The PC-BSD team is happy to announce we’ve put the finishing touches on the new Update GUI. Users on edge will be able to download and test out the new update GUI with their next update. The new Update GUI will also enable automatic updates which will happen at boot up or every 24 hours. You will also be able to choose what parts of your system you want to update (i.e. Packages, Security, etc.). If you have any questions, concerns, or to report a bug, please feel free to create a bug report on bugs.pcbsd.org so we can quickly get back to you and help troubleshoot the issue.
The first Qt5-based version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released!
The source code for this release is available in the Lumina repository on GitHub, the FreeBSD port has been updated, and the new package is getting pushed out to the PC-BSD “Edge” repository here in the next couple days. Version 0.8.0 is mainly just an update to all the backend systems, but there are a few notable changes:
Updates for version 0.8.0:
- Uses Qt5 (tested with 5.2) instead of Qt4. This also brings in a new dependency on the XCB libraries.
- Uses the new QMultimedia framework instead of Phonon for playing multimedia files. This has much better results when playing audio/video files through the Insight file manager.
- New built-in single application framework for the Lumina project (no more external dependency for this, and it works on all OS’s).
- New task manager mode (no groups). This reproduces the traditional task manager functionality of one button per window, and it lists the window title for each button. For ease-of-use, this mode is treated as a distinct/new panel plugin through the Lumina configuration utility.
- The task manager “action” menu (right-click) now has many more options that are auto-generated based on the current window state.
- The lumina-open crash reporter for applications now provides details about the crash from the application (if any are available).
- New windows will no longer appear with the titlebar underneath a Lumina panel.
- Command-line inputs with special localized characters are now properly used.
- Large clean-up of recursive file operations in the file manager. (Better reporting and error detection, add ability to copy a directory into itself, make sure no files are missed during recursive operations).
- Detect when running in a VirtualBox VM (if OS is FreeBSD) and hide the screen brightness controls since these do not work in a VM.
- Clean up how the special “Exec=” field codes are handled for XDG desktop shortcuts (fixes the issues with starting various KDE applications like Okular).
- Various other small bugs fixed.
As always, please test it out and submit any bugs or feature requests through the PC-BSD bug tracker.
So I recently discovered a tool to build Vagrant images called Packer. It allows you to script the install via key presses over VNC to automate the install of any OS. I am running on a rather fast machine (Core i7, 16GB of RAM, SSD), so I suspect there might be some lurking problems for people on slower machines due to timing of the commands.
Everything is available from my Github repo: https://github.com/so14k/packer-freebsd
To get started:
- Install Vagrant and Packer
- Clone the repo onto your machine
- Build the Vagrant box:
packer build template.json
- Wait while it builds..
- Start the Vagrant box:
- Start hacking:
Give it a spin and let me know what you think!
File Info: 11Min, 5MB.
Ogg Link: https://archive.org/download/bsdtalk249/bsdtalk249.ogg
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:
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!
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|
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.
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!
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.
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!