Interview with PC-BSD Kris Moore at Texas Linux Fest

pc-bsd logo 100x100Petescan321, a freelance computer technician, had an opportunity to interview Kris Moore, founder of the PC-BSD project, at the recent Texas Linux Fest.

In this short interview they mainly talk about PC-BSD’s package management and window managers.

Kris was asked the following question.

  • Who are you and what do you work in?
  • What are the main advantages of using PC-BSD, especially for someone who comes from a Linux background?
  • It’s different in Linux, where you get a tarball, and then it’s like how do I install it? Yet having everything organized and one way to download it, [is much better].
  • What do you think about the Desktop wars that have been going on lately? Like GNOME 3.
  • So being a rolling release its always up to date. And it’s very stable?
  • Kris Moore: ZFS will change your life. (thanks sg1efc)

Read Kris’ replies in Interview with Kris Moore at Texas Linux Fest

 

FreeBSD begins process to support secure boot

The FreeBSD project has begun the process of making it possible for the operating system to run alongside Windows 8 on a computer which has secure boot enabled.

Secure boot is a feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface or UEFI, the replacement for the BIOS on the motherboard.

Microsoft has implemented secure boot for Windows 8, using cryptographic keys for authenticating the kernel that is being loaded. This means that any other operating system looking to load itself on a secure boot-enabled Windows 8 system has to also be able to authenticate itself.

Some GNU/Linux distributions have developed their own methods of booting on such hardware. However, installing such distributions alongside Windows 8 is still not an easy task for the average user.

Continue reading Marshall McKusik’s interview with itwire: FreeBSD begins process to support secure boot

 

(*Updated*) Miscellaneous FreeBSD news and Updates

This is a collection of links to recent updates and news around FreeBSD (package) development and conferences.

FreeBSD Development

Update on FreeBSD/armv6 in QEMU

USB driver for FreeBSD/Beaglebone

Default PC-BSD PCDM Theme (Contest)

AMD Radeon KMS Still Being Ported To FreeBSD

 

FreeBSD Package Management

After almost a year of development pkg 1.1 has reached the ports tree.

Introducing py-pkg: Python wrappers for libpkg

 

Conferences

BSDCan Trip Report (Florian Smeets)

Trip Report from USENIX ATC 2013 (Murray Stockely)

EuroBSD 2013 details and updates

BSDCan 2013 FreeBSD Developer Summit Report, with updates on

  • Beyond Buildworld…
  • Documentation
  • Network Receive Performance
  • Ports and Packages
  • UEFI
  • Virtualization

Other 

Fixing Network Attached Storage with commodity hardware and BSD (FreeNAS+ZFS) (boingboing)

Joshua Parker Ruehlig’s FreeNAS plugins

Eight-Way BSD & Linux OS Comparison

FreeNAS 9.1.0 BETA images available

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoThe FreeNAS development team has announced the availability of FreeNAS 9.1.0-BETA images.

Images can be downloaded from freenas downloads section. The best improvement, I think, is that the jail plugin for any plugins you want to download is now included in the install image and does not need to be downloaded and installed separately.

FreeNAS 9.1.0-BETA has many major improvements:

  1. Version 9.1.0-STABLE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug fixes, and updated software packages.
  2. Many improvements to the ZFS filesystem, including feature flags, TRIM support, enhanced drive removal notification, improved ARC memory reclamation and reliability improvements.
  3. Improved Plugin Jail subsystem which supports multiple jails and an enhanced UI including enhancements from PC-BSD Warden.
  4. Improved Volume manager including auto optimization of volumes for performance.
  5. Improvements to the encryption subsystem.
  6. Documentation enhancements.

As always, beta versions are for testing purposes only. Feel free to notify the FreeNAS team of any bugs you may find.

Download FreeNAS 9.1-BETA | Announcement | FreeNAS website

Apple’s Jordan Hubbard joins iXsystems

FreeBSD Co-Founder Wraps Up Historic Tenure at Apple to Become iXsystems CTO 

iXsystems announced today that one of the original founders of FreeBSD, Jordan Hubbard, is joining iXsystems. More information can be found in the press release that was sent out:

Freebsd_Jordan_HubbardXsystems, Inc. is delighted to welcome Jordan Hubbard, former Director of UNIX Technology at Apple, as Chief Technical Officer. Hubbard will lead engineering and development at iXsystems, take the reins of FreeNAS (the wildly popular open source storage platform) and work to bring the TrueNAS Unified Storage Appliance to a wider audience by adding new capabilities, such as object storage, simpler cloud integration, and high-performance real-time data de-duplication, to name a few. He will also work to create future products and services which better serve the needs of emerging enterprise and consumer markets.

At Apple, Hubbard led the development of many BSD and Unix technologies at the core of Mac OS X and iOS over the last 12 years. His primary areas of focus were on modernizing the Unix platform, creating better and more fundamental security technologies, increasing performance and power efficiency, and tirelessly promoting the common interests and exchange of technologies between the OSS community and Apple.

With Hubbard’s knowledge and decades of experience, iXsystems is poised to expand further into the enterprise storage market, increasing support for industry standards while continuing to develop new and innovative technology. TrueNAS Unified Storage is already used around the world supporting big data, virtualization, and cloud computing infrastructures and, under Hubbard’s leadership, TrueNAS will further solidify its position as the most powerful and easy to use storage option on the market.

“I’m very excited to have this opportunity to help guide iXsystems through its next phase of professional and technological development. This is not just a great opportunity for me to be part of a company known for its strong support of FreeBSD and other open source software, but I’m also looking forward to helping it achieve new levels of success with the TrueNAS storage appliance and having the opportunity to create future innovative products.”

says Hubbard.

Hubbard and iXsystems are connected through the FreeBSD Project and many years of history. Hubbard co-founded the FreeBSD project in 1993 and was a long-time executive employee of iXsystems’ corporate ancestors, BSDi and Walnut Creek CD-ROM. BSDi became iXsystems in 2001, and Walnut Creek became the FreeBSD Mall in 2002, before re-joining iXsystems in 2005.

iXsystems is a champion of FreeBSD, making both financial and technical contributions to the project as well as running the FreeBSD Mall and representing FreeBSD at open-source conferences and trade shows around the world. Hubbard is the ideal figure to lead the development of FreeBSD-based systems at iXsystems and spearhead the company’s contributions to FreeBSD, carrying on the long tradition of being a leading supporter of the open source community.

Matt Olander, Co-founder and CTO Emeritus of iXsystems, is thrilled to welcome Jordan back to the iX family.

“Apple has a well-deserved reputation for making some of the highest quality, easiest to use products in the world, and we’re thrilled to have someone with this kind of experience join our team in a leadership role. No one else has Jordan’s enthusiasm and skill for bringing great technology to a wide audience, and his long history with us and with FreeBSD makes bringing him on board just that much sweeter. We’re looking forward to a grand new era of innovation, and Jordan will help lead the way!”

Jordan Hubbard will assume the duties of iXsystems CTO on July 15, 2013.

FreeBSD based Orbis OS powering Sony PS4

vgleaks has discovered that the new Sony Playstation 4 will be powered by Orbis OS, a modified version of FreeBSD 9.0. The modifications include new or optimised drivers for AMD’s 8-core CPU and Radeon GPU combination. This is not something that FreeBSD currently supports in the form of a Catalyst driver, and indicates that Sony and AMD are working on this together.

I guess that Sony decided to use FreeBSD as the engine due to the more liberal BSD license. Unlike the Cell-based PS3, the PS4 is x86-64 based which makes it easier to use FreeBSD.

I think Sony’s choice of FreeBSD is an excellent one.

Sony_PS4-FreeBSD2

Sony_PS4-FreeBSD3

 

 

 

FreeBSD, 20 years young

freebsd-birthday-20-yearsFreeBSD celebrates its 20th birthday this week. On 19 June 1993, David Greenman, Jordan Hubbard and Rod Grimes  announced the creation of their new fork of the BSD 4.3 operating system, and its new name: FreeBSD

 

To: interim@bsd.coe.montana.edu (Interim 0.1.5)
Subject: Re: “386BSD” trademark (fwd)
From: David Greenman <davidg@implode.rain.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 93 17:26:02 -0700

> Okay folks.. taking new name suggestions.. we have:
>
> BSDFree86 – Rod, who is going with Jordans improved NON BSDI name..
> Free86BSD – Jordan, Rod likes this one two…
> – (F86BSD for short)
>
> vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
>                v                                                                     v
>                v          This is the hat to drop yours in!       v
>                v                                                                     v
>                vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

How about just simply “FreeBSD”? No confusion, no fuss, seems like a good compromise to me. :-)

-DG

To read more about FreeBSD’s history, have a look here (freebsd.org) and here (wikipedia).

PC-BSD Status Update – the future

PC-BSD LogoKris, the PC-BSD founder and lead developer, has set out his plan on the PC-BSD Developers mailinglist for the upcoming version(s) of PC-BSD.

In a nutshell:

  • PKGNG repos will be updated at a set day in the month
  • PC-BSD will come with the GRUB bootloader
  • ZFS is going to be the cornerstone of PC-BSD
  • PC-BSD is going to be release as 64bit only (drops i386 platform)

make ZFS the cornerstone of the PC-BSD/TrueOS experience. This will bring features such as ZFS “Boot-Environments”, including the ability to boot directly
from them at the boot-loader. [...] Re-focusing on solely on ZFS as our default file-system [...]

… we’ve decided to drop the i386 builds going forward, and instead
focus on a single 64bit architecture.

I understand Kris reasons for moving on (ZFS, 64bit only), but I can see that a number of current PC-BSD users with slower and/or i386 systems will feel left behind.

Will this affect you?