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BSD

FreeBSD 12.0 Alpha Hits The Web

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BSD

The first alpha release of FreeBSD 12.0 was quietly uploaded a few days ago to the project's download servers as the first step to shipping this next major update to the FreeBSD operating system.

FreeBSD 12.0-ALPHA1 was successfully made back on 10 August as what begins the project's "code slush" period whereby new commits can continue being merged for 12.0 but they shouldn't be introducing new features. The actual code freeze is what's beginning later this month followed by the code branching and then the beta releases start towards the end of September.

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Also: Badness, Enumerated by Robots

Review: NomadBSD 1.1

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Reviews
BSD

One of the most recent additions to the DistroWatch database is NomadBSD. According to the NomadBSD website: "NomadBSD is a 64-bit live system for USB flash drives, based on FreeBSD. Together with automatic hardware detection and setup, it is configured to be used as a desktop system that works out of the box, but can also be used for data recovery."

The latest release of NomadBSD (or simply "Nomad", as I will refer to the project in this review) is version 1.1. It is based on FreeBSD 11.2 and is offered in two builds, one for generic personal computers and one for Macbooks. The release announcement mentions version 1.1 offers improved video driver support for Intel and AMD cards. The operating system ships with Octopkg for graphical package management and the system should automatically detect, and work with, VirtualBox environments.

Nomad 1.1 is available as a 2GB download, which we then decompress to produce a 4GB file which can be written to a USB thumb drive. There is no optical media build of Nomad as it is designed to be run entirely from the USB drive, and write data persistently to the drive, rather than simply being installed from the USB media.

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Also: Happy Bob's Libtls tutorial

BSD: OpenSSH 7.8, mandoc, nbdkit

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BSD

6 Reasons Why Linux Users Switch to BSD

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BSD

Wonder why people use BSD? Read some of the main reasons that compel people to use BSD over Linux.
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6 Reasons Why Linux Users Switch to BSD

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BSD

Thus far I have written several articles about BSD for It’s FOSS. There is always at least one person in the comments asking “Why bother with BSD?” I figure that the best way to respond was to write an article on the topic.

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Also: LibreSSL 2.8.0 Released

FreeBSD has its own TCP-queue-of-death bug, easier to hose than Linux's SegmentSmack

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Security
BSD

Hard on the heels of the Linux kernel's packets-of-death attack dubbed SegmentSmack, a similar vulnerability has been disclosed and fixed in FreeBSD.

Attributed to SegmentSmack discoverer Juha-Matti Tilli of Aalto University in Finland, the FreeBSD TCP issue is related to how the operating system's networking stack reassembles segmented packets. Much in the same way Linux kernel versions 4.9 and higher can be brought down by bad network traffic, a sequence of maliciously crafted packets can also crash FreeBSD machines.

FreeBSD 10, 10.4, 11, 11.1, and 11.2 are affected, and the maintainers have released patches to mitigate the programming cockup. In the open-source operating system project's advisory for CVE-2018-6922 (Linux's SegmentSmack was assigned CVE-2018-5390), the problem was this week described as an “inefficient algorithm” involving a segment reassembly data structure.

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BSD: FreeBSD, zpool and OpenBSD

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BSD
  • zpool checkpoints

     

    In March, to FreeBSD landed a very interesting feature called 'zpool checkpoints'. Before we jump straight into the topic, let's take a step back and look at another ZFS feature called ‘snapshot’. Snapshot allows us to create an image of our single file systems. This gives us the option to modify data on the dataset without the fear of losing some data.

  • Reflection on one-year usage of OpenBSD

     

    I have used OpenBSD for more than one year, and it is time to give a summary of the experience...

  • OpenBSD on an iBook G4 [iophk: "it was a sweet machine in its time"]

     

    In summary I was impressed with OpenBSD and its ability to breathe new life into this old Apple Mac. I'm genuinely excited about the idea of trying BSD with other devices on my network such as an old Asus Eee PC 900 netbook and at least one of the many Raspberry Pi devices I use. Whether I go the whole hog and replace Fedora on my main production laptop though remains to be seen!

  •  

BSD: LLVM/Clang 7.0 and FreeBSD Update

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BSD
  • LLVM / Clang 7.0 Branching Today, Releasing In September

    Not only is Mesa 18.2 ending feature development today to begin their release candidates, but LLVM 7.0 and its sub-projects like Clang 7.0 also happens to have aligned with a similar release schedule.

    LLVM 7.0 and its sub-projects were just branched in Git/SVN and preparations have begun for pushing out the first release candidate. At least a second release candidate will follow later in August before they are planning to officially release LLVM 7.0.0 on or around 5 September.

  • FreeBSD: July 2018 Development Projects Update

     

    To address this, under sponsorship from the FreeBSD Foundation, I am implementing in-kernel microcode loading. The aim is to apply microcode updates as one of the first stages in the kernel’s boot-up process. In particular, since microcode updates may enable new CPU features such as IBRS, it is desirable to ensure that updates are applied before the kernel enumerates these features. As part of this feature, the kernel will automatically re-apply any existing microcode update on each CPU upon resume, so only minimal portions of the kernel may ever execute without an update applied.

OPNsense 18.7 Released For FreeBSD 11 Powered Routers / Firewalls

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BSD

While OpenWRT 18.06 was released today as the popular Linux-based networking/embedded distribution, for those preferring FreeBSD, the OPNsense 18.7 release is also shipping today.

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Also: OPNsense 18.7 released

ZFS, FreeNAS and OpenZFS

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BSD
  • What is RAID-Z?

    File systems are older than UNIX itself. And ever since we started digitizing our lives onto tapes, disks and SSDs one threat has been eminent. That is of hardware failure. Data stored on disks is often more expensive than the disks themselves and this data need all the redundancy we can muster.

    [...]

    RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (Inexpensive) Disks. This refers to the industry wide practice of storing data not just on one disk but across multiple disks so that even when there’s a disk failure the data can be reconstructed from other disks. The way data is spread across disks is different for different types of redundancies accordingly they are named RAID 0, RAID 1, etc. We are not going to be dealing with them here. We would focus on a RAIDZ which is specific to OpenZFS.

    RAID (and also RAID-Z) is not the same as writing copies of data to a backup disk. When you have two or more disks set up in RAID the data is written to them simultaneously and all the disks are active and online. This is the reason why RAID is different from backups and more importantly why RAID is not a substitute for backups. If your entire server burns out, then all the online disks could go with the server, but backups will save your day. Similarly, if there’s single disk failure and something was not backed up, because you can’t do it everyday, then RAID can help you retrieve that information.

    Backups are periodically taken copies of relevant data and RAID is a real-time redundancy. There are several ways in which data is stored in traditional RAID systems, but we will not go into them here. Here, we would dive deep into RAIDZ which is one of the coolest features of OpenZFS.

  • FreeNAS vs unRAID

    As worrisome as it is, FreeNAS is still probably the only solution you can consider if you value your data. Monopolies are never good, and FreeBSD/FreeNAS with OpenZFS have quite a monopoly when it comes to reliable storage solution.

    unRAID may develop into a strong competitor in the future but for now, sticking to FreeNAS seems like the wisest option.

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Red Hat News/Leftovers

Cloudgizer: An introduction to a new open source web development tool

Cloudgizer is a free open source tool for building web applications. It combines the ease of scripting languages with the performance of C, helping manage the development effort and run-time resources for cloud applications. Cloudgizer works on Red Hat/CentOS Linux with the Apache web server and MariaDB database. It is licensed under Apache License version 2. Read more

James Bottomley on Linux, Containers, and the Leading Edge

It’s no secret that Linux is basically the operating system of containers, and containers are the future of the cloud, says James Bottomley, Distinguished Engineer at IBM Research and Linux kernel developer. Bottomley, who can often be seen at open source events in his signature bow tie, is focused these days on security systems like the Trusted Platform Module and the fundamentals of container technology. Read more

TransmogrifAI From Salesforce

  • Salesforce plans to open-source the technology behind its Einstein machine-learning services
    Salesforce is open-sourcing the method it has developed for using machine-learning techniques at scale — without mixing valuable customer data — in hopes other companies struggling with data science problems can benefit from its work. The company plans to announce Thursday that TransmogrifAI, which is a key part of the Einstein machine-learning services that it believes are the future of its flagship Sales Cloud and related services, will be available for anyone to use in their software-as-a-service applications. Consisting of less than 10 lines of code written on top of the widely used Apache Spark open-source project, it is the result of years of work on training machine-learning models to predict customer behavior without dumping all of that data into a common training ground, said Shubha Nabar, senior director of data science for Salesforce Einstein.
  • Salesforce open-sources TransmogrifAI, the machine learning library that powers Einstein
    Machine learning models — artificial intelligence (AI) that identifies relationships among hundreds, thousands, or even millions of data points — are rarely easy to architect. Data scientists spend weeks and months not only preprocessing the data on which the models are to be trained, but extracting useful features (i.e., the data types) from that data, narrowing down algorithms, and ultimately building (or attempting to build) a system that performs well not just within the confines of a lab, but in the real world.