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BSD

Mixed KDE Applications on FreeBSD

Filed under
KDE
BSD

The KDE Frameworks have been available in FreeBSD for a while now, but we haven’t seen much movement on the desktop environment or the applications front. KDE4 is still the latest you can get from ports. The plasma5/ branch in the KDE FreeBSD ports repository contains all the applications, and KDE Plasma 5 Desktop, and is very up-to-date with KDE releases — but it’s not in official ports, and that makes it a little more difficult than it needs to be to install the latest KDE Software on FreeBSD.

The KDE-FreeBSD team is starting to migrate individual applications to recently-released KF5 versions. That sometimes means letting go of some features: Plasma 5 integration isn’t going to happen until we have Plasma 5 in the official ports tree. But KDevelop 5.1 is a valuable upgrade over 4.7, and the IDE suffers very little (except if you wanted the embedded konsole part).

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FreeBSD-Based TrueOS Gets New Stable Update, Adds Lumina Desktop 1.2.2, More

Filed under
BSD

A new stable update of TrueOS has been published recently as a significant step forward for the FreeBSD-based operating system by adding new functionality and updating many of the core components.

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OpenBSD Daily and FreeBSD 11.1 Beta

Filed under
BSD
  • OpenBSD Daily

    There’s also one more side effect of reading code daily - diffs. It’s easy to spot inconsistencies, outdated code or an incorrect man page.

  • FreeBSD 11.1 Beta Now Available

    The first beta for FreeBSD 11.1 is out right on schedule.

BSD News: Recent Hackathon, Upcoming NetBSD

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BSD

FreeBSD News: 64-bit Inodes and KDE

Filed under
KDE
BSD
  • FreeBSD Lands Support For 64-bit Inodes (ino64 Project)

    While Linux and other operating systems (including DragonFlyBSD) have supported 64-bit inodes for data structures on file-systems, FreeBSD has been limited to 32-bit. But thanks to the work of many on the ino64 project, FreeBSD now has support for 64-bit inodes while retaining backwards compatibility.

  • KDE FreeBSD CI (2)

    The KDE Continuous Integration system builds KDE software from scratch, straight from the git repositories, and usually from master (or whatever is considered the development branch). It’s been building for Linux for a long time, and has recently been expanded with FreeBSD servers as well. KDE sysadmin has been kind enough to provide two more VMs (with some more compiling “oomph”) so that we can keep up better, and the CI has just been expanded with all of the Plasma products. That means we’re now building KDE Frameworks, and the Plasma desktop.

BSD Leftovers

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BSD

FreeNAS 11.0 Open-Source Storage Operating System to Be Based on FreeBSD 11

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BSD

iXsystems' Kris Moore announced the general availability of a first Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming FreeNAS 11.0 open-source storage operating system.

It appears that this Release Candidate is also the first public development build of FreeNAS 11.0, as the team thoroughly tested the operating system for the past several months and decided that it's stable enough to be promoted straight to the RC state. As its version number suggests, development is currently based on the FreeBSD 11-STABLE operating system.

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Also: FreeNAS 11.0 Release Candidate Up For Testing

FreeNAS 11.0-RC now Available

pfSense 2.3.4 Open-Source Firewall Update Brings System Stability Improvements

pfSense 2.3.4 RELEASE Now Available!

Filed under
Security
BSD

We are happy to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.3.4!

This is a maintenance release in the 2.3.x series, bringing stability and bug fixes, fixes for a few security issues, and a handful of new features. The full list of changes is on the 2.3.4 New Features and Changes page, including a list of FreeBSD and internal security advisories addressed by this release.

This release includes fixes for 24 bugs and 11 Features.

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TrueOS 2017-02-22

Filed under
Reviews
BSD

TrueOS, which was formerly named PC-BSD, is a FreeBSD-based operating system. TrueOS is a rolling release platform which is based on FreeBSD's "CURRENT" branch, providing TrueOS with the latest drivers and features from FreeBSD. Apart from the name change, TrueOS has deviated from the old PC-BSD project in a number of ways. The system installer is now more streamlined (and I will touch on that later) and TrueOS is a rolling release platform while PC-BSD defaulted to point releases. Another change is PC-BSD used to allow the user to customize which software was installed at boot time, including the desktop environment. The TrueOS project now selects a minimal amount of software for the user and defaults to using the Lumina desktop environment.

Not everything has changed. TrueOS still features many of the same utilities PC-BSD offered, including encrypted removable media, like USB thumb drives, as well as ZFS boot environments. The project, under the new name, still supplies two editions we can download: a Desktop edition and a Server edition. Both editions run on 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. I will be focusing on TrueOS's Desktop offering in this review. The Desktop edition is available through a 2.3GB download. Unlike most Linux distributions, TrueOS offers different downloads depending on whether we intend to copy the installation image to USB or DVD media.

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Akademy 2018 and EuroBSDcon 2017

Filed under
KDE
BSD
  • Akademy 2018 Call for Hosts

    Akademy, KDE's annual conference, requires a place and team for the year 2018. That's why we are looking for a vibrant, enthusiastic spot in Europe that can host us!

  • EuroBSDcon 2017 Call for Proposals

    The call for Talk and Presentation proposals period will close on April 30th, 2017.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: OpenSSL, IoT, and LWN Coverage of 'Intelpocalypse'

  • Another Face to Face: Email Changes and Crypto Policy
    The OpenSSL OMC met last month for a two-day face-to-face meeting in London, and like previous F2F meetings, most of the team was present and we addressed a great many issues. This blog posts talks about some of them, and most of the others will get their own blog posts, or notices, later. Red Hat graciously hosted us for the two days, and both Red Hat and Cryptsoft covered the costs of their employees who attended. One of the overall threads of the meeting was about increasing the transparency of the project. By default, everything should be done in public. We decided to try some major changes to email and such.
  • Some Basic Rules for Securing Your IoT Stuff

    Throughout 2016 and 2017, attacks from massive botnets made up entirely of hacked [sic] IoT devices had many experts warning of a dire outlook for Internet security. But the future of IoT doesn’t have to be so bleak. Here’s a primer on minimizing the chances that your IoT things become a security liability for you or for the Internet at large.

  • A look at the handling of Meltdown and Spectre
    The Meltdown/Spectre debacle has, deservedly, reached the mainstream press and, likely, most of the public that has even a remote interest in computers and security. It only took a day or so from the accelerated disclosure date of January 3—it was originally scheduled for January 9—before the bugs were making big headlines. But Spectre has been known for at least six months and Meltdown for nearly as long—at least to some in the industry. Others that were affected were completely blindsided by the announcements and have joined the scramble to mitigate these hardware bugs before they bite users. Whatever else can be said about Meltdown and Spectre, the handling (or, in truth, mishandling) of this whole incident has been a horrific failure. For those just tuning in, Meltdown and Spectre are two types of hardware bugs that affect most modern CPUs. They allow attackers to cause the CPU to do speculative execution of code, while timing memory accesses to deduce what has or has not been cached, to disclose the contents of memory. These disclosures can span various security boundaries such as between user space and the kernel or between guest operating systems running in virtual machines. For more information, see the LWN article on the flaws and the blog post by Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton that well describes modern CPU architectures and speculative execution to explain why the Raspberry Pi is not affected.
  • Addressing Meltdown and Spectre in the kernel
    When the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were disclosed on January 3, attention quickly turned to mitigations. There was already a clear defense against Meltdown in the form of kernel page-table isolation (KPTI), but the defenses against the two Spectre variants had not been developed in public and still do not exist in the mainline kernel. Initial versions of proposed defenses have now been disclosed. The resulting picture shows what has been done to fend off Spectre-based attacks in the near future, but the situation remains chaotic, to put it lightly. First, a couple of notes with regard to Meltdown. KPTI has been merged for the 4.15 release, followed by a steady trickle of fixes that is undoubtedly not yet finished. The X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE processor bit is being renamed to X86_BUG_CPU_MELTDOWN now that the details are public; there will be bug flags for the other two variants added in the near future. 4.9.75 and 4.4.110 have been released with their own KPTI variants. The older kernels do not have mainline KPTI, though; instead, they have a backport of the older KAISER patches that more closely matches what distributors shipped. Those backports have not fully stabilized yet either. KPTI patches for ARM are circulating, but have not yet been merged.
  • Is it time for open processors?
    The disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities has brought a new level of attention to the security bugs that can lurk at the hardware level. Massive amounts of work have gone into improving the (still poor) security of our software, but all of that is in vain if the hardware gives away the game. The CPUs that we run in our systems are highly proprietary and have been shown to contain unpleasant surprises (the Intel management engine, for example). It is thus natural to wonder whether it is time to make a move to open-source hardware, much like we have done with our software. Such a move may well be possible, and it would certainly offer some benefits, but it would be no panacea. Given the complexity of modern CPUs and the fierceness of the market in which they are sold, it might be surprising to think that they could be developed in an open manner. But there are serious initiatives working in this area; the idea of an open CPU design is not pure fantasy. A quick look around turns up several efforts; the following list is necessarily incomplete.
  • Notes from the Intelpocalypse
    Rumors of an undisclosed CPU security issue have been circulating since before LWN first covered the kernel page-table isolation patch set in November 2017. Now, finally, the information is out — and the problem is even worse than had been expected. Read on for a summary of these issues and what has to be done to respond to them in the kernel. All three disclosed vulnerabilities take advantage of the CPU's speculative execution mechanism. In a simple view, a CPU is a deterministic machine executing a set of instructions in sequence in a predictable manner. Real-world CPUs are more complex, and that complexity has opened the door to some unpleasant attacks. A CPU is typically working on the execution of multiple instructions at once, for performance reasons. Executing instructions in parallel allows the processor to keep more of its subunits busy at once, which speeds things up. But parallel execution is also driven by the slowness of access to main memory. A cache miss requiring a fetch from RAM can stall the execution of an instruction for hundreds of processor cycles, with a clear impact on performance. To minimize the amount of time it spends waiting for data, the CPU will, to the extent it can, execute instructions after the stalled one, essentially reordering the code in the program. That reordering is often invisible, but it occasionally leads to the sort of fun that caused Documentation/memory-barriers.txt to be written.

US Sanctions Against Chinese Android Phones, LWN Report on Eelo

  • A new bill would ban the US government from using Huawei and ZTE phones
    US lawmakers have long worried about the security risks posed the alleged ties between Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and the country’s government. To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban US government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies. Conaway’s bill would prohibit the US government from purchasing and using “telecommunications equipment and/or services,” from Huawei and ZTE. In a statement on his site, he says that technology coming from the country poses a threat to national security, and that use of this equipment “would be inviting Chinese surveillance into all aspects of our lives,” and cites US Intelligence and counterintelligence officials who say that Huawei has shared information with state leaders, and that the its business in the US is growing, representing a further security risk.
  • U.S. lawmakers urge AT&T to cut commercial ties with Huawei - sources
    U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T Inc, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides said. The warning comes after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump took a harder line on policies initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. strategic industries. Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei [HWT.UL] handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters.
  • Eelo seeks to make a privacy-focused phone
    A focus on privacy is a key feature being touted by a number of different projects these days—from KDE to Tails to Nextcloud. One of the biggest privacy leaks for most people is their phone, so it is no surprise that there are projects looking to address that as well. A new entrant in that category is eelo, which is a non-profit project aimed at producing not only a phone, but also a suite of web services. All of that could potentially replace the Google or Apple mothership, which tend to collect as much personal data as possible.

today's howtos

Mozilla: Resource Hogs, Privacy Month, Firefox Census, These Weeks in Firefox

  • Firefox Quantum Eats RAM Like Chrome
    For a long time, Mozilla’s Firefox has been my web browser of choice. I have always preferred it to using Google’s Chrome, because of its simplicity and reasonable system resource (especially RAM) usage. On many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many others, Firefox even comes installed by default. Recently, Mozilla released a new, powerful and faster version of Firefox called Quantum. And according to the developers, it’s new with a “powerful engine that’s built for rapid-fire performance, better, faster page loading that uses less computer memory.”
  • Mozilla Communities Speaker Series #PrivacyMonth
    As a part of the Privacy Month initiative, Mozilla volunteers are hosting a couple of speaker series webinars on Privacy, Security and related topics. The webinars will see renowned speakers talking to us about their work around privacy, how to take control of your digital self, some privacy-security tips and much more.
  • “Ewoks or Porgs?” and Other Important Questions
    You ever go to a party where you decide to ask people REAL questions about themselves, rather than just boring chit chat? Us, too! That’s why we’ve included questions that really hone in on the important stuff in our 2nd Annual Firefox Census.
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 30