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Episode 046: Network Iodometry


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EuroBSDCon 2014 registration open

  • September is getting closer, and that means it's time for EuroBSDCon - held in Bulgaria this year
  • Registration is finally open to the public, with prices for businesses ($287), individuals ($217) and students ($82) for the main conference until August 18th
  • Tutorials, sessions, dev summits and everything else all have their own pricing as well
  • Registering between August 18th - September 12th will cost more for everything
  • You can register online here and check hotels in the area
  • The FreeBSD foundation is also accepting applications for travel grants

OpenBSD SMP PF update

  • A couple weeks ago we talked about how DragonflyBSD updated their PF to be multithreaded
  • With them joining the SMP ranks along with FreeBSD, a lot of users have been asking about when OpenBSD is going to make the jump
  • In a recent mailing list thread, Henning Brauer addresses some of the concerns
  • The short version is that too many things in OpenBSD are currently single-threaded for it to matter - just reworking PF by itself would be useless
  • He also says PF on OpenBSD is over four times faster than FreeBSD's old version, presumably due to those extra years of development it's gone through
  • There's also been even more recent concern about the uncertain future of FreeBSD's PF, being mostly unmaintained since their SMP patches
  • We reached out to four developers (over week ago) about coming on the show to talk about OpenBSD network performance and SMP, but they all ignored us

Introduction to NetBSD pkgsrc

  • An article from one of our listeners about how to create a new pkgsrc port or fix one that you need
  • The post starts off with how to get the pkgsrc tree, shows how to get the developer tools and finally goes through the Makefile format
  • It also lists all the different bmake targets and their functions in relation to the porting process
  • Finally, the post details the whole process of creating a new port


  • After three RCs, FreeBSD 9.3 was scheduled to be finalized and announced today but actually came out yesterday
  • The full list of changes is available, but it's mostly a smaller maintenance release
  • Lots of driver updates, ZFS issues fixed, hardware RNGs are entirely disabled by default, netmap framework updates, read-only ext4 support was added, the vt driver was merged from -CURRENT, new hardware support (including radeon KMS), various userland tools got new features, OpenSSL and OpenSSH were updated... and much more
  • If you haven't jumped to the 10.x branch yet (and there are a lot of people who haven't!) this is a worthwhile upgrade - 9.2-RELEASE will reach EOL soon
  • Good news, this will be the first release with PGP-signed checksums on the FTP mirrors - a very welcome change
  • With that out of the way, the 10.1-RELEASE schedule was posted

Interview - Bryan Drewery - / @bdrewery

The FreeBSD package building cluster, pkgng, ports, various topics


Tunneling traffic through DNS

News Roundup

SSH two-factor authentication on FreeBSD

  • We've previously mentioned stories on how to do two-factor authentication with a Yubikey or via a third party website
  • This blog post tells you how to do exactly that, but with your Google account and the pamgoogleauthenticator port
  • Using this setup, every user that logs in with a password will have an extra requirement before they can gain access - but users with public keys can login normally
  • It's a really, really simple process once you have the port installed - full details on the page

Ditch tape backup in favor of FreeNAS

  • The author of this post shares some of his horrible experiences with tape backups for a client
  • Having constant, daily errors and failed backups, he needed to find another solution
  • With 1TB of backups, tapes just weren't a good option anymore - so he switched to FreeNAS (after also ruling out a pre-built NAS)
  • The rest of the article details his experiences with it and tells about his setup

NetBSD vs FreeBSD, desktop experiences

  • A NetBSD and pkgsrc developer details his experiences running NetBSD on a workstation at his job
  • Becoming more and more disappointed with graphics performance, he finally decides to give FreeBSD 10 a try - especially since it has a native nVidia driver
  • "Running on VAX, PlayStation 2 and Amiga is fun, but I’ll tell you a little secret: nobody cares anymore about VAX, PlayStation 2 and Amiga."
  • He's become pretty satisfied with FreeBSD, a modern choice for a 2014 desktop system

PCBSD not-so-weekly digest

  • Speaking of choices for a desktop system, it's the return of the PCBSD digest!
  • Warden and PBI_add have gotten some interesting new features
  • You can now create jails "on the fly" when adding a new PBI to your application library
  • Bulk jail creation is also possible now, and it's really easy
  • New Jenkins integration, with public access to poudriere logs as well
  • PkgNG 1.3.0.rc2 testing for EDGE users


  • All the tutorials are posted in their entirety at
  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to
  • We love hearing from listeners - tell us what you think of the show or what you'd like to see!
  • If you want to come on for an interview or have a tutorial you'd like to see, let us know
  • Congrats to the new FreeBSD core team members
  • The first (and second.. and third...) portable release of LibreSSL is available on the OpenBSD FTP sites, with a brief announcement email
  • Test it on your platform of choice, including building ports against it, and report your findings to either the LibreSSL team or the port maintainers so we can increase compatibility
  • Watch live Wednesdays at 2:00PM Eastern (18:00 UTC)

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