FreeBSD Archive

ZFS on FreeBSD based on ZFS On Linux can now be tested with TrueOS

It was recently decided that FreeBSD’s ZFS file-system support would be re-based atop ZFS On Linux. That new “ZFS On BSD” implementation based on ZOL continues moving along and it’s now easier to test thanks to iX Systems and their TrueOS platform. With the ZFS On Linux code-base being more actively maintained and improved upon than the OpenZFS support within the Illumos kernel, FreeBSD developers are working on merging their “ZOB” changes with ZOL.  Interesting to see that the Linux implementation sees more active development than the original one – although not entirely surprising.

FreeBSD desktop: pause any application

After using UNIX for so many years I knew that I could freeze (or pause) any process in the system with kill -17 (SIGSTOP) signal and then unfreeze it with with kill -19 (SIGCONT) signal as I described in the Process Management section of the Ghost in the Shell - Part 2 article. Doing it that way for the desktop applications is PITA to say the least. Can you imagine opening xterm terminal and searching for all Chromium or Firefox processes and then freezing them one by one every time you need it? Me neither.

Fortunately with introduction of so called X11 helper utilities - like xdotool(1) - it is now possible to implement it in more usable manner.

Today I will show you how to freeze any X11 application with single keyboard shortcut or mouse gesture if you utilize them in any way with small simple script.

Handy little trick. The entire series of articles by the same author about FreeBSD on the desktop are interesting and informative reads.

Today is FreeBSD Day

We're pleased to announce that June 19 has been declared FreeBSD Day. Join us in honoring The FreeBSD Project's pioneering legacy and continuing impact on technology.

Why today? Well, 25 years ago to the day, the name FreeBSD was chosen as the name for the project. FreeBSD formed the base of all kinds of operating systems we use every day today - like macOS and iOS and the operating systems on the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 3, 4, and Vita - and FreeBSD code can be found in the unlikeliest of places, such as Haiku, which uses FreeBSD network drivers, and even Windows, which, although information is sparse, seemed to at one point use FreeBSD code for command-line networking utilities like ftp, nslookup, rcp, and rsh.

FreeBSD quarterly status report Q2 2017

Much of the development work done this quarter was not particularly visible, especially the effort needed to ensure the upcoming 11.1 release has as few regressions as possible. Planning is also well under way for the 10.4 maintenance release which will quickly follow it.

Further work focused on moving the arm architectures' support closer to tier-1 status and improving documentation. In addition, large changes were made to the src and ports trees.

FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE released

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE. This is the first release of the stable/11 branch.

Some of the highlights:

  • OpenSSH DSA key generation has been disabled by default. It is important to update OpenSSH keys prior to upgrading. Additionally, Protocol 1 support has been removed.
  • OpenSSH has been updated to 7.2p2.
  • Wireless support for 802.11n has been added.
  • By default, the ifconfig(8) utility will set the default regulatory domain to FCC on wireless interfaces. As a result, newly created wireless interfaces with default settings will have less chance to violate country-specific regulations.
  • The svnlite(1) utility has been updated to version 1.9.4.
  • The libblacklist(3) library and applications have been ported from the NetBSD Project.
  • Support for the AArch64 (arm64) architecture has been added.
  • Native graphics support has been added to the bhyve(8) hypervisor.
  • Broader wireless network driver support has been added.

The release notes provide the in-depth look at the new release, and you can get it from the download page.

New FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report published

The latest FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report is out.

Efforts to bring our BSD high standards to new architectures continue, with impressive work on arm64 leading to its promotion to Tier-2 status and a flurry of work bringing up the new RISC-V hardware architecture. Software architecture is also under active development, including system startup and service management. A handful of potential init system replacements are mentioned in this report: launchd, relaunchd, and nosh. Architectural changes originating both from academic research (multipath TCP) and from the realities of industry (sendfile(2) improvements) are also under way. It is heartening to see how FreeBSD provides a welcoming platform for contributions from both research and industry.

Everything you need to know to be up to date with FreeBSD.

From OS X to FreeBSD: a return to form

I am less frustrated, and more focused working on this setup. A big chunk of that is even outside the constant popups in OS X, there's simply less to be distracted by.

I've gone so far as to have to literally switch a cable to move between machines (as opposed to a KVM), to help me train my brain into a different context.

Overall I'm quite happy with the choices I made here.

A nice write-up from someone switching from OS X to FreeBSD, and everything that entails.

A comparative introduction to FreeBSD for Linux users

This series will show you how to get started with a FreeBSD cloud server. The first article will explain some of the differences between Linux and FreeBSD. The tutorials that follow cover the basics of FreeBSD security, maintenance, and software installation. If you are new to FreeBSD, this series will help you get up and running quickly.

I'm sure many die-hard FreeBSD users will find this series of article pointless, but I think it's an interesting and useful introduction to the platform.

FreeNAS 9.3 released

The FreeNAS project, a network attached storage solution based on FreeBSD, has launched FreeNAS 9.3. The new version introduces some significant changes, including the ability to roll back software updates and a new, streamlined interface.

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.

The release notes for FreeNAS 9.3 contain more details and instructions for upgrading from previous releases.

FreeBSD improves arm64 support

The FreeBSD Foundation published a report yesterday on the status of FreeBSD running on 64-bit ARM processors. Work to port FreeBSD to the 64-bit ARM architecture has been progressing quickly and it is now possible to boot a FreeBSD installation into single user mode on the young architecture.

The kernel bring-up portion of the project is nearing completion; FreeBSD/arm64 boots to single-user mode on ARM's reference simulator. Work is underway on the remaining kernel drivers, and on userland support. This project's overall goal is to bring FreeBSD/arm64 to a Tier-1 status, including release media and prebuilt package sets. More information about the arm64 port can be found on the FreeBSD wiki.

FreeBSD 10.1 released

The latest version of FreeBSD has been released. The new version, 10.1, is a incremental update to the 10.x series and mostly focuses on minor updates, bug fixes and performance improvements. A few of the more interesting new features listed in the release announcement include support for booting from UEFI, the ability to utilitize SMP on multicore ARM processors, ZFS performance enhancements and the ability to automatically generate host keys for OpenSSH if keys have not already been created.

The new version of FreeBSD is an extended support release and will receive security updates through to the end of December 2016. Further details on the FreeBSD 10.1 release, along with instructions for upgrading from previous releases, are available in the project's release notes. Installation images can be downloaded from the project's mirrors.

FreeBSD quarterly status report

The first quarter of 2014 was, again, a hectic and productive time for FreeBSD. The Ports team released their landmark first quarterly stable branch. FreeBSD continues to grow on the ARM architecture, now running on an ARM-based ChromeBook. SMP is now possible on multi-core ARM systems. bhyve, the native FreeBSD hypervisor, continues to improve. An integral test suite is taking shape, and the Jenkins Continuous Integration system has been implemented. FreeBSD patches to GCC are being forward-ported, and LLDB, the Clang/LLVM debugger is being ported. Desktop use has also seen improvements, with work on Gnome, KDE, Xfce, KMS video drivers,, and vt, the new console driver which supports KMS and Unicode. Linux and Wine binary compatibility layers have been improved. UEFI booting support has been merged to head.

I always love how to-the-point the various BSDs are. Please, never change.

The BSD family, pt. 1: FreeBSD 9.1

I've been a big fan of FreeBSD since I first acquired 4.4 on 4 CDs. By that point, I had already spent a lot of time in Linux, but I was always put off by its instability and inconsistency. Once I had FreeBSD installed, it felt like a dream. Everything worked the way it was supposed to, and the consistency of its design meant even older documentation would be mostly applicable without having to figure out how my system was different. There is a reason why in the early days of the Internet, a huge portion of servers ran FreeBSD.

But, that was a while ago. Since then, Linux has matured greatly and has garnered a lot of momentum, becoming the dominant Unix platform. FreeBSD certainly hasn't stood still, however. The FreeBSD team has kept current with hardware support, new features, and a modern, performant design.

FreeBSD 10’s new technologies and features

There has been a lot of maturing technologies in FreeBSD 10, with many new features which make this release, I think, the most exciting one in years. A lot of development has gone into virtualisation support. Virtualisation with FreeBSD Jails has been available for a long time, but not so much "full virtualisation".

Let's have a look at the some of the most talked about, most requested and most interesting features that have found their way into or are planned for 10.0, but may not make the deadline.

FreeBSD 8.4 released

FreeBSD 8.4 has been released. "The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE. This is the fifth release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.3 and introduces some new features. Some of the highlights: Gnome version 2.32.1, KDE version 4.10.1; feature flags 5000 version of the ZFS filesystem; support for all shipping LSI storage controllers." The full release notes detail all the changes since 8.3.