PC-SYSINSTALL – A new system installer backend for PC-BSD and FreeBSD

This presentation was done by Kris Moore, founder of the PC-BSD Project at AsiaBSDCon 2010.

Abstract: The sysinstall tool has been the default system installer for FreeBSD for more than a decade now. While is it has proven itself to be reliable and resilient over the years, it doesn’t support many of the new features that FreeBSD offers, as well as being un-intuitive for desktop users, who expect an easy to use graphical front-end to perform their installation. To solve these two problems the “pc-sysinstall” backend was created and now is in usage for PC-BSD 8.0. This new installer backend provides much of the same functionality as sysinstall, while offering many new features such as support for ZFS, Encryption, mirroring, scriptable installs and the ability to work with different front-ends, such as a QT based GUI. The backend also supports installing regular FreeBSD, which allows server administrators to quickly perform an installation using the new disk features it offers.


BSD Magazine issue 2010-05: Embedded BSD

A new issue of the BSD Magazine is available as free PDF:  Embedded BSD (issue 2010-02)

This is the Table of Contents:

MaheshaBSD: A Live CD Project From The Lake Mansarovar

MaheshaBSD is the name for a Live CD project. Why Mahesha? What does it mean? Mahesha is one of the 1008 names of Lord Shiva – Supreme God of the universe who stands above all gods. This name was chosen because Shiva’s weapon is the same as the FreeBSD’s one – the trident. There is yet another important correlation – supremacy of the BSD code, which (as many IT professionals believe) stands supreme above all operating systems. The connection of Lord Shiva and BSD is therefore logical.

OpenBSD as a Primary Domain Controller

Once a Windows-based network grows beyond around a dozen computers, setting up a Primary Domain Controller to simplify and centralize the management of users, computers and network resources becomes a must. But does the Domain Controller necessarily have to be a Windows machine, thus meaning the end of our project of a completly OpenBSD-based server network?
Of course not! Once again, OpenBSD comes to our rescue and, with the help of a few additional pieces of software, it will turn into a full-blown, secure and reliable Domain Controller.

FreeBSD MySQL Clustering How-to

The PHP, MySQL and Apache stack is a very popular implementation on standalone BSD servers but in demanding high availability [HA] environments the twin spectres of redundancy and fail-over rear their heads. In these scenarios, it is essential to eliminate the single point of failure which is the enemy of 100% uptime.

BSD FILE SHARING – Part 3. FTP

Last time I wrote on SAMBA on different BSD’s. This time I am going to dedicate the article of the series to FTP. Some people do not know that the FTP protocol is the true BSD heritage, as it originated in the 1970′s at Berkeley University, so it is the right thing to dedicate it some space in the BSDMag anyway.

Exploring HAMMER

One of DragonFly’s features is a new file system, called HAMMER. HAMMER has, to quote from the man page, instant crash recovery, large file systems spanning multiple volumes, data integrity checking, fine-grained history retention, mirroring capability, and pseudo file systems HAMMER is available by default on DragonFly BSD.

Embedded OpenBSD

Unix-like operating systems aren’t picky at all. Despite the extreme physical conditions, they can take root on those old computers where most (proprietary) operating systems risk extinction and help them, after years of faithful service, to start new lives as firewalls, routers, proxies …
But sometimes this is not enough: servers must be reliable and old computers are (guess what?) … Old, and this increases their risk of disease. That’s why embedded systems are a great option: they are (relatively) inexpensive, silent, small , reliable … What else could you need? Ok, you have to learn to cohabit with very basic hardware, but the right OS, with the right configuration, will wallow in it!

Making Sense of Data Management on Intelligent Devices

The demand for embedded devices is growing rapidly, and there is a clear need for development of advanced software to deliver new features on limited hardware. Data management is a critical component in these new software systems. Embedded databases are used by portable media players to store information about music and video, GPS vehicle tracking systems to store map data, and monitoring systems to log information. These and other leading-edge industries have learned the importance of managing data reliably with a relational embedded data management system.

BSD in the Industry

After several years of slavery with windows based programs, many programs related with Industry or Engineering are opening the doors to the new trends of UNIX like OS. This is a natural evolution because as the Economy crisis strikes on whole World, the IT infrastructures are also under pressure to decrease at maximum the overall cost.

Bordeaux 2.0.4 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD Released

The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 2.0.4 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD yesterday.

Bordeaux 2.0.4 is a maintenance release that fixes a number of small bugs. With this release the Bordeux UI changed from a GTKDialog to a GTKWindow, the “OK” button has also been re-named to “Install”.

The Wine bundle has been upgraded from 1.1.36 to 1.1.41, the latest winetricks release is included, and support for the new Steam UI has been added.

The Bordeaux UI changes come from our working agreement with StormOS.

With version 2.0.0 and onward Bordeau’s own Wine build are bundled and many tools and libraries that Wine depends upon. With this release comes Wine 1.1.41, Cabextract, Mozilla Gecko, Unzip, Wget and other support libraries and tools.

The cost of Bordeaux 2.0.4 is $20.00. Anyone who has purchased Bordeaux in the past six months is entitled to a free upgrade. Bordeaux comes with six months of upgrades and support and of course a 30-day money back guarantee.

Supported Applications/Games:

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2000
  • Microsoft Office 97
  • Microsoft Office Visio 2003
  • Microsoft Office Project 2003
  • Adobe Photoshop 6
  • Adobe Image Ready 3
  • Adobe Photoshop 7
  • Adobe Image Ready 7
  • Adobe Photoshop CS
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
  • Steam and Steam based Games
  • Apple QuickTime 6.5.2 Player
  • IrfaView 4.25 (Image files only)
  • Winetricks support

The Bordeaux Technology Group is a software services and development company specializing in Windows compatibility software. Users of Linux, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, Solaris, OpenSolaris and Mac OSX systems from time to time find themselves in the need to run specialized Windows software. The Bordeaux suite enables access to these programs and data in a seamless and low cost manner without requiring licensing of Microsoft Technology. The Bordeaux Group also provides migration services and support for alternative operating systems specializing in Windows compatibility.

More info

DVB-S Live TV on FreeBSD with MythTV 0.23 and webcamd

It’s not true anymore that FreeBSD does not support any DVB-S devices. Thanks to the work of Hans Petter Selasky on video4bsd there are now DVB-S/2 devices for USB that just work.

img/articles/mythtv-0.23-DVB-1_small.jpg

The work on MythTV to get this running only took me one evening and was just because nobody compiled mythtv with v4l support lately. It also helped a lot that Jürgen Lock already played with the same device and found and fixes a few things.

So what do you need to do now if you want to build your PVR on FreeBSD? (continues)

iXsystems donates new server for FreeBSD QAT Project

iXsystems has hosted the Quality Assurance Tinderbox used within the FreeBSD ports infrastructure for several months. The Quality Assurance Tinderbox (QAT) is an automated QA system used to identify problems in FreeBSD ports and packages, by building ports and generating the corresponding binary packages, then generating automated failure notifications. Recently, iXsystems decided to help the FreeBSD community improve upon QAT’s existing capabilities by updating the existing QAT server hardware.

The previous QAT server ran only FreeBSD 8.0-STABLE AMD64, which limited its ability to detect issues that port builds may have with other FreeBSD versions and architectures. In order to increase the functionality of QAT, iXsystems upgraded the hardware to increase speed and to extend its quality checks to other versions of the FreeBSD operating system. The new QAT server is housed in a 1U form factor with dual quad-core Intel® Xeon® 5400 Series processors. This machine features 8 total processing cores, 16GB of memory, and two 1TB SATA hard drives. QAT is being heavily refactored to utilize these new hardware resources as efficiently as possible.

Continue reading

Google SoC 2010: FreeBSD Projects

Google has just announced the projects it will be funding this summer during its annual Summer of Code Event :

6 FreeBSD related Projects are included :

  • Jacub Klama : Generic DMA engine framework for FreeBSD

The aim of this project is to provide a generic, flexible framework for initiating and controlling DMA transfers using General Purpose DMA engines, found in most of embedded SoCs – along with tests and documentation. There are analogous frameworks for NetBSD (dmover(4)) and Solaris (ddi_dmae(9F)), but they are not well suited for embedded targets and don’t offer all required features.

  • Alexandre Fiveg: Ringmap Capturing Stack for High Performance Packet Capturing in FreeBSD

The ringmap project has drawn a lot of interest from several research groups. I would like to continue my work on this project in order to improve and extend the developed software for production use in the open source community. I also would like to establish contacts to other software developers and use the opportunity to take part in GSoC for further development of ringmap.

  • Volodymyr Serbinenko: Port FreeBSD to Yeeloong

Yeloong, also known as “rms laptop” is a Chinese-designed netbook based on Loongson 2F CPU. It’s popular among Free Software enthusiasts and people who want a small yet powerful netbook and don’t care about windows being available. FreeBSD could profit much from thismips relaunch. When this port is done porting to other Loongson-based device should be relatively easy.

  • Mohammed Farrag : Reduced FreeBSD kernel size for embedded devices
  • Zheng Liu: Enhance FreeBSD ext2fs to support preallocation and update ext2fs to able to read ext4 file systems

This project implement preallocation in ext2fs and update ext2fs to be able to read ext4 file systems and possibly add other functionality, such as write ext4 file systems.

  • Benjamin Fiedler: BSD-licensed Text-Processing Tools

I will write or complete BSD-licensed replacements for the tools man, diff, sdiff, and sort. The rewrite of man will be necessarily be accompanied by integrating the FreeBSD mdocml port into the system base and configuring it as a replacement for the entire groff suite of tools.

Wishing all students the best. More details to follow.

FreeBSD 8.1 Release Date: 9 July 2010

Ken Smith wrote to the freebsd-stable mailing list that FreeBSD 8.1 is scheduled to be released on 9 July 2010:

For those of you who are wondering when 8.1-RELEASE might arrive, we have discussed it and come up with the initial target schedule.
The highlights are:

Freeze		May 24th, 2010
BETA1		May 28th, 2010
RC1		June 11th, 2010
RC2		June 25th, 2010
RELEASE		July 9th, 2010

As usual, that's subject to change but it's at least our current target.

As most of you will know, PC-BSD’s release cycle is closely linked to FreeBSD’s, so we will see PC-BSD 8.1 arrive (shortly) after that date.

According to the PC-BSD 8.1 todo list, most items are  implemented, and we are always looking for testers;

The next 8-Stable PC-BSD snapshot is now available at the usual place:

ftp://ftp.pcbsd.org/pub/snapshots/8/

This version fixes numerous issues with partitioning, switches us to using gpart for pretty much everything, and also adds the ability to delete slices / create new slices on MBR setups. It also has some enhancements to the PC-BSD boot-loader splash screen, which allows us to set a variety of boot options.

We need volunteers to test the further improved PC-BSD Installer.

The PC-BSD 8.0 installer is so good that some use it now to install FreeBSD:

So today, I need to install FreeBSD clean in a VM for testing. I thought, I am going to use the PCBSD 8 install disk because it is faster.
I am sorry, but I am a Sysinstall hater.
Thanks PC-BSD for the much faster installer. (source)

FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Jan – Mar 2010)

FreeBSD’s quarterly status report for 2010 Q1 is now available.

This report covers FreeBSD related projects between January and March 2010. Being the first of the four reports planned for 2010 with 46 entries, it shows a good progress of the FreeBSD Project and proves that our committers are keeping up with the latest trends in the OS development. During this period, a new minor version of FreeBSD, 7.3-RELEASE, has been released, while the release process for 8.1-RELEASE is soon to begin and is planned to be released later this summer.

Table of Contents

Google Summer of Code

  • Google Summer of Code 2010

Projects

  • Chromium web browser
  • Clang replacing GCC in the base system
  • EFI support for FreeBSD/i386
  • mfsBSD
  • Modular Congestion Control
  • NAND Flash framework for embedded FreeBSD
  • Out of Tree Toolchain
  • PC-BSD PC-SysInstall Backend
  • The tbemd branch
  • webcamd

FreeBSD Team Reports

  • FreeBSD Bugbusting Team
  • Release Engineering Team
  • The FreeBSD Foundation

Network Infrastructure

  • (Virtual) Network Stack resource cleanup
  • 802.11n support
  • Atheros AR9285 support
  • Enhancing the FreeBSD TCP Implementation
  • Experimental NFS subsystem (NFSv4)
  • ipfw and dummynet enhancements
  • net80211 rate control framework
  • TCP/UDP connection groups

Kernel

  • CAM-based ATA implementation
  • Dynamic Ticks in FreeBSD
  • geom_sched
  • IPv6 without legacy IP kernel
  • Multichannel playback in HDA sound driver (snd_hda)
  • Rewrite of FreeBSD read/write path using vnode page
  • SUJ: Journaled Softupdates
  • ZFS

Documentation

  • The FreeBSD German Documentation Project
  • The FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project

Userland Programs

  • FreeBSD port for libunwind
  • LDAP support in base system

Architectures

  • FreeBSD/arm port for TI DaVinci
  • FreeBSD/ia64
  • FreeBSD/mips on D-Link DIR-320
  • FreeBSD/powerpc
  • FreeBSD/powerpc64 port
  • FreeBSD/sparc64

Ports

  • Portmaster
  • Ports Collection
  • QAT

Miscellaneous

  • BSDCan 2010 — The BSD Conference
  • meetBSD 2010 — The BSD Conference

FreeBSD status report for 2010 Q1