FreeNAS 8.2.0-BETA3 available for testing

Josh Paetzel, who leads the FreeNAS team at iXsystems, announced that he’s uploaded FreeNAS 8.2.0-BETA3.

If you download from BETA2 work there shouldn’t be any problems, however, plugins that worked in BETA2 will stop working. You’ll want to use the plugins in the BETA3 directory with this beta, don’t mix and match.

Notable highlights in this beta release are:

  • a complete refactor of plugins
  • iSCSI target reload
  • samba security fix

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FreeBSD 8.3-RELEASE Announcement

The FreeBSD Release Engineering team has announced the availability of FreeBSD 8.3-RELEASE. This is the fourth release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.2 and introduces some new features.

Some of the highlights:

  • usb(4) now supports the USB packet filter;
  • TCP/IP stack now supports the mod_cc(9) pluggable congestion control framework;
  • graid(8) GEOM class added to support various BIOS-based software RAID controllers (replacement for ataraid(4));
  • ZFS subsystem updated to SPA version 28;
  • GNOME version 2.32.1,
  • KDE version 4.7.4.

For more information check out the  8.3 release announcement and the detailed detailed release notes.

DTrace on FreeBSD (video)

This is a video presentation on the status of dtrace on FreeBSD.


DTrace, also known as Dynamic Tracing, was developed by Sun™ as a tool for locating performance bottlenecks in production and pre-production systems. It is not, in any way, a debugging tool, but a tool for real time system analysis to locate performance and other issues.

DTrace is a remarkable profiling tool, with an impressive array of features for diagnosing system issues. It may also be used to run pre-written scripts to take advantage of its capabilities. Users may even author their own utilities using the DTrace D Language, allowing them to customize their profiling based on specific needs.” (source)

Miscelaneous FreeBSD news updates (Go, nFore, NRPE, FUSE, Capsicum, KFreeBSD, GhostBSD)

Below you will find some links to recent news articles and blog posts relating to FreeBSD, it’s development and future that I hadn’t linked to yet. If you’re anything else noteworthy, please let us know.

Google says ‘Go’ to new programming language

Binaries have been released for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and OS X. Google announced the first stable release of its new programming language — dubbed “Go“. More.

HowTo: nForce2 sound on FreeBSD

I finally got around to replace the northbridge fan of my ABIT AN-7 powered desktop and with it boot its old FreeBSD 7.4-STABLE install. Though I have a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 4 I wanted to make sure I could go by with just the motherboard’s nForce2 integrated sound system, so I’ll explain how to enable the nForce2 sound on FreeBSD.

Installing NRPE on FreeBSD 9.0

NRPE is an addon that allows you to execute plugins on remote Linux/Unix hosts. This is useful if you need to monitor local resources/attributes like disk usage, CPU load, memory usage, etc. on a remote host.

With FreeBSD, there are at least two advantages to installing NRPE from the official FreeBSD ports.

First, the source code file in FreeBSD ports is already modified to work with FreeBSD. Second, FreeBSD ports contains many FreeBSD-specific plugins that can be used with the FreeBSD version of NRPE. More

FUSE For FreeBSD Nearing Completion

Porting FUSE to a FreeBSD kernel module has been a long-time coming. The FreeBSD FUSE kernel module port originally began as a Google Summer of Code project, but it wasn’t successful. In 2011, work on the port was restored via another year with Google Summer of Code, but at the end of the summer the FreeBSD FUSE implementation was still unstable and suffered data corruption issues. Now it seems that FreeBSD FUSE is finally getting hacked into shape and may be committed in the coming days. More

Cambridge’s Capsicum Framework Promises Efficient Security For UNIX/ChromeOS

“Communications of the ACM is carrying two articles promoting the Capsicum security model developed by Robert Watson (FreeBSD — Cambridge) and Ben Laurie (Apache/OpenSSL, ChromeOS — Google) for thin-client operating systems such as ChromeOS. They demonstrate how Chrome web browser sandboxing using Capsicum is not only stronger, but also requires only 100 lines of code, vs 22,000 lines of code on Windows! FreeBSD 9.0 shipped with experimental Capsicum support, OpenBSD has patches, and Google has developed a Linux prototype.”

While the ACM’s stories are both paywalled, the Capsicum project itself has quite a bit of information online in the form of various papers and a video, as well as links to (BSD-licensed) code and to various subprojects. (via)

Debian: kFreeBSD 9.0 Kernel Competing Against Linux 3.2

The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project has been quite interesting as one of the official Debian operating system ports. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD pairs the FreeBSD kernel with the Debian GNU user-land so that users can enjoy their traditional Debian applications while taking advantage of the FreeBSD kernel. With the recently released FreeBSD 9.0 kernel having worked its way into Debian Wheezy, how is the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel performance compared to the Linux 3.2 kernel? This Phoronix article provides those benchmarks and this one on OpenBenchmarks.

GhostBSD 2.5 Review

GhostBSD is a desktop distribution based on FreeBSD. It comes as an installable Live DVD image and is developed by Eric Turgeon and Nahuel Sanchez. The latest edition, GhostBSD 2.5, based on FreeBSD 9, is the project’s fourth release, and was made available for public download on January 24 (2012).

This article provides the first review of this distribution on this website, and it is based on test installations of the 32-bit version.

This article provides the first review of this distribution on this website, and it is based on test installations of the 32-bit version. The boot menu is shown below.

FreeBSD ZFS root install with bsdinstall (video)

This video shows how to install a full ZFS system using bsdinstall, on FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE. This is not like other tutorials where you just use the FreeBSD ISO as a live cd and then do everything manually, with this method you only have to set up the zfs zpool manually. The rest, user settings, network, time zone, etc is done by bsdinstall for your convenience.


The Z file system, developed by Sun™, is a new technology designed to use a pooled storage method. This means that space is only used as it is needed for data storage. It has also been designed for maximum data integrity, supporting data snapshots, multiple copies, and data checksums. A new data replication model, known as RAID-Z has been added. The RAID-Z model is similar to RAID5 but is designed to prevent data write corruption.

FreeBSD Foundation accepting funding proposals

The FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting the submission of proposals for work relating to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system. Proposals will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit, and cost-effectiveness.

Details regarding the proposal process are contained in the Proposals Call for Submission PDF (PDF)

If interested, important dates to mark are:

  • March 12: Call for proposals begins
  • April 30: Deadline for proposal submission
  • May 30th: Notification of acceptance/denial