When you start to get out of the Windows ecosystem, the very first thing you see is macOS. But, chances are less that you may go for it, mostly because of the price tag. Moving further, you come across Linux flaunting its open source badge. Most people confuse Linux as an operating system and it has been a topic of controversy for a long time. Thus, some people refer a Linux operating system as GNU/Linux.
Soon, you start realizing how diverse is the Linux ecosystem with numerous Linux distributions and their derivatives. You almost believe that Linux and its family is the representative of the open source community. But there is a lesser-known family of operating systems known as the BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), which also counts as one of the major names in the open source community.
LLVM developers are moving ahead with their new versioning scheme where they will always be bumping the major version component with each six-month release. Thus LLVM 4.0 and LLVM 5.0 are expected in 2017.
OpenSSH 7.4 is almost ready for release, so we would appreciate testing on as many platforms and systems as possible. This release contains some substantial new features and a number of bugfixes.
Earlier this week I published some GCC 5.4 vs. GCC 6.2 vs. GCC 7.0 SVN development benchmarks with a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system. For those curious how the LLVM Clang compiler stack is comparing, here are some tests on the same system when running fresh benchmarks of LLVM Clang 3.9 as well as LLVM Clang 4.0 SVN.
These tests were done with LLVM Clang 3.9 and 4.0 SVN added in to the GCC results from this Core i7 6800K system running Ubuntu 16.10 with the Linux 4.8 kernel. The CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS were maintained the same throughout all testing with the "-O3 -march=native" flags.
While LLVM 4.0 isn't coming until its planned release in Feburary, the LLVM 3.9.1 point release is expected this coming week.
Tom Stellard of AMD released LLVM 3.9.1-rc3 on Friday and anticipates this being the last release candidate. This 3.9.1-rc3 build just has some ARM/AArch64 fixes compared to his earlier RC2 milestone.
With now having netperf in the Phoronix Test Suite as well as iperf3 for the latest open-source benchmarks in our automated cross-platform benchmarking framework, I couldn't help but to run some networking benchmarks on a system when trying out a few different Linux distributions and BSDs to see how the performance compares. The operating systems ran with these networking benchmarks included Debian 8.6, Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux 12020, CentOS 7, and Fedora 25. The BSDs tested for this comparison were FreeBSD 11.0 and DragonFlyBSD 4.6.1.
Things happened, stuff changed.
X550 support among other ix changes and cleanup.
Ongoing switch work. Better OpenFlow compat. You know it’s serious when tcpdump gets an update.
Loongson 3A support.
The day of November 23, 2016, brought us the second Beta development release of the upcoming FreeNAS 10 open-source storage NAS (Network Attached Storage) operating system based on FreeBSD, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
FreeNAS 10 Beta 2 comes almost three months after the first Beta milestone, and the devs are proud to say that the upcoming operating system, which will be a total rewrite, is now feature complete, and there are many GUI enhancements for the Dashboard, Volume UI, Accounts, System, Services, Networking, Calendar, Console, and Peering. Also, it looks like feature-parity with the FreeNAS 9.10 is in place now.
The FreeBSD Unix operating system is one of the earliest open-source operating system projects, and it continues to be actively developed. The most recent update is the FreeBSD 11 release, which debuted Oct. 10. While FreeBSD is a robust operating system, it is not a desktop focused platform, which is where the PC-BSD operating system, based on FreeBSD used to fit in. On Sept. 1, PC-BSD was re-branded as TrueOS, providing FreeBSD users with an easy-to-use desktop as well as a new release cadence. In the past, PC-BSD releases followed FreeBSD milestones, providing users with code that had already been included in a generally available release. With TrueOS, the release model is now moving to what is known as a rolling release, with packages constantly being updated as they become available. As such, TrueOS is not based on the recently released FreeBSD 11; instead, it is based on the FreeBSD "current" branch that is the leading edge of the operating system development. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at the new TrueOS operating system and what it offers desktop users.
There were definitely some attractive features in FreeBSD 11.0. I especially enjoyed the changes to the system installer. The ability to set up UFS and ZFS through a series of guided steps was a welcome feature. I also really appreciate that the installer will allow us to enable certain security features like PID randomization and hiding the processes of other users. Linux distributions allow the administrator to set these options, but they often require digging through documentation and setting cryptic variables from the command line. FreeBSD makes enabling these features as straight forward as checking a box during the initial installation.
I also like how pkg has progressed. I think it has become faster in the past year or two and handled dependencies better than it did when the new package manager was introduced. In addition, FreeBSD's documentation is as good as ever, though I feel it has become more scattered. There were times I would find what I wanted in the Handbook, but other times I had to switch to the wiki or dig through a man page. The information is out there, but it can take some searching to find.
Other aspects of running FreeBSD were more disappointing. For example, I had hoped to find boot environments working and accessible from the boot menu. However, progress seems to have reversed in this area as switching boot environments prevented the system from loading. There were some other issues, for example I was unable to login from the graphical login screen, but I could access the Lumina desktop by signing into my account from the command line and launching an X session.
Hardware was a weak point in my experiment. FreeBSD did not work on my desktop machine at all in BIOS mode and failed to boot from installation media in UEFI mode. When running in a VirtualBox environment, the operating system did much better. FreeBSD was able to boot, play sound and run smoothly, but screen resolution was limited, even after VirtualBox modules had been installed and enabled.
Perhaps my biggest concern though while using FreeBSD 11.0 was that I could not update the base operating system, meaning it would be difficult to keep the system patched against security updates. Even once I had manually created a /boot directory to fix the boot environment creation issue, freebsd-update and freebsd-version continued to fail to detect the running kernel. This leaves the system vulnerable and means our best chance for keeping up with security updates is to manually install them from source code, not an ideal situation.
All in all, FreeBSD 11.0 does have some interesting new features, but it also has several bugs which make me want to hold off on using the operating system until a point release has been made available to fix the existing issues.
The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update.
The developers behind the Lumina Desktop Environment consider it a "significant update" with both new and reworked utilities, infrastructure improvements, and other enhancements.
Lumina 1.1 adds a pure Qt5 calculator, text editor improvements, the file manager has been completely overhauled, system application list management is much improved, and there is a range of other improvements.