pfSense 1.3 – what’s coming?

pfSense logoThe pfSense Team have outlined their development plans for version 1.3 which will be base on FBSD 7.0. It’s the plan to release the next version within the next month.

This release already contains some significant new features. Among them are:

  • Traffic shaper completely rewritten – now supports any number of internal interfaces and multiple WAN interfaces. This work is 99% finished and is working exceptionally well in our testing.
  • User manager – multiple administrative users can be created, with varying levels of access. Access groups can be defined to easily grant identical access rights to multiple users. Rights can be defined individually for each page in the web interface.
  • LDAP authentication – LDAP is integrated into the user manager so pfSense can authenticate from any LDAP server. Microsoft Active Directory and Novell eDir have been thoroughly tested, though any LDAP server should work. You can even define groups in your directory and assign rights in pfSense to those groups.
  • Significant OpenVPN improvements
  • Routing improvements

Keep up the good work, Chris (and the other team members). Looking forward to trying out 1.3.

PC-BSD 1.5 – review (fosswire)

PC-BSD LogoFosswire has a nice write up about PC-BSD 1.5, with a 8 out of 10 mark. The installation is straight forward and installation of PBIs is easy.

Experienced Linux and BSD users might moan and groan about the Windows-ness of it, but it really is slick.

Although package installation resembles very much the Windows way” it works, and that’s most important for “casual user” who doesn’t have experience with Linux or BSD.

Conclusion: PC-BSD is a very capable general purpose desktop operating system. It is certainly as capable as any of the major Linux distributions out there. The particular thing that makes it stand out is its novel approach to software management, which makes it easier for the newbie to use.

The major issue I see is lack of support. PC-BSD is very niche and that is likely to cause some issues when it comes to support. There is an active forum-based community, which I am sure is very helpful, but the level of support simply can’t compete with the communities built around other operating systems, such as Ubuntu.

Apart from that, I really am struggling to find criticism for PC-BSD, aside from the minor quirks and some of the rather irritating installation restrictions.

Sure, it might be an unusual choice, but for the standard web/productivity tasks it does as good a job as anything else that’s out there. And isn’t that what really matters?

More on FreeBSD and performance

Since the conclusion of the SMPng project, the focus of SMP development in FreeBSD has shifted from deploying locking infrastructure to careful profiling and optimization of kernel SMP strategies for increased performance on common workloads. FreeBSD 7.0 was the first release to benefit from this optimization work.


The status of this work includes MySQL workload benchmarks and memory allocator performance in the new FreeBSD 8 branch. Also, here is a recent presentation showing FreeBSD compared to several other operating systems like NetBSD, DrangonFly, Solaris, and Linux.

Source: osnews.com (11/03/2008) where you can also read a lively FBSD vs Linux comments thread.

227 subscribers and going strong

Another milestone! As of today there are 227 RSS subscribers to my blog.

Thank you, guys (and girls), for all your interest and the feedback I’ve been getting so far. If there’s anything that you want me to change or add to make this site even better, please let me know. I want my blog to become the best FreeBSD news website on the web ;-)

I’ve got some ideas, but you have to wait and find out….. ;-)

If you know any people, friends or family, that are interested in open source operating systems or BSD systems, can you do me a favour and let them know about my blog?