BSD Now Episode 25: a sixth pfSense (video)

bsd_now_logoThis is an interview with Chris Buechler, from the pfSense project, to learn just how easy it can be to deploy a BSD firewall. There’s also a walk through the pfSense interface so you can get an idea of just how convenient and powerful it is.

rootbsd_banner1This post is sponsored by our partner RootBSD, an expert in BSD style web hosting : stable, secure, flexible and friendly.

BSD Real-Time Operating System NuttX makes its 100th release: NuttX 6.33

nuttx_iconNuttX is a real-time operating system (RTOS) with an emphasis on standards compliance and small footprint. Scalable from 8-bit to 32-bit micro-controller environments, the primary governing standards in NuttX are POSIX and ANSI standards. Supported platforms include ARM, Atmel AVR, x86, Z80 and others.

Additional standard APIs from Unix and other common RTOS’s are adopted for functionality not available under these standards, or for functionality that is not appropriate for deeply-embedded environments.

NuttX was first released in 2007 by Gregory Nutt under the permissive BSD license, and today the 100th release was made: NuttX 6.33.

Newcons coming to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

debian_logoFreeBSD vt(4) – commonly known as “Newcons”-, which is planned to replace Syscons as the default FreeBSD console, is now available on Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.

Newcons provides many interesting new features, such as KMS support, Unicode, double-width CJK characters, etc.

The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD team are now looking for volunteers: Newcons coming to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD (testers wanted!)

Build your own FreeBSD/EC2 images

Colin Percival has an interesting post (how to build FreeBSD/EC2 images) explaining how you can bake your own FreeBSD  images for Amazon EC2, and build them just the way you want them.

I have been building FreeBSD/EC2 images for the past three years, and based on the email I have been receiving, most people have been either using these images directly or modifying them to create images which suit their needs. However, there are some people who want to build their own images ab initio — most often, companies which have products built on “customized” versions of FreeBSD — and while I have helped a few people do this, it’s better if my help is not needed. To this end, earlier today I published my code for building FreeBSD AMIs. At its core, this process has two steps: First, building a disk image; and second, turning it into an AMI.

It would be now nice if somebody could make creating FreeBSD images for Google Cloud Engine real easy ;-)

 

Set up BitTorrent Sync in FreeNAS with Plugin (howto)

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoBen Milman from iXsystems has put together a tutorial (How to Set Up FreeNAS with BitTorrent Sync Using a Plugin) showing step-by-step how to install and set up BitTorrent Sync on FreeNAS.

BitTorrent Sync is a free, unlimited, secure file-syncing app which can be easily installed through the BitTorrent Sync plugin for FreeNAS. FreeNAS enables users to build network-attached-storage (NAS) on nearly any hardware platform of their choosing. There is an old tutorial on the BitTorrent blog showing how to configure BitTorrent Sync yourself, but with Josh Ruehlig’s plugin it’s a lot easier now.

If you are using FreeNAS and you need to sync and share large files with anybody via secure, distributed technology, try out the BitTorrent Sync plugin with these install notes.

Links: FreeNAS website | BitTorrent Sync

About FreeNAS: FreeNAS is a FreeBSD-based (nanobsd) and BSD licensed open source Network Attached Storage (NAS) Platform developed by iXsystems, optimised to support file storage and files sharing across Windows, Apple, and UNIX-like systems.

First impressions of FreeBSD 10.0

freebsd project logo 100x100Jesse Smith has written a review of FreeBSD 10.0 in this week’s Distrowatch Weekly: First impressions of FreeBSD 10.0.

Overall it is a fair and balanced review with some points of critique. Jess is impressed with FreeBSD 10 and its many new features, but there are still some points that should be addressed in FreeBSD 10.1, especially around package management (pkgng). I guess this should be adressed later this year, when backwards compatibility with the old pkg_ tools is dropped and developers can focus on pkgng only.

What most of my problems with FreeBSD came down to was the repeating issue that software installed using pkg did not also install all required dependencies. Some immediate dependencies might be installed, but not all the items further down the dependency chain. The above example of installing Xfce without getting X was one instance, installing WordPress without getting a database or web server in the process was another example.

[...]

Largely due to the dependency gaps and troubles with getting third-party software up and running my impressions of FreeBSD came down to two main points. The first is that FreeBSD — the command line tools, the kernel, the ZFS file system and installer — is a great operating system. In both test environments FreeBSD was fast, stable and ran smoothly. I really like the work which has gone into the system installer for this release and I like that ZFS is so easy to enable and use. The documentation which comes with FreeBSD is detailed and helpful. The new package manager is fast and friendly when compared next to its predecessors. All of this means it is pretty easy to install FreeBSD, explore the system and, once it is up and running, an administrator is unlikely to encounter a broken system.

On the other hand, I got the impression that FreeBSD’s ports collection does not receive the same level of care as the base operating system. Some of the available ports obviously have not been tested against a clean installation of FreeBSD to make sure all dependencies have been met. The state of the X port is, in short, unfortunate. This gap between the quality of the base FreeBSD operating system and its available ports is made all the more evident now that a quality package manager like pkg is present. It is easier than ever before to search for and install new software, but too much effort is required to hunt down dependencies and tweak the configuration of key ports. What this results in is a wonderful base operating system that is plagued by trouble once we try to add third-party functionality to it.

Jesse also brings up an interesting point about a possible missed opportunity with jails as a deployment platform.

You can read the whole review here: First impressions of FreeBSD 10.0.

Thanks Jesse for reviewing FreeBSD 10.0