First Look: FreeBSD 7

Will Kraft writes about his impression on FreeBSD 7.

I just got around to trying FreeBSD 7.0, which was released last year. FreeBSD is an open source operating system similar to Linux, and is preferred by some enthusiasts due to its flexibility, security and more permissive licensing. The server OS uses the BSD license, which is not as restrictive as the General Public License that Linux falls under.

Many of the new enhancements in FreeBSD 7 are not immediately obvious. You have to look for them under the hood.

If you have sufficient experience with UNIX systems and security is more important to you than convenience and user friendliness, you should definitely give FreeBSD 7 a try.

… These and the other security utilities that come standard in FreeBSD can provide a level of security that cannot be achieved on Linux without extensive customization and configuration. Even in situations where jails are not used, the distance between root and normal users is widened, since many of the privilege-escalation tools common to Linux (su and sudo) do not work on a stock FreeBSD system.

Read the whole article ( – 04/02/2009)

Many thanks to Edmondas Girkantas for reporting this.

Most reliable hosting companies – January 2009

netcraft logoFreeBSD is again taking the top 2 in the Netcraft Reliable Hosting survey. and New York Internet, both running FreeBSD, were at place 1 and 2 respectively in January 2009. and New York Internet were the most reliable hosting company sites during January 2009. These sites responded to all of the requests made by Netcraft’s performance collectors throughout the month, with no failed requests. was founded in 1992 as Abacus America, Inc., and began offering Internet services in 1995 and hosting services in 1998. Aplus’ web site states that they have 250 employees, over 100,000 customers and 6,000 dedicated server customers. They run Apache on FreeBSD, and last made the top spot in June 2008.

New York Internet also runs Apache on FreeBSD site, and was also tied for first last month.

In the top 10: FreeBSD: 4, Linux: 4, Windows: 1, unknown: 1

Source: (Feb 2008)

Free like FreeBSD (incl photos)

Here’s an interesting account of a move from Windows Server 2008 to FreeBSD

The most important thing for the server should be file storage. Secure file storage! Well, using Windows Server allowed me to use the onboard RAID0/1 controller to create a mirror of 2x 1TB drives. Nice, but.. I wanted to go to RAID5 and there’s also the costs. Not just for a good RAID card which costs around 350 – 400 Euro (PCIexpress, 3ware), no it’s also the licence for a Windows Server which is pretty expensive. Too expensive for a server that serves just 7 computers in our and the neighbours house.

So, I turned to Google and typed “Good OS for a fileserver”, and guess what it said? FreeBSD. Sure, FreeBSD… I tried that years ago – as desktop and it was nice and easy (compared to Linux very easy and much better structured), but it was never an OS that I would recommend for a desktop.

Then I turned to an IRC channel where I often stayed in the last few years from time to time. It’s the IRC channel of the (The IRC channel is on (6667) if you would like to join, but it’s mainly in German). I snapped some keywords on ZFS and RAIDz. Hm.. ZFS? Isn’t this the groundbreaking new filesystem from SUN Microsystems? Yes! And it was ported to FreeBSD. Wow! I like SUN, I like their hardware which is very structured build (ever installed hardware into a SUN? That’s very similar to the Mac Pro – just easy to do!) and of course I fight with Java on my Cisco’s notebook every day. No, I like SUN – they have humor and do cool commercials which you can check out on YouTube.

Read the whole story here.

Source: (29/01/2009)

FreeBSD Status Report: October – December 2008

FreeBSD LogoThe FreeBSD 2008 Quarterly Status Report is now available (Oct – Nov):

This quarter included some very exciting work including the release of FreeBSD 6.4 and the much anticipated release of FreeBSD 7.1. We also launched our own official FreeBSD Forums. The first Bugathon of the year will be held this weekend, see below for more information and how to participate.

Thanks to all the reporters for the excellent work! We hope you enjoy reading.


FreeBSD Team Reports





Previous Status Reports can be found here.

Source: (29/01/2009)

Mount ReiserFS partitions in FreeBSD (howto)

My desktop dual boots Gentoo Linux and FreeBSD. When I installed Gentoo at the time I decided on splitting certain directories in distinct partition, so the I created a partition strictly for portage and opted for the ReiserFS filesystem.

Today I wanted to cut down on the bandwith and decided to copy over a needed distfile from the ReiserFS partition to FreeBSD.

Bellow you’ll find the procedure to mount a ReiserFS in read-only mode. Do notice than the entire procedure is performed only on the FreeBSD system:

% man reiserfs
% su
# kldload reiserfs.ko
# mount -t reiserfs -o ro /dev/ad4s5 /mnt

Full post and explanation here

Source: (29/01/2008)

Open source NAS device using FreeNAS and iSCSI drives (howtos & video))

FreeNAS LogoDave Lawlor has put together some really easy-to-follow instructions on how to install and configure FreeNAS.

FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.

There are a couple of other good howtos available but this one by far the easiest to follow, AND the screenshots are of the latest FreeNAS version (changed GUI).

So far Dave has posted 3 tutorials:

1. Build Your Own Open Source NAS Device Using FreeNAS – Part 1

(Downloading, installing and accessing FreeNAS for the first time)

2. Build Your Own Open Source NAS Device Using FreeNAS – Part 2

(Setting up and accessing drives, and testing the FreeNAS installation)

3. How to Setup iSCSI Drive Using FreeNAS

(What is iSCSI and setting it up)

Hopefully we’ll see more posts from him over the next few weeks.

I came also across another interesting FreeNAS related video where Chris, from Jupiter Broadcasting, shows how FreeNAS can transform an old PC into a full blown NAS server:

More information on NAS servers can be found on NAS, SANs and Storage Server Technology

Updated: FreeBSD events and conferences calendar

I’ve updated my FreeBSD Events & Conference Calendar and added:

Did you know being BSDA certified gives you an edge? TAO Security is looking to hire a BSDA certified FreeBSD systems administrator.

If you’re aware of any FreeBSD related events that aren’t listed, please let me know.