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BSD

FreeBSD 12.0 Alpha Hits The Web

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BSD

The first alpha release of FreeBSD 12.0 was quietly uploaded a few days ago to the project's download servers as the first step to shipping this next major update to the FreeBSD operating system.

FreeBSD 12.0-ALPHA1 was successfully made back on 10 August as what begins the project's "code slush" period whereby new commits can continue being merged for 12.0 but they shouldn't be introducing new features. The actual code freeze is what's beginning later this month followed by the code branching and then the beta releases start towards the end of September.

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Also: Badness, Enumerated by Robots

Review: NomadBSD 1.1

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Reviews
BSD

One of the most recent additions to the DistroWatch database is NomadBSD. According to the NomadBSD website: "NomadBSD is a 64-bit live system for USB flash drives, based on FreeBSD. Together with automatic hardware detection and setup, it is configured to be used as a desktop system that works out of the box, but can also be used for data recovery."

The latest release of NomadBSD (or simply "Nomad", as I will refer to the project in this review) is version 1.1. It is based on FreeBSD 11.2 and is offered in two builds, one for generic personal computers and one for Macbooks. The release announcement mentions version 1.1 offers improved video driver support for Intel and AMD cards. The operating system ships with Octopkg for graphical package management and the system should automatically detect, and work with, VirtualBox environments.

Nomad 1.1 is available as a 2GB download, which we then decompress to produce a 4GB file which can be written to a USB thumb drive. There is no optical media build of Nomad as it is designed to be run entirely from the USB drive, and write data persistently to the drive, rather than simply being installed from the USB media.

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Also: Happy Bob's Libtls tutorial

BSD: OpenSSH 7.8, mandoc, nbdkit

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BSD

6 Reasons Why Linux Users Switch to BSD

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BSD

Wonder why people use BSD? Read some of the main reasons that compel people to use BSD over Linux.
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6 Reasons Why Linux Users Switch to BSD

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BSD

Thus far I have written several articles about BSD for It’s FOSS. There is always at least one person in the comments asking “Why bother with BSD?” I figure that the best way to respond was to write an article on the topic.

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Also: LibreSSL 2.8.0 Released

FreeBSD has its own TCP-queue-of-death bug, easier to hose than Linux's SegmentSmack

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Security
BSD

Hard on the heels of the Linux kernel's packets-of-death attack dubbed SegmentSmack, a similar vulnerability has been disclosed and fixed in FreeBSD.

Attributed to SegmentSmack discoverer Juha-Matti Tilli of Aalto University in Finland, the FreeBSD TCP issue is related to how the operating system's networking stack reassembles segmented packets. Much in the same way Linux kernel versions 4.9 and higher can be brought down by bad network traffic, a sequence of maliciously crafted packets can also crash FreeBSD machines.

FreeBSD 10, 10.4, 11, 11.1, and 11.2 are affected, and the maintainers have released patches to mitigate the programming cockup. In the open-source operating system project's advisory for CVE-2018-6922 (Linux's SegmentSmack was assigned CVE-2018-5390), the problem was this week described as an “inefficient algorithm” involving a segment reassembly data structure.

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BSD: FreeBSD, zpool and OpenBSD

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BSD
  • zpool checkpoints

     

    In March, to FreeBSD landed a very interesting feature called 'zpool checkpoints'. Before we jump straight into the topic, let's take a step back and look at another ZFS feature called ‘snapshot’. Snapshot allows us to create an image of our single file systems. This gives us the option to modify data on the dataset without the fear of losing some data.

  • Reflection on one-year usage of OpenBSD

     

    I have used OpenBSD for more than one year, and it is time to give a summary of the experience...

  • OpenBSD on an iBook G4 [iophk: "it was a sweet machine in its time"]

     

    In summary I was impressed with OpenBSD and its ability to breathe new life into this old Apple Mac. I'm genuinely excited about the idea of trying BSD with other devices on my network such as an old Asus Eee PC 900 netbook and at least one of the many Raspberry Pi devices I use. Whether I go the whole hog and replace Fedora on my main production laptop though remains to be seen!

  •  

BSD: LLVM/Clang 7.0 and FreeBSD Update

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BSD
  • LLVM / Clang 7.0 Branching Today, Releasing In September

    Not only is Mesa 18.2 ending feature development today to begin their release candidates, but LLVM 7.0 and its sub-projects like Clang 7.0 also happens to have aligned with a similar release schedule.

    LLVM 7.0 and its sub-projects were just branched in Git/SVN and preparations have begun for pushing out the first release candidate. At least a second release candidate will follow later in August before they are planning to officially release LLVM 7.0.0 on or around 5 September.

  • FreeBSD: July 2018 Development Projects Update

     

    To address this, under sponsorship from the FreeBSD Foundation, I am implementing in-kernel microcode loading. The aim is to apply microcode updates as one of the first stages in the kernel’s boot-up process. In particular, since microcode updates may enable new CPU features such as IBRS, it is desirable to ensure that updates are applied before the kernel enumerates these features. As part of this feature, the kernel will automatically re-apply any existing microcode update on each CPU upon resume, so only minimal portions of the kernel may ever execute without an update applied.

OPNsense 18.7 Released For FreeBSD 11 Powered Routers / Firewalls

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BSD

While OpenWRT 18.06 was released today as the popular Linux-based networking/embedded distribution, for those preferring FreeBSD, the OPNsense 18.7 release is also shipping today.

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Also: OPNsense 18.7 released

ZFS, FreeNAS and OpenZFS

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BSD
  • What is RAID-Z?

    File systems are older than UNIX itself. And ever since we started digitizing our lives onto tapes, disks and SSDs one threat has been eminent. That is of hardware failure. Data stored on disks is often more expensive than the disks themselves and this data need all the redundancy we can muster.

    [...]

    RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (Inexpensive) Disks. This refers to the industry wide practice of storing data not just on one disk but across multiple disks so that even when there’s a disk failure the data can be reconstructed from other disks. The way data is spread across disks is different for different types of redundancies accordingly they are named RAID 0, RAID 1, etc. We are not going to be dealing with them here. We would focus on a RAIDZ which is specific to OpenZFS.

    RAID (and also RAID-Z) is not the same as writing copies of data to a backup disk. When you have two or more disks set up in RAID the data is written to them simultaneously and all the disks are active and online. This is the reason why RAID is different from backups and more importantly why RAID is not a substitute for backups. If your entire server burns out, then all the online disks could go with the server, but backups will save your day. Similarly, if there’s single disk failure and something was not backed up, because you can’t do it everyday, then RAID can help you retrieve that information.

    Backups are periodically taken copies of relevant data and RAID is a real-time redundancy. There are several ways in which data is stored in traditional RAID systems, but we will not go into them here. Here, we would dive deep into RAIDZ which is one of the coolest features of OpenZFS.

  • FreeNAS vs unRAID

    As worrisome as it is, FreeNAS is still probably the only solution you can consider if you value your data. Monopolies are never good, and FreeBSD/FreeNAS with OpenZFS have quite a monopoly when it comes to reliable storage solution.

    unRAID may develop into a strong competitor in the future but for now, sticking to FreeNAS seems like the wisest option.

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Graphics: Wayland/Weston, Mesa and AMD

  • Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 RC2 Released To Fix Vulnerabilities
    Two release candidates of Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 were not originally scheduled, but it's been necessitated due to some pressing issues both with Wayland and its reference compositor. Samsung's Derek Foreman issued these "RC2" releases on Friday rather than going straight to the official Wayland 1.16 and Weston 5.0 releases. On the Wayland front, Michael Srb found and fixed issues that could cause pointer overflows within Wayland's connection code. These overflow fixes are the only changes in this Wayland 1.15.94 (RC2) version.
  • RAGE & Doom Get Radeon Workarounds In Mesa 18.3-dev
    If you are looking to enjoy id Software's RAGE or Doom VFR games this weekend on Linux via Wine, they should be playing nicer with the latest open-source Mesa graphics driver code. Timothy Arceri at Valve has added a workaround to get RAGE working under Wine with RadeonSI. The workaround is a DRIRC configuration addition for allowing GLSL built-in variable redeclarations. This is enough to get RAGE working with RadeonSI on Mesa Git. Though only RadeonSI is working out currently since the game relies upon the OpenGL compatibility profile mode that is only supported currently by RadeonSI when it comes to the Mesa drivers. Thanks to Valve's developers and others, the OpenGL compatibility profile mode for RadeonSI has matured into great shape these past few months.
  • Adreno 600 Series Support Lands In Mesa 18.3 Gallium3D
    With the Adreno 600 series support going into Linux 4.19 for the kernel bits, the user-space OpenGL driver support for the latest-generation Qualcomm graphics has now been merged into Mesa. Kristian Høgsberg Kristensen of Google's Chrome OS graphics team (yes, Kristian of Wayland and DRI2 fame) has been working on the Gallium3D support for the Adreno 600 series hardware along with Freedreno founder Rob Clark. This A6xx support is being tacked onto the existing Freedreno Gallium3D driver and amounts to just over six thousand lines of new code. Keep in mind this A6xx Freedreno back-end must also be used with the supported MSM DRM driver in the Linux 4.19+ kernel.
  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Radeon Linux Driver Released with Support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    Featuring official support for the AMD Radeon PRO WX 8200 graphics cards and initial Wattman-like functionality, the Radeon Software for Linux 18.30 finally adds support for some of the most recent Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS Linux distributions. These include Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10, CentOS 7.5, and CentOS 6.10. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server (SLED/SLES) 12 Service Pack (SP) 3 is supported as well, but not the latest SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.
  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Update Fixes Witcher 3 Issue, Bug Fixes
    In addition to AMD releasing AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 on Friday, they also did their usual weekly source push of their newest "AMDVLK" open-source Radeon Vulkan driver code.

Kernel: Linux 4.19 Staging and Greg Kroah-Hartman's Very Many Stable Releases

  • Linux 4.19 Staging Brings EROFS File-System & Gasket Driver Framework
    Following the USB subsystem updates, Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the kernel's staging area work for the Linux 4.19 merge window. This experimental/testing area of the Linux kernel is adding a new file-system with 4.19: EROFS. EROFS is developed by Huawei for possible Android device use-cases. EROFS stands for the Extendable Read-Only File-System and is developed to address shortcomings in other Linux read-only file-systems. EROFS features compression support and other features, but the on-disk layout format isn't 100% firm yet -- hence going into the staging area.
  • USB Patches Posted For Linux 4.19 Kernel, Including The New USB-C DisplayPort Driver
    Having wrapped up his latest stable kernel wrangling and the fallout from L1TF/Foreshadow, Greg Kroah-Hartman got around today to sending out the feature pull requests for the kernel subsystems he oversees. His first new batch of changes for Linux 4.19 today is the USB subsystem work.
  • One Week Past Linux 4.18.0, The Linux 4.18.3 Kernel Is Already Out
    Greg Kroah-Hartman had a fun Friday night issuing new point releases to the Linux 3.18 / 4.4 / 4.9 / 4.14 / 4.17 / 4.18 kernels only to have to issue new point releases minutes later. It was just on Thursday that Linux 4.18.1 was released along with updates to older stable branches for bringing L1TF / Foreshadow mitigation. Friday night then brought Linux 4.18.2, Linux 4.17.16, Linux 4.14.64, Linux 4.9.121, Linux 4.4.149, and Linux 3.18.119 with more patches. Those kernels brought various fixes, including in the x86 PTI code for clearing the global bit more aggressively, crypto fixes, and other maintenance work.

Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.5

  • 2018.08.18: Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.5 Released!
    The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.5 release. TDE is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software. R14.0.5 is the fifth maintenance release of the R14.0 series, and is built on and improves the previous R14.0.4 version. Maintenance releases are intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability through the avoidance of both major new features and major codebase re-factoring.
  • Trinity Desktop R14.0.5 Lets You Keep Enjoying The KDE 3 Experience In 2018
    For those that have fond memories of the K Desktop Environment 3, you can still enjoy a KDE3-derived experience in 2018 with the just-released Trinity Desktop R14.0.5. Trinity Desktop continues to see occasional updates as the fork of the KDE 3.5 packages. Trinity Desktop R14.0.5 is the new release this weekend and their first since R14.0.4 was released last November.

Mozilla: Bitslicing, Mixed Reality, and Sharing

  • Bitslicing with Karnaugh maps
    Bitslicing, in cryptography, is the technique of converting arbitrary functions into logic circuits, thereby enabling fast, constant-time implementations of cryptographic algorithms immune to cache and timing-related side channel attacks. My last post Bitslicing, An Introduction showed how to convert an S-box function into truth tables, then into a tree of multiplexers, and finally how to find the lowest possible gate count through manual optimization.
  • This Week in Mixed Reality: Issue 16
    On Monday Andrzej Mazur launched the 2018 edition of the JS13KGames competition. As the name suggests, you have to create a game using only thirteen kilobytes of Javascript (zipped) or less. Check out some of last year's winners to see what is possible in 13k. This year Mozilla is sponsoring the new WebXR category, which lets you use A-Frame or Babylon.js without counting towards the 13k. See the full rules for details. Prizes this year includes the Oculus Go for the top three champions.
  • Share files easily with extensions
    When we want to share digital files, most people think of popular file hosting services like Box or Dropbox, or other common methods such as email and messaging apps. But did you know there are easier—and more privacy-focused—ways to do it with extensions? WeTransfer and Fire File Sender are two intriguing extension options. WeTransfer allows you to send files up to 2GB in size with a link that expires seven days from upload. It’s really simple to use—just click the toolbar icon and a small pop-up appears inviting you to upload files and copy links for sharing. WeTransfer uses the highest security standards and is compliant with EU privacy laws. Better still, recipients downloading files sent through WeTransfer won’t get bombarded with advertisements; rather, they’ll see beautiful wallpapers picked by the WeTransfer editorial team. If you’re interested in additional eye-pleasing backgrounds, check out WeTransfer Moment.