates include KDE 4.4.5 and GNOME 2.30.1.

In this latest release, core developers focused their efforts on perfecting the functionality of the operating system to provide users with enhanced performance.

“FreeBSD 8.1 is the product of users deploying 8.0 in the field, and submitting reports of its strengths and weaknesses,. We, the developers, used those reports from the users to refine and improve the system across the board.”

said Warner Losh, Director of FreeBSD Development at iXsystems and FreeBSD Core Team Member.

Other notable features of FreeBSD 8.1 include:

  • SMP support in PowerPC G5 systems
  • UltraSPARC IV/IV+, SPARC64 V CPU support
  • The HAST (Highly Available STorage) framework has been added
  • Support for SCTP has been improved

FreeBSD Mall is a division of iXsystems, Inc.® and provides high quality FreeBSD software, documentation, support, and services to the open source community.

Source: FreeBSD Mall Now Shipping FreeBSD Version 8 (prweb.com)

Miscelaneous FreeBSD news and links (week 32)

1. FreeBSD East Coast Mirror

Yesterday we posted the FreeBSD Foundation’s turns to NYI press release, Steven Kreuzer who was directly involved in the project has put more details on his website:

Pretty much since the time that The NYC BSD Users Group was formed, The NY Internet Company have donated a full cabinet and a 10 Mb internet connection to NYCBUG. We used that space to host our website and mailing lists, hardware for developers and mirrors for all the major BSD projects.

In October of 2009, I received an email inviting me to a grand opening party at NYI’s new state of the art data center located in Bridgewater, NJ. I asked some folks on core@ if they thought it would be worthwhile to approach NYI to see if they would be willing to donate a few cabinets so we could build out a FreeBSD mirror on the east coast. gnnjhb and I had a very informal meeting with Phil from NYI and after asking him if they would be willing to provide us with a few cabinets, some power and bandwidth, without thought or hesitation he said yes. The possibility of putting a mirror of FreeBSD.org on the east coast quickly became possible.

Continues: East Coast FreeBSD Mirror

2. FreeBSD VirtualBox Image for Port Maintainers

This website provides 64bit VirtualBox Images for FreeBSD Port Maintainers with some common used software pre-installed.

3. 10 Differences between Linux and BSD

  • Licenses
  • Control
  • Kernel vs operating system
  • UNIX/like
  • Base systems
  • More from source
  • Upgrades
  • Bleeding edge
  • Hardware support
  • User base

Full post: 10 differences between Linux and BSD (techrepublic.com)

4. Open Source projects that changed the world

FreeBSD is one of them: Open source projects that changed the world (ostatic.com)

5. BSDCan through the years

Kirk Russell has posted a summary of BSDCan through the years on the Google Open Source Blog.

I’m Kirk Russell, a Google Site Reliability Engineer who moves files around the cloud at a massive scale. I use BSD software on a daily basis — in my Android phone, my home NAS and my MacBook. My newest toy is a small ARM board that runs FreeBSD.

Earlier this year I attended BSDCan, a software conference for BSD based operating systemprojects. I attended this conference to learn about new BSD technology that will someday become part of my daily life and to meet people with similar interests — there is time to chat in-between the scheduled talks and in the pub. BSDCan is a conference where I learn about new development that I can put to use both at work and at home. Learning these things from the original developers makes it that much more interesting.

Here is a quick reflection on some highlights of past conferences:

BSDCan through the years

iXsystems’ FreeNAS 0.8 development snapshot

Back in December 2009 iXsystems ‘resued‘ the FreeNAS project. After a few months of porting over FreeNAS from a m0n0wall base to a nanobsd base, iXsystems released a development snapshot yesterday.

Yesterday, iXsystems upload a snapshot of their new FreeNAS release on the SVN.
The new FreeNAS is based on nanoBSD, then here are all the steps for generate the disk image of this release (from a FreeBSD 8.1 amd64).

Remember, this build is for developers and testing purposes only, as this snapshot  is not functionally complete yet, and there are likely many rough edges, bugs and problems.

To run and test this build, the instructions can be found in the readme file.

Read the whole post: iXsystems’ FreeNAS snapshot

FreeBSD quick news and links (28/06/2010)

PC-BSD Installer

The new PC-BSD installer (available as GUI and text installer), which is also able to install plain FreeBSD, has now been committed to the FreeBSD source tree. This video goes into the details of the installer.

Kris Moore: PC-SYSINSTALL – A new system installer backend for PC-BSD and FreeBSD

BSD Certification

The BSD Certification Group needs reviewers for the BSDA exam objectives.

BSDA Certification Exam can be taken at MeetBSD 2010, Cracow, Poland: BSDA Certification, Cracow

Help test ZFS v15

ZFS v15 brings in user and group quotas and help is needed to test, before it’s imported.

I would like to do a call for testing for my ZFS v15 patch.

As the user/group quotas feature is too much attractive for my needs, I couldn’t resist and have created (and debugged + tested) a ZFS v15 patch for head (applies cleanly against stable/8 as well).

It is a backport of several onnv-revisions, always consulting pjd’s p4 tree and includes four post-9396 related user/groupquota bugfixes. The bootcode (zfsimpl.h) is properly updated to support v15 as well, the python part is modified (paths, smb support, ioctls).  Continues

Nvidia Releases a Much Improved Video Driver

Nvidia announced on June 22nd the final and stable version of the 256.x proprietary driver for Nvidia graphics cards. Nvidia 256.35 incorporates lots of fixes and improvements, over previous releases. Unofficial GLX support was also added for a few OpenGL extensions, as well as Thermal Settings reporting improvements, Compiz fixes, many VDPAU improvements, and many more. Without further introduction, let’s take a look at some of the most important changes brought by the Nvidia 256.35 video driver (via)

Press Release

FreeBSD Developer position

iXsystems is looking for a Senior Software Engineer:

SR. SOFTWARE ENGINEER in San Jose, CA. FreeBSD driver & kernel dev; prog in C/C++, PHP, SQL/x86 assembly lang; eng group; tools/env & tech writing skills; Reqs: BSCS + 5 yrs. exp. (source)

iXsystems is the all-around FreeBSD company that builds FreeBSD certified servers and storage solutions, runs the FreeBSD Mall, and is the corporate sponsor of PC-BSD and FreeNAS.

New FreeBSD Committers

The following people have been awarded commit privileges in recent weeks:

  • Andrey V. Elsukov (source)
  • Matthew Fleming (source)
  • Ashish Shukla (ports)
  • Brendan Fabeny (ports)

BSD Can sponsored trip reports

The FreeBSD Foundation kindly sponsored a number of FreeBSD developers to attend BSDCan 2010 (videos here). These are links to some of the reports:

And one NetBSD link:

Testing NetBSD: Easy Does It

In a software project as large as NetBSD the interactions between different software components are not always immediately obvious to even the most skilled programmers. Tests help ensure that the system functions according to the desired criteria. Periodic automated runs of these tests with results visible on the web ensures both that tests are run in a regular fashion and that the results are available to all interested parties.

This short article explains the NetBSD test strategies and provides a brief overview of the enabling technologies. It also details how effortless it is to run the test suite and why doing so is in every developer’s, patch submitter’s and system administrator’s best interest. The intended audience is people with a keen interest in testing and quality assurance, and a desire to reduce personal headache. The article is written against NetBSD-current as of June 2010 and applies to what will eventually become NetBSD 6.

Read more: Automated Testing Framework (ATF)

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.

source

iXsystems donates new server for FreeBSD QAT Project

iXsystems has hosted the Quality Assurance Tinderbox used within the FreeBSD ports infrastructure for several months. The Quality Assurance Tinderbox (QAT) is an automated QA system used to identify problems in FreeBSD ports and packages, by building ports and generating the corresponding binary packages, then generating automated failure notifications. Recently, iXsystems decided to help the FreeBSD community improve upon QAT’s existing capabilities by updating the existing QAT server hardware.

The previous QAT server ran only FreeBSD 8.0-STABLE AMD64, which limited its ability to detect issues that port builds may have with other FreeBSD versions and architectures. In order to increase the functionality of QAT, iXsystems upgraded the hardware to increase speed and to extend its quality checks to other versions of the FreeBSD operating system. The new QAT server is housed in a 1U form factor with dual quad-core Intel® Xeon® 5400 Series processors. This machine features 8 total processing cores, 16GB of memory, and two 1TB SATA hard drives. QAT is being heavily refactored to utilize these new hardware resources as efficiently as possible.

Continue reading

(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.