Should OpenSolaris users consider moving to FreeBSD?

OpenSolaris has been in troubled waters after Oracle acquired Sun, the corporate sponsor of the OpenSolaris Project. The OpenSolaris operating system is a descendent of the UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4) codebase, and OpenSolaris is was the name of the project initiated by Sun to build a developer and user community around the software.

A few months passed since the acquisition, but Oracle wasn’t communicating with the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) about its plans for OpenSolaris’ future. The OGB set an ultimatum. A few weeks later an email from Oracle to its employees surfaced, making it clear that Oracle had no interest in keeping OpenSolaris going. After the deadline passed, the OGB resigned on 23 August 2010.

Does this mean that openSolaris is dead? Well, the source code is open and available, but there’s now no company behind the project to sponsor it and steer it in the right direction. Unless there’s somebody very motivated or a company with a special interest in OpenSolaris, the operating system will probably die a slow death. Maintaining and further developing a project like OpenSolaris without developers and without community, won’t be very rewarding.

During the time of unrest a group of former OpenSolaris developers decided to fork the distribution, and now development of an OpenSolaris based OS continues under a new project called Illumos.

With OpenSolaris being left to die, and IllumOS still being very young, should OpenSolaris users and developers not start looking for another mature operating system to use and develop for, instead of forking? An operating system that’s in a way similar? An advanced operating system that’s independent from any commercially driven owners?

FreeBSD has benefited from and ported some of OpenSolaris’ advanced features such as DTrace and ZFS. Beside that, FreeBSD contains other technologies similar to those found in OpenSolaris.

One of the advantages of moving to FreeBSD is that altough a number of companies contribute code to the FreeBSD base, non of them owns FreeBSD, neither can they push the project development in a certain direction. Interested companies, developers, volunteers and the community all work together.

So, should OpenSolaris users consider moving to FreeBSD? What are your thoughts on this?

FreeBSD Mall donates FreeBSD discs to NSRC workshops in Africa

The FreeBSD Mall, a provider of high quality FreeBSD software, documentation, support, and services to the open source community, recently donated FreeBSD CDs and DVDs to the NSRC (Network Startup Resource Center) for UNIX / FreeBSD workshops being held in Malawi and Tanzania.

The NSRC is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading networking knowledge to diverse regions throughout the world. Open source operating systems are excellent instructional tools for NSRC workshops due to their easy and free acquisition and superior security and stability.

FreeBSD Mall has donated FreeBSD CDs and DVDs to NSRC and AfNOG (African Network Operators Group) workshops since as far back as 2000. Over 1300 participants have been instructed in approximately 50 NSRC and AfNOG workshops and tutorials. Discs donated by FreeBSD Mall are distributed to students who complete the workshops, allowing them to take home official copies of the software they were just trained on and continue to use those skills. O’Reilly Media also provides books so that people may continue the education process at home in combination with the software.

During NSRC workshops, students learn about network development and the logic behind it. Students are then “let loose” on hardware and software to experiment and learn hands-on with FreeBSD and UNIX. Beginners learn the ropes by installing the operating systems and learning basic commands and techniques. As students progress to the intermediate and advanced classes, they learn and experience more complex commands and tasks.

The NSRC uses these lab-based workshops to teach through doing; a process which also helps students to ensure that they can execute the skills they’ve learned to teach them to others in their community. With copies of FreeBSD in their hands, graduates of the workshops develop skills in networking and system administration in order to better their local community and find related jobs.

“I want to say a BIG thank you to FreeBSD Media. You may not know this, but through your support, we have now trained over 100 female Unix administrators on FreeBSD in the past three years. This is by no means a small number, when you look around your IT department and realize that there are very few women working in the tech industry.” – Dorcas Muthoni, General Manager, OpenWorld Ltd. and NSRC/AfNOG Workshop Organizer

(via)

Update on FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project

Bjoern Zeeb has provided a summary regarding the completion of the funded portion of the FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project:

“I am happy to report that the funded parts of the FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization project are completed. Some of the results have been shipping with 8.1-RELEASE while others are ready to be merged to HEAD.

Jails have been the well known operating system level virtualization technique in FreeBSD for over a decade. The import of Marko Zec’s network stack virtualization has introduced a new way for abstracting subsystems. As part of this project, the abstraction framework has been generalized. Together with Jamie Gritton’s flexible jail configuration syscalls, this will provide the infrastructure for, and will ease the virtualization of, further subsystems without much code duplication. The next subsystems to be virtualized will likely be SYSV/Posix IPC to help, for example, PostgreSQL users. This will probably be followed by the process namespace.”

The full post can be read on the FreeBSD Foundation’s blog: Update on FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project

BSD Show – more BSD interviews

Most readers here will be aware of BSDTalk, a blog filled with audio interviews about the BSD family of free operating systems.

There is now another BSD related show over at webbaverse.com:  The BSD Show

So fare there are the following FreeBSD related interviews:

Bordeaux 2.0.8 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD released

The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 2.0.8 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD today. Bordeaux 2.0.8 is a maintenance release that fixes a number of small bugs. With this release firefox and winetricks have been updated

Bordeaux 2.0.8 was built on FreeBSD 8, PC-BSD 8 and PC-BSD 7.1  A .sh installer is provided for FreeBSD and a .pbi installer for PC-BSD

Depending on sales, Bordeaux Software plans to add Pulse Audio to the next major BSD release. So if you would like to have Pulse Audio in Wine on FreeBSD and PC-BSD make a purchase. Help spread the word!

Full post: Bordeaux 2.0.8 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD Released

Purchase Bordeaux and help support Wineconf 2010 and FreeBSD

By purchasing Bordeaux you support further development of Bordeaux, but this month you will also indirectly support the FreeBSD Foundation as part of the revenues are shared: Purchase Bordeaux and help FreeBSD

FreeBSD Mall now shipping FreeBSD 8.1

Four-Disc CD Set, Dual-Sided DVD now available for purchase

The FreeBSD Mall is now shipping FreeBSD® Version 8.1, the second release of the FreeBSD 8-STABLE branch in AMD64 and i386 architectures.

FreeBSD Version 8.1 is the first update to FreeBSD Version 8.0, which added Virtual Access Points (VAP) support to 802.11 wireless networking, and allowed virtual machine administrators to create their own nested jails. The 8.1 release includes new features and improves upon the features that were introduced in FreeBSD Version 8.0.

The 8.1 release implements a ZFS Loader, allowing users to boot directly to ZFS. The ZFS pool has been updated to version 14. Also, NFSv4 support is improved, providing a more secure network filesystem for server based file serving.

In addition FreeBSD 8.1 updates sendmail to version 8.14.4, OpenSSH to version 5.4p1, ISC BIND to version 9.6.2-P2, and OpenSSL to version 0.9.8n. Desktop updates include KDE 4.4.5 and GNOME 2.30.1.

In this latest release, core developers focused their efforts on perfecting the functionality of the operating system to provide users with enhanced performance.

“FreeBSD 8.1 is the product of users deploying 8.0 in the field, and submitting reports of its strengths and weaknesses,. We, the developers, used those reports from the users to refine and improve the system across the board.”

said Warner Losh, Director of FreeBSD Development at iXsystems and FreeBSD Core Team Member.

Other notable features of FreeBSD 8.1 include:

  • SMP support in PowerPC G5 systems
  • UltraSPARC IV/IV+, SPARC64 V CPU support
  • The HAST (Highly Available STorage) framework has been added
  • Support for SCTP has been improved

FreeBSD Mall is a division of iXsystems, Inc.® and provides high quality FreeBSD software, documentation, support, and services to the open source community.

Source: FreeBSD Mall Now Shipping FreeBSD Version 8 (prweb.com)

PC-BSD 8.1 review by linuxbsdos

linuxbsdos has a fairly positive review of PC-BSD 8.1, though there is still room for improvement:

“PC-BSD 8.1 was released on July 20, 2010, roughly five months after version 8.0 was released. Some of the suggestions made in the review of PC-BSD 8.0 have been carried out in this latest release. In fact, the changes were made within one month of that review being published. It is an encouraging example of how some distro developers respond to suggestions (or critical reviews).

While I still think that PC-BSD is not yet ready for the masses, it is coming along very well. This review will offer another detailed look at some of the good and bad sides of this FreeBSD-based distribution, with the attendant recommendations and suggestions for improvement.

Let me begin by looking at the bright side of this distribution…. ”

Read more: PC-BSD 8.1 review

MeetBSD 2010 videos available in HD on YouTube

The presentations from the recent MeetBSD 2010 (Cracow, Poland) conference are now available on the BSD Conferences Youtube Chanel. The following videos are all in HD quality and most are in English, though a few are in Polish.

  • Dru Lavigne – Update on BSD Certification
  • Hans Peter Selasky – The new USB stack in FreeBSD
  • Jakub Klama – FreeBSD on DaVinci DMSoC (polish)
  • Jan Srzednicki – What ideas can FreeBSD borrow from AIX?
  • Attilio Rao – The VFS/vnode interface in the FreeBSD kernel
  • Marko Zec – Network emulation using the virtualized network stack in FreeBSD
  • Pawe? Jakub Dawidek – HAST — Highly Available storage for FreeBSD (polish)
  • Pawe? Jakub Dawidek – HAST — Highly Available storage for FreeBSD (questions, polish)
  • Nikolay Aleksandrov – FreeBSD-based solution for Internet traffic management (S?awek ?ak – NoSQL)
  • Ramon Tancinco – meetBSD 2010 Welcome Intro
  • Martin Matuska – mfsBSD
  • Dmitri Epshtein – Advances in Embedded ARM processors, for performance driven applications
  • Warner Losh – Using FreeBSD in a Commercial Setting
  • (via)