Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 8th Nov 2004 20:10 UTC
OpenBSD pbrowser (pbrowser = PortsBrowser) is a free implementation of a graphical frontend for the ports(7) system for OpenBSD. It allows for easy browsing through the ports(7) tree and offers search facilities to a certain extent. It is also possible to install and or delete ports and packages with pbrowser. You can rate the application here.
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user friendliness
by Metic on Mon 8th Nov 2004 20:55 UTC

Nice to see the OpenBSD project get more user friendliness too. I hope the future could bring even more such enhancements to ease the OpenBSD package and upgrades management - maybe, la FreeBSD and Debian.

What the BSDs may lack most when compared to Linux is - besides of commercial hardware support and such (rather natural) things - ease of use for non-geeks (and, yea, I know that BSDs may already be simpler than Linux in some things, for example, in manual editing of firewall rules, IMHO).

shorewall
by Anonymous on Mon 8th Nov 2004 21:42 UTC

" for example, in manual editing of firewall rules"

thats not at all scalable. use something like shorewall and its just too easy

RE: shorewall
by Metic on Mon 8th Nov 2004 22:13 UTC

Yeah, I agree that there are excellent tools like Shorewall to ease iptables management under Linux. And I sure don't want to nor bother to write my iptables rules manually... I was just referring to manual editing of iptables vs. PF rules only as an example of things that may be better in BSD. Besides, PF is an excellent firewalling system in otherways too, maybe the best there is now? However, in itself it ain't much more newbie friendly than iptables.

As to the subject: I wonder what sort of experience people have of using this new prowser thingy?

FreeBSD?
by Bob on Mon 8th Nov 2004 22:15 UTC

How hard will it be to get this to work on FreeBSD ports?

RE: RE: shorewall
by Metic on Mon 8th Nov 2004 22:27 UTC

Still about PF:
However, in itself it ain't much more newbie friendly than iptables.

Umm... Well, actually PF is more newbie friendly, as you can understand PF rules much more intuititively than the complicated and cryptic looking iptables rules. But it is true that there may not be very _newbie_ friendly tools to make managing PF rules really easy, even for complete newbies (any chance for such new tools too in the future?). Anyway pros and experts seem to just love PF, find it quite easy, and many of them would choose it over iptables anytime.

RE: FreeBSD
by Manik on Mon 8th Nov 2004 22:28 UTC

Apparently not hard at all. There is a FreeBSD version.

I like it. It just needs a "Install with option". Well, maybe it has, I haven't used it.

subjective
by Anonymous on Mon 8th Nov 2004 23:16 UTC

"Umm... Well, actually PF is more newbie friendly, as you can understand PF rules much more intuititively than the complicated and cryptic looking iptables rules. "

thats subjective. i use both. each has its strength and weakness depending on whatyou want to do. iptables is especially useful for more complicated stuff like logging and forwarding.

it should also be noted that iptables is not just a firewall. it can be used for various other stuff too.

RE: subjective
by SubAtomic Toad on Mon 8th Nov 2004 23:36 UTC

While I agree that each has there strengths and weaknesses, i don't see anything WRT logging and forwarding that IPTables does that PF doesn't. Please feel free to point them out as I am genuinly interested.

The problem with PF is that creating rules are so simple that you can easily get yourself stuck when developing and optimizing complicated rulesets.

iptables
by Anonymous on Mon 8th Nov 2004 23:53 UTC

"i don't see anything WRT logging and forwarding that IPTables does that PF doesn't."

in iptables you can create new tables that are explicitly turned towards logging and disable or enabled such complicated rule sets as required for example. man iptables such the options

re: subjective Anonymous (IP: 61.95.184.---)
by mojo on Mon 8th Nov 2004 23:56 UTC

What the heck are you talking about? Do you have any idea about the capabilities of PF? IPtables useful for more "complicated" stuff? Logging and forwarding is complicated?

@mojo
by Anonymous on Tue 9th Nov 2004 00:56 UTC

" Logging and forwarding is complicated?"

compared to simple port blocking, it is. if you know them both very well why dont you write an article comparing them and post it to osnews.

re: @mojo Anonymous (IP: 61.95.184.---)
by mojo on Tue 9th Nov 2004 01:05 UTC

So what you're saying is, that if someone knows something well, they should write articles about it and post it on OSnews?

Bad comedy.

@mojo
by Anonymous on Tue 9th Nov 2004 01:52 UTC

"So what you're saying is, that if someone knows something well, they should write articles about it and post it on OSnews? "

compared to bickering and questioning expertise of others without understanding the details, it sure is a better option.

@Anonymous RE: IPTables
by SubAtomic Toad on Tue 9th Nov 2004 05:21 UTC

Logging on a per rule basis has been available in PF since its inception. It is enabled by simply adding the word log or log-all to the rule.

Because your posting was cryptic at best I still do not understand the advantage to IPTables in this space.

If you don't know say it. Otherwise, you'll just sound like an idiot and people won't hesitate to point that out.

Portsman for FreeBSD
by Anonymous on Tue 9th Nov 2004 15:52 UTC

There's also an ncurses frontend for FreeBSD ports (and hopefully also for NetBSD's pkgsrc in the near future), called portsman: http://portsman.berlios.de/

Portsman has the nice feature of allowing you to choose from the available build options (make SOME_OPTION=yes install). I don't know if pbrowser has similar functionality. Anyway, it's good to hear that OpenBSD now has a GUI ports/packages browser/installer. I find especially the browser function useful -- even if you decide to do the actual installing from the CLI.

BSD Magic for FreeBSD
by Metic on Tue 9th Nov 2004 17:41 UTC

Also tools like BSD Magic for FreeBSD could be neat for OpenBSD too:
http://bsdhound.com/project.php?id=4

BSD Magic is a administration script for either new users to FreeBSD in helping out do some basic tasks.. or for those lazy admins.

Maybe it would be possible to port that to OpenBSD(/NetBSD/Dragonfly) too? Or write something better?

Free implementation?
by Joseph on Tue 9th Nov 2004 17:42 UTC

In this day and age I believe, at least when referencing *bsd and linux projects, you can safely leave the word free out. It makes it look like you review shareware for a living. If something costs money, just add the word commercial.

RE: FreeBSD
by Anonymous on Wed 10th Nov 2004 10:43 UTC

just compiled on freebsd 5.2.1 with a simple make, seems to work fine for me