The Short List #8: fetchmailrc/gmail/ssl … grrr #FreeBSD

Didn’t realize that a fetchmail implementation I was using was actually *not* using SSL for a month.  I had installed security/ca_root_nss but FreeBSD doesn’t assume that you want to use the certificates in this package.  I don’t understand it, but whatever.

So, add this to your fetchmailrc to actually use the certificate authorities in there and really do SSL to your gmail account:

sslcertfile /usr/local/share/certs/ca-root-nss.crt

Upgrade to PC-BSD 10.1 is Now Live!

Hey everyone!

Kris has made the update to 10.1 live on the servers. To upgrade to 10.1 you can simply open the update GUI and start the update from there. You will notice the update takes a little longer to complete, but the good news is it runs in the background and there are no unexpected resets :).

If you are on the EDGE repo you most likely have the newest broken version of pkg which will need to be fixed before upgrading. To fix pkg:

% pkg install –f pkg

After that you should be in business. Please send us your feedback and / or any questions!

Solutions Linux’15

Solutions Linux'15 (http://www.solutionslinux.fr/?lg=en), CNIT, Paris - La Défense, France 20 - 21 May, 2015. Solutions Linux is one of the major corporate events in France about Linux and Open Source solutions. The event will also host an open source community 'village'. A group of BSD enthusiasts lead by BSD France will be there to promote BSD solutions.

FreeBSD Kernel Class

FreeBSD Kernel Class (https://www.mckusick.com/courses/introeveclass.html), Hillside Club, Berkeley, United States 22 January - 21 May, 2015. Marshall Kirk McKusick will be teaching his FreeBSD kernel class based on the second edition of "The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System". The class is being taught at the historic Hillside Club in Berkeley, California. The class will be taught weekly, mostly on Thursday nights from January 22nd through May 21st. Details on the class and a link to the registration page can be found at https://www.mckusick.com/courses/introeveclass.html. Those not living in the Bay Area that would like to take the class remotely can sign up for a subscription to receive the classes week-by-week as they are recorded at https://www.mckusick.com/courses/introorderform.html.

More From Your Newest Board Member: An Interview with Cheryl R. Blain

Recently, The FreeBSD Foundation announced the addition of Cheryl R. Blain to the Board of Directors. We sat down with Cheryl to find out more about her background and what brought her to the Foundation. Take a look at what she has to say:

Tell us a little about yourself, and how you got involved with FreeBSD?
I was bit by the entrepreneur bug in 1999 when working for a non-profit. I’ve worked with high-tech, venture-backed, small-cap companies ever since.  My typical engagement finds
Cheryl R. Blain
me streamlining operations and sales teams to prepare companies for their next step forward, which most often involves financing.  


I have a master’s degree in business administration with a dual emphasis in finance and sustainable enterprise, from Saint Mary’s College and as a visiting student at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Xinuos is the latest high-tech, venture-backed company to which I’ve plied my wares.  While working for Xinuos, I was exposed to FreeBSD for the first time in 2013.  During my first week on the job, I was asked if I was willing to go to Ottawa, Canada to learn more about FreeBSD and the community of developers.  The head of engineering and I felt the conference was very important to Xinuos’ future, so we decided it was an opportunity not to be missed.  Since the trip was so unexpected, I actually had to have my passport over-night shipped to me in our New Jersey office so I could leave the following day!  My colleague and I attended BSDCan and it was everything we had hoped it would be.  We were welcomed by the development community and pleasantly inundated with inquiries about our interest in FreeBSD.  David Chisnall was an especially helpful evangelist of FreeBSD, and made sure my colleague and I had the information we needed.

Why are you passionate about serving on the FreeBSD Foundation Board?
The FreeBSD community (including the board) is in no small part the reason I chose to learn more about the project as a commercial offering two years ago.  My passion is in building businesses, and I wanted to work on a project that was technologically sound, well supported and attractive to people who I like and respect.  The FreeBSD community quickly forgave me for being the least technical person in the room, and was wonderful in embracing the value I can bring to the community from a business perspective.

I look forward to doing my part to ensure that the FreeBSD project has a vibrant future.

What excited you about our work?
There are many things that make FreeBSD interesting...but the first time I think I got really excited was in Ottawa in 2013, when Matt Ahrens gave his talk on ZFS.  Every developer in the room was abuzz with excitement.  In Matt’s presentation he listed logos of the other open source operating systems using ZFS, but I connected with how the room full of BSD developers really embraced Matt as their own.  His bold move to pack his box at Oracle to continue his open source work, helped me realize the people associated with FreeBSD are not status quo...they are pushing the envelope. Then I met Peter Grehan and Neel Natu and was introduced to their work on bhyve, and Justin and George as Foundation board members and FreeBSD committers and knew that even though the FreeBSD project has been around since 1993, new excitement and innovation is happening right now.  And I haven’t even mentioned Capsicum or Clang! Oh and I can’t forget, I was there for the naming of Groff with all the rowdy laughter and good spirited banter, and it was then that I felt like I was among friends.   

 What are you hoping to bring to the organization and the community through your new leadership role?
I hope that my participation in the planning discussions will encourage other business leaders to join in the discussions as well.   

I also hope to encourage those who use FreeBSD commercially to become more vocal about their experiences and use cases, to encourage others to develop with FreeBSD as well.  In doing so, there is a great opportunity to build an endowment among alum to ensure a vibrant future for FreeBSD.

How do you see your background and experience complementing the current board? 
I will be delighted if I am successful in bringing a business lens to the board discussions.  I would like to help elevate FreeBSD in the minds of technology companies worldwide and see a broader acceptance of the OS as a commercially desirable alternative.

Super Computing Trip Report: Michael Dexter

Michael Dexter has also provided his trip report for Super Computing:

In case you have not heard of the Supercomputing.org conference, it is a meeting of 10,000 researchers, computer scientists, engineers, students, managers, sales engineers and three-letter agency representatives that takes place in a different US city every year. I have hosted a booth at the event since 2009 when it passed through Portland and this year showcased the bhyve Hypervisor and explained all things BSD to brilliant attendees from around the world. I was joined by Patrick Masson, General Manager of the Open Source Initiative, who helped shed light on the pervasive yet unrecognized use of open source software by the universities, organizations and companies at the event. Literally 90% or more of the exhibitors rely on open source but few give it any recognition. For years, GNU/Linux has dominated the Top500 list of supercomputers that is announced at the event each year and I set out to help change that by highlighting bhyve, OpenZFS and other great technologies in FreeBSD.

SC14 could not have started on a better note thanks to the announcement on the first day that the FreeBSD Foundation received a million dollar donation from WhatsApp founder Jan Koum. I heard many people say "I used FreeBSD ten years ago" and the news instantly got their attention and set the tone for the rest of the event. By showcasing ZFS, we drew the attention of ex-Sun Microsystems engineers and executives and even had a visit by UC Berkeley CSRG research assistant Clem Cole. The message that "BSD is back" was loud and clear and I canvased the Student Cluster Competition to help inspire a new generation of users who had never heard of the BSDs.

The bhyve booth was in the heart of the ARM pavilion which made for some enlightening conversations. bhyve and the ARM CPU architecture both stand out for operating without emulation, resulting in simplicity and performance for bhyve and significant power savings for ARM. A roadmap exists for bhyve support on ARM and hopefully this will be something to showcase at SC15. Of the exhibiting ARM partners, the SoftIron team stood out as loud and proud users of FreeBSD and I look forward to seeing them at future BSD events.

FreeBSD vendor iXsystems was also at the event demonstrating FreeNAS and TrueNAS, as were the SaltStack team who received a bhyve demo and expressed a sincere desire to include support for bhyve. A handful of other open source vendors like Red Hat were in attendance plus FreeBSD consumers like Spectra Logic, EMC/Isilon, NetApp and Juniper. Many individual open source users came to the booth and my favorite quotation came from a conversation at a Mellanox event: "Our administrators use FreeNAS at home and come work and ask 'why the heck aren't we using ZFS?'" Open source is winning but there is still much work to be done.

Speaking of work, I asked many people, including Navy researchers moving massive uncompressed video streams, what FreeBSD needs to do get back on the Top500 list of supercomputers. The short list of answers I received was: OFED/OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution support, OpenMPI/Message Passing Interface support and Lustre distributed file system support. Surprisingly, NUMA/Non-Uniform Memory Access did not come up. Interconnect vendor Chelsio Communications stood out as a solid supporter of FreeBSD and dominant player Mellanox expressed interest in expanding their support for FreeBSD given the opportunity it represents. All in all, people were very receptive to giving FreeBSD and other BSDs a try, especially given that it would be a homecoming for so many users.

I wish to thank the FreeBSD Foundation for sponsoring the bhyve booth at SC14 and I am delighted to hear that ARM has just made a generous $50,000 donation to the Foundation. In total I gave out 250 tri-fold brochures and talked to hundreds of people at SC14. Hopefully those seeds will take root and we will start seeing FreeBSD systems in the Student Cluster Competition and on the 2015 Top500 supercomputer list!

FreeBSD Foundation Welcomes New Board Member – UPDATED!

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to welcome Cheryl R. Blain to the Board of Directors. 

Cheryl became involved with the FreeBSD community in 2013.  She joins the Foundation's board with extensive experience managing software development and building strategic alliances for privately-held, small-cap companies. Cheryl's background includes community outreach, marketing and fundraising efforts with non-profit organizations. We are thrilled to have her as part of the team.

One of the responsibilities of our board is to focus on the big picture, by defining our vision, mission, strategic direction, project planning, as well as governing our organization. Our board has decades of experience on working on FreeBSD in design, development, documentation, research, education, and advocacy. We've been strong in providing support in the project development area. As we've grown, we've identified the need to expand our board, and we've identified skills, talents, and experience we want in new board members. 

Cheryl fills the need for bringing on someone who has a strong business development background. She will help provide a clear direction, strategic planning, and guidance for us to support FreeBSD in the future. In order for us to continue our growth, we need a more stable and consistent funding pool. Cheryl's extensive fundraising background and business connections will help us build and strengthen our business relationships to encourage multi-year donations.  She brings with her a passion for FreeBSD and a desire to use her talents to advance the mission of both the Project and the Foundation. Hear more from Cheryl here.

Please join us in welcoming her to the board.

MeetBSD Trip Report: Michael Dexter

The Foundation recently sponsored Michael Dexter to attend MeetBSD, which was held in California in November. Michael provides the following trip report:

This year's MeetBSD California marked a departure from its UnConference roots in favor of a showcase of exciting new developments in the community. Western Digital kindly hosted the event which made for a pleasant, professional atmosphere and attendees traveled from as far as Japan and Eastern Europe to attend.

Of the many talks, the Sony confirmation that is a long-time BSD user was simply historic and just may be the result of years of encouragement by AsiaBSDCon attendees. It's not every day that you confirm the existence of millions of more BSD users! Yes, "BSD" users at the request of the Sony legal department. On the same theme, "600M+ Unsuspecting FreeBSD Users" by Rick Reed of WhatsApp also shed light on the heavy lifting companies are doing with FreeBSD and finally, Scott Long and Brendan Gregg of Netflix reminded us how they are pushing 1/3rd of US Internet traffic each evening. Brendan spoke about performance analysis strategies at both MeetBSD and the Developer Summit that followed and I dare say is downright giddy about the performance analysis options available on FreeBSD. In his second talk he incorporated audience feedback on the spot and I for one am delighted to see Sun Microsystems refugees like Brendan come to the BSD community as they each bring a wealth of experience.

Kirk McKusick's “A Narrative History of BSD” was a delight as always and reminded us that there is absolutely nothing like BSD: professional and open source from the start with a mission to bring sanity to government computing. That mission sounds more like a contemporary meme than 1970's and '80's funded government initiative! Kirk told us about Bill Joy's prolific coding and how they navigated the pressure to incorporate the BB&N network stack into BSD. Kirk also told us the story of how a delay in grant funding accidentally got him into a lifetime of fast file system development and how we almost had 48-bit IP addressing. Hearing both Kirk and Brendan Gregg talk about the frivolity of most benchmarks decades apart was eye opening!

Finally, David Maxwell's "Pipecut" talk was a mind-blowing introduction to a pet project of his that promises to change how we all use the Unix command line. Most of these talks are online and can be found via meetbsd.com/agenda/.

As with any BSD event, the hallway track was worth the price of admission and I had the pleasure of meeting bhyve and FreeNAS developers that I had only met online. Adrian Chadd tinkered with a Surface Pro system and eventually got the keyboard working late one night and naturally had the only working WiFi in the hotel lobby. Glen Barber and I continued our "the good, the bad and the ugly" talk about distribution mirror layouts based on his work as FreeBSD release engineer and my work supporting various OSs on bhyve. Devin Teske provided scripting advice as always and I cornered people about topics ranging from the status of virtual networking and a ZFS panic.

Every BSD event has its own character and MeetBSD is no different. The fact that it takes place in Silicon Vally allows it to have a great mix of speakers and attendees who might not make it to international events. Thank you iXsystems for putting on yet another great MeetBSD!

10.1 New Update Manager Backend — Call for Testers

Hey testers a new beta update is available to upgrade your systems from 10.x to 10.1. The beta instructions have been sent out to the PC-BSD Testing e-mail list if you would like to participate in the testing. For more information you can email me @ [email protected] or sign up for the testing mailing list @ http://lists.pcbsd.org/mailman/listinfo/testing.

Thanks!

–Josh

The FreeBSD Cluster: Infrastructural Enhancements at NYI


I spent several days on-site at our east-coast US colocation facility in July 2014 and again in November 2014 racking and installing servers that the FreeBSD Foundation purchased for the FreeBSD Project.

This hardware is essential for supporting the FreeBSD Project in a number of ways.  It provides services for public consumption (FTP mirrors, pkg(8) mirrors, etc.), as well as resources that can be used by FreeBSD developers for various tasks, such as building third-party software packages, release building, and miscellaneous (a.k.a, "testbed") development of services for general use.

More Horsepower to Serve and Support the FreeBSD Community

Since July, fourteen machines were purchased for the east-coast US site, generously hosted by New York Internet in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

The servers were purchased with the end-goal being a complete mirror of the primary site on the west-coast US.  The newly-added servers bring the machine count at NYI to sixty-eight total.

Reorganizing for Redundancy

Two of these servers are being used as firewalls, each equipped with four-port Intel(r) NICs.  Both firewalls have direct connections to the switches in all four cabinets at NYI, providing a redundant uplink to each of the four switches so we can reboot either firewall without losing connectivity

Restructuring for Additional Services

November's site visit had two primary goals: install and configure the recent shipment of machines, and reconfigure the network topology behind the firewalls.  Before many of the machines could be brought online, several changes needed to be made to the network.

Each FreeBSD.org site further separates services behind the firewalls using VLANs, limiting each set of services provided within each VLAN to its own network restrictions.  In order to properly allocate network space for the new machines, several of the VLANs at NYI needed to be redone.

The most publicly-disruptive part of this was reallocating the VLAN that contains the firewalls.  Thanks to Peter Wemm, there were no major service disruptions (aside from a planned simultaneous firewall reboot).

Although not all of these machines have been brought online yet, several of them have been allocated and assigned to the teams that will be using them.

Two machines have been allocated to the FreeBSD Release Engineering Team, one of which was used for the 10.1-RELEASE builds.  Four machines have been allocated to the FreeBSD Ports Management Team, which were brought online and handed over just this week.

FreeBSD, Powered by FreeBSD

If you are like me, words about new hardware do not do as much justice as seeing them.  Enjoy!


new servers - front view
new servers - rear view

The Short List #7: net-im/finch and password protected IRC channels on #FreeBSD

I discovered recently that net-im/finch can indeed join password protected IRC channels even though the channel add dialogue box doesn’t support it.

Add an IRC chat room that requires a password to your buddy list.

Exit out of finch and edit ~/.purple/blist.xml

Find the chat room you just added:

<chat proto=’prpl-irc’ account=’[email protected]’>
<component name=’channel’>#supersekritircchannel</component>
<setting name=’gnt-autojoin’ type=’bool’>1</setting>
</chat>

Simply add the password line after the channel name component:

<component name=’password’>supersekritpass</component>

Restart finch and you will now be able to auto-join the IRC channel.

Note that the password for this IRC channel is now in PLAIN TEXT in a file in your home directory.  So, ensure that you are doing this somewhere trustworthy.

Getting to know your portmgr-lurker: sunpoet@

About a month ago Emanuel (ehaupt@) started his term as a portmgr-lurker but due to a lack of spare time he preferred to step down from the program to focus on his real job. Hopefully Po-Chuan (sunpoet@) was ok to start his term earlier and replaced ehaupt as a portmgr-lurker. Here is a short introduction to get to know him a bit better.

Name
Po-Chuan Hsieh
Committer name
sunpoet
Inspiration for your IRC nick
“sunpoet” comes from “晴詩”, a nickname in Chinese.
The first character means sun/sunny and the second character means poem/poetry.
TLD of origin
.tw
Occupation
Student, sysadm
When did you join portmgr@
I wish I could join portmgr@ after my portmgr-lurker term.
Inspiration for using FreeBSD
Simplicity and convenience.
Ports collection is the most attractive part.
Who was your first contact in FreeBSD
Chin-San Huang (chinsan@)
I asked him to take my PRs via gnats-aa.
Who was your mentor(s)
I was mentored by Philip M. Gollucci (pgollucci@).
What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD
The first time to break INDEX. Of course it happened more than once. :(
Boxers / Briefs / other
Boxers
What is your role in your circle of friends
Listener
vi(m) /  emacs / other
vim
What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD
I use FreeBSD. I love FreeBSD. And I want to make it better.
Favourite musician/band
It would be a long list, e.g. Aerosmith, Lara Fabian, Vitas, …
What book do you have on your bedside table
Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
coffee / tea / other
Tea
Do you have a guilty pleasure
Icecream?
How would you describe yourself
I’m shy
sendmail / postfix / other
postfix
Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD
Reading and travelling
What is your favourite TV show
House of Cards
Claim to Fame
I don’t know if I have any. Maintaining 700+ ports and keeping them up to date?
What did you have for breakfast today
McMuffin
What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD
perl@, python@, ruby@ and office@
Any parting words you want to share
It’s great to be part of the FreeBSD community/family.
What is your .sig at the moment
Regards,
sunpoet

Open Letter to the PC-BSD Community Regarding Upgrading to 10.1

We are aware of an issue where many of you have been experiencing some frustrating issues involving the update to PC-BSD 10.1. While we constantly strive for a stable easy going process with PC-BSD in use and in upgrading, sometimes issues appear that were not prevalent during our testing. We are working on a new upgrade patch that will hopefully solve the upgrade problem for some of you who have still not been able to successfully upgrade to 10.1. What we are planning on doing is incorporating just freebsd-update to handle this upgrade for the kernel and let the packages be installed seperately after the kernel has been upgraded.

Going forward we have some ideas on how we can improve the updating process to give a better end user experience for PC-BSD. Just one idea we’ve been thinking about is giving ourselves a little more time before letting RELEASE updates become available to the public. During the extra time period we can ask some of our more advanced users to go ahead and install the “beta” updates and provide us with feedback if issues come up that we were not able to find during our initial testing of the update. This will also let us examine many more different types of system setups.

We want to thank all of you for being avid PC-BSD supporters and want you to understand we are 100% dedicated to providing the BEST BSD based desktop operating system in the world. Going forward our goal is to provide an upgrade experience that is not only simple, but also has gone through much more rigorous testing by our dedicated community to ensure the quality everyone here is looking for.

Thanks!

–Josh

Heads up for EDGE Users

For those of you running the EDGE package set, be aware that  PKGNG 1.4.0 is just around the corner, and we are updating the PC-BSD EDGE repo to start testing BETA2 of it right now. The packages are building, and should be available in around 24–48 hours.

Also, we found some major bugs in pkg this weekend, which can leave some packages installed, but with their respective files on disk missing. Kris is testing a work-around at the moment, so if you want to avoid some of the churn, it may be wise to wait a few days for this fix and for the dust to settle from the update to pkgng 1.4.0.b2.

If you have already upgraded and have issues with a missing pcbsd-utils, functions.sh, etc, you can fix your system by running the following commands:

# /usr/sbin/pkg install –fy pcbsd-libsh
# /usr/sbin/pkg install –fy pcbsd-syscache
# /usr/sbin/pkg install –fy life-preserver
# /usr/sbin/pkg install –fy warden
# /usr/sbin/pkg install –fy pbi-manager

If you find any issues, please see if they have been reported yet at bugs.pcbsd.org, and if not, report the details.