FreeDarwin is a project started to create a BSD-like OS based on Apple Darwin. It uses the NetBSD pkgsrc system, and hopes to replace the DarwinBuild build system with a BSD like build system for the base system, as well as replace many of the Apple and GNU userland tools with BSD userland tools. The first pre-release was released today.
BSD & Darwin Archive
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"With the release of Mac OS X for x86 processors, Apple has chosen to not release source to key components of the OS, such as the kernel and all drivers. This means Darwin/x86 is dead in the water; Darwin/ppc has many closed source components and is a deprecated architecture." Read more here.
A repository of pre-compiled binaries has been produced for Darwin/Mac OS X, using RPM as the package system, it has been made available thanks to the work of Ole Guldberg Jensen who has announced a new RPM-Based branch of DarwinPorts.
There are a lot of options in the Free UNIX market at the moment. Everyone's favorite buzzword is Linux, and Sun is in the process of releasing Solaris under a Free Software license. One family, however, receives less attention than it is due. Berkley Software Distribution (BSD) has grown into almost a complete replacement for UNIX, with numerous enhancements. David Chisnall explains why the BSD family has found its way into a large number of systems and what these systems can do for you.
"The BSD Certification Group is a non-profit organization established to create and maintain a global certification standard for system administration on BSD-based operating systems. After a year of work, the group behind the BSD Certification project plans to complete the process for the first certification (BSD Associate) in the first half of this year, with the first exam to be available by the second quarter. We interviewed Dru Lavigne, BSD advocate and creator of the initiative."
DragonFly BSD 1.4 is the third major release of Matthew Dillon's fork of the FreeBSD operating system, and significant progress has been made towards reaching many of the project's numerous goals. New in this release include a more up to date version of the GNU Compiler Collection (required due to the incread use of thread local storage in DragonFly), an import of NetBSD's Citrus code (Comprehensive I18N Framework Towards Respectable Unix Systems), major reworking of all core subsystems in preparation for removing the MP lock, rewrites of various VFS related code and many updated drivers, frameworks and contributed programs.
Possibly in fear that hackers will be able to find backdoors in the Intel Darwin version and allow OSX to run on PCs other than Macs, Apple has only posted the sources of Darwin for PPC for the latest version.
DragonFly BSD 1.4 has been released. "The two biggest user-visible changes in this release are a major revamping of libc, ctype, and wchar support, as well as changes made in the kernel which require us to bump the major rev for all of our shared libraries, and the introduction of PKGSRC to manage third party applications. DragonFly no longer supports the FreeBSD PORTS system." Get it here.
"The EuroBSDCon Conference is the largest BSD event in Europe, attracting more than 220 attendees from 27 different countries. November's 2005 conference, the fourth EuroBSDCon, took place in the University of Basel, Switzerland. Here are some highlights."
"The MirOS Project is proud to announce the immediate release of MirOS XP, consisting of MirOS BSD #8 and the MirPorts Framework. This release is the first in the MIRBSD_8 branch and still highly experimental in some parts, especially ports, but has been throughoutly tested and deemed stable." You can download this Net/OpenBSD-based operating system here. Note: Don't mention the war!
Fans of DragonFly BSD will be getting their Christmas present late this year, and plans for 1.5 have been announced. MP safe networking code, the long awaited cache coherency management system, and a port of Sun's ZFS. Read here for more. Update: Refresh, empty cache, whatever, and check the shiny new beastie icon! And there was much rejoicing. Can we now please discuss DragonFly BSD?
DarwinPorts 1.2 has been released. "The DarwinPorts Project's main goal is to provide an easy way to install various open-source software products on the Darwin OS family (OpenDarwin, Mac OS X and Darwin). There are currently about 3038 completed and usable ports, with more being added on a regular basis."
A batch of BSD news today. Firstly, here are a few impressions on DesktopBSD 1.0 RC3. "DesktopBSD is a breeze to install. Desktop uses a crisp and clean KDE desktop with an attractive theme with a standard selection of applications." Secondly, DragonFly BSD asks its users to test some drivers for wireless networking. And lastly, also concerning DragonFly BSD: "Recently spent some time getting the Mach lite kernel up and running for research on the idea can the system be made to run in production."
"Although Linux gets much of the attention in the Free and open source operating system world, the BSD operating system is also very popular. BSD has a longer history, and its roots go right back to one of the original Unix implementations that spawned commercial Unix variants like Solaris and Mac OS X. BSD is actually a popular source for server-focused operating systems and, due to an open license, it is sometimes more attractive to developers as the base for their projects. With some BSD variants, security and high-performance networking are key drivers."
The DragonFly project has been making progress of late adding features desired for their upcoming release. In addition to the ongoing work to prepare the system to run free of the MP lock, a number of smaller, but important subprojects are nearing completion.
"Overall - DesktopBSD is a pleasure to run and a breeze to install. It is an excellent choice for a new BSD user, a not terribly sophisticated computer user, or an old salt who just wants a good, solid, reliable desktop that won't take days to install and weeks to configure and just wants to get on with it."
"Darwin is the Unix-derived core that provides the underlying foundation for Mac OS X. At Darwin's heart is the XNU kernel; a Mach 3.0-based microkernel that has been modified to include portions of FreeBSD for performance reasons. Let's take a trip down into the core of OS X to learn more about the foundation that gives us one of the best user experiences in computing."
"If you have used disk drives during your career, I am sure you are well aware of the issues that arise when a device unexpectedly dies. This short article describes how to use smartmontools to view S.M.A.R.T status information, which can be used to predict if and when a device may fail."
The BSD Certification Group are running a new survey: the BSD Usage Survey. This survey aims to collect detailed statistics on how and where BSD systems are used around the world. The survey is short - only 19 questions - and should only take a few minutes to complete.