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BSD

Nomadic Working with NomadBSD 1.0.1 - BSD on a stick

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BSD

Recently I found a bit of time to poke around in the world of Linux and BSD distributions and possibly even get back in to the reviewing business now and then. NomadBSD seemed like an interesting project to try for somebody partial to the Slackware and BSD way of doing things, but still searching for a BSD that is actually working as a day to day OS while being reasonably responsive, i.e. not bloated and running well on old hardware. That means trim and fast, without the desktop environment and a browser gobbling up all the resources.

VirtualBSD was a fine piece but since its demise there hasn't been anything similar to dip your toes into FreeBSD to my knowledge, let alone the other flavors. I reviewed it here seven years ago. How many? Yes, time flies. To say it right away in order not to waste anybody's time, NomadBSD works, and it works beautifully. Well, with a small caveat in terms of connectivity, but we'll come to that.

As alluded to, "NomadBSD is a 64bit 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" according to their website. It fits on a 4GiB USB flash drive and can be booted via BIOS and UEFI. Which is just as well as an old 4GiB Corsair Flash Voyager pen drive is all I had. Additional information on their Github account.

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BSD: FreeBSD's New RC and Latest in OpenBSD Development

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BSD

FreeBSD Work Amid New RC (RC3)

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BSD
  • FreeBSD Work (week #2)

    As I mentioned two weeks ago, I’ve transitioned into a new role at Intel. The team is very new and so a lot of my part right now is helping out in organizing the game plan.

    Last week I attended BSDCan 2018 as well as the FreeBSD dev summit. That trip in addition to feedback I got both here on my blog and twitter has helped me compile a decent list of things to do. Thank you all for the feedback so far. For the sake of soliciting possibly more feedback, here is the list. Do remember that I’m employed by Intel and that if you want to recommend something there should be at least some way to tie that back for being good for Intel’s product, and reputation.

  • Some Of The Early Ideas For Intel's New FreeBSD Improvement Effort

    Two weeks back we shared the news that one of Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver veterans decided to change roles and is now focused on improving FreeBSD for Intel hardware. Ben Widawsky is working on FreeBSD improvements that can at least relate to Intel and it turns out the company has a new team of developers on the task.

    Ben Widawsky has published a second blog post about his new role at Intel. it turns out that "the team is very new", so it's more than just him working on refreshing the Intel FreeBSD support. He has shared a list of some of the early feedback collected for what Intel-related areas could be better improved on this BSD operating system.

FreeBSD Lands Support For pNFS

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BSD

For FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT in development there is now kernel support for pNFS while the user-space components are landing soon for this Parallel NFS support.

Present since the NFS v4.1 protocol in 2010 has been the ability to provide scalable, parallel access to files across multiple servers via the pNFS extension. Since yesterday's FreeBSD SVN code, the pNFS kernel-side support has been merged for their NFS v4.1 server.

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FreeBSD 11.2 RC2

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BSD
  • FreeBSD 11.2-RC2 Now Available

    The second RC build of the 11.2-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

  • FreeBSD 11.2-RC2 Ships This Weekend With Various Fixes

    The second release candidate of FreeBSD 11.2 is now available for testing.

    FreeBSD 11.2 has been baking Spectre and Meltdown protection, various kernel improvements, and a wide variety of minor driver updates over 2017's FreeBSD 11.1 release. The bulk of the development work though has been heading into FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT for release next year or so.

BSD: FreeBSD and OpenBSD

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BSD
  • Silent Fanless FreeBSD Desktop/Server

    Today I will write about silent fanless FreeBSD desktop or server computer … or NAS … or you name it, it can have multiple purposes. It also very low power solution, which also means that it will not overheat. Silent means no fans at all, even for the PSU. The format of the system should also be brought to minimum, so Mini-ITX seems best solution here.

  • Your own VPN with OpenIKED & OpenBSD

    This guide will walk through the set up of an IKEv2 VPN using OpenIKED on OpenBSD. It will detail a “road warrior” configuration, and use a PSK (pre-shared-key) for authentication. I’m sure it can be easily adapted to work on any other platforms that OpenIKED is available on, but keep in mind my steps are specifically for OpenBSD.

BSD: RETGUARD, TrueOS, LLVM 7.x

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BSD
  • RETGUARD for clang (amd64) added to -current
  • TrueOS to Focus on Core Operating System

    The TrueOS Project has some big plans in the works, and we want to take a minute and share them with you. Many have come to know TrueOS as the “graphical FreeBSD” that makes things easy for newcomers to the BSDs. Today we’re announcing that TrueOS is shifting our focus a bit to become a cutting-edge operating system that keeps all of the stability that you know and love from ZFS (OpenZFS) and FreeBSD, and adds additional features to create a fresh, innovative operating system. Our goal is to create a core-centric operating system that is modular, functional, and perfect for do-it-yourselfers and advanced users alike.

    TrueOS will become a downstream fork that will build on FreeBSD by integrating new software technologies like OpenRC and LibreSSL. Work has already begun which allows TrueOS to be used as a base platform for other projects, including JSON-based manifests, integrated Poudriere / pkg tools and much more. We’re planning on a six month release cycle to keep development moving and fresh, allowing us to bring you hot new features to ZFS, bhyve and related tools in a timely manner. This makes TrueOS the perfect fit to serve as the basis for building other distributions.

  • TrueOS To Reinvent Itself As New BSD Platform, Downstream Fork Of FreeBSD

    Going back to when TrueOS was known as PC-BSD, the operating system has generally been known as a desktop-friendly version of FreeBSD that currently ships with its own Qt5-powered Lumina Desktop Environment while also having a server installer, etc. The folks working on TrueOS at iXsystems are now planning to take TrueOS into a new direction.

    TrueOS is going to become a downstream fork of FreeBSD while continuing with innovations like the ZFS file-system by default but also making use of OpenRC as the init system, LibreSSL, and other changes compared to upstream FreeBSD.

  • Release Planning Is Underway For LLVM 7.0, Shipping In September

    Continuing LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg has begun discussing plans for the upcoming LLVM 7.0 release.

    As is usual with LLVM's six-month release cadence, the next release should be out in September as usual. But while LLVM normally branches for its second release of the year around mid-July, LLVM 7.0 might branch around the start of August. Due to Wennborg having a later summer holiday this year, he would like to branch when he gets back to work at the start of August.

BSD Leftovers

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OS
BSD
  • OpenBSD on APU4

    Today I got an APU.4B4

    This is how I got OpenBSD installed on it.

  • libcsi - Crypto Simplified Interface
  • It’s UNIX. On A Microcontroller.

    It’s difficult to convey in an era when a UNIX-like operating system sits in your pocket, how there was once a time when the mere word was enough to convey an aura of immense computing power. If you ran UNIX, your computer probably filled a room, and you used it for Serious Stuff rather than just checking your Twitter feed. UNIX machines may still perform high-end tasks, but Moore’s Law has in the intervening years delivered upon its promise, and your phone with its UNIX-like OS is far more powerful than that room-sized minicomputer of the 1970s. A single chip for a few cents can do that job, which begs the question: just how little do we need to run UNIX today? It’s something [Joerg Wolfram] could advise you upon, because he’s got a functional UNIX running on a microcontroller.

FreeBSD 11.2 RC1

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BSD
  • FreeBSD 11.2-RC1 Now Available

    The first RC build of the 11.2-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

  • FreeBSD 11.2 RC1 Brings WoL Support To Newer Intel Systems, Other Fixes

    Ahead of its expected release by month's end, FreeBSD 11.2 is now in the release candidate phase of development.

    In the changes over the past week from beta 3 to RC1 there are more bug fixes and minor enhancements. Some of the enhancements include now supporting Wake-On-LAN for Intel Icelake and Cannonlake hardware, flushing of caches before carrying out an Intel CPU microcode update, using MBR rather than GPT for AMD64 memstick installers, restoring the disc1.iso image to be under 700MB again, and then the usual variety of bug fixing.

FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 3 Brings LLVM Updates, Various Fixes

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BSD

For those of you with some extra time over this US holiday weekend due to Memorial Day, FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 3 is now available for testing.

This third weekly beta release of FreeBSD 11.2 comes with various updates to the LLVM compiler stack, support for setting service types for outgoing RDMA connections via the KRPING utility, fixing a SPARC64 boot issue, and a variety of other bug fixes.

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Direct: FreeBSD 11.2-BETA3 Now Available

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openSUSE Tumbleweed Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Landed

As of today, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system is now powered by the latest and most advanced Linux 4.17 kernel series, which landed in the most recent snapshot released earlier. Tumbleweed snapshot 20180615 was released today, June 17, 2018, and it comes only two days after snapshot 20180613, which added the Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack and KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment, along with many components of the latest KDE Applications 18.04.2 software suite. Today's snapshot 20180615 continued upgrading the KDE Applications software suite to version 18.04.2, but it also upgraded the kernel from Linux 4.16.12 to Linux 4.17.1. As such, OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is now officially powered by Linux kernel 4.17, so upgrading your installs as soon as possible would be a good idea. Read more

today's howtos and leftovers

OSS Leftovers

  • Using Open Source Software in a SecDevOps Environment
    On 21 June 2018 the Open Source Software3 Institute is hosting a discussion that should be of high interest to enterprise technologists in the DC/Northern Virginia, Maryland area. From their invite: Come hear from our panelists about how the worlds of Open Source Software and the Secure Development / Operations (SecDevOps) intersect and strengthen one another. SecDevOps seeks to embed security in the development process as deeply as DevOps has done with operations, and Open Source Software is a major factor in Security, Development, and Operations. Tickets are free, but you need to register soon because seating is limited.
  • TenFourFox FPR8b1 available
    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 8 beta 1 is now available (downloads, release notes, hashes). There is much less in this release than I wanted because of a family member in the hospital and several technical roadblocks. Of note, I've officially abandoned CSS grid again after an extensive testing period due to the fact that we would need substantial work to get a functional implementation, and a partially functional implementation is worse than none at all (in the latter case, we simply gracefully degrade into block-level divs). I also was not able to finish the HTML input date picker implementation, though I've managed to still get a fair amount completed of it, and I'll keep working on that for FPR9. The good news is, once the date picker is done, the time picker will use nearly exactly the same internal plumbing and can just be patterned off it in the same way. Unlike Firefox's implementation, as I've previously mentioned our version uses native OS X controls instead of XUL, which also makes it faster. That said, it is a ghastly hack on the Cocoa widget side and required some tricky programming on 10.4 which will be the subject of a later blog post.
  • GNU dbm 1.15
    GDBM tries to detect inconsistencies in input database files as early as possible. When an inconcistency is detected, a helpful diagnostics is returned and the database is marked as needing recovery. From this moment on, any GDBM function trying to access the database will immediately return error code (instead of eventually segfaulting as previous versions did). In order to reconstruct the database and return it to healthy state, the gdbm_recover function should be used.

Server: GNU/Linux Dominance in Supercomputers, Windows Dominance in Downtime

  • Five Supercomputers That Aren't Supercomputers
    A supercomputer, of course, isn't really a "computer." It's not one giant processor sitting atop an even larger motherboard. Instead, it's a network of thousands of computers tied together to form a single whole, dedicated to a singular set of tasks. They tend to be really fast, but according to the folks at the International Supercomputing Conference, speed is not a prerequisite for being a supercomputer. But speed does help them process tons of data quickly to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Summit, for example, is already booked for things such as cancer research; energy research, to model a fusion reactor and its magnetically confined plasma tohasten commercial development of fusion energy; and medical research using AI, centering around identifying patterns in the function and evolution of human proteins and cellular systems to increase understanding of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or addiction, and to inform the drug discovery process.
  • Office 365 is suffering widespread borkage across Blighty
     

    Some users are complaining that O365 is "completely unusable" with others are reporting a noticeable slowdown, whinging that it's taking 30 minutes to send and receive emails.