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BSD

BSD: Coming Back to OpenBSD and EuroBSDcon 2019 Call for Talks

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BSD
  • Well, it’s been a while – falling in love with OpenBSD again

    When the Mac laptop came out without an ESC key (it was on this gimmicky little one row display at the top of the keyboard that could be reconfigured based on your application), as a long-time VI user (the commands are programmed into my spinal cord, I really have no choice now) I was disgusted. That forced me to recognize that I wasn’t Apple’s target market. They wanted average computer users who didn’t care if they were on the latest and greatest chipset and they were getting more and more closed and “un-upgradeable” every day.

  • EuroBSDcon 2019: Lillehammer, Norway

    The Call for Talk and presentation proposals for EuroBSDCon 2019 is now
    open.

    EuroBSDcon is the European technical conference for users and developers
    of BSD-based systems. The conference will take place September 19-22
    2019 in Lillehammer, Norway. The tutorials will be held on Thursday and
    Friday to registered participants and the talks are presented to
    conference attendees on Saturday and Sunday.

    The Call for Talk and Presentation proposals period will close on May
    26th, 2019. Prospective speakers will be notified of accepteance or
    otherwise by June 3rd, 2019.

Licensing and Releases: MIT/BSD and GNU GPL

Filed under
GNU
BSD
  • Deprecation Notice: MIT and BSD

    Both copyrights and patents apply to software, but the word “patent” does not appear in MIT or BSD terms. MIT and Cal’s tech transfer offices say they never intended to license any patents. There is some argument that other words, like “use”, imply permission under patents, anyway. And there is some law that may or may not imply patent permission, when giving someone a copy of software. But a license can avoid all that uncertainty by spelling out plainly that it covers all relevant intellectual property [sic]. MIT and BSD don’t.

    Licenses like Apache 2.0 show how lawyers do this in legal terms for private deals every day. Blue Oak shows the same job done in everyday English, without long lists, run-on sentences, or complex scope rules.

    Patents are a problem that MIT and BSD do not solve. Open source developers have better options, at no real cost, with significant additional benefits. Even developers and companies that despise software patents, and will never seek them, benefit by choosing modern terms. It’s one thing to know that you won’t seek or enforce any patents. It’s quite another to have legal assurance from others that they, or their successors, won’t lay a patent trap.

  • mandoc-1.14.5 released

     

    This is a regular maintenance release. As structural changes are quite limited, i expect it to be very stable, so all downstream systems are encouraged to upgrade from any earlier version.  

  • coreutils-8.31 released [stable]

    This is to announce coreutils-8.31, a stable release.

  • GNU World Order 13x11

Videos: SwagArch 19.03, This Week in Linux, BSD Now

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Interviews
Reviews
BSD
  • SwagArch 19.03 Run Through

    In this video, we look at SwagArch 19.03. Enjoy!

  • Episode 57 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, every now and then we cover something from the project that this show gets its name from and this is one of those weeks so we’ll discuss the release of Linux 5.0. Then we’ll cover some other releases from LineageOS, NuTyX, Fatdog64, Linux from Scratch and some more core news with releases from the WINE and Vulkan projects. Later in the show, we’ll check out some App News from OBS Studio, Headset Music Player, BorgBackup, a couple desktop weather apps, one with a GUI and the other for the terminal. All that and much more, this is your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • Turing Complete Sed | BSD Now 288

    Software will never fix Spectre-type bugs, a proof that sed is Turing complete, managed jails using Bastille, new version of netdata, using grep with /dev/null, using GMail with mutt, and more.

NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor

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BSD
  • NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor

    NVMM provides hardware-accelerated virtualization support for NetBSD. It is made of an ~MI frontend, to which MD backends can be plugged. A virtualization API is shipped via libnvmm, that allows to easily create and manage virtual machines via NVMM. Two additional components are shipped as demonstrators, toyvirt and smallkern: the former is a toy virtualizer, that executes in a VM the 64bit ELF binary given as argument, the latter is an example of such binary.

  • NetBSD Gains Hardware Accelerated Virtualization

    NetBSD, the highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system known for its platform diversity, has gained hardware-accelerated virtualization support via an improved NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor (NVMM).

GhostBSD: A Solid Linux-Like Open Source Alternative

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Reviews
BSD

Overall, aside from the system tools and the installation process, I did not see much not to like in running this BSD operating system. I experienced some annoyance when things failed to work just right, but I felt no frustrations that led me to give up on trying to use GhostBSD or find solutions to mishaps. I could provide a litany of Linux distros that did not measure up that well.

Some lingering problems for which I am still seeking workarounds are why my USB storage drives intermittently are not recognized and fail to mount. Another issue is why some of the preinstalled applications do not fully load. They either do not respond to launching at all, or crash before fully displaying anything beyond a white application window.

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Review: First impressions of Project Trident 18.12

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Reviews
BSD

I have a lot of mixed feelings and impressions when it comes to Trident. On the one hand, the operating system has some great technology under the hook. It has cutting edge packages from the FreeBSD ecosystem, we have easy access to ZFS, boot environments, and lots of open source packages. Hardware support, at least on my physical workstation, was solid and the Lumina desktop is flexible.

However, there were a lot of problems I ran into during this trial. Some of them are matters of taste or style. The installer looks unusually crude, for example, and the mixed icon styles weren't appealing. Similarly, switching themes made some icons in toolbars disappear. These are not functional issues, just presentation ones. There were some functional problems too though. For example, needing to close and re-open AppCafe to see available packages, or the desktop not resizing when running Trident in a virtual machine, which required that I change the display settings at each login.

Lumina has come a long way and is highly flexible and I like the available alternative widgets for desktop elements. This is useful because Lumina's weakest link on Trident seems to be its defaults as I had some trouble with the "Start" application menu and I think some work to polish the initial impression would be helpful.

The biggest issues though were with security. Trident ships with some extra security features in place, but most of them can be easily bypassed by any user by simply opening the Control Panel to view or kill processes or even add or remove packages. Some systems intentionally give the user full access by running everything as root, but in those cases at least the administrator knows they have complete access. This situation seems worse since Trident gives the illusion of security and limited access, but any curious user can run administrator tools. I think the project needs time to mature before I would recommend using it.

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ZFS and FreeBSD

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BSD
  • ZFS Boot Environments Are Helping To Improve The Resilience Of FreeBSD Upgrades

    Besides the ZFS file-system just being a heck of a lot better all-around than FreeBSD's traditional UFS, tooling around ZFS paired with its native snapshot capabilities is allowing for more resilient installations and upgrades of FreeBSD.

    FreeBSD developer Allan Jude talked at last weekend's FOSDEM conference about "magic upgrades" in making FreeBSD system upgrades atomic, safe, and fast by leveraging ZFS Boot Environments.

  • FOSDEM 2019 | BSD Now 284

    We recap FOSDEM 2019, FreeBSD Foundation January update, OPNsense 19.1 released, the hardware-assisted virtualization challenge, ZFS and GPL terror, ClonOS 19.01-RELEASE, and more.

MidnightBSD 1.1

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BSD

I’m happy to announce the availability of MidnightBSD 1.1 for amd64 and i386. This is a minor release to fix a few hardware and security issues that have come up since the 1.0 release. It is strongly recommended that you upgrade, particularly if you have newer Intel hardware.

This release also includes a new version of OpenSSL. This is a move from 1.0.1 to 1.0.2p in base. Many mports are built with a package and will likely not be affected. It is still recommended that you rebuild any mports using SSL or update the packages as appropriate.

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Also: Desktop-Friendly MidnightBSD 1.1 Released

NetBSD 9.0 Will Have Performance & Security Improvements

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BSD

The recently releases of FreeBSD 12.0 and DragonFlyBSD 5.4 have been exciting in the BSD space while moving forward there is the NetBSD 9.0 release a ways out on the horizon.

NetBSD 9.0 has yet to be branched, but it was talked about this weekend at FOSDEM 2019 by developer Benny Siegert. Enhancing the security of NetBSD 9.0 is now kernel ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization), a kernel leak detector, Kernel Address Space Address Sanitizer (KASAN), Kernel Undefined Behavior Sanitizer (KUBSAN), user-space sanitizers, and other security work.

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Review: FreeNAS 11.2

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BSD

In my opinion, FreeNAS is probably one of the easier NAS solutions to set up and it has probably the nicest web-based interface I have used. The web portal looks nice, I think it is well organized and there are a huge number of features. Further, FreeNAS offers good documentation and is fairly light on resources. The base system is smaller than 1GB on the disk and typically uses less than 1GB of RAM.

I also like the support for ZFS, an advanced file system well known for its reliability, snapshots and ability to handle vast amounts of data. FreeNAS makes setting up ZFS volumes, and user accounts on these volumes, a point-n-click process and I applaud the developers for that.

On the negative side of things, some features did not work for me. I struggled with plugins and file synchronization through the web portal (working with files from the command line worked fine for me) and getting networking set up properly took more effort than I had expected. I was also a bit concerned about the lack of local security. If your server is headless or in a locked room, it is not a big deal to have root logged in, but for a lot of environments it is not advisable to leave root logged in at the console.

I think whether FreeNAS is a good choice for managing storage will depend a lot on how comfortable the administrator is with FreeBSD. For people who are comfortable setting up a FreeBSD server and manually adding storage pools, there may not be a lot of added benefit to FreeNAS. However, if you want to manage a lot of storage space and other services through a polished point-n-click web interface rather than manually doing everything through the command line, then FreeNAS is an excellent tool. There are a few rough edges to work out, I think, but on the whole I found FreeNAS made administering ZFS volumes and related services pleasantly straight forward.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: NVIDIA, Nouveau and Vulkan

  • NVIDIA 418.49.04 Linux Driver Brings Host Query Reset & YCbCr Image Arrays
    NVIDIA has issued new Vulkan beta drivers leading up to the Game Developers Conference 2019 as well as this next week there being NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) nearby in California. The only publicly mentioned changes to this weekend's NVIDIA 418.49.04 Linux driver update (and 419.62 on the Windows side) is support for the VK_EXT_host_query_reset and VK_EXT_ycbcr_image_arrays extensions.
  • Nouveau NIR Support Lands In Mesa 19.1 Git
    It shouldn't come as any surprise, but landing today in Mesa 19.1 Git is the initial support for the Nouveau Gallium3D code to make use of the NIR intermediate representation as an alternative to Gallium's TGSI. The Nouveau NIR support is part of the lengthy effort by Red Hat developers on supporting this IR as part of their SPIR-V and compute upbringing. The NIR support is also a stepping stone towards a potential NVIDIA Vulkan driver in the future.
  • Vulkan 1.1.104 Brings Native HDR, Exclusive Fullscreen Extensions
    With the annual Game Developers' Conference (GDC) kicking off tomorrow in San Francisco, Khronos' Vulkan working group today released Vulkan 1.1.104 that comes with several noteworthy extensions. Vulkan 1.1.104 is the big update for GDC 2019 rather than say Vulkan 1.2, but it's quite a nice update as part of the working group's weekly/bi-weekly release regiment. In particular, Vulkan 1.1.104 is exciting for an AMD native HDR extension and also a full-screen exclusive extension.
  • Interested In FreeSync With The RADV Vulkan Driver? Testing Help Is Needed
    Since the long-awaited introduction of FreeSync support with the Linux 5.0 kernel, one of the missing elements has been this variable rate refresh support within the RADV Vulkan driver. When the FreeSync/VRR bits were merged into Linux 5.0, the RadeonSI Gallium3D support was quick to land for OpenGL games but RADV Vulkan support was not to be found. Of course, RADV is the unofficial Radeon open-source Vulkan driver not officially backed by AMD but is the more popular driver compared to their official AMDVLK driver or the official but closed driver in their Radeon Software PRO driver package (well, it's built from the same sources as AMDVLK but currently with their closed-source shader compiler rather than LLVM). So RADV support for FreeSync has been one of the features users have been quite curious about and eager to see.

New Screencasts: Xubuntu 18.04.2, Ubuntu MATE, and Rosa Fresh 11

9 Admirable Graphical File Managers

Being able to navigate your local filesystem is an important function of personal computing. File managers have come a long way since early directory editors like DIRED. While they aren’t cutting-edge technology, they are essential software to manage any computer. File management consists of creating, opening, renaming, moving / copying, deleting and searching for files. But file managers also frequently offer other functionality. In the field of desktop environments, there are two desktops that dominate the open source landscape: KDE and GNOME. They are smart, stable, and generally stay out of the way. These use the widget toolkits Qt and GTK respectively. And there are many excellent Qt and GTK file managers available. We covered the finest in our Qt File Managers Roundup and GTK File Managers Roundup. But with Linux, you’re never short of alternatives. There are many graphical non-Qt and non-Gtk file managers available. This article examines 9 such file managers. The quality is remarkably good. Read more

Slimbook & Kubuntu - Combat Report 6

Here we are gathered, for another episode of drama, thrill and technological escapades in the land of Tux. Starring one Slimbook Pro2 in the main role, with a trusty sidekick called Bionic Beaver of the Kubuntu clan. We've had quite a few episodes so far, and they tell a rather colorful story of progress, beauty and bugs. Over the past few months, I've detailed my usage of the laptop and its operating system in serious, real-life situations, with actual productivity needs and challenges. This isn't just a test, this is running the machine properly. Many things work well, but then, there are problems, too. Of course, you can read all about those in the previous articles, and again, for the sake of simplicity, I'm only going to link to only the last report here. If you're truly intrigued, I'm sure you can find your way around. [..]. I believe the Slimbook - with its Kubuntu brains - is slowly settling down. The one thing that is certain is that system updates bring in small tweaks and fixes all the time, and it's a shame that we can't have that from the very first minute. On the other hand, the system is stable, robust, and there are no regressions. I am quite pleased. But there are still many things that can improved. Small things. The nth-order fun that isn't immediate or obvious, and so people don't see it until they come across a non-trivial use case, and then things start falling apart. This is true for all operating system, it's only the matter of how much. Plasma has made great strides in becoming semi-pro, and I hope it will get better still. Onwards. Read more Also: Krita Interview with Svetlana Rastegina