Howto: Keeping FreeBSD up-to-date

Vermaden has posted two very useful step-by-step tutorials on the FreeBSD Forums showing how you can keep your base system and applications up-to-date (the vermaden way):

As always, the FreeBSD Handbook also has an excellent chapter on this topic: Updating FreeBSD.

RootBSD has posted a howto showing how you can update FreeBSD with Webmin if you run a VPS or dedicated server:

Since I began using FreeBSD 4.x, I quickly learned of Webmin, a web-based server administration tool, which allows administrators to manage everything from: Mysql, Apache, Sendmail, system processes, networking and much more. One of the coolest features of Webmin is it’s modular structure. Modules can easily be downloaded and installed to fit your specific server needs. In this quick tutorial you will learn how to install and use Webmin.

With RootBSD you get ease of mind and full control with all of the advantages from a dedicated server: full root access, customizable environment, and guaranteed hardware resources.

FreeBSD Installer 9.0 (BSDInstall) screenshots

If you haven’t  had a chance to try out the new FreeBSD Installer and you’re keen to see what it looks like, Phoronix has a couple of screenshots.

The new system installer is described as a modern installer for FreeBSD that’s able to take advantage of its more modern features. The pc-sysinstall installer, which is a complete replacement to its earlier installer, is written 100% in shell.

The Installer is referred to as pc-sysinstall, but that should be BSDInstall, I think. pc-sysinstall is PC-BSD’s installer, though it should be possible to make it a FreeBSD installer. Most of you will know that FreeBSD can be installed from the PC-BSD installation DVD.

HighPoint ships FreeBSD compliant four-port SAS-6Gb/s controller

HighPoint Technologies, a storage solutions manufacturer, said Thursday that it had begun shipments of its cost-efficient SAS-6Gb/s HBA, the RocketRAID 2711. The device is the first-in-the-industry controller with support up to four serial attached SCSI (SAS) hard drives that costs $179.

The HighPoint RockerRAID 2711 controller is an external 4-port, SAS 6Gb/s PCI Express 2.0 x8 RAID controller that directly supports up to 4 SAS/SATA devices in a variety of storage configurations. The device is specifically designed for workstations and entry-level servers. The controller fully supports external mini-SAS port (SFF-8088), which simplifies installation procedures of external hard disk drives.

The RocketRAID 2711 can support SAS and SATA devices in a multitude of configurations, including non-RAID JBOD’s, single disks, and RAID arrays including 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50, and includes Highpoint’s Unified Web-Based Management interface, which allows both novices and experts to quickly configure, manage and monitor storage configurations.

According to HighPoint, the RocketRAID 2711 delivers enterprise management and connectivity features at entry level costs.

The RocketRAID 2711 is fully backwards compatible with SAS/SATA 3Gb/s devices, PCI-Express 1.0 motherboards, and can be easily integrated into existing storage infrastructure, the manufacturer said.

The RocketRAID 2711 is compliant with all major operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and FreeBSD.

A serial version of the SCSI interface, which has been parallel since its inception in 1986. Ratified by ANSI in 2003 as the next-generation SCSI technology, SAS is a point-to-point architecture that uses a disk controller (host bus adapter) with four or more channels that operate simultaneously. Each full-duplex channel, known as a SAS port, transfers data at 3 or 6 Gbps in each direction. SAS also supports Serial ATA (SATA) drives, which can be mixed with SAS drives in a variety of configurations. (pc-mag)

FreeNAS releases: FreeNAS 8.0-RC1 and FreeNAS 0.7.2.7529

FreeNAS 8.0-RC1

Josh Paetzel has announced the availability of the first release candidate (RC1) for FreeNAS 8.0.1.

I’m pleased to announce that FreeNAS 8.0.1 Release Candidate 1 is available for download. This is the first release candidate for FreeNAS 8.0.1. At this point, we are no longer including new features or functionality into 8.0.1. From here on out, only bug fixes and regressions will be addressed.

Major changes  are:

  • There is no longer a default password
  • Netatalk 2.2 is included, which provides support for Time Machine backups to OS X Lion clients
  • Deleting ZFS volumes is now really an export operation
  • The system now supports disabling the creation of a swap partition on every device in a volume
  • UFS volumes support setting arbitrary mount points

It is now also possible to download and test nightly snapshots of  FreeNAS 8.0 (announcement)

FreeNAS 0.7.2.7529

Development of FreeNAS 8 is in full swing, but the disadvantage of version 8 is that “home features” such as torrent downloading, itunes/DLNA broadcasting are not supported yet.

It is therefore great to see that developers keep updating the old 0.7.2 branch. The latest update has been versioned .7529 and some of the new features are:

  • Samba 3.5.6.
  • AIO setting from WebGUI.
  • AMD CPU on-die digital thermal sensor.
  • Advanced Format 4KB sector (UFS/GPT data partition). (data partition in the boot disk is always aligned to 32KB)
  • ZFS cache/log device and 4KB device in the pool.
  • Logical Block Length of iSCSI disk.
  • Virtual machine guest support (VMware and VirtualBox).
  • iSCSI boot/install (experimental).

Full details of changes and additions can be found in the FreeNAS 0.7.2.7529 release document

Links: FreeNAS website | FreeNAS downloads

FreeBSD 9.0-BETA2 available for testing, esp BSDInstall

Ken Smith has announced today the availability of FreeBSD 9.0-BETA2, which is little over a month past the initially planned date of 3 August. The FreeBSD 9.0 release schedule is expected to be updated with new BETA and RC dates.

The second BETA build for the FreeBSD-9.0 release cycle is now available. [...] ISO images for the architectures amd64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, and sparc64 are available on most of our FreeBSD mirror sites. [...] One of the many new features in 9.0 we would like to be tested is the new installer, so we encourage our users to do fresh installation on test systems.

Many new features found their way into FreeBSD (what’s cooking for FreeBSD 9), but the thing that needs most testing at this stage is the new installer (BSDInstall). Testers are encouraged to do fresh installations on test systems.

If you’re interested in learning more about the features of FreeBSD 9.0, check out the FreeBSD-CURRENT release notes.

For download locations and MD5′s, head over to the announcement email.

Protecting dynamic websites in FreeBSD (BSD Magazine 2011-09)

A new, free to download, issue of the BSD Magazine (September 201) is now available: Protecting dynamic websites in FreeBSD (pdf).

From the table of contents:

  • DNSSEC resolution and IPv6 Unbound on FreeBSD 8.2
  • Keeping up to date in PC-BSD 9
  • Using Life Preserver to Backup a PC-BSD 9.0 System to FreeNAS™ 8.0.1
  • Recovering data with hammer
  • Apache2, php5, mysql5, modsecurity2.5 installation and confguration in order to protect dynamic websites from various attacks, in Freebsd 8.2
  • MySQL Unleashed!
  • Terminal Descriptions for OpenBSD AMD/Intel consoles
  • (Ab)using VideoLAN: Learn what you can do with your video and audio using powerful VideoLAN command line interface
  • NetBSD Intrusion Detection Server. How can we describe the functions of such a server?

 

iXsystems announces TrueNAS Storage Appliance (FreeNAS based)

Xsystems has announced the availability of the TrueNAS™ Pro family of storage appliances. TrueNAS™ Pro storage appliances provide security, scalability, and flexibility at a low total cost of ownership.

The TrueNAS™ Pro software is based on the FreeNAS™ 8 operating system, and is enhanced with enterprise features such as Intent Log Failure Recovery and De-Duplication, with Active-Passive Failover coming soon. TrueNAS™ Pro also supports Fusion-io ioDrive, ioDrive Duo, and Octal cards as L2ARC to drastically accelerate storage performance.

TrueNAS™ Pro Appliances are available in 2U and 4U form factors. Features of the TrueNAS™ Pro Appliances include:

  • One or Two Quad-Core or Six-Core, Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 Series
  • 12 Hot-Swap Drive Bays in the 2U Form Factor – Up to 36TB of Data Storage Capacity (2.5″ drive options available)
  • 24 or 36 Hot-Swap Drive Bays in the 4U Form Factor – Up to 108TB of Data Storage Capacity (2.5″ drive options available)
  • Periodic Snapshots Feature Allows You to Restore Data from a Previous Version of the File System
  • Remote Replication Allows You to Copy Snapshot to an Offsite Server for Maximum Data Security
  • Up to 4.48TB of Fusion-io Flash Memory in the 2U; Up to 14.08TB of Fusion-io Flash Memory in the 4U
  • 2 x 1GbE Network Interface (Onboard) + Up to 4 Additional 1GbE Ports or Single/ Dual Port 10GbE Network Cards
  • JBOD expansion is available on both the 2U and 4U TrueNAS™ Pro systems

TrueNAS is the official name for what was previously known as RAIDZilla.

More info can be found on the TrueNAS page where you can also see an overview of the differences between the TrueNAS FreeNAS version and FreeNAS 8.

Loose ends: miscellaneous news links

Some (Free)BSD related links that may be of interest: