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FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report

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BSD
  • FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report

    Welcome, to the quarterly reports, of the future! Well, at least the first quarterly report from 2020. The new timeline, mentioned in the last few reports, still holds, which brings us to this report, which covers the period of January 2020 - March 2020.

    As you will see from this report, we've had quite an active quarter with big changes to both kernel, userland, documentation, ports, and third-party projects in the form of everything from bug and security fixes over new features to speed improvements and optimizations.

    As this report also covers the start of the epidemic, it's also interesting to note that a quick glance at the svn logs reveal that there has been no overall drop in number of source commits, that docs commits have also stayed constant, and that ports have seen an upwards trend.

    We hope that all of you are and yours are as safe as can be managed, and that we get through this together by working together.

  • FreeBSD Is Off To A Solid Start For 2020

    This weekend the FreeBSD project published their quarterly status report concerning Q1'2020 and the progress they made on many fronts.

    Some of the FreeBSD achievements for the first quarter of this year include:

    - The FreeBSD Foundation raised $57k USD over this last quarter.

Not actually Linux distro review deux: GhostBSD

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Reviews
BSD

GhostBSD is based on TrueOS, which itself derives from FreeBSD Stable. It was originally a Canadian distro, but—like most successful distributions—it has transcended its country of origin and can now be considered worldwide. Significant GhostBSD development takes place now in Canada, Italy, Germany, and the United States.

The history of desktop-oriented BSD distros is a turbulent one. For several years, Kris Moore's PC-BSD was the go-to for "I want BSD, but I also want a ready-to-go desktop." Eventually, ixSystems—home of the FreeNAS storage distro, and the company Moore is vice president of engineering for—came to rely heavily on the server-side features developed into PC-BSD.

The need at ixSystems for the foundation of PC-BSD without the associated desktop led to a rename and a fork. PC-BSD's underpinnings became TrueOS, and the desktop-friendly distribution—now based on TrueOS—became Project Trident.

This state of affairs didn't last long. A year later, Project Trident declared unhappiness with TrueOS and BSD in general—mostly due to hardware support, or lack thereof. In January 2020, Trident rebased itself on Void Linux, which its developers found to be "the most BSD-like" of the potential Linux upstream distros they examined.

Project Trident's departure for more Linux-y waters left several potential contenders for a desktop-focused BSD distribution. These include FuryBSD, MidnightBSD, DesktopBSD, and GhostBSD itself.

Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: BSD Now, TLLTS, Open Source Security Podcast, FLOSS Weekly and Python

Filed under
Development
GNU
Linux
BSD
  • Switchers to BSD | BSD Now 345

    NetBSD 8.2 is available, NextCloud on OpenBSD, X11 screen locking, NetBSD and RISC OS running parallel, community feedback about switching to BSD, and more.

  • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 851

    covid 19 woes, docker

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 191 - Security scanners are all terrible

    Josh and Kurt talk about security scanners. They're all pretty bad today, but there are some things we can do to make them better. Step one is to understand the problem. Do you know why you're running the scanner and what the reports mean?

  • FLOSS Weekly 573: Hydra

    Hydra is a framework that simplifies the development of complex applications by enabling their configuration to be dynamically composed and overridden. It lets you focus on the problem at hand, compose your configuration dynamically, and has a pluggable architecture to enable it to integrate with your infrastructure.

  • Matt Layman: Episode 4 - Building User Interfaces

    On this episode, we look at templates, the primary tool that Django provides to build user interfaces in your Django app. Listen at djangoriffs.com. Last Episode On the previous episode, we talked about views and how views handle requests to create HTTP responses for users. Set Up Templates are static files that Django will fill in with data. In order to use those files, we must instruct Django on where to find them.

Not-actually Linux distro review: FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE

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Reviews
BSD

Desktop layer aside, the entire FreeBSD operating system doesn't seem to get as much developer love and attention as the typical mainstream Linux distribution. It doesn't take much use before you discover minor errors and paper cuts that really shouldn't exist—like pkg search not returning metapackages, or the disk partitioner not accepting its own example arguments as valid.

My personal biggest frustration with FreeBSD—and the major reason I switched from it to Linux in 2008—is the lack of automatic security upgrades. FreeBSD does have tools to discover vulnerabilities in packages and update them, but they aren't designed to run in the background. They demand either interactive operation by an active and knowledgeable admin or significant tooling that the FreeBSD operating system itself does not provide.

Worse yet, FreeBSD has at least two and often three entirely separate package systems to maintain. The source-based ports tree, the binary package system, and the base FreeBSD operating system itself—each uses entirely different tools for maintenance. If that's not bad enough, ports and packages actually conflict with one another, requiring even more care to make sure neither gets clobbered during upgrades.

Digital Ocean has an excellent overview of basic FreeBSD maintenance, which we would strongly advise any new FreeBSD admin to read and understand thoroughly.

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Audiocasts/Shows: Command Line Heroes, Linux Headlines and BSD Now

Filed under
GNU
Linux
BSD
  • Command Line Heroes - SEASON 4, EPISODE 5: Smarter Phones: Journey to the Palm-Sized Computer

    Few could imagine what a handheld computer would look like—or even do. But a trio of visionaries saw where computing was headed. Hear how they threw out the conventional wisdom on hardware and changed everything.

  • 2020-04-02 | Linux Headlines

    ProtonMail’s new Linux bridge makes its encrypted services available to standard email clients, new LTS releases for Linux Container tooling, a Manjaro-powered laptop from TUXEDO Computers, and a special edition PinePhone with Ubuntu Touch pre-installed.

  • Grains of Salt | BSD Now 344

    Shell text processing, data rebalancing on ZFS mirrors, Add Security Headers with OpenBSD relayd, ZFS filesystem hierarchy in ZFS pools, speeding up ZSH, How Unix pipes work, grow ZFS pools over time, the real reason ifconfig on Linux is deprecated, clear your terminal in style, and more.

NetBSD 8.2 is available!

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BSD

The third release in the NetBSD-8 is now available.

This release includes all the security fixes in NetBSD-8 up until this point, and other fixes deemed important for stability.

Read more

Also: NetBSD 8.2 Released With Fix For Ryzen USB Issues, Fix For Booting Single Core CPUs

GhostBSD 20.03 Now Available

Filed under
BSD

I am happy to announce the availability of GhostBSD 20.03. This new build comes with some minor system update and numerous software applications updates.

Read more

Also: GhostBSD 20.03 Is Out As The Latest Monthly Update To This Desktop BSD

BSD: End of TrueOS, OpenBSD and FreeBSD at FOSDEM

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BSD
  • It's Official But Sad: TrueOS Is Over As Once The Best Desktop BSD OS

    It's been on life support for a while but to much sadness, TrueOS indeed is no longer being maintained as the once very promising downstream of FreeBSD that for a while offered arguably the best out-of-the-box BSD desktop experience.

    TrueOS, formerly known as PC-BSD, is dead. Kris Moore, the VP of Engineering at iXsystems, confirmed earlier this month on their forums that work has ceased on the operating system.

  • OpenBSD -current - Frequent asked questions

    Hello, as there are so many questions about OpenBSD -current on IRC, Mastodon or reddit I’m writing this FAQ in hope it will help people.

    The official FAQ already contains answers about -current like Following -current and using snapshots and Building the system from sources.

  • OpenBSD's 'spinning' CPU time category

    Unix systems have long had a basic breakdown of what your CPU (or CPUs) was spending its time doing. The traditional division is user time, system time, idle time, and 'nice' time (which is user time for tasks that have their scheduling priority lowered through nice(1) or the equivalent), and then often 'interrupt' time, for how much time the system spent in interrupt handling. Some Unixes have added 'iowait', which is traditionally defined as 'the system was idle but one or more processes were waiting for IO to complete'. OpenBSD doesn't have iowait, but current versions have a new time category, 'spinning'.

  • FOSDEM 2020 Conference Recap

    For the third year in a row, I attended FOSDEM, an amazing open source conference in Brussels, Belgium. Taking place, February 1-2, the event is a totally volunteer run conference geared towards promoting the widespread use of free and open source software. The Foundation has sponsored and organized a FreeBSD table there for a few years now.

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Headlines, Self-Hosted and BSD Now

Filed under
GNU
Linux
BSD
  • 2020-03-26 | Linux Headlines

    The Apache Software Foundation turns twenty-one, Kubernetes 1.18 brings stability as well as some exciting preview features, the latest ESET Endpoint Antivirus adds Linux support, and Krita delivers one of its most complicated releases to date.

  • Keeping Track of Stuff | Self-Hosted 15

    We have a neat self-hosted home inventory management system for preppers of any type, plus Chris’ simple Home Assistant trick and Alex’s valiant battle with the WebSockets daemon of the reverse proxies.

  • FreeBSD, Corona: Fight! | BSD Now 343

    Fighting the Coronavirus with FreeBSD, Wireguard VPN Howto in OPNsense, NomadBSD 1.3.1 available, fresh GhostBSD 20.02, New FuryBSD XFCE and KDE images, pf-badhost 0.3 released, and more.

pfSense 2.4.5-RELEASE Now Available

Filed under
Security
BSD

We are pleased to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.4.5, now available for new installations and upgrades!

pfSense software version 2.4.5 brings security patches, several new features, support for new Netgate hardware models, and stability fixes for issues present in previous pfSense 2.4.x branch releases.

pfSense 2.4.5-RELEASE updates and installation images are available now!

To see a complete detailed list of changes, see the Release Notes.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Matthias Clasen: GtkColumnView

One thing that I left unfinished in my recent series on list views and models in GTK 4 is a detailed look at GtkColumnView. This will easily be the most complicated part of the series. We are entering into the heartland of GtkTreeView—anything aiming to replace most its features will be a complicated beast. Read more Also: Oculus Rift CV1 progress

AMD and Intel (x86) in Linux

  • Linux 5.10 Adding Support For AMD Zen 3 CPU Temperature Monitoring

    The next version of the Linux kernel will allow monitoring temperatures of the upcoming AMD Zen 3 processors. While CPU temperature monitoring support may seem mundane and not newsworthy, what makes this Zen 3 support genuinely interesting is that it's coming pre-launch... This is the first time in the AMD Zen era we are seeing CPU temperature reporting added to the Linux driver pre-launch. Not only is it coming ahead of the CPUs hitting retail channels but the support was added by AMD engineers.

  • FFmpeg Now Supports GPU Inference With Intel's OpenVINO

    Earlier this summer Intel engineers added an OpenVINO back-end to the FFmpeg multimedia framework. OpenVINO as a toolkit for optimized neural network performance on Intel hardware was added to FFmpeg for the same reasons there is TensorFlow and others also supported -- support for DNN-based video filters and other deep learning processing.

  • Intel SGX Enclave Support Sent Out For Linux A 38th Time

    For years now Intel Linux developers have been working on getting their Software Guard Extensions (SGX) support and new SGX Enclave driver upstreamed into the kernel. SGX has been around since Skylake but security concerns and other technical reasons have held up this "SGX Foundations" support from being mainlined. There has also been an apparent lack of enthusiasm by non-Intel upstream kernel developers in SGX. This past week saw the 38th revision to the patches in their quest to upstreaming this support for handling the Memory Encryption Engine (MEE) and relates SGX infrastructure. [...] The Intel SGX foundations v38 code can be found via the kernel mailing list. The Linux 5.10 merge window is opening up next month but remains to be seen if it will be queued for this next cycle or further dragged out into 2021.

  • Intel SGX foundations
    Intel(R) SGX is a set of CPU instructions that can be used by applications
    to set aside private regions of code and data. The code outside the enclave
    is disallowed to access the memory inside the enclave by the CPU access
    control.
    
    There is a new hardware unit in the processor called Memory Encryption
    Engine (MEE) starting from the Skylake microacrhitecture. BIOS can define
    one or many MEE regions that can hold enclave data by configuring them with
    PRMRR registers.
    
    The MEE automatically encrypts the data leaving the processor package to
    the MEE regions. The data is encrypted using a random key whose life-time
    is exactly one power cycle.
    
    The current implementation requires that the firmware sets
    IA32_SGXLEPUBKEYHASH* MSRs as writable so that ultimately the kernel can
    decide what enclaves it wants run. The implementation does not create
    any bottlenecks to support read-only MSRs later on.
    
    You can tell if your CPU supports SGX by looking into /proc/cpuinfo:
    
    	cat /proc/cpuinfo  | grep sgx
    

Latest Progress on KDE Themes and KTechLab

  • Week report 0

    Hello every one in the KDE planet and beyond, this is the progress weekly report on O². So The week surprisingly started Monday and after the initial chock and accompanying usual work day at KDAB, I decided to do a little bit of progress on O² style mock ups...

  • Announcing KTechLab 0.50.0

    I’m happy to announce KTechLab release version 0.50.0. KTechLab is an IDE for microcontrollers and electronics. In this new release every user-visible functionality is the same as in previous releases, however, the codebase of KTechLab has been updated, so now it is a KF5/Qt5 application and it does not depend anymore on KDELibs4Support libraries. This release should compile and run on systems where KDELibs4Support libraries are not available. In its current state KTechLab’s codebase is ready for fixes and enhancements, as it only depends on modern libraries like KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) and Qt5. As a side note, KF6 and Qt6 have been announced, and the first release of Qt6 has been scheduled to the end of 2020.

  • KTechLab git master doesn't depend on deprecated Qt5/KF5 API anymore

    KTechLab git master doesn’t depend anymore on deprecated Qt5/KF5 APIs. Thank you for everybody who made this possible! Using only up-to-date APIs should help with long-term maintenance of KTechLab and probably it helps distributors of KTechLab, too.

Review: Garuda Linux 200817

One of the more recent additions to the DistroWatch database is Garuda Linux, an Arch-based distribution that offers several enticing features. By default Garuda is intended to be run on the Btr file system, which offers all sorts of attractive features such as multi-disk storage volumes and snapshots. Btrfs has been paired with Timeshift on Garuda and the system is reported to take automatic snapshots before each package upgrade, making the system much easier to recover. I especially like the idea of having automated filesystem snapshots on a rolling release distribution such as Arch. The openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling release has offered automatic snapshots of the system prior to upgrades for a while now and it is nice to see this feature catching on in other projects. The Garuda distribution ships with the Calamares system installer to make setting up the operating system easier. We are also given a desktop tool for managing drivers and Garuda's website mentions proprietary NVIDIA video drivers are optionally available. Rounding out some of the key features, Garuda ships with the Zen Linux kernel with the goal of providing better desktop performance. Read more