NYI Sponsors NYCBSDCon 2010

New York Internet (NYI) is sponsoring NYCBSDCon 2010 which is taking place this weekend. NYCBSDCon is a bi-annual BSD conference held at Manhattan’s prestigious Cooper Union.

NYI has a long history of supporting open source projects, particularly the BSDs. It has sponsored NYCBSDCon since its inception in 2005, as well as recently announcing that it now oversees the day-to-day hosting operations of the East Coast U.S. mirror for the FreeBSD Foundation, a deployment consisting of more than 23,000 pieces of Project software.

“NYI has been with us since the beginning. Their unflagging enthusiasm, along with their operational precision and technical intelligence, have been invaluable to the growth of this community in the New York area. If ticket sales are any indication, we expect NYCBSDCon 2010 to be our most successful to-date.”

said George Rosamond, an organizer of NYCBSDCon 2010.

“NYCBSDCon is one of the most important events on our calendar,” added Phillip Koblence, VP Operations, NYI. “Not only is it an excellent opportunity to stay current with the latest developments in BSD, it also allows us to maintain direct, strategic ties with the thought-leaders of a community that has contributed so much to the advancement of open source software.”

NYCBSDCon 2010 aims to build on the success of past events, with a wide array of speakers and topics and an exciting and diverse crowd representing all current BSD projects. Topics will include IPv6, pfSense, PC-Sysinstall and LDAP.

Continue reading

November 2010 – a month of FreeBSD conferences

Last weekend MeetBSD 2010 took place in California. If you were not able to attend or if you want to ‘see’ the conference again, check out Will Backman pictures and the two videos he took (day 1, day 2). Some of the presentation slides are available too.

LISA 2010 will take place from November 10–11 in San Jose, CA. PC-BSD will be represented.

The bi-annual NYCBSDCon will be held 12-14 November. Check out the to-be-held presentations.

BSD-Day 2010 will be held in Budapest (Hungary) at Eötvös Loránd University on 20 November.

 

 

PC-BSD 9.0 (alpha) available for testing

Kris Moore announced the availability of PC-BSD 9.0 (alpha):

I’m pleased to make available our first 9-Current alpha snapshot for you to begin playing with. This testing snapshot contains MANY new features and improvements that we plan on including in the eventual release of 9.0. However, by no means is this snapshot “feature complete” or to be considered stable. Expect to find bugs and things to change over the coming months as we refine features. Consider yourself warned!

Some of the major changes are:

  • Ability to to customise your installed desktop and choose from KDE4, Gnome2,XFCE4, and LXDE.
  • New PC-BSD Control Panel
  • PBI format has been completely overhauled and reimplemented as CLI

BSDTalk has an interview with Kris done last weekend at the MeetBSD Conference talking about PC-BSD 9  (18 minutes). Will and Kris talk about the following new features:

  • new environments will be available (no longer KDE only)
  • softupdates with journaling and USB 3.0 (new in the underlying FreeBSD 9.0 Head)
  • Re-implementation of the PBI package format. It is now completely shell-driven and the QT4 GUI sits on top of the scripts. To find out more about the new PBI CL utilities, check out the PBI Manager 9.0 section of the PC-BSD Handbook
  • And this is a big one: reduced disk space taken by PBI’s by sharing libraries. Though modern hard drives are large and fairly cheap, it’s been a often-heard complaint that PBI’s are hard drive space waisters.
  • PBIs are now signed by the build server
  • PBI’s can be patched by applying binary diffs, so there won’t be a need to download many megabytes to install a new version of a particular PBI (updating OpenOffice for example is a nightmare)

All in all, PC-BSD 9.0 promises to be one of the best versions so far.

Before downloading/installing this alpha, be aware there are some issues.

Download PC-BSD 9.0 Alpha

Of EoL, GSoC, paid development and why I love UNIX

FreeBSD 6.4 and 8.0 EoLs coming soon

On November 30th, FreeBSD 6.4 and FreeBSD 8.0 will have reached their End of Life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Since FreeBSD 6.4 is the last remaining supported release from the FreeBSD 6.x stable branch, support for the FreeBSD 6.x stable branch will also cease at the same point. Users of either of these FreeBSD releases are strongly encouraged to upgrade to either FreeBSD 7.3 or FreeBSD 8.1 before that date.

The FreeBSD Ports Management Team wishes to remind users that November 30 is also the end of support for the Ports Collection for both FreeBSD 6.4 RELEASE and the FreeBSD 6.x STABLE branch. Neither the infrastructure nor individual ports are guaranteed to work on these FreeBSD versions after that date. A CVS tag will be created for users who cannot upgrade for some reason, at which time these users are advised to stop tracking the latest ports CVS repository and use the RELEASE_6_EOL tag instead. (source)

FreeBSD at GSoC Mentor Summit

As in previous years, Google held a “Mentor Summit” to bring together representatives from the open source organizations that participated in the Google Summer of Code to share experiences of what worked, what didn’t, and generally learn from each other about shepherding students through the program. The mentor summit is always run Unconference-style and it is a great opportunity to meet, learn, and socialize with the many other open source organization… continues (Murray’s FreeBSD Notes)

FreeBSD Will Pay for Some KMS, GEM Love

“The good news, however, is that the FreeBSD Foundation is willing to finance a developer to work on bringing kernel mode-setting and Graphics Execution Manager support over to the FreeBSD kernel.”

Source & full story: FreeBSD Will Pay for Some KMS, GEM Love (phoronix.com)

Why I Love Unix

I love Unix because of all the wonderful things that I can do on the command line. When I first used Unix in 1983, it was love on first sight. With a list of the most basic commands by my side, I quickly discovered how much I could accomplish with several command strings strung together. Unix was nothing like what I’d been using up to that point in my brief data processing career. It was clever, modular and logical. With tools like grep and languages like awk, it was quite a bit of fun to discover how easily I could make the system do my bid. My ability to capture sequences of commands easily into scripts made it possible for me to encapsulate my clever commands, even share them with coworkers. The Unix culture seemed innovative, inviting my participation in creating an environment that really worked for me.

Full blog post: Why I love UNIX (itworld.com)

Other BSD related news

FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Jul – Sep 2010)

Another quarter, another FreeBSD status report: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Jul – Sep 2010).

With 55 entries, this is the longest report so far, and it’s a good indication of how FreeBSD is thriving and how the community is involved in its development.

Table of contents:

Google Summer of Code

Projects

FreeBSD Team Reports

Network Infrastructure

Kernel

Documentation

Userland Programs

Architectures

Ports

Miscellaneous

Read the report in its entirety: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Jul – Sep 2010)

CloudSigma launches FreeBSD 8.1 and ZFS in the Cloud

CloudSigma AG has announced the addition of FreeBSD and by extension ZFS to its cloud computing platform. A FreeBSD 8.1 pre-installed cloud server is now available for instant deployment from CloudSigma’s public drives library:

“Patrick Baillie, CEO commented

‘We’ve had many requests for FreeBSD over the last few months so I’m very happy to be able to offer its latest iteration directly from our drives library. We are continuing our strategy of keeping an open software layer and expanding the number of ready cloud server choices we offer over time.’

FreeBSD has a number of key differentiating factors from competing Linux and Windows platforms and is not generally available for deployment from other leading cloud vendors. As with all cloud servers from CloudSigma, customers have full software level control and sole root access to their FreeBSD servers.

Advanced technology needs an advanced cloud

Customers of CloudSigma are able to create customised infrastructure with emphasis given to performance and control in a way not possible from other competing platforms. The ability to deploy FreeBSD and use ZFS is just one example of the freedom available on CloudSigma’s platform.

ZFS is an ideal tool for use in clustered server environments where high availability is critical. Some of important characteristics are:

  • pooled data storage across multiple servers and drives
  • configurable data snapshots with time slider
  • RAIDZ available with high integrity data writing

As a company CloudSigma does not subscribe to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy for delivering cloud computing services preferring to give its customers the tools and power to tune-in their cloud infrastructure; the result is higher performance, greater efficiency and greater security for customers.

Hybrid Web Cluster Choose CloudSigma with FreeBSD

Hybrid Web Cluster has chosen CloudSigma to from part of its multi-cloud next generation Platform-as-a-Service offering. Hybrid Web Cluster is a cloud web hosting platform with no single point of failure which delivers the benefits of redundancy and scalability to web agencies, developers and ISPs of all sizes.

Luke Marsden of Hybrid Web Cluster commented

‘In order to deliver the kind of next generation web hosting platform that we have built, we needed a public cloud vendor that gave us the ability to choose our operating system and applications without restriction. The CloudSigma product was easily moulded to our needs without us having to change our approach or vision – a task not easily achieved with the large incumbent cloud vendors.’

Hybrid Web Cluster leverages the advantages of FreeBSD and ZFS to deliver a web hosting solution that includes automatic load balancing, instant failover-recovery and auto-scaling.

Performance and Control

CloudSigma has concentrated on building a product that addresses two of the key concerns of many prospective cloud computing users, performance and control.

Luke Marsden continued,

‘CloudSigma offers full API control over cloud servers which allowed us to build the sort of integration we use implicitly in our platform offering – enabling automatic provision of entire clusters as well as automatic real-time cluster scaling to keep up with changes in demand. We had wondered how performance would stack up on cloud infrastructure but have been very impressed with the results so far. Our cloud servers have been exceeding our expectations, particularly with respect to storage which so often suffers in the cloud’.

CloudSigma are offering a 14-day free trial (open to all) whilst Hybrid Web Cluster have beta testing slots available for suitable applicants (ISPs and web agencies looking for the manageability wins of complete failure-tolerance, automatic load balancing and auto-scaling).

Source

FreeBSD quick news and links (week 42)

Some links and leftovers:

1. Update on DAHDI Project

Max Khon has completed the FreeBSD Foundation funded DAHDI Project and submitted a report.

DAHDI (Digium/Asterisk Hardware Device Interface) is the open source device interface technology used to control Digium and other legacy telephony interface cards.

2. FreeNAS vs OpenSolaris ZFS Benchmarks

Test results often lead to a lot of debate about the setup, hardware used, default settings etc. This test is no different: FreeNAS vs OpenSolaris ZFS benchmarks. Hopefully we will see a massive improvement in FreeNAS 0.8 which is currently available as alpha (new FreeNAS alpha).

We have received a lot of feedback from members of the IT community since we published our benchmarks comparing OpenSolaris and Nexenta with an off the shelf Promise VTrak M610i. One question we received from several people was about FreeNAS. Several people asked “How does FreeNAS compare to OpenSolaris on the same hardware?” That was an excellent question, and we decided to run some tests to answer that question.

3. Install FreeNAS in Hyper-V

To install FreeNAS in a Hyper-V virtual machine one needs to do some configuration of the virtual machine, just as one would with a physical machine. Allocating hardware resources is much easier in Hyper-V versus physical machines because you can do it remotely through screens instead of physically taking a box offline and installing hardware. This guide will show the basic Hyper-V virtual machine setup for installing FreeNAS, an open source NAS appliance based on FreeBSD

Step-by-step guide here: Install FreeNAS in Hyper-V

4. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks with its new Kernel

This is an interesting test: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD running the FreeBSD 8.1 kernel is performing faster in a number of tests than FreeBSD 8.1.

As was reported recently, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port now has limited support for handling ZFS file-systems and its stock kernel has been upgraded against that of FreeBSD 8.1. Due to the upgraded kernel we ran a quick set of benchmarks to see how the performance of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to that of Debian Linux.

Using the Phoronix Test Suite we ran a variety of benchmarks to compare the Linux and FreeBSD kernel performance under Debian. These test profiles included 7-Zip compression, Gzip compression, LZMA compression, GnuPG, POV-Ray, C-Ray, dcraw, MAFFT, GraphicsMagick, BYTE, Sudokut, Himeno, SQLite, PostMark, and the Threaded I/O Tester.

All results and graphs here:  Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks with its new Kernel

MeetBSD California 2010 (FreeBSD Conference)

MeetBSD (California) will be held on 5-6 Nov this year.

MeetBSD California 2010 promises to be an experience unlike any other. MeetBSD California has evolved into a dynamic entity, with a love for BSD serving as the driving force behind all of the festivities. MeetBSD California 2010 will feature break-out sessions, informal discussions, and 5-10 minute “lightning talks,” as well as longer talks from well-seasoned BSD experts.

To find out what’s been planned for these two days, have a listen to these two podcasts with Matt Olander: