Those of us who work in the depths of high technology are not immune to the age-old adage of the shoemaker’s children having no shoes. We probably have the most technologically advanced homes of anyone we know, but we also tend to leave various items alone if they’re not causing problems. After all, that’s what we deal with at work. Who needs to saddle themselves with network upgrade projects at home when nothing’s broken?
Among the legions of Linux users and admins, there seems to be a sort of passive curiosity about FreeBSD and other *BSDs. Like commuters on a packed train, they gaze out at a less crowded, vaguely mysterious train heading in a slightly different direction and wonder what traveling on that train might be like -- for a moment. The few who cross over find themselves in a place that is equal parts familiar and foreign. And the strange parts can be scary.
I have been meaning to give OpenBSD a try for a while now. What has been attracting me to this operating system was: the big emphasis on security while still being functional, the urge to try another unix-like operating system that is not Linux, and of course Puffy. Here I will be going through the steps I took towards learning about OpenBSD and getting it running on my laptop. I hope that you can take bits and pieces out of this post to help you with your learning experience when you decide it is your time to venture off into the BSD world.
Here’s an early Christmas present for you all: FreeNAS 9.3!
This FreeNAS update is a significant evolutionary step from previous FreeNAS releases, featuring a simplified and reorganized Web User Interface, support for Microsoft ODX and Windows 2012 clustering, better VMWare integration, including VAAI support, a new and more secure update system with roll-back functionality, and hundreds of other technology enhancements. We’re quite proud of it and excited to make it publicly available.
We installed the FreeBSD operating system on each of the workstations. FreeBSD is an open source derivative of Unix that is renowned for its speed, customizability and rock-solid stability. We also installed a variety of open source software packages from a repository that we created on the Mini. The second Mini serves as a backup and content mirror, which we aim to sync once per year with new material and as needed.
For both teachers it was their very first exposure to FreeBSD. They enjoyed the control and customizability of the installation process, as well as the wide availability of open source software packages in the repository (more than 20,000).
While Linux/Android on AArch64 is what's usually talked about, FreeBSD developers continue making progress on porting their kernel to 64-bit ARM.
For months FreeBSD developers have been eying 64-bit ARM and the kernel code is taking shape. In a status update posted on Monday, FreeBSD/ARM64 is now booting up into single-user mode on ARM's reference simulator. Work is still underway on porting the remaining kernel drivers and getting the 64-bit ARM userland support in shape.
The much anticipated release of DragonFlyBSD 4.0 is now available.
The biggest "big ticket item" of DragonFlyBSD 4.0 include improving graphics support with the Linux-ported Intel DRM driver now handling Intel "Haswell" graphics complete with OpenGL support, well more than one year after it's been optimized for Linux users. DragonFlyBSD 4.0 is also significant in that it drops 32-bit i386 support in making it 64-bit only for x86 systems. While the DRM driver porting takes a while across all BSD distributions right now, at least DragonFlyBSD developers can take a stand for pushing forward and focusing on 64-bit support rather than 32-bit.
The last PC-BSD release I reviewed was the 9.1 edition, and that was back in December 2012 (see PC-BSD 9.1 preview). That’s almost two years ago, But that’s because I’ve been very disappointed with subsequent releases after that, so I never bothered to write another review, though I was each testing each release privately.