It took two decades, but BSD -- the operating system that dominated the Unix world during the 1980s and 1990s before being supplanted by the open source Linux kernel -- is now ready for embedded computing. That's according to the RetroBSD project, which has announced success running BSD on modern embedded hardware.
DragonFlyBSD's Francois Tigeot has done some more great work in allowing their open-source Intel graphics driver to be more featureful and comparable to the Linux i915 kernel DRM driver for which it is based.
While DragonFly's i915 DRM driver started out as woefully outdated compared to the upstream Linux kernel code, the work done by Tigeot and others is quite close to re-basing against the latest mainline code. With patches published recently, the DragonFlyBSD driver would now be comparable to what's in the Linux 4.0 kernel.
Linux server distributions get compared all the time. And in the end, the discussion typically ends up around CentOS (from RHEL) and Ubuntu (from Debian). Why is this? When Rackspace discusses Linux server options, many more distributions are mentioned: Gentoo, Arch, Fedora, etc. Let's focus on Gentoo and Arch.
First things first: I know that the wide number of variants in the BSD family are primarily aimed at servers. That said, it’s clearly understandable that with the exception of PC-BSD and BSD variants like GhostBSD, desktop/laptop users are not the primary focus in the BSD constellation. I get that, and regardless I am still using it for about 80 percent of my overall computing needs, and still using it on a daily basis on my go-to daily laptop.
I received a very generous offer to create a new logo and donate it for the project's use. The benefactor is Justin Dorfman, and he has been very patient to wait for me to select from among a number of good alternatives (part of what made it so tough).
FreeNAS Logo Contest: Okay, artists, get those colored pencils sharpened, those brushes cleaned and ready, because you have an assignment — that logo isn’t going to design itself. FreeNAS — “founded in 2005 on the guiding principle that network storage software should be available to the public at no cost and free of license restrictions” according to its site — has initiated a logo contest, urging the community to contribute artwork to become a part of FreeNAS history.
What’s good to know is that BSD will be well-represented at both of these events. At SCALE 14x — which is the first-of-the-year FOSS event worldwide from Jan. 21-24, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. — the FreeBSD Foundation (along with FreeBSD in its own booth, of course) will be there, as well as pfSense. What’s more, there’s a BSD certification exam being offered, as it has been for the last several years at SCALE. More on this in a later post.
BSDCan is an enormously successful grass-roots style conference. It brings together a great mix of *BSD developers and users for a nice blend of both developer-centric and user-centric presentations, food, and activities.
In 2002 I asked a number of developers/Unix people for screenshots of their desktops. I recently republished them, and, seeing the interest this generated, I thought it’d be fun to ask the same people* again 13 years later. To my delight I managed to reach many of them.
Parsing the developments from the BSD side of things this week for consumption by the general public is a little trickier than it is across the street on the Linux side, however with a little juggling (and an important note from iXsystems to come tomorrow in the weekly FOSS roundup), we’ll take a look at the new images ready for your testing and feedback. Also, I’ll answer some questions which arose in last week’s comments.
The OpenBSD project has long held a reputation for producing a secure operating system. The project boasts just two remote security holes reported over a span of about twenty years. It's an impressive accomplishment for the developers and a good indication of why OpenBSD is so often trusted for security oriented tasks like running firewalls. However, the OpenBSD team has been steadily working on other projects too. The team behind OpenBSD also creates the widely used OpenSSH software which is used around the world by system administrators to remotely work on servers and securely transfer files. The OpenBSD project also spawned the LibreSSL software (a replacement for OpenSSL) following the Heartbleed vulnerability. In the latest release of OpenBSD we also saw improvements to the project's lightweight and secure web server (called httpd), the introduction of the doas command (a replace for sudo), a new implementation of the file command and W^X support for i386 processors. The latest version of the operating system, OpenBSD 5.8, also switched to denying root logins in the default installation.
DragonFly version 4.4 bring further updates to accelerated video for both i915 and radeon users, a new locale system, and a new default linker. Significant behind-the-scenes work has also been done, with symbol versioning, Hammer1 improvements, and other changes. Version 4.4.1 was the first release due to the late inclusion of OpenSSL update 1.0.1q.