Interesting FreeBSD related projects: FreeWDE, mfsBSD and easyBSD

Every now and then when browsing the web and hopping from one link to another you sometimes come across some interesting little projects. Recently I’ve found the following three that I want to share with you:

FreeWDE – http://rop.gonggri.jp/?p=269

FreeWDE is a “minimal install” FreeBSD image that you can write to a USB stick or SD-card. When booted from, FreeWDE will ask some questions and then create an AES-256 encrypted partition on the same device. It will then copy the operating system there. You call tell FreeWDE to additionally install an unencrypted FAT32 (Windows) partition which will make a USB stick or SD-card seem like a normal storage device to Windows or Mac machines. It can hold your camera’s pictures or be used for files that you want to move in and out of an offline encrypted system. You can set sizes for all these partitions as well as for the encrypted swap. You can also opt to mount /tmp and /var/log as tmpfs ramdisks.

mfsBSDhttp://mfsbsd.vx.sk/

This is a set of scripts that generates a bootable image (and/or ISO file), that creates a working minimal installation of FreeBSD.

easyBSDhttp://www.fbsd-dev.org/v2/

EasyBSD is a FreeBSD Post Installation script. Now I can imagine you are asking yourself, ‘What does that mean?’ EasyBSD is a modular automation script designed to assist in the extensive post installation process that is required in FreeBSD. The following are modules that are included with EasyBSD, Checks, Update, Security, Networking, Firewall, Recommended Ports, Tips and Tweaks, Daemon, and Universe.

Are you aware of, or are you working on anything FreeBSD related that you want to share with the BSD Community? Why not announce it on this site?

PC-BSD 8.1-BETA1 Released

Hot on the heels of the FreeBSD 8.1-BETA1, Kris Moore has now prepared and released PC-BSD 8.1-BETA1. As most of you will now PC-BSD follows the FreeBSD release cycle and is pure FreeBSD, not a fork, clone or anything like that.

The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.1-BETA1 (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.1-PRERELEASE, and KDE 4.4.4

Version 8.1 contains a number of enhancements and improvements. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog. Some of the notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.1-PreRelease
  • KDE 4.4.4
  • Numerous fixes to the installation backend
  • Support for creating dedicated disk GPT partitioning
  • Improved ZFS support
  • Bugfixes to desktop tools / utilities

Please help us with the testing and leave any feedback on the Testing Mailinglist.

PC-BSD Website | Download | Changelog | Release Notes

New BSD Magazine issue: BSD firewalls

A new issue of the BSD Magazine is available. This time the main subject is BSD firewalls.

From the table of contents:

  • WebHostingBuzz: Matthew Russell, Dennis Arkhangelski
  • Introduction to Nano BSD: Daniel Gerzo
  • Secure Your Wireless with IPsec: Dan Langille
  • Redundant firewalls with OpenBSD, CARP and pfsync: Daniele Mazzocchio
  • Easier WINE Installation on amd64: Slawomir Wojtczak
  • Configuring IP-Based SSL: Skip Evans
  • BSD File Sharing – Part 4. SSH: Peter Topiaz
  • BSD Opinion: Rob Sommerville
  • SAP over BSD: Joseba Mendez

It would be interesting to see what you, readers, think of Webhostingbuzz, as I’ve not heard from them. I for one have very positive experience with RootBSD, the experts in BSD Hosting. They’re very efficient and customer-friendly.

Creating PBI packages for PC-BSD (howto)

Jesse Smith from Distrowatch has published an howto showing how you can create step-by-step PBIs (software package format used on the PC-BSD operating system (.pbi filename extension)) for PC-BSD:

“A few months ago when I reviewed PC-BSD 8.0, some people mentioned the reason they weren’t attracted to the FreeBSD-based operating system was the lack of available PBI packages. The PC-BSD system can make use of the large FreeBSD Ports collection, but for people who want to access their software in a point-n-click manner, they need Push Button Installer (PBI) files. This strikes me as a classic chicken and egg problem: more people would be attracted to PC-BSD if it had a greater number of pre-built packages and additional packages would get built if there were more people running PC-BSD. In an effort to help break that vicious cycle, I set out to learn how to make PBI packages and I want to pass on the knowledge I gained along the way.

Before we get into the details, I’m going to assume in this walk-through that you already know how to compile software. You don’t need to have previous experience packaging software into other formats, such as DEB or RPM files, but you should feel comfortable compiling programs from source code. To get started, we’ll need to have a copy of PC-BSD 8 installed on our computer or in a virtual machine. The first thing we will want to do is install the PBI Creator program, which can be downloaded from here.”

Continues [...]

Jesse concludes this guide with:

Though it may seem like a lot at first, the bulk of the work is in making sure the software compiles before it’s packaged. Most of the steps after that are handled in a friendly fashion by the PBI Creator wizard. Personally, I found creating PBI packages much faster and more intuitive than the first times I tackled building DEB or RPM files. There’s very little command-line work, only one packaging tool to install and no editing of cryptic specification files.

For those interested in creating PBI’s, there’s something is in the oven and it’s going to be nice…..

M0n0wall vs pfSense vs NanoBSD

This shows how secure and rock-solid FreeBSD is. Makura no Soshi was running FreeBSD 4.11 as fil ter ing net work bridge, and thinking of upgrading, he’s compared the pros and cons of  m0n0wall, pfSense and NanoBSD. In the end he decided to go with NanoBSD.

Thus I chose NanoBSD. YMMV, and I would not recommend it for anyone not familiar with BSD. But with four other BSD servers the addition al maintenance effort is really small; possibly even easier than with any non-standard or web-based configuration.

Read the full post here: M0n0wall vs pfSense vs NanoBSD

Google changes WebM License, now pure BSD

When Google first unveiled its WebM project, there were quite some concerns over its license. This license was incompatible with version 2 and 3 of the GPL, and was effectively a new license, causing unnecessary confusion. Google has now cleared everything up by switching to a regular BSD license.

The WebM project is dedicated to developing a high-quality, open video format for the web that is freely available to everyone. The WebM launch is supported by Mozilla, Opera, Adobe, Google and more than forty other publishers, software and hardware vendors.

The original license for the WebM project had a clause that if you brought patent action against Google, the patent license was terminated. This isn’t unusual in open source licenses (the second Apache license and version 3 of the GPL have something similar), but the WebM license had an additional problem.

“The twist was that ours terminated ‘any’ rights and not just rights to the patents, which made our license GPLv3 and GPLv2 incompatible,” explains Google’s Chris DiBona, “Also, in doing this, we effectively created a potentially new open source copyright license, something we are loath to do.”

They’ve resolved the issue by decoupling patents from copyright, meaning the copyright part is now a pure BSD license. They’ve used “patent language borrowed from both the Apache and GPLv3 patent clauses” for their own patent clause. They’re no longer creating a new license, and the patent clause can stand on its own. Additionally, they have updated the patent grant language to make it clear that it includes the right to modify the code and give it away to others.

It’s good to see that Google is making the internet more open and making multimedia patent free.

(via)

FreeBSD 7.2 EoL coming soon

On June 30th, FreeBSD 7.2 will reach its End of Life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Users of this release are strongly encouraged to upgrade to FreeBSD 7.3 before that date; FreeBSD 7.3 will be supported until the end of March 2012. Please note that since FreeBSD 7.1 has been designated for ‘Extended’ support, it will continue to be supported until the end of January 2011, i.e., FreeBSD 7.1 will be supported longer than FreeBSD 7.2.

The End of Life date for FreeBSD 7.2 was originally announced as May 31, but was delayed by one month in accordance with Security Team policy in order to allow a 3 month window between the release of FreeBSD 7.3 and the End of Life of FreeBSD 7.2 to allow time for systems to be upgraded.

The freebsd-update(8) utility can be used to upgrade i386 and amd64 systems from 7.2-RELEASE (or 7.2-RELEASE-pX for some X) to 7.3-RELEASE using binary updates (i.e., without compiling from source) as described in the 7.3-RELEASE announcement; given an adequate internet connection, this process usually takes 15 minutes or less.

More: FreeBSD 7.2 EoL coming soon

Download FreeBSD 8.1 BETA1

FreeBSD 8.1 BETA1 is available for downloading on (most of) the mirrors, as mentioned on the FreeBSD Stable Mailinglist:

The first of the test builds for the FreeBSD 8.1 release cycle is now available for amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, pc98, and sparc64 architectures. Files suitable for creating installation media or doing FTP based installs through the network should be on most of the FreeBSD mirror sites by now.

For those who cannot wait, this is the link: http://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ISO-IMAGES-i386/8.1/

You can change the link to a mirror closer to you by adding your country code, e.g.   http://ftp.dk.freebsd.org/ etc etc