Ports update: KDE 4.6, OpenOffice and LibreOffice

KDE 4.6

A new update for KDE came out recently: KDE 4.6. Miwi, one of the guys porting KDE to FreeBSD, mentioned on his blog that a FreeBSD port of KDE 4.6 will come out after FreeBSD 8.2 has been released.

The FreeBSD KDE Team is happy to let you know that KDE SC 4.6.0 has been released a few Days ago, and the Release is ready for a public test. Before you ask, no, we do not want to put KDE 4.6.0 in the ports tree before FreeBSD 8.2/7.4 is released.

4.6 comes with a lot of bugfixes, is faster and more responsive. If you can’t wait for the official port, go over to the post (KDE SC 4.6 for FreeBSD) for update instructions.

LibreOffice

As most of you will be aware there was a rift between Oracle and OpenOffice developers, so a number of ex-OpenOffice developers forked OpenOffice and set up LibreOffice, with support from Google, Redhat, Ubuntu etc.

What is the exact difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice? At the moment, LibreOffice 3.3 is based on OpenOffice 3.3 with some additions, tweaks and improvements, but it is expected that the projects will grow further apart in the future. These are two links comparing OpenOffice and LibreOffice:

LibreOffice 3.3 was released and is now available as FreeBSD port: /usr/ports/editors/libreoffice/. OpenOffice 3.3. can be installed from /usr/ports/editors/openoffice.org-3

LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.

Oracle doesn’t have a good track record with regards to supporting open source projects (MySQL, OpenOffice, it’s not clear what’s going to happen to VirtualBox (paid extensions?) etc). Personally I think we should support LibreOffice. What do you think?

FreeBSD News WordPress Template (free)

Recently I came across this free ‘FreeBSD-themed’ WordPress Template (WordPress is a web-based platform creating a websites or blogs):

Features:

  • 2 columns,
  • black, red and white colours
  • Pages in header
  • RSS Feed button in footer
  • free WordPress template
  • Sidebar  on right hand side

If you want to set up a FreeBSD themed blog with standard FreeBSD colours, but without having to do much/any tweaking, have a look at this theme: FreeBSD News Free WordPress Template

Android FreeNAS App Updated

Walter of the TechWave Dev team has announced a new version of the Android based mFreeNAS 7. The application’s name was previously known as MobileFreeNAS.

This application allows you to control your FreeNAS Server within your local network.

Supported features are:

  • Wake On Lan
  • Reboot
  • Shutdown
  • System Info
  • HDDs Info

Check out the two new features (System Info & HDDs Info) and please provide feedback to Walter on any new additions or changes you would like to see implemented in future versions.

Available: m0n0wall 1.33b2 & m0n0wall in 2011

Manual Caspar has announced the availability of the second beta of m0n0wall 1.33:

Another beta is ready – there is now a new image type called “generic-pc-serial”, which differs from generic-pc by always using the serial console (on COM1 at whatever speed the BIOS set it to). This should be useful for those who run m0n0wall on “headless” hardware that still has keyboard/VGA that confuses the auto-detection.

Also, hopefully the Realtek NIC driver issue has been fixed once and for all this time…

Manual has also emailed his plans for 2011. From feedback he’s had, most users are happy with m0n0wall, so if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. However, some improvements in the IPv6 support are planned and maybe a port with a FreeBSD 8.0 base:

I’d love to be able to tell you of many great things that are going to happen to m0n0wall in 2011, but unfortunately I can’t. There isn’t much development manpower behind m0n0wall at this time, so I invest my available time primarily in bugfixes. m0n0wall has reached a mature state, and it seems like some of its most faithul users prefer it that way (rather than a new version every other week that has a host of new features and also breaks a lot of existing ones ;).

That said, it is likely that there will be further IPv6 improvements, and we may also see a port to FreeBSD 8.x for better hardware support. Not new killer features, but simply continuing in the tradition of providing a stable and (relatively) lightweight firewall software image.

Download the beta version or have a look at the updated m0n0wall website.

Available: FreeBSD 8.2-RC3 and 7.4-RC3

Ken Smith has announced the 3rd Release Candidate of FreeBSD 8.2 (production version) and FreeBSD 7.4 (legacy version). This release is slightly delayed (planned for 24 January) and there are still a few outstanding items on the todo lists (8.2, 7.4).

FreeBSD 8.2-RC3 is available for AMD64, i386, IA64, PC98, PowerPc and Sparc64, while FreeBSD 7.4-RC3 only runs on AMD64, i386, Pc98 and Sparc64. Instructions how to update to the release candidate versions can be found in the announcement.

Links:

Available: PC-BSD 8.2-RC3

Following the release of FreeBSD 8.2-RC3, the third Release Candidate for PC-BSD 8.2 was announced today by Kris Moore, Lead Developer of PC-BSD.

This RC is expected to be the last RC version prior to release which is expected some time in the next 2-3 weeks.

In addition to some fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots, RC2 contains the following software components:

  • FreeBSD 8.2RC3
  • KDE 4.5.5
  • Xorg 7.5
  • Nvidia Driver 260.19.29
  • Nvidia Driver 173.14.25
  • Nvidia Driver 96.43.16

PC-BSD 8.2-RC3 is available for download from our mirrors. Everyone is encouraged to test this beta and to report any bugs to the testing mailing list. Instructions for beta testers can be found in the PC-BSD Handbook.

McKusick tells of the BSD days as only he can

Marshall McKusick is a great public speaker (some youtube videos) and recently he did again a great presentation at LCA 2011:

“The drought of those who speak without depending on slides has ended at the 12th Australian national Linux conference.

“Last evening, Marshall Kirk McKusick, a well-known BSD hacker, took those assembled down a slightly different track – after all, this is a Linux conference – with his narrative history of BSD. And what a rollicking ride it was!

“McKusick was, rather unfortunately, put down for the last slot of the day, 4.45pm, when many tired and footloose souls had vended their way homewards to charge their batteries for the next day. And the venue for his talk could hold only 100 people.”

Read more: McKusick tells of the BSD days as only he can

FreeBSD or Debian Linux? FreeBSD or Linux?

This is an often asked question in newsgroups and forums. The reason for this, is that there is no easy answer. If a straight forward answer could be given, it could have been found on Wikipedia. The fact is, that it is not a yes-or-no-answer question.

Often you will see this ‘political’ answer “It depends”. It depends how you’re planning to use the operating system (desktop, server) and where (home, data center, server room, embedded etc).

Both Linux and FreeBSD have their strong and weak points, but overall, they can do almost anything you ask it to do, but when one wants an answer to the question “FreeBSD or (Debian) Linux?” one needs to find an answer to the following questions first to see which operating system suits one’s needs best:

1) Is your current hardware supported? If the purchase of new hardware is planned, is it supported by either/both?

2) Which operating system is supported by the third party commercial applications vendors that you use? If it is not supported, is there an acceptable equivalent available for the operating system your preference goes out to?

3) Are your current networking hardware (and appliances) supported by the O/S?

4) Are any new third party system management and monitoring tools required? If so, are they supported by the “new” OS?

5) Is  your storage hardware and servers supported by your preferred O/S? think of Network Attached Storage, SAN’s RAID, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

5) Is the IT department capable of maintaining (and further developing) the new system, or is there a need to hire new staff? Or, can you get consulting services and/or third party support for your operating system?

There are plenty more questions that can be asked before deciding whether it’s Linux or FreeBSD that fits your needs best.

Have you been in a (work / home) situation where you had to make the choice? It would be nice to find out about your experience. Please share via the comments.