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Episode 054: Luminary Environment


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Portscout ported to OpenBSD

  • Portscout is a popular utility used in the FreeBSD ports infrastructure
  • It lets port maintainers know when there's a new version of the upstream software available by automatically checking the distfile mirror
  • Now OpenBSD porters can enjoy the same convenience, as it's been ported over
  • You can view the status online to see how it works and who maintains what
  • The developer who ported it is working to get all the current features working on OpenBSD, and added a few new features as well
  • He decided to fork and rename it a few days later

Sysadmins and systemd refugees flocking to BSD

  • With all the drama in Linux land about the rapid changes to their init system, a lot of people are looking at BSD alternatives
  • This "you got your Windows in my Linux" article (and accompanying comments) give a nice glimpse into the minds of some of those switchers
  • Both server administrators and regular everyday users are switching away from Linux, as more and more distros give them no choice but to use systemd
  • Fortunately, the BSD communities are usually very welcoming of switchers - it's pretty nice on this side!

OpenBSD's versioning schemes

  • Ted Unangst explains the various versioning systems within OpenBSD, from the base to libraries to other included software
  • In contrast to FreeBSD's release cycle, OpenBSD isn't as concerned with breaking backwards compatibility (but only if it's needed to make progress)
  • This allows them to innovate and introduce new features a lot more easily, and get those features in a stable release that everyone uses
  • He also details the difference between branches, their errata system and lack of "patch levels" for security
  • Some other things in OpenBSD don't have version numbers at all, like tmux
  • "Every release adds some new features, fixes some old bugs, probably adds a new bug or two, and, if I have anything to say about it, removes some old features."

VAXstation 4000 Model 90 booting NetBSD

  • We found a video of NetBSD booting on a 22 year old VAX workstation, circa 1992
  • This system has a monstrous 71 MHz CPU and 128MB of ECC RAM
  • It continues in part two, where we learn that it would've cost around $25,000 when it was released!
  • The uploader talks about his experiences getting NetBSD on it, what does and doesn't work, etc
  • It's interesting to see that such old hardware isn't necessarily obsolete just because newer things have come out since then (but maybe don't try to build world on it...)

Interview - Ken Moore -

The Lumina desktop environment

Special segment

Lumina walkthrough

News Roundup

Suricata for IDS on pfSense

  • While most people are familiar with Snort as an intrusion detection system, Suricata is another choice
  • This guide goes through the steps of installing and configuring it on a public-facing pfSense box
  • Part two details some of the configuration steps
  • One other cool thing about Suricata - it's compatible with Snort rules, so you can use the same updates
  • There's also another recent post about snort as well, if that's more your style
  • If you run pfSense (or any BSD) as an edge router for a lot of users, this might be worth looking into

OpenBSD's systemd API emulation project

  • This story was pretty popular in the mainstream news this week
  • For the Google Summer of Code, a student is writing emulation wrappers for some of systemd's functions
  • There was consideration from some Linux users to port over the finished emulation back to Linux, so they wouldn't have to run the full systemd
  • One particularly interesting Slashdot comment snippet: "We are currently migrating a large number (much larger than planned after initial results) of systems from RHEL to BSD - a decision taken due to general unhappiness with RHEL6, but SystemD pushed us towards BSD rather than another Linux distro - and in some cases are seeing throughput gains of greater than 10% on what should be equivalent Linux and BSD server builds. The re-learning curve wasn't as steep as we expected, general system stability seems to be better too, and BSD's security reputation goes without saying."
  • It will NOT be in the base system - only in ports, and only installed as a dependency for things like newer GNOME that require such APIs
  • In the long run, BSD will still be safe from systemd's reign of terror, but will hopefully still be compatible with some third party packages like GNOME that insist on using it

GhostBSD 4 previewed

  • The GhostBSD project is moving along, slowly getting closer to the 4 release
  • This article shows some of the progress made, and includes lots of screenshots and interesting graphical frontends
  • If you're not too familiar with GhostBSD, we interviewed the lead developer a little while back

NetBSD on the Banana Pi

  • The Banana Pi is a tasty alternative to the Raspberry Pi, with similar hardware specs
  • In this blog post, a NetBSD developer details his experiences in getting NetBSD to run on it
  • After studying how the prebuilt Linux image booted, he made some notes and started hacking
  • Ethernet, one of the few things not working, is being looked into and he's hoping to get it fully supported for the upcoming NetBSD 7.0
  • They're only about $65 as of the time we're recording this, so it might be a fun project to try


  • All the tutorials are posted in their entirety at
  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to
  • Lumina was committed to ports just last week, so you can go try it out on vanilla FreeBSD now as well (or on PCBSD 10.0.3)
  • There's a new OS conference being held on November 25th in London, and they're looking for people who want to give BSD presentations (it's run by a NetBSD developer)
  • This year's Hackfest 2014, to be held November 7th and 8th in Quebec, will feature a presentation by Theo de Raadt, so mark your calendar and get out there if you're in the area
  • Watch live Wednesdays at 2:00PM Eastern (18:00 UTC)

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