m0n0wall 1.3 Beta8

Another beta for m0n0wall. The eighth.

This beta release fixes an issue with some PPPoE-based ISPs (most notably AT&T/BellSouth). MPD and PHP were updated. Two DHCP server options are exposed through the Web GUI.

Please note that the 1.3b8 image doesn’t fit on a 8MB CF card anymore (>=10MB required)

FreeBSD in 2007 – a review

2007 is over. It was a very successful year for open source software and another 12 interesting months have passed for FreeBSD. In this post I want to look back at 2007 and see how FreeBSD faired, what happened in “FreeBSD land” and how FreeBSD based operating systems have developed. This post will be a sort of summary of the messages I posted during 2007.

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We’ll be looking at:

Start of this blog

Around April last year I was toying with the idea of starting a FreeBSD related news blog with the view to raise more awareness of FreeBSD and show it’s a perfect alternative to Linux. My first post was on 17 May 2007 and since then visitor numbers have rapidly gone up and feedback from visitors indicates that there’s definitely interest in such a blog. With the continuing growth of my WordPress.com hosted blog, I wanted to get some more flexibility and the ability to install plugins and scripts. Hence my move to Bluehost/FreeBSDOS (BTW, if you’re looking for cheap and reliable webhosting, I can really recommend them).

FreeBSD in 2007

FreeBSD LogoUnfortunately 2007 didn’t see the final release of FreeBSD 7.0; just 4 beta’s and a RC1. Well, maybe not “unfortunately”, because a top-quality product is better than a rushed-out flaky one that needs to be fixed and patched soon after its release. FreeBSD 7.0 incorporates some new and exciting technologies which will put this version a-par with, if not ahead of, Linux. Exciting stuff.

The FreeBSD Foundation have issued their quarterly newsletters (Q2, Q3, Q4), keeping the world up-to-date with the latest developments and news. The Foundation received a lot of coverage online and in the blogosphere with their Absolute FreeBSD book auction and their fund raising drive. The 2007 fundraising goal was $250.000, but a total of $403,511 was achieved. Well done.

There are already a couple of Linux related magazines for sale in stores, but BSD magazines aren’t available currently. “An interesting opportunity“, Software Media LLC/LP Magazine must have thought. They will issue first issue at the beginning of Q2 2008 and will contain an article by Dru Lavigne and Jan Stedehouder (Jan used and reviewed both PC-BSD and DesktopBSD for a month in his PC-BSB: the first 30 days and DesktopBSD: the first 30 days series).

Conference-wise, the ‘normal’ BSD conferences (BSDCan, EuroBSD, MeetBSD) were held, with a new one in Turkey (BSDConTR).
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New book: “The Best of FreeBSD Basics”

Dru Lavigne FreeBSD BasicsDru Lavigne’s popular column has been updated, improved, and compiled into a new book, The Best of FreeBSD Basics.

Dru wrote over 110 articles (over 250 web pages) documenting her (Free)BSD experiences starting in early 2000.

Being the meticulous sort, I had a journal of all of the attempts, error messages, and successes I had encountered since stumbling upon freebsd.org through an Internet search (from the book preface.)

It says ‘FreeBSD’ in the title, but I’d think everything that isn’t specifically related to FreeBSD ports applies to every BSD OS. The book is available at Amazon.com.

OSS 4.0 Released under BSD Lisence

Open Sound System OSS4Front Technologies is proud to announce the release of the source code to Open Sound System (OSS) v4.0 under the BSD license for FreeBSD and other BSD compliant operating systems.

OSS is a cross platform API that provides drivers for most consumer and professional audio devices for UNIX® and POSIX based operating systems, including Linux. Owing to its open architecture, applications developed on one supporting operating system platform can be easily recompiled on any other platform.

Full details and release notes available here.

DesktopBSD 1.6 final released

The wait is over. After about 20 months since v1.0, 1.6 has been released.

This release is the first stable release of the 1.6 branch and comes with a great number of new features and improvements. It is based on the second release candidate of FreeBSD’s upcoming production release 6.3 and provides the user with an enhanced KDE 3.5.8 desktop environment.

Congratulations to the DBSD Team

The most notable new features are:

  • FreeBSD 6 as a modern and reliable base system
  • X.Org release 7.3, improving support for modern graphics hardware
  • Live CD/DVD feature for testing the system without installation
  • Revised installer supporting upgrades from 1.0 and previous 1.6 RCs
  • Improved package manager usability and performance
  • Many enhancements and bugfixes for the DesktopBSD tools
  • Support for multiple processors and multi-core CPUs
  • Inclusion of the NVIDIA graphics driver for hardware 3D rendering
  • DesktopBSD build servers as an up-to-date package source

Release Notes | Download Page

New Year’s message from PC-BSD

PC-BSD’s New Year’s message offers a few peeks into what is planned for 2008:

  • PC-BSD 1.5 based on FreeBSD 6.3 and KDE 3.5.8
  • 64-bit native version planned
  • Update to the PBI Creator and PBIdir.com
  • PBI Auto-Building system up-and-running

On behalf of the PC-BSD Core Team, Kris Moore writes:

I wanted to post a brief message to our users and developers, thanking them for their support over the last year, and offering a few peeks into what we are planning for ’08.

First of all we are eagerly awaiting the release of KDE 4 and FreeBSD 7, and will start on a new version of PC-BSD based on these sometime in the months after their release. Also, we plan on a 1.5 release based on FreeBSD 6.3 and KDE 3.5.8, which will be the last release in the 1.x series. We also plan on releasing a 64 bit native version of PC-BSD starting with version 1.5. This version will also have its own set of 64 bit PBIs to ensure that users can run their applications natively, as they should be.

Also in the next few weeks an update to the PBI creator will be released, which will offer a few new features, such as being able to choose a different install location for their applications. We are also busy working on an update to PBIDir, which will make it easier to monitor and install the latest PBIs. This along with our new PBI Auto-Building system will help ensure that PBIs are up to date, and often available in 24-48 hours after the related port has been updated in the ports tree.

We are looking forward to another year of leaps forward in PC-BSD usability and power, and hope everybody enjoys the improvements!

BSDStats.org showing eroneous data?

I’ve noticed today that BSDstats.org is showing  only 1,145 users for FreeBSD  and 1,393 for PC-BSD so far this month. Usually the number for FreeBSD is around 4,000 servers/PCs at the beginning of each month, which then climbs up to around 5,000 at the end of the month. Most of these are servers that are on 24/7 so they ping BSDStats.org immediately at the beginning of the month. The number of PC-BSD users tends to go up slowly throughout the month to around 5,000 users. The total of 1,393 PC-BSD users so far this month is possibly correct, but I’m not sure about the 1,145 FreeBSD servers/users.

Anybody aware of any problems or changed scripts?

FreeNAS Tutorials

Rob Lagesse has created two easy FreeNAS tutorials. These howto’s are aimed at Windows users wanting to set up a NAS server but having no or little experience with alternative operating systems. All step-by-step with many screenshots.

If you’re an advanced FreeNAS/FreeBSD user you may find these two post interesting: FreeNAS & online snapshot backups, with a script how to backup your data to an online hoster, e.g. Bluehost, or this post: Diy NAS + Xbox 360 = R0X.