(Free)BSD links round up (week 6)

Week 6 round up: 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.

(Free)BSD News

  1. New Sidekick Will Run NetBSD, Not Windows CE
    Many sites are reporting that the next Sidekick LX 2009/Blade, from Danger (acquired by Microsoft early in 2008), is going to run NetBSD as their operating system, causing Microsoft’s recruiters to look for NetBSD developers
    “After Danger was bought by Microsoft in 2008, one would expect that their upcoming models will run Microsoft’s embedded operating system Windows CE as operating system. Apparrently that’s not the case, and the new Sidekick will rather run NetBSD as operating system. It seems Danger did too much work that they didn’t want to throw away.”  More…

(Free)BSD Releases

  1. NetBSD 5.0 RC1 released
    The announcement says: “On behalf of the NetBSD Release Engineering team, I am proud to announce that the first release candidate of NetBSD 5.0 is now available for download” More…
    Hubert F’s NetBSD Blog says: “Probably the two most significant improvements in NetBSD 5.0 will be journalling for UFS  and the move from XFree to X.org. Download now, or have a look at the changes in 5.0



New FreeBSD committers
The following people have been awarded  with update rights this week:

  • Beat Gätzi (ports)

Guides ‘n howtos

  • Notes on Installing Sguil Using FreeBSD 7.1 Packages  (Richard Bejtlich)
    “It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the Sguil ports for FreeBSD, so I decided to see how they work. In this post I will talk about installing a Sguil sensor and server on a single FreeBSD 7.1 test VM using packages shipped with FreeBSD 7.1.”
    Sguil: The Analyst Console for Network Security Monitoring – sguil.net
    Link to howto: taosecurity.blogspot.com
  • Upgrading FreeBSD Packages   (Richard Bejtlich)
    In my last post I discussed upgrading from FreeBSD 7.0 to 7.1. In this post I’ll mention packages that needed to be updated.
    In the last post I showed two installed packages using the native pkg_info command. … I decided to use Portupgrade to update packages installed on the system. Portupgrade was not on the box so I added it via pkg_add. I used the -n switch to do a “dry run” to see what version would be added.
    Link to howto: taosecurity.blogspot.com

Ports ‘n Packages
The following interesting and useful programs are now availble as (updated) ports or packages:

  • N/A

Status report KDE 4.2 and FreeBSD 6.4 support

Martin Wilke announced that KDE 4.2 (FreeBSD) is ready for testing. He’s also interested to find out how many users are using KDE4 on FreeBSD 6.4. As there are only 2 people actively working on porting KDE4 and keeping it up-to-date, it’s too time consuming to keep FBSD 6.4 supported. If you’re able and willing to help Martin and his team, please let him know.

KDE 4.2 is more or less ready for testing, but we have some open tasks before we will officially call for testing. We would like to know how many people are still using KDE4 on FreeBSD 6.4? We are considering dropping support for 6.x.

Let me explain.

First of all it is sad to say, but currently there are only 2 people who actively work on KDE4. It is _really_hard work to get KDE4 ready for FreeBSD. Also it is getting harder to build KDE4 with gcc 3.x. Of couse if somebody want to support KDE4 on 6.x you are welcome to our team! Try to compile KDE, make patches and push them upstream! So, in order to move forward we may have to drop 6.x support. We just don’t have the manpower to build multiple versions.

Read further and leave a comment about dropping/keeping KDE4/FBSD6.4 support.

4 CD FreeBSD 7.1 set @ freebsdmall.com

FreeBSD Logo4 disk FreeBSD 7.1  CD set is now available from freebsdmall.com.

FreeBSD 7.1 is the second release from the 7-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 7.0 and introduces some new features.

Some of the changes are:

  • The ULE scheduler is now the default in GENERIC kernels for amd64 and i386 architectures. The ULE scheduler significantly improves performance on multicore systems for many workloads.
  • Support for using DTrace inside the kernel has been imported from OpenSolaris. DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework.
  • A new and much-improved NFS Lock Manager (NLM) client.
  • Boot loader changes allow, among other things, booting from USB devices and booting from GPT-labeled devices.
  • The cpuset(2) system call and cpuset(1) command have been added, providing an API for thread to CPU binding and CPU resource grouping and assignment.
  • am-utils has been updated from version 6.0.10p1 to version 6.1.5.
  • ISC BIND has been updated to version 9.4.2-P2.
  • awk has been updated from 1 May 2007 release to the 23 October 2007 release.
  • bzip2 has been updated from version 1.0.4 to version 1.0.5.
  • CVS has been updated to version
  • hostapd has been updated to version 0.5.10 + radius ACL support.
  • libarchive has been updated to version 2.5.5.
  • ncurses library has been updated to version 5.6-20080503.
  • NTP has been updated to version 4.2.4p5.
  • OpenPAM has been updated from the Figwort release to the Hydrangea release.
  • OpenSSH has been updated from version 4.5p1 to version 5.1p1.
  • The resolver(3) library has been updated to one of ISC BIND 9.4.3.
  • sendmail has been updated from version 8.14.2 to version 8.14.3.
  • The timezone database has been updated from the tzdata2007h release to the tzdata2008h release.
  • wpa_supplicant has been updated to version 0.5.10 + syslog support.
  • The GNOME desktop environment has been updated from 2.20.1 to 2.22.
  • The KDE desktop environment has been updated from 3.5.8 to 3.5.10.


FreeBSD is an open source community project and can be downloaded for free. However, to support the Project, why not consider buying the CD set? FreeBSD Mall is owned by iXsystems, who support FreeBSD whereever they can (financially, servers and marketing).

Details and buy-link here.

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 (javareport.com – 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.  Aplus.net and New York Internet, both running FreeBSD, were at place 1 and 2 respectively in January 2009.

Aplus.net 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.

Aplus.net 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: news.netcraft.com (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 BSDGroup.de. (The IRC channel is #bsdgroup.de on irc.freenode.org (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: klein2.de (29/01/2009)