The FreeBSD Journal is Now Available!

We are pleased to announce the FreeBSD Journal is now available! This is a new, FreeBSD focused, online publication. 

You can find out how to subscribe to the Journal by going to www.freebsdjournal.com. Or, go to the following links for the device you'd like to download to:

To get the Kindle App click here 
To get the Apple app click here 
To get the Android App click here

Here's the letter the editorial board wrote for this inaugural issue:

Welcome to the first issue of the FreeBSD Journal. A brand new, professionally produced, on-line magazine available from the various app stores, including Apple iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle.

What you will find in the upcoming issues are feature-length articles and columns that address the entirety of the FreeBSD community. Coverage will be diverse with topics including: managing large scale system deployments, application development, systems programming, embedded systems, academic research, and general software development. All using FreeBSD.

Issue #1 is dedicated to FreeBSD 10, the latest in the FreeBSD Project's line of major releases.  The release of FreeBSD 10 brings many new features not seen in other open source operating systems, including a brand new compiler toolchain based on LLVM, as well as mature support for ZFS as a first class kernel-based filesystem.

The Journal is guided by an editorial board made up of people from across the FreeBSD community, including, John Baldwin, Daichi Goto, Joseph Kong, Dru Lavigne, Michael Lucas, Marshall Kirk McKusick, George Neville-Neil, Hiroki Sato, and Robert Watson.  The editorial board is responsible for the acquisition and vetting of content for the magazine.  The editor is Jim Maurer who is the person with whom our authors work most closely getting their pieces into shape for publishing.  Jim has a long history in the technical publishing business, having worked with Scientific American and the Association for Computing Machinery.

The magazine will publish six issues per year.  The editorial board has planned the first year of issues that will cover topics including Networking, Virtualization, Development Tools, Support for new Hardware Features, and the new software packaging system for FreeBSD, pkgng.

The FreeBSD Journal is financially supported by the FreeBSD Foundation, the 501(c)3 charitable organization whose sole purpose is to help the FreeBSD Project grow and flourish.  Your subscriptions and the advertising revenue the Journal receives help to offset the money the Foundation needs to put in to support the Journal.

We know you'll like what you see in the Journal and hope that you'll let everyone you know about our new magazine.

Sincerley,
FreeBSD Journal Editorial Board

FreeBSD Journal First Edition Available

We are pleased to announce the availability of the FreeBSD Journal! It is the new online Journal, that the FreeBSD Foundation is publishing, that is all about FreeBSD. Click here to find out how to get the first issue that is focused on FreeBSD 10.

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 16

Just a quick update for you fine folks this week!  The bulk of the last week was spent fixing many smaller bugs that were still stuck in the PC-BSD trac database. Our primary goal now that 10.0 has hit release status is to fine tune the PC-BSD experience to allow for the smoothest experience possible. Users are encouraged to submit even the most trivial bugs during this “fine tuning phase�.

Among the programs that received updates the Warden received a patch fixing some issues with warnings, creating jails, and fixing user interface inconsistencies. Also the Package Manager received updates to fix some issues with how it interacts with pkgng.  This should eliminate some of the minor inconsistencies some of you were seeing that was leading to communication issues between the two. Package manager and the User manager also received minor improvements to fix issues relating to their user interface.

Big news this week for the PBI format. Kris has confirmed that a patch has been implemented for the way PBI’s are being built that will shrink the size of PBI’s by approximately 50%. The patch has just been implemented and is currently in a testing phase, but stay tuned to the blog for more updates on how and when this patch will begin benefiting you in the very near future!

Thats it for this week folks.  As always thanks for being loyal PC-BSD users!

httperf tuning for #FreeBSD testing

Was playing around with httperf to excercise Apache / stunnel SSl benchmarks on FreeBSD this week and ran into the code that nerfs simultaneous connections down from the environment ulimit of maxfiles to the limit FD_SETSIZE as defined in <select.h>.

One can override this at compile time and push the system harder by passing in some ./configure foo:

env CC=”cc -DFD_SETSIZE=4096″

However, you will then be able to max out the number of ports in use very quickly if you try to use stunnel and apache in this configuration.  I noted that on our systems we raise the low port number and reduce the high port number for connections:

net.inet.ip.portrange.first=20000

net.inet.ip.portrange.last=49151

I set first down to 2000 and last up to 65534 for my testing.  This gives me quite a bit more ports to use in testing.  At this point I can run stunnel on 443 forwarding to apache on localhost:80 and get more than 8k simultaneous connections when using SSL accelerators on FreeBSD 10

 

Time to bid farewell to the old pkg_ tools

There comes a time in the life cycle of just about every software package that it has bee re-evaluated, refreshed, deprecated or just retired.

It is time that we bid farewell to the old pkg_* software that has been part of FreeBSD since the beginning, and has served us well. After years of development, testing, and playing, pkg(8) has become a suitable replacement.

Pkg is the Next Generation package management tool for FreeBSD. It is the replacement for the current pkg_info/pkg_create/pkg_add tools that ports use to register local packages and which provide remote packages. Its main goals are to facilitate remote binary package upgrades. It also works with ports without remote binary packages.

Pkg, combined with the quarterly release package sets, enables easy installation and safe upgrades for binary packages. Signed, binary packages are available for all supported FreeBSD releases on the i386 and  amd64 platforms from pkg.freebsd.org. Additionally, for those compiling ports from source, pkg’s new database format gives more fine-grained querying and management of installed software.

New features on the drawing board, like automatic pkg-plist generation, sub-packages, creating multiple packages containing different parts of a port from one build process, and flavours, being able to ask for e.g. a webserver, without directly specifying a specific one, cannot be implemented in the old pkg_* tools and those plans are currently on hold.

You are not obligated to switch to binary packages, if you still prefer to compile your own ports, it is a simple matter of installing ports-mgmt/pkg, run pkg2ng, add WITH_PKGNG=yes to your make.conf and use pkg <action> instead of pkg_<action>.

You can read more about pkgng on the FreeBSD wiki, https://wiki.freebsd.org/pkgng.

The decision has been made to allow the old pkg_* software to be EoL’d 6 months from now, at September 1, 2014 in all active FreeBSD branches.

Please start testing pkg(8) in your test environments before taking it live, you will find the benefits of full binary updates for your ports to be beneficial in a very short amount of time. Even if you prefer to compile from source, you will still reap the benefits of the modern packaging system.

whoami? I’m PC-BSD 10.0! — Weekly Feature Digest 15

The PC-BSD team has announced version 10.0 Joule Edition is now in official release status and is available for mass distribution. If you’ve used PC-BSD in the past you haven’t seen anything yet! PC-BSD 10.0’s feature rich front end runs beautifully without sacrificing the stability we all know and love from FreeBSD’s base system. This week we’re going to look back and highlight some of best new features now available in PC-BSD Version 10.0 — Joule Edition.

AMD / ATI graphics are now officially supported under PC-BSD. Although in the past AMD Radeon users have suffered from lack-of-driver-itis, those days are passed and a new age is upon us. I’m currently running PC-BSD on 3 different types of AMD graphics based systems and the performance is arguably better than some of my nvidia based test systems (sorry Nvidia fanboys :D). I was even more surprised when ATI hybrid graphics worked out of the box on my Samsung NP-350 Notebook computer.  Especially considering this laptop was designed for…Windows 8…*BARF*

0131142101a

You will notice there are a couple of quirks to be aware of with the new Radeon drivers that we are currently aware of. Firstly the CTRL F keys do not bring up the console. This is being actively remedied by FreeBSD and we expect there will be a fix committed in the near future. Also KDE support for Radeon is there, but i’ve noticed that I experience random freeze ups from time to time on any of my Radeon systems. Using any other desktop environment seemed to fix the issue for me.

More of your favorite Desktop Environments! We’ve now added Gnome 3, Cinnamon, and mate to the list of desktops available under PC-BSD 10.0. Mate has officially replaced Gnome 2 in version 10.0, but Gnome 3 and Cinnamon will remain as “unsupported� desktops currently until further development and additional testing are done to bring them up to speed in PC-BSD. That being said feel free to report issues with these desktops with the understanding that they are currently in a “beta� stage and are offered without any guarantee. For best results with your PC-BSD experience use supported desktops!

The Grub and FreeBSD boot loaders have both received updated support to work with PC-BSD version 10.0. Have your choice now during installation for whatever boot loader works best for you. As we continue to work with the Grub boot loader our support is evolving simultaneously to give you even better compatibility.

In other news this week if any users are still using RC’s 1–5 please update to PC-BSD 10.0 — Release before reporting bugs so we can make sure we aren’t duplicating tickets for issues that have already been submitted and /or resolved.

Special thanks to the entire PC-BSD team including our testers, committers, and administrators. Without you guys this release wouldn’t be what it is today and we sincerely thank you all for your dedication in making PC-BSD Joule Edition a success.

Best Regards,

Josh

 

 

FreeBSD Foundation Announces 2013 Fundraising Results

The board of directors had a very productive meeting in Berkeley in January. We worked on our strategic plan and other topics that greatly benefited by working together at an in-person meeting.

We thank you, the FreeBSD community and consumers, who support FreeBSD in many ways.  Thank you for your donations ranging from $5 to over $200,000. Thank you for your tireless efforts of supporting the Project by developing code, writing for and about FreeBSD, helping with conferences and summits, and advocating for FreeBSD.




We have our final fundraising results from 2013 and are pleased with the results. In 2013 we raised $768,562 from 1659 donors. If you compare the number with 2012, of $771,193 from 1855 donors, it was a little lower. The difference is primarily because 2012 blew out its goal of raising $500,000.

We have already started our 2014 fundraising efforts. As of the end of January we are just under $40,000. Our goal is to raise $1,000,000. We are currently finalizing our 2014 budget. We plan to publish both our 2013 financial report and our 2014 budget soon.

Please consider making a donation in 2014! It's easy, just click here to make your donation!

Thank you again for your support! We look forward to continuing our support of the FreeBSD Project and community in 2014.

PC-BSD 10.0-RELEASE is Now Available

PC-BSD 10.0-RELEASE is now available for download!

A special thank you to all the developers, testers, translators and docs team members who helped make this release possible.

10.0-RELEASE notable features

  • Includes FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE
  • Updated KMS / AMD driver support
  • ISO file is a hybrid USB file, and can be “dd“ed to a USB media.
  • New text-based installer
  • Able to select between GRUB/BSD loaders during installation
  • New desktops! Gnome 3, Mate (Replaces Gnome2) and Cinnamon

For a more complete list, checkout the What’s New in 10.0.

Updating

Online updating to 10.0-RELEASE is now available for users running 9.2-RELEASE systems. As with any upgrade, please make sure to backup your critical data beforehand.

To get started, first ensure that your packages and world/kernel are up to date, and then apply the update to 10.0 using the following command at a root prompt:

pc-updatemanager install fbsd-10.0-RELEASE

NOTE: If you are on an older 9.2 install that still uses UFS, you will want to install 10.0 fresh and move to ZFS. Many of our new tools and utilities depend upon ZFS functionality.

Reporting Issues

Found a bug? Please report it, in as much detail as possible, to our Trac database.

The short list #5: coredumping with sudo on #FreeBSD

Things I learned from a misbehaving pam module managing our sudo context at work.  sudo, for security, will not dump core files if it hits a segfault.  You need to tell the kernel to allow set uid root binaries to core dump *and* you have to let sudo know that its ok via a sudo.conf entry.

DO NOT LEAVE THESE AS DEFAULTS

kern.sugid_coredump: 1

/etc/sudo.conf –> Set disable_coredump true

ref –> http://www.sudo.ws/sudo.man.html

 

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

For those of you waiting for PC-BSD 10 to become a reality, the wait is almost over.  The PC-BSD team announced last Thursday that the project is now in 10.0 Release Candidate 5 (p4), and is available for mass consumption.  There are a couple of important things to remember when upgrading to the latest RC.  Kris announced that all users upgrading from RC4 or previous versions, will unfortunately have to upgrade all of their packages and PBI’s due to a recent ABI change in FreeBSD.  For more information on how this will impact you and what you can do to have a smooth transition, please see the PC-BSD 10.0 RC5 release notes here.

Also due to the ABI change and the inability to use our previously approved PBI’s for PC-BSD 10.0 RC5, PBI’s had to be completely rebuilt and re-approved for use in the version 10.0 AppCafe.  The PC-BSD team was able to get nearly 500 PBI’s rebuilt and re approved at the end of Friday the 24th, but there are still many more that will begin to show up in the AppCafe very soon.

 

Builds have started for final release, so keep your eyes peeled for the official release announcement over the next couple of weeks.  We do not have an exact date at this moment for when  the build will be finished so please wait patiently and allow us to finish testing to make sure that PC-BSD 10.0 release will be the best and most stable version yet.

  • Joe Maloney has been working tirelessly to get Gnome 3 into PC-BSD, and has been a huge help getting this Behemoth DE into a usable state.  Anyone who is interested in using / testing gnome 3 (it is still unsupported at this time) make sure to thank Joe for all the hard work he’s been putting in.
  • PBI’s have undergone even more detailed optimization further increasing their startup times.
  •  More tweaks and optimizations have been committed to PCDM, Firewall Manager, and ATI Hybrid graphics laptops.

PC-BSD 10.0-RC5 Now Available

The next PC-BSD 10.0-RELEASE-p4 image (based upon FreeBSD 10.0-RC5) is now available for download!

This will likely be our LAST RC before issuing the 10.0-FINAL release in a week or so. Please report any outstanding issues to our bug database.

*** NOTE to users of 10.0-RC4 or earlier ***

Due to an ABI change in FreeBSD between RC4 and RC5, you will need to re-install *all* packages and PBIs after updating  to RC5.

To update your packages, use the following command:

pkg-static upgrade –f

NOTE: This is best done immediately after the upgrade, before rebooting into RC5.

Once your desktop / server is updated, you can then update your PBIs via the “AppCafe� utility or using pbi_delete / pbi_add.

We are still finishing up a number of the newly-rebuilt RC5 PBIs, so if a particular application is not yet in the AppCafe, please check back in a day or two.

Disclaimer

This image is still a pre-release version of the upcoming 10.0-RELEASE. Use caution when deploying upon production systems.

Updating

Online updating to 10.0-RELEASE is now available for testing on 9.2-RELEASE systems. To get started, first ensure that your packages and world/kernel are up to date, and then follow these instructions:

http://trac.pcbsd.org/wiki/TestingUpdates

After making this change, the “pc-updatemanager branches� command will show the new 10.0-RELEASE branch as available for updating.

10.0-RELEASE notable features

  • Includes FreeBSD 10.0-RC5
  • Updated KMS / AMD driver support
  • ISO file is a hybrid USB file, and can be “dd“ed to a USB media.
  • New text-based installer
  • New UEFI loader on installation media
  • Able to select between GRUB/BSD loaders during installation
  • New desktops! Gnome 3, Mate (Replaces Gnome2) and Cinnamon
  • And much more!

FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE Now Available

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE.  This is the first release of the stable/10 branch.

Some of the highlights:
  • GCC is no longer installed by default on architectures where clang(1) is the default compiler.
  • Unbound has been imported to the base system as the local caching DNS resolver.
  • BIND has been removed from the base system.
  • make(1) has been replaced with bmake(1), obtained from the NetBSD Project.
  • pkg(7) is now the default package management utility.
  • pkg_add(1), pkg_delete(1), and related tools have been removed.
  • Major enhancements in virtualization, including the addition of bhyve(8), virtio(4), and native paravirtualized drivers providing support for FreeBSD as a guest operating system on Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • TRIM support for Solid State Drive has been added to ZFS.
  • Support for the high-performance LZ4 compression algorithm has been added to ZFS.
See the full 10.0-RELEASE announcement here.

FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE Available

FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE is now available. Please be sure to check the Release Notes and Release Errata before installation for any late-breaking news and/or issues with 10.0. More information about FreeBSD releases can be found on the Release Information page.