Install FreeBSD 8.0 from USB memory stick

Martin Wilke has a useful step-by-setp guide (via bsdgroup.de) to install FreeBSD 8.0 (stable version yet to be released) from a USB pendrive:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 bs=1k count=1
bsdlabel -Bw da0 auto
newfs -L FreeBSD /dev/da0a
mdconfig -a -t vnode -f 8.0-HEAD-20090609-JPSNAP-i386-dvd1 -u 0 && mount -r -t cd9660 /dev/md0 /mnt/iso
mount /dev/da0a /mnt/USB-Stick
copy all files from your mounted cd in to your USB-Stick, after that you need to create a fstab for your USB-Stick
vi /mnt/USB-Stick/etc/fstab and put following in:
/dev/ufs/FreeBSD / ufs ro 0 0

FreeBSD security (incl video)

These are some recent links with regards FreeBSD security:

1.  Using DenyHosts to help thwart SSH attacks on FreeBSD

DenyHosts is a script intended to be run by UNIX-like system administrators to help thwart SSH server attacks (also known as dictionary based attacks and brute force attacks).

  1. % su
  2. # cd /usr/ports/security/denyhosts
  3. # make install clean
  4. # echo ‘denyhosts_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
  5. # echo ‘syslogd_flags=”-s -c”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
  6. # echo “sshd : /etc/hosts.deniedssh : deny” >> /etc/hosts.allow
  7. # echo “sshd : ALL : allow” >> /etc/hosts.allow
  8. # touch /etc/hosts.deniedssh
  9. Edit /usr/local/etc/denyhosts.conf and uncoment the BLOCK_SERVICE = sshd entry.
  10. # /usr/local/etc/rc.d/denyhosts onestart

Source - linux-bsd-sharing.blogspot.com

2. Network Security Monitoring

Richard Bejtlich, from TAO Security, did a presentation on network security monitoring using FreeBSD.

In this presentation I’ll discuss my latest thinking on using FreeBSD to identify normal, suspicious, and malicious traffic in enterprise networks. FreeBSD is a powerful platform for network traffic inspection and log analysis, and I’ll share a few ways I use it in production environments.


3. FreeBSD supported branches update

The branches supported by the FreeBSD Security Officer have been updated to reflect the EoL (end-of-life) of FreeBSD 7.0. The new list is below and at . Please note that FreeBSD 7.0 was originally announced with an EoL date of February 28, 2009, but the EoL was delayed by two months in order to allow a 3 month window for systems to be upgraded to FreeBSD 7.1. [source]

The current designation and estimated lifetimes of the currently supported branches are given below. TheEstimated EoL (end-of-life) column gives the earliest date on which that branch is likely to be dropped. Please note that these dates may be extended into the future, but only extenuating circumstances would lead to a branch’s support being dropped earlier than the date listed.

  • RELENG_6 – 30 November 2010
  • RELENG_6_3 – 31 January 2010
  • RELENG_6_4 -  30 November 2010
  • RELENG_7 - last release + 2 years
  • RELENG_7_1 - 31 January 2011

These dates can also be found on the calendar at BSDEvents.net

4. How to harden FreeBSD

After a fresh install, it is important to harden the security on a server before it hits your network for use.  Not only making configuration changes aid in the security of your box, but there are some practical rules to abide by.  These are some hardening tips to make your FreeBSD box more secure and will apply to both the 5.x and 4.x branches, but I will assume you are running 5.x.  If a 4.x change is different, I will note it.

Instructions here (Tux Training)

Open source NAS device using FreeNAS and iSCSI drives (howtos & video))

FreeNAS LogoDave Lawlor has put together some really easy-to-follow instructions on how to install and configure FreeNAS.

FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.

There are a couple of other good howtos available but this one by far the easiest to follow, AND the screenshots are of the latest FreeNAS version (changed GUI).

So far Dave has posted 3 tutorials:

1. Build Your Own Open Source NAS Device Using FreeNAS – Part 1

(Downloading, installing and accessing FreeNAS for the first time)

2. Build Your Own Open Source NAS Device Using FreeNAS – Part 2

(Setting up and accessing drives, and testing the FreeNAS installation)

3. How to Setup iSCSI Drive Using FreeNAS

(What is iSCSI and setting it up)

Hopefully we’ll see more posts from him over the next few weeks.

I came also across another interesting FreeNAS related video where Chris, from Jupiter Broadcasting, shows how FreeNAS can transform an old PC into a full blown NAS server:

More information on NAS servers can be found on NAS, SANs and Storage Server Technology