FreeBSD 6.3 Released

FreeBSD LogoCongratulations to the FreeBSD developers! FreeBSD 6.3-RELEASE is available now. This release continues the development of the 6-STABLE branch providing performance and stability improvements, many bug fixes, new features, new drivers, better hardware support, new commands/options and major bug fixes. Some of the highlights:

  • KDE updated to 3.5.8, GNOME updated to 2.20.1, Xorg updated to 7.3
  • BIND updated to 9.3.4
  • sendmail updated to 8.14.2
  • lagg(4) driver ported from OpenBSD/NetBSD
  • unionfs file system re-implemented
  • freebsd-update(8) now supports an upgrade command

For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the online release notes and errata list.

Check out the announcement page for availability, downloading, upgrading, acknowledgments, MD5 checksums etc.

Cheers to the FreeBSD developers! Many thanks, guys, for all your hard work and (free) time. Waiting for FreeBSD 7.0 to be released ;-)

m0n0wall vs pfSense; similarities & differences

pfSense logoA common misconception about pfSense is that it is intended as a rival to m0n0wall as a BSD-based firewall system, since they are similar in structure and goals. This is not the case; some developers even contribute to both projects. m0n0wall is targeted at a specific level of hardware platform, which is the Soekris or Wrap (a 486 133MHz with 64 or 128 Mb RAM and low power consumption). pfSense requires 128 Mb ram. Likewise, m0n0wall gets away with a >= 10Mb CF card, while pfSense really needs a 256Mb card or bigger.

M0n0wall logopfSense is better in that it has more features, however m0n0wall is better in that it is smaller and simpler. Which of the two, m0n0wall or pfSense, you need, just depends on your (system/business) requirements.

Interesting link: BSD Firewalling, pfSense and m0n0wall (PDF – paper delivered at BSDCan2006)

pfSense 1.2 RC4 released

pfSense logo The pfSense development team is happy to bring you the final release candidate in the 1.2 series (RC4)! The FreeBSD based pfSense firewall is designed to be a secure and easy to setup firewall server appliance. pfSense 1.2 promises a number of great features to make setting up a firewall easier and faster.

RC4 will be the last 1.2 release candidate. The final 1.2 release will come before the end of the month.

This is a summary of the changes since RC3:
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m0n0wall tipped, screencasts and beta9

M0n0wall logoThe m0n0wall project now offers a couple of screencasts that walk you through different configuration steps of a m0n0wall. Since pfSense is based on m0n0wall, some of them apply to pfSense as well.

Carla Schroder from Serverwatch.com recommended m0n0wall in the Tip of the Trade series

m0n0wall is a specialized implementation of FreeBSD + pf designed for routers and firewalls. It weighs in at well under 10 megabytes, while still delivering a complete operating system, a firewall, Web administration, traffic shaping services, a DNS and a DHCP server, SNMP, support for DynDNS updates, and a whole lot more. m0n0wall offers a nice pointy-clicky interface for setting up your stout pf firewall, but for ultimate power, you must write rules the from scratch. more…

The 9th beta of M0n0wall 1.3 was released yesterday. This beta release corrects problems with large configuration files, fixes an issue with bridging interfaces that support hardware checksum offload, and adds a kernel patch to allow m0n0wall to boot on Nokia IP110/IP120/IP130 boxes.

PC-BSD PBI Creator 4.0 released

Version 4.0 of the PBI installation program has been released, which includes several new features:

  • New wizard screen during installation, allows user to select a custom installation directory.
  • Installer now displays disk space required for program, and available space on drive.
  • Internal integrity checker confirms that program data hasn’t been corrupted in transit
  • Installer now displays the application specific icon in toolbar during install.

PBI Developers can download version 4.0 from PBIDir. In addition, PBIs being built on the PC-BSD auto-build server will have this update applied automatically. Questions or comments about this latest release may be directed towards the PBI Developers list.

(Free)BSD myths dispelled

FreeBSD myths dispelledAs the BSD projects (DragonFlyBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD) have grown in size, a number of persistent myths have grown up around them. Some of these are perpetuated by well meaning but misguided individuals, others by people pursuing their own agendas.

This page aims to dispel those myths while remaining as dispassionate as possible.