Using OpenBSD as my operating system of choice is the conclusion of my now 20 years journey into UNIX-like systems. I've been using FreeBSD from 2000 to 2005 as my sole operating system at the time (both on servers and workstations), from 4.1 to the end of the 4.x series. I have fond memories of that period, and that's probably the main reason why I've been diving again into the BSDs during the last few years. Prior to that, I had been running Slackware, which in retrospective was very BSD-like, since January 1996.
When I first installed OpenBSD, two things struck me. The installation process was both easy and fast, as the OpenBSD installer, a plain shell script, is very minimalistic and uncluttered. It is in fact the fastest installation process I've ever experienced, and it made a really positive first impression. The second one is the quality of the documentation. Not only does the OpenBSD project produces high quality code, they are also very good at documenting it. And it's not only man pages and documentation, presentations and papers also reflect that.
With this commit, mpi@ enabled the new ART routing table implementation, which paves way for more MP network stack improvements down the line.
Most of the attention this week has been around the release of UbuntuBSD, which in and of itself is a noble effort for those who want to escape from systemd, as the developers have dubbed it according to Phoronix. This manifestation joins Ubuntu 15.10 Wile E. Coyote — sorry, Wily Werewolf — to the Free BSD 10.1 kernel.
To its credit, UbuntuBSD uses Xfce as its default desktop. It also joins a list of other marriages between Linux distros and the BSD kernel: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, ArchBSD (now PacBSD), Gentoo/BSD and others along the FOSS highway. It’s worth a look and we’ll be giving it a test drive sometime soon.
But for now, there’s a more interesting and significant development in the BSD realm rising on the horizon.
The DragonFlyBSD operating system with its AMD Radeon graphics driver ported from the Linux DRM/KMS code is up to a state equivalent to where it was in the Linux 3.18 kernel.
Jordan Hubbard from the FreeNAS project, an open-source initiative to create a powerful, free, secure, and reliable NAS (Network-attached storage) operating system based on BSD technologies, announced the release of FreeNAS 9.10.
FreeNAS 9.10 is the tenth maintenance release in the current stable 9.x series of the project, thus bringing the latest security patches from upstream, support for new devices, as well as several under-the-hood updates. As expected, FreeNAS 9.10 has been rebased on the latest FreeBSD 10.3 RC3 (Release Candidate) release.
Some interesting things — for KDE users and developers — have landed in the official FreeBSD ports tree recently.
CMake has updated to 3.5.0. One side effect of CMake updates is that newer policies tend to produce voluminous warning messages when building older software (like kdelibs4-based things, which is all the KDE software in official ports right now). This can make it hard to track down cmake / configure errors amongst the warnings. There’s not much to do there except (slowly) update other ports to set the new (or old) policies explicitly.
The inaugural release of UbuntuBSD is now available, which the developers have codenamed "Escape From SystemD", and pairs the Ubuntu userspace with the FreeBSD kernel.
Similar to the now-rather-defunct Debian GNU/kFreeBSD that paired the Debian GNU user-space with the FreeBSD kernel rather than the Linux kernel, developers have done the same with Ubuntu and called it UbuntuBSD. This first UbuntuBSD beta release is based off Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf and the FreeBSD 10.1 kernel.
In preparation for the anticipated FreeBSD 10.3 release later this month, 10.3-RC2 is now available.
Marius Strobl announced the FreeBSD 10.3-RC2 release on Saturday afternoon for all major architectures plus an assortment of ARM boards. FreeBSD 10.3-RC2 fixes a potential data corruption issue with incremental ZFS send, file syncing improvements for hash-based database files, some security issue fixes, and more.
There’s an exp-run going on for KDE4 on FreeBSD right now. That means that the official package-building machines are grinding through the entire ports tree to see what happens. This is part of the regular procedure for big updates — and this is a big one.
While KDE4 as a desktop — with Plasma shell 4 and the old collection of KDE modules like PIM, etc. — is not getting a lot of upstream releases, it does get some updates, and some applications release new versions. This is one reason to continue to update the packages.
For those of you keeping score at home, OpenBSD is like other BSD derivatives, however this derivative is regarded as one of the safest systems due to the OpenBSD team’s attention to security (and could very well be the folks on the receiving end of Linus’ infamous “monkey” quote regarding, um, attention to detail on security issues, but I digress).