Call for Testing (CfT): xorg 7.7

Martin Wilke has put out a call for people to help him test xorg 7.7, an open source implementation of the X Window System.

The FreeBSD Xorg Team is pleased to announce Xorg 7.7 Release. We are very happy to be able to Call for testing shortly after the Xorg team annouced 7.7 release. This CFT is also open for discussion on how we should move forward with xorg release as we are facing some issues and we would like to ask for your opinion. Right now we have 2 existing xorg versions in our Ports Tree. The situation is quite bad due to our poor graphic card support. That means we do not have much choice but to take it as how it is now. But with regards to mesa support, we have to face some new challenges.

Read the whole post and the instructions here: [CFT] Xorg 7.7 ready for testing!

 

BSDCan 2012 – “The technical BSD conference

Martin Cracauer, a FreeBSD developer, went to BSDCan 2012 and wrote up his experience on the Open Source at Google blog: BSDCan 2012 – “The technical BSD conference”. I’m sure this will have been read by many with an open source interst (26716 RSS followers). Good marketing!

The FreeBSD Foundation funded some FreeBSD developers’ and contributors’ travel expenses. In return they have sumarised what the did at BSDCan, how they got involved and what it means to them.

Read the feedback from:

Some of the BSDCan presentations can be viewed here, in case you missed them.

Netflix’s new peering appliance uses FreeBSD

“FreeBSD is once again a core part of the internet infrastructure”

Netflix, an American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media in the United States, Canada and Latin America, has established its own content delivery network called “Open Connect”, and has posted the software and hardware design online.

The 4u chassis server systems that are being used, with more than 100TB of storage, run the nginx open source web server and run FreeBSD 9.0.

Read here how Netflix is using FreeBSD and what their reason is for this choice: Netflix’s New Peering Appliance Uses FreeBSD.

Thanks again to Charles Rapenne for the heads up.

Why should you be using FreeBSD?

David Chisnall, a FreeBSD developer, asked on the FreeBSD mailing list why people are using FreeBSD: Why Are You Using FreeBSD?

You may have guessed, but there are many, different reasons.  The following are some reasons why FreeBSD is still alive and FreeBSD users don’t have a need to migrate to Linux:

  • The FreeBSD community focuses more on the technology than on licensing and ‘evangelism’
  • FreeBSD is Stable. Simple!
  • Well-structured, complete operating system (i.e. filesystem, kernel and its config, etc)
  • The ports system; it’s stable and mostly up-to-date
  • FreeBSD known for its ability to handle heavy network traffic with high performance and rock solid reliability
  • FreeBSD is the system of choice for high performance network
  • A kick-ass combo of features and very server-focused.
  • FreeBSD is NOT Linux = FreeBSD is stable, reliable, simple
  • FreeBSD is not as fragmented as Linux
  • The one community. There’s one community, always willing to help out.
  • The BSD license. Contrary to popular belief, it has brought a lot of high quality development to FreeBSD
  • Universal toolkit. FreeBSD scales easily from the thinnest embedded system, to various desktops to huge servers — all with the same familiar tools and environment.

These and other reasons can now be found on the Why Use FreeBSD wiki page.

Obviously, since we all have different likings and requirements, FreeBSD won’t be of use to all. Based on feedback from the mailinglist Phoronix also summarised the reasons why not to use FreeBSD.

Thanks to Charles Rapenne for reminding me to post this.

FreeBSD Security Advisory (Crypt)

The FreeBSD Security Team has identified an issue in crypt and has issued the following security advisory: FreeBSD-SA-12:02.crypt (30/05/2012).

I. Background

The crypt(3) function performs password hashing with additional code added to deter key search attempts.

II. Problem Description

There is a programming error in the DES implementation used in crypt() when handling input which contains characters that can not be represented with 7-bit ASCII.

III. Impact

When the input contains characters with only the most significant bit set (0×80), that character and all characters after it will be ignored.

For a workaround and solution, check out the security advisory: FreeBSD-SA-12:02.crypt

PC-BSD 9-STABLE snapshot available for testing (20120524)

Kris Moore has announced the availability of the next PC-BSD testing snapshot: PC-BSD 9-STABLE-20120524. This snapshot is available for both the i386and amd64 architectures.

Some changes since the previous snapshot:

  • Based on FreeBSD 9-STABLE from 05-20-2012.
  • Add support to Warden for using ZFS snapshots on jails. Now you may create, remove, and rollback previous snapshots of a jail via the command-line and GUI.
  • New bottom panel and features in the AppCafe for installed applications.
  • Updated the pc-thinclient command.
  • Added some safety checks to ZFS installs.
  • New “About” GUI, displays information about system.
  • Added initial support for enabling 8021X authentication, still a work in progress.
  • Added LDAP/AD support to installed Samba packages.

Highlights for the upcoming 9.1:

  • New system installer is greatly simplified for desktop and server installs.
  • New PC-BSD Server installation option. Includes command-line utilities like pbi-manager, warden, metapkgmanager and more.
  • Support for ZFS mirror / raidz(1,2,3) during installation.
  • Support for SWAP on ZFS, allowing entire disk ZFS installation.
  • Support for setting additional ZFS data-set options, such as compression, noexec, etc.
  • Warden jail management integrated into system. Allows creating jails via GUI, adding packages and other administration.
  • First boot setup wizard allows OEM installs to be easily performed.
  • New Bluetooth pairing tray / GUI utilities.
  • New AppCafe improvements and preferences
  • Improvements to wifi utility.
  • Fixed bug causing untranslated strings to show up empty.
  • Numerous bug-fixes to PC-BSD related utilities.
  • Support for creating PXE boot server for remote desktop and installation.

Remember this snapshot is recommended for testing purposes only. Should you come across any issues, please share them with the team on the PC-BSD Testing Mailinglist.

Download the PC-BSD 9-STABLE-20120524 Snapshot