BSD & Darwin Archive

GhostBSD 23.10.1 released

In this release, the FreeBSD base system and kernel have been updated to 1302508, and it contains software updates, some improvements to Update Station, and new features to NetworkMgr. Also, os-generic-userland-devtools has been removed from the default installation to downsize the live system image. GhostBSD is an excellent option if you want a more turnkey FreeBSD-based desktop.

DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER2 file-system seeing new improvements

DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has recently been working on further refinements to HAMMER2 for the next DragonFlyBSD operating system release. The latest HAMMER2 activity in the past few days has included improving its CPU performance and adding a new “hammer2 recover” directive. The HAMMER2 recover support allows for recovering/undoing single files as well as preliminary support to recover entire directory structures. DragonFlyBSD always feels like the one nobody talks about or uses, with FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD taking the spotlight instead. Are any of you folks using it? How has it been?

OpenBSD PF versus FreeBSD PF

I encountered yet another discussion about OpenBSD PF versus FreeBSD PF. For those who are new to the discussion: OpenBSD developers created PF in 2001, and it rapidly improved to become the most approachable open source packet filter. FreeBSD ported PF over to its kernel in 2004, with occasional updates since. Today a whole bunch of folks who don’t program echo cultish wisdom that one or the other version of PF has fallen behind, not kept up on improvements, or otherwise betrayed their community. My subtler comments have been misinterpreted, so let’s try this. These claims are garbage. Contrary to what the peanut gallery of open source thinks, in general, the rule is that open source teams work together all the time, more often than not across project lines. Of course the OpenBSD developers are working together and sharing code when it comes to things like PF – they most likely share a lot of features and code, and while one of the two versions of PF might get a certain feature first, it will make its way to the other soon enough. These are professionals – not forum posters.

DiscoBSD: a 2.11BSD-based UNIX-like operating system for STM32 and PIC32 microcontrollers

DiscoBSD is a 2.11BSD-based UNIX-like operating system for microcontrollers, with a focus on high portability to memory constrained devices without a memory management unit. This microcontroller-focused operating system is the continuation of RetroBSD, a 2.11BSD-based OS targeting only the MIPS-based PIC32MX7. DiscoBSD is multi-platform, as it also supports Arm Cortex-M4 STM32F4 devices. We mentioned RetroBSD before, way back in 2014 and 2018. Good to see the project is still alive, albeit under a new name.

DragonFlyBSD 6.4 released

DragonFly version 6.4 is the next step in the 6.x release series. This version has hardware support for type-2 hypervisors with NVMM, an amdgpu driver, the experimental ability to remote-mount HAMMER2 volumes, and many other changes. The details of all commits between the 6.2 and 6.4 releases are available in the associated commit messages for 6.4.0. The downloads are ready.

DragonFly 6.2.2 released

Hopefully there’s a new ISO/img on the mirrors for DragonFly 6.2.2 by the time you read this – or you can just update your installation.  The changelog is short, because this is a bugfix-level release.  Also, don’t forget there’s a new set of binary packages out; update that too if you haven’t. Clear as day.

DragonFly BSD 6.2 released

DragonFly version 6.2 is the next step in the 6.x release series. This version has hardware support for type-2 hypervisors with NVMM, an amdgpu driver, the experimental ability to remote-mount HAMMER2 volumes, and many other changes. You can get the new release from the downloads page.

GhostBSD 22.01.12 released

This new ISO contains fixes, improvements, and software updates. Finally, the installer hanging at the cleaning stage for ZFS installation got fixed, and OpenRC and dhcpcd were removed from the base code. Furthermore, automation configuration for HD 7000 series and older GPUs has been added. I also added the support for os-release to show GhostBSD name and GhostBSD version in applications like mate-system-monitor, python distros, pfetch, and neofetch and added a new set of wallpapers for 2022 and removed p7zip from the default selection since it is vulnerable and unmaintained. GhostBSD is a desktop-oriented FreeBSD distribution, mating Mate with the FreeBSD base system.

DragonFly 6.0.1 released

6.0.1 is tagged and available. The major reason for this update is an expired Let’s Encrypt certificate that would cause problems when downloading dpkg binaries. A list of 6.0.1 commits is available. Not a whole lot going on in this release, but still a major bug fix.

DragonFlyBSD to see better low-level lock performance when heavily contested

Let’s step away from Windows 11 for a second, and spend some time with DragonFlyBSD. Software running on DragonFlyBSD and making use of pthreads is set to see better performance around low-level locks when heavily contested. This commit has the details on the change by DragonFlyBSD founder Matthew Dillon. But long story short pthreads-using software should benefit from this low-level lock performance improvement.

helloSystem aims to bring some macOS to FreeBSD

hello (also known as helloSystem) is a desktop system for creators with focus on simplicity, elegance, and usability. Its design follows the “Less, but better” philosophy. It is intended as a system for “mere mortals”, welcoming to switchers from the Mac. FreeBSD is used as the core operating system. With PC-BSD gone, it’s nice to see others step in to fill the void. This particular project was founded by Simon Peter, who also started AppImage and PureDarwin, so there’s quite a bit of pedigree here. It’s still in development and not yet ready for general use.

GhostBSD 20.11.28 released

This release comes with a new live system that leverages ZFS, compression, and replication first introduced in FuryBSD by Joe Maloney. The 20.11.28 release contains numerous improvements, including OS fixes for linuxulator to improve Linux Steam performance, an updated kernel, and GhostBSD userland updates. Userland updates include a MATE desktop upgrade to version 1.24.1, Software Station performance improvements, and numerous application updates. Does anybody have any experiences with Linuxulator? I’m quite curious about its performance compared to running the same binaries on Linux, and just how easy it is to use.

In search of 2.11BSD, as released

Almost all of the BSD releases have been well preserved. If you want to find 1BSD, or 2BSD or 4.3-TAHOE BSD you can find them online with little fuss. However, if you search for 2.11BSD, you’ll find it easily enough, but it won’t be the original. You’ll find either the latest patched version (2.11BSD pl 469), or one of the earlier popular version (pl 430 is popular). You can even find the RetroBSD project which used 2.11BSD as a starting point to create systems for tiny mips-based PIC controllers. You’ll find every single patch that’s been issued for the system. What you will not find, however, is the original 2.11BSD release tapes. You won’t find the original sources. With some digging, you can find is 2.11BSD pl 195. This was released about 30 months after the original was released, and is the oldest one that’s known to exist. And so starts the search for the original code.

DragonFly BSD 5.8 released

DragonFly version 5.8 brings a new dsynth utility for building your own binary dports packages, plus significant support work to speed up that build – up to and including the entire collection. Additional progress has been made on GPU and signal support. This release’s been out for a while, but I haven’t highlighted it yet, so here we go. They’re already up to 5.8.1 by now.

GhostBSD 20.04 released

I am happy to announce the availability of GhostBSD 20.04, but first thanks to all people that gave feedback and reported issues. We fixed a couple of problems that were found in 20.03. This release comes with kernel and OS updates and numerous software applications updates and many improvements like replacing gnome-mount and hald with FreeBSD devd and Vermaden automount which make auto mounting and unmounting of external device way more stable and supports more filesystems. GhostBSD is a desktop-oriented BSD based on FreBSD, running the MATE or Xfce desktop. Linux desktops really take up all the spotlights when it comes to UNIX-like operating systems for average users, and I feel like some honest competition would be a good thing. More focus on desktop-oriented BSD distributions can help.


Speaking of using BSD as a general purpose operating system: NomadBSD is a persistent 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, for educational purposes, or to test FreeBSD’s hardware compatibility. This seems like quite the polished and minimalist – yet full-featured – FreeBSD distribution to test out your hardware.

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). A virtualization API is provided in libnvmm, that allows to easily create and manage virtual machines via NVMM. It’s always nice to see the major BSD distributions gain expanded hardware and software support. It will come as no surprise to anyone that we believe that competition is always a good thing when it comes to operating systems.

DragonFlyBSD 5.0 released

DragonFlyBSD 5.0 is the first release with preliminary boot support for HAMMER2, the project's new filesystem.

Preliminary HAMMER2 support has been released into the wild as-of the 5.0 release. This support is considered EXPERIMENTAL and should generally not yet be used for production machines and important data. The boot loader will support both UFS and HAMMER2 /boot. The installer will still use a UFS /boot even for a HAMMER2 installation because the /boot partition is typically very small and HAMMER2, like HAMMER1, does not instantly free space when files are deleted or replaced.