Sponsoring FreeBSD

iX Systems has created a simple web based application for posting bounties, getting developers and sponsors on board, posting the committed code in a browser viewable format, and then handle final payout upon completion.


I don’t know current the sponsorbsd website is, since the test projects are quite dated. Maybe Matt from iXsystems can leave a comment here when he reads this and give us an update on how current the website is.

It’s definitely a good idea, I think.

FreeBSD Mall now shipping FreeBSD 8

freebsd_8_cdThe FreeBSD Mall is now shipping FreeBSD® Version 8.0. The four-disc CD set or dual-sided DVD is available for purchase, either individually or on a subscription basis at a discounted price. The FreeBSD Mall has a long tradition of providing a reliable source of software, documentation, and support to the open source community.

We are pleased to be the primary distributor of the FreeBSD 8.0 release. FreeBSD Mall takes its commitment to customer service very seriously, and will continue its current tradition of providing outstanding FreeBSD services and software through this latest release.

says Theresa Garner, General Manager, FreeBSD Mall, Inc.

FreeBSD Version 8.0 marks the beginning of the new 8-STABLE branch, which improves upon the functionality of FreeBSD Version 7.X and introduces new features. Key focuses of the FreeBSD 8.0 release include wireless networking, virtualization, and storage technology.

The release features the addition of Virtual Access Points (VAP) support to 802.11 wireless networking, which allows mulitiple wireless networks to be hosted from a single access point. Draft 802.11 mesh networking support allows FreeBSD-based devices to dynamically link together to create a larger wireless network.

In addition, virtual machine administrators can now create their own nested jails, and FreeBSD now supports host and guest modes in Virtual Box. FreeBSD 8.0 can also run as a 32-bit Xen Dom U guest.

Other notable features of FreeBSD 8.0 include:

  • NFSv3 GSSAPI support, experimental NFSv4 client and server.
  • 802.11s D3.03 wireless mesh networking and Virtual Access Point support.
  • ZFS is no longer in experimental status.
  • Ground-up rewrite of USB, including USB target support.
  • Continued SMP scalability improvements in many areas, especially VFS.
  • Revised network link layer subsystem.
  • Experimental MIPS architecture support.

iXsystems new production line

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

Due to the growth of the business they have recently moved to a production facility.

Some pictures of the new assembly hall can be seen here.

A video of the new office and hall can be watched here

BSDTalk interview with Josh Paetzel (iXsystems)

BSDTalk has a 12 minute interview with Josh Paetzel, IT director at iXsystems. Will and Josh talk about the recent takeover of the FreeNAS project by iXsystems.

FreeNAS will stay FreeBSD-based, with the ZFS file system and the project will stay open source. The roadmap and some other things are still being thought about and worked on.

BSDTalk 182 – Listen to the podcast: MP3 | OGG

FreeBSD Mall receives Best of Concord Award (2009)

The U.S. Commerce Association recently announced that the FreeBSD Mall has been selected for the 2009 Best of Concord Award in the Computer Services category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to market FreeBSD and PC-BSD products effectively, and to be selected for this prestigious award”,

says Theresa Garner, Manager, FreeBSD Mall, Inc.

“FreeBSD Mall takes its commitment to customer service very seriously, and will continue its current tradition of providing outstanding software, documentation, and support to the FreeBSD community.”

Why FreeBSD 8 won’t rewrite the book

A major release of an operating system typically brings significant changes that require users to learn new skills.

But backers of the open source FreeBSD 8 operating system say that’s not necessarily going to be the case with its next major version.

FreeBSD 8 is currently in its beta release cycle with a final release targeted for August. The new release will be the first major release since FreeBSD 7 in February 2008, with the most recent point update being the 7.2 release in May of this year.

While the jump to 8.0 might seem a big step, FreeBSD contributor and Absolute FreeBSD author pointed out that most users have little to worry about.

“FreeBSD has a two-tier development process,” Lucas told InternetNews.com. “This two-tear method lets our users be very conservative, using only well-tested and widely deployed code, while we can further improve the code and add new features.”

“The newest version of FreeBSD, including the changes that were made just minutes ago, is called FreeBSD-current,” he explained. “Any new features go into FreeBSD-current for community testing and further development. Every so often, we cut a major release from FreeBSD-current. This is a .0 release, such as 8.0.”

Lucas added that once 8.0 is released, FreeBSD-current will continue receiving new features and further development. Once those features are tested and debugged, they might be backported to FreeBSD 8. As a result, the latest FreeBSD 7.2 release is based on an older version of FreeBSD-current, but includes bugfixes and additional features that have been tested on the development version of FreeBSD.

Another longstanding focus of FreeBSD is on simplifying the technical task of migrating to new releases.

Matt Olander, CTO at enterprise hardware systems vendor iXsystems, told InternetNews.com that his firm will be working to help his customers migrate from older versions of the OS to the new release when it’s out.

But Olander, who also serves on the FreeBSD Project’s marketing and public relations teams, described FreeBSD as “notoriously famous” for its easy migration across versions, with successful migrations to FreeBSD 7.x from far older editions like 4.x.

That makes it easy to recommend to customers, he added.

“We will install whatever platform the customer chooses, although we’re certainly partial to BSDs and FreeBSD in particular,” Olander said. “Usually my first question, if I’m brought into discussions for an opportunity and the customer is using another operating system, is ‘Have you tried that on FreeBSD?’”

What’s new in FreeBSD 8

FreeBSD is one of the earliest open source operating system projects and is a direct descendant of the original, open source BSD work performed at the University of California, Berkeley. According to Lucas, the FreeBSD Project is driven largely by volunteers with very few actually working as paid developers on the effort.

“While the FreeBSD team has excellent communication skills, many of our people have lives and careers outside of FreeBSD,” Lucas said.

That certainly hasn’t stunted the new capabilities baked into FreeBSD 8, however, with the OS — often thought of as primarily a server-based operating system — offering big improvements that may benefit desktop users, too.

“FreeBSD 8.0 includes many new features and abilities over the 7.x series,” Kris Moore, founder of the PC-BSD project, told InternetNews.com. “On the desktop side of things, probably the most important feature will be the new USB stack, which greatly improves support for USB devices, and fixes lots of long-standing bugs. Improvements to drivers [and] speed improvements are also in the works.”

PC-BSD is a desktop derivative of FreeBSD that is currently owned by iXsystems.

“So far, we’ve seen some major improvements from the newer FreeBSD base, such as the USB fixes, greatly improved Wi-Fi support, and a significant desktop responsiveness improvement,” Moore said, adding that work on PC-BSD version 8, which will based on FreeBSD 8, has just begun.

Despite the improvements in FreeBSD 8, the project’s supporters reaffirmed that the idea is to keep disruption to a minimum.

“The FreeBSD team works hard to minimize user surprises,” Lucas said, adding that the fact makes his book still relevant, despite having been first published in 2002. “Absolute FreeBSD’s usefulness will decrease over time, as with any tech book, but I expect it to be useful for a few years yet.”

Source: internetnews.com (15-07-2009)

iXsystems releases iX-Apollo Extreme Series Workstation

iXsystems has unveiled the iX-Apollo Extreme Series, the first fully qualified PC-BSD workstation. The iX-Apollo Extreme Series ships with PC-BSD 7.x Pre-Installed and Pre-Configured. PC-BSD is a complete desktop operating system with a robust feature set including KDE 4.2.2. PC-BSD is inherently virus-resistant thereby offering stability, security and at the same time provides a comfortable user experience.

The iX-Apollo Extreme Series features the latest Intel Core i7 technology with support for up to eight logical cores. It utilizes up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, GigE LAN, 3D capable NVIDIA graphics. Additionally the iX-Apollo Extreme Series is powered by an ultra quiet 500 Watt power supply unit, which is equipped with universal input and active PFC. The power supply is also 80PLUS certified, making it efficient, eco-friendly, and less expensive to operate.

“The workstation gets more than 15,000 frames per second with effects turned off, and sees around 300 fps in Half-Life 2 with video settings maxed out. This Intel® Core™ i7 configuration is the best desktop experience I’ve had so far.  I downloaded Vavle’s Steam client and played Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike Source, and Left 4 Dead using PC-BSD.  I bought Half-Life 2 in 2004, but the Windows PC I had at the time could barely handle it. The load times alone made the game unplayable. Thanks to PC-BSD and some really nice hardware, I was finally able to enjoy the game the way it was intended,”

says James T. Nixon III, Webmaster, iXsystems.

“Aside from the amazing gaming performance, the workstation deploys desktop effects beautifully.  It sits quietly next to my television serving as a PC-BSD ‘Media Center’, making couch-computing the ‘only’ way to go!  Whether you’re writing a white paper in OpenOffice, watching movies with VLC, or enjoying the HD Flash videos on Hulu.com, PC-BSD continues to prove that anything is possible with the right hardware,”

says Ryan Hall, PC-BSD/iX-Apollo User.