"Last year the Italian FreeBSD user group, GUFI, rekindled the FreeSBIE project to develop a live CD based on the FreeBSD operating system. After more than four months of development, and an equal number of beta releases, the project released FreesBIE 2.0 this month. Codenamed Clint Eastwood, the live CD is based on the recent FreeBSD 6.2 release, and is an ideal platform to experience BSD and learn how things are done in BSD land."
BSD & Darwin Archive
FreeSBIE 2.0-RELEASE has been released. "FreeSBIE 2.0-RELEASE (codename Clint Eastwood) is based on the fresh FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE, both in terms of sources and of packages. It contains more than 450 pieces and 1,3 gigabytes of software, all in a single CD-ROM of 668 megabytes."
"Flameeyes (a Gentoo/FreeBSD developer) recently came up with some serious problems among the various *BSD projects who use BSD-4 licensed code (which is all of them). Even other projects like Open Darwin may be affected. The saga started when he discovered the license problems with libkvm and start-stop-daemon. "libkvm is a userspace interface to FreeBSD kernel, and it's licensed under the original BSD license, BSD-4 if you want, the one with the nasty advertising clause." start-stop-daemon links to libkvm, but it's licensed under the GPL which is incompatible with the advertising clause. The good news is that the University of California/Berkley has given people permission to drop the advertising clause. The bad news is that libkvm has code from many other sources and each of them needs to give their permission for the license to be changed. At the moment, development on the Gentoo/FreeBSD is on hold and the downloads have been removed from the Gentoo mirrors."
After much hard work, the PC-BSD team is pleased to announce that version 1.3 BETA2 is now available for download. This version adds support for installing in languages other than English, and addresses many numerous bugs found in BETA1. 1.3 BETA2 can be downloaded from the beta download page. You will also need to download 1.3 CD2 if you wish to install in languages other than English. Please report any and all unreported bugs on the BugsDB or the forums.
Posted to the Apple Darwin-kernel mailing list today by Todd Miller: "SEDarwin is a port of the TrustedBSD Mandatory Access Control Framework to Apple's Darwin operating system platform, along with a Type Enforcement policy based on SELinux. SEDarwin is still experimental, but currently allows the enforcement of mandatory process and file protections under Darwin 8.7 (Mac OS X 10.4.7) on Apple PowerPC hardware."
DesktopBSD is a version of FreeBSD customized for the desktop. Building upon FreeBSD 5.5-PRE, ver1.0 comes packed with desktop-oriented features such as KDE 3.5.1 and the DesktopBSD Tools, which include a graphical interface to the FreeBSD ports system. Read the rest here.
Marc G. Fournier has launched a new project with the intention to show hardware vendors that there in fact are a lot of BSD users out there. "We are trying to demonstrate to hardware and software vendors out there that BSD should be viewed as a serious operating system, not just as a hobbyist system, for support (i.e. hardware drivers) purposes."
"Sysjail is a userland virtualisation system for OSs supporting the systrace library. It runs on OpenBSD, NetBSD and MirOS. The first generation of sysjail is as close to a drop-in replacement for FreeBSD's jail subsystem as reasonably possible. While sysjail currently behaves as a NetBSD/OpenBSD/MirOS implementation of jail, it also provides additonal auditing and resource-limiting utilities."
The OpenDarwin project is shutting down. "Over the past few years, OpenDarwin has become a mere hosting facility for Mac OS X related projects. The original notions of developing the Mac OS X and Darwin sources has not panned out. Availability of sources, interaction with Apple representatives, difficulty building and tracking sources, and a lack of interest from the community have all contributed to this. Administering a system to host other people's projects is not what the remaining OpenDarwin contributors had signed up for and have been doing this thankless task far longer than they expected. It is time for OpenDarwin to go dark."
DragonFly BSD 1.6.0 has been released, and it includes a whole load of bigfixes and improvements. 1.6.0 Is the fourth
bug-fix sub-release in the 1.6 release branch major DragonFly release. "DragonFly is an operating system and environment originally based on FreeBSD. DragonFly branched from FreeBSD in 2003 in order to develop a radically different approach to concurrency, SMP, and most other kernel subsystems."
Dru Lavigne explains the basics of DesktopBSD. "DesktopBSD provides many features that will allow a complete Unix novice to start using the operating system immediately." She concludes: "If you have been hesitant to try FreeBSD because you heard the install was difficult or were afraid you would have problems configuring the GUI or sound or networking, now is a great time to take the plunge. Both PC-BSD and DesktopBSD provide you with a fully configured, ready to use system so you can be up and running in under half an hour."
Darbat, the L4/Darwin port, has just had its second public release. Darbat Release 0.2 boots natively on Apple Intel EFI hardware and offers binary compatibility with Intel OS X applications and IOKit device drivers. Simple Darbat system call performance is comparable with that of Mac OS X 10.4.6. You can download the source or a binary distribution to boot a simple demo on hardware. The release notes contain an overview of the Darbat design and implementation.
"GNU/Linux live CDs are increasingly playing an important role in the free software community. They serve as advocacy tools, they make it possible for newbies to try out software without having to install anything and they make fantastic rescue disks. While all the best known live CDs are GNU/Linux variants, there are also several *BSD live CDs out there. I decided to give them a test run."
Frenzy LiveCD 1.0, based on FreeBSD 6.1, has been released. This is a 'system administrator's portable instrument'; a LiveCD based on FreeBSD, which allows the administrator to boot from it and get a fully functional system with a wide variety of software for tuning, testing, and analyzing the network, testing computer hardware, and much more. Frenzy contains its own configuration center, can be installed on a hard drive as a fully functional operating system (USB Flash install is also supported).
GNU-Darwin has gotten support for AMD's Opteron processors. "Mac OS X users are welcome to give free software a try now. I finally got a chance to try GNU-Darwin-1.1 on an Opteron machine with Darwin-7.2. Testing with glxgears confirms that the MesaGL is performing about twice as fast as on a comparable 32-bit CPU, although some other tasks are clearly not yet optimized. The machines are otherwise roughly identical. Here is a screenshot."
Whichever BSD you use, the basics of package management are similar. Each member of the BSD family has a slightly different approach in this area, but all share common themes, as David Chisnall discusses in this article.
Gentoo/FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system developed by Gentoo Linux developers in order to bring Gentoo Linux design principles such as Portage to the FreeBSD operating system. Gentoo/FreeBSD is part of the larger Gentoo/BSD project. Read the interview here.
"We present several ways of installing BSD on the IBM Netvista S40, a so-called legacy free computer. Difficulties arise because the machine has no standard AT keyboard controller, and the subroutines controlling gate A20 and the keyboard create inappropriate results. We discuss replacement bootstrap code, which more carefully deals with the A20 issue. Some simple modifications to the FreeBSD kernel code are considered too. A manual method for preparing a bootable installation CD, suitable for both Netvista and all standard configurations, is examined. Installations of DragonFly, NetBSD, OpenBSD and OS/2 are also discussed."
"The L4/Darwin project is an experimental port of Darwin to the L4 microkernel to study the characteristics of a large-scale microkernel-based system. It includes a port of IOKit to L4, a modified libc to communicate with the Darbat Server, and of course XNU with many of the machine-dependent parts heavily modified (pmap, thread/task creation, etc.) but much left unchanged (most of BSD, and large parts of OSFMK work without modification)."
The DesktopBSD team has released their most important release to date-- DesktopBSD 1.0 is now available via .torrent or as a 'normal' download. The release includes KDE 3.5.1, FreeBSD 5.5-PRERELEASE, a user-friendlier package manager, and many more smaller improvements, which are detailed in the changelog and the release notes.