GEM/KMS working on FreeBSD (for testing and code review)

Kostik Belousov, who is paid by the FreeBSD Foundation to port the Linux graphics code, provided a status update on the freebsd-x11 mailing list.

The project aims to implement GEM, port KMS, and write new DRI drivers for Intel Graphics, including the latest Sandy Bridge generation of integrated graphic units. The work should allow the latest Intel open-source driver to run on FreeBSD, expanding the range of hardware where FreeBSD is suitable for the desktop.

On the 30th of June Kostik provided a code drop for the GEM/KMS code. While the code is now publicly available, it’s far from ready for integration into the mainline tree. Kostik writes,

“Please note that this is not an end-user release, and even _not_ a call for testing. The project is not finished yet, and I expect quite more efforts from me even after the scheduled project end, and from ports/x11 people, before the driver and usermode infrastructure will be ready for the general public consumption.”

The current FreeBSD code is unstable and is missing some parts. This GEM/KMS code will also only work with the Intel DRM driver and not the Nouveau or Radeon DRM drivers, which would also require porting TTM (the Translation Table Maps memory manager) and other changes to be made to support under FreeBSD. This FreeBSD effort right now is only focused on bringing up Intel hardware support.

More info on Phoronix: GEM/KMS On FreeBSD Is Working, But Not Ready

Quick news: Firewalls, VirtualBSD, pfSense

Below three links to posts on pfSense and VirtualBSD

Techsource has an overview of 5 firewalls, one of which is the FreeBSD based pfSense.

If you’re having a small computer network at home or a huge office with hundreds of desktops, cyber security is something you can never compromise on. One thing that is a quintessential part of security is something we call a firewall.

A firewall is like the security guard at your door who keeps a watch on everyone who goes in and out. By allowing only legitimate connections to pass through and blocking connections based on a certain set of rules, the firewall secures the network from most kinds of threats that lurk around on the Internet. … continues

VirtualBSD review – Sneak a peak at FreeBSD

FreeBSD is a UNIX-like operating system, designed to be super stable and super secure. As such, it is probably not the simplest one to tame and run on a daily basis. Unfortunately, reliability and robustness do not always fully align with the mass-usage model of friendliness.

BSD developers realize this. So they released VirtualBSD, a VMware virtual appliance built using Xfce desktop with a very pretty theme and lots of programs and utilities preinstalled. VirtualBSD is intended for people who have never tried BSD or never dared try, did not have the right hardware for the task, or former users struck by nostalgia. Whatever the motives, testing VirtualBSD has never seen easier.

The article concludes with:

While the virtual machine test is far from being a real-life example of how simple or difficult or well-integrated a desktop is, VirtualBSD is a pleasant, refreshing diversion from the mainstream of free operating systems. It is an excellent technology demonstrator. The appliance testdrive proves that BSD is not a monster. Far from it; it’s a witty, charming, highly useful platform that anyone could use.

Even if you never intend on using BSD on your machine as the primary desktop, VirtualBSD could shatter some of your fears and misconceptions about the dreadful UNIX. It may not eclipse the Linux just yet, and probably never will, and it does not have to. What it can do is become another alternative should you need it, should you seek it. Overall, VirtualBSD delivers a handsome punch of good quality in all aspects of the desktop usage, aesthetics, availability of programs, codecs, everything. Quite a surprise and a breath of fresh air.

Looking back at my flirtations with the BSD family, things are getting better, significantly. The critical turning point is not there yet, but in time, this operating system might stir the flames of competition in the software world. For the time being, you have the perfect appliance to play with and sharpen your UNIX skills.

Read the whole article: VirtualBSD review – Sneak a peak at FreeBSD

FreeBSD PF updated to 4.5 for FreeBSD 9

Bjoern Zeeb committed PF 4.5 into FreeBSD HEAD for the 9 release (which will be the basis of pfSense 2.1), ported by Ermal Luci with help from Bjoern and Max Laier. Much of this work was funded by pfSense / BSDPerimeter, aside from volunteer efforts from Bjoern and Max providing some guidance along the way and Bjoern especially for review and assistance. (full post: FreeBSD PF updated to 4.5 for FreeBSD 9)

pfSense 2.0-RC3 now available

Chris Buechler has announced Release Candidate 3 (RC3) of the upcoming pfSense 2.0. Changes and revision history can be tracked on github.

If you’re keen to find out what’s been added and changed in 2.0 in general, have a look at the pfSense 2.0 new features and changes page. The final release can be expected in about four weeks time.

Links: pfSense | pfSense RC3 announcement (pfSense blog)

Thanks for your emails – freebsdnews.net is to stay

Many thanks to everybody who send in an email expressing their regret on my decision to discontinue freebsdnews.net. Many made it clear this website was one of their main sources for FreeBSD related news and how much it would be missed.

You will all be glad to know that all this made me to reconsider my decision and I have decided to continue maintaining and updating this website, though maybe not as frequently as I used to do.

Many thanks to Francis L, Charles R, Vermaden and Sha’ul in particular who offered to take over this website.

If there are any of you willing to contribute and post your own posts, let me know and I’ll set up an account for you.

Some of you may have noticed that I changed the Twitter feed to  http://twitter.com/#!/freebsdnews to reflect the name of this website.

If you are one of them who likes this website and appreciate my work, why not let your friends know about it on Facebook and Twitter or make a donation (see sidebar) to improve, expand and set up new projects?

Have a good day,

Gerard

Available: FreeBSD News website (freebsdnews.net)

As some of my regular readers will have noticed, over the past few months I have not updated this website as often as previously. It’s not that I’m not committed any more, or that I’ve lost interest, but other things have take priority.

I have taken a difficult decision and decided to “hand-over”. If you’re interested in carrying on running this website, please let me know so we can discuss (gvanessen at gmail dot com)

FreeNAS 8 – Audio interview and Magazine Article

There’s an audio interview (bsdtalk 206- FreeNAS 8 with Josh Paetzel) on BSD Talk with Josh Paetzel, IT Director at iXsystems. Will Backman and Josh discuss FreeNAS 8 in a 17 minute interview. (MP3OGG)

The June 2011 issue of BSD Magazine (NanoBSD and ALIX) has an article “Introducing FreeNAS 8.0“. The issue can be downloaded for free from here.