Skip to main content.

Episode 072: Common *Sense Approach

2015-01-14

Direct Download:

Video | HD Video | MP3 Audio | OGG Audio | Torrent

This episode was brought to you by

iXsystems - Enterprise servers and storage for open sourceTarsnap - online backups for the truly paranoid


Headlines

Be your own VPN provider with OpenBSD

  • We've covered how to build a BSD-based gateway that tunnels all your traffic through a VPN in the past - but what if you don't trust any VPN company?
  • It's easy for anyone to say "of course we don't run a modified version of OpenVPN that logs all your traffic... what are you talking about?"
  • The VPN provider might also be slow to apply security patches, putting you and the rest of the users at risk
  • With this guide, you'll be able to cut out the middleman and create your own VPN, using OpenBSD
  • It covers topics such as protecting your server, securing DNS lookups, configuring the firewall properly, general security practices and of course actually setting up the VPN

FreeBSD vs Gentoo comparison

  • People coming over from Linux will sometimes compare FreeBSD to Gentoo, mostly because of the ports-like portage system for installing software
  • This article takes that notion and goes much more in-depth, with lots more comparisons between the two systems
  • The author mentions that the installers are very different, ports and portage have many subtle differences and a few other things
  • If you're a curious Gentoo user considering FreeBSD, this might be a good article to check out to learn a bit more

Kernel W^X in OpenBSD

  • W^X, "Write XOR Execute," is a security feature of OpenBSD with a rather strange-looking name
  • It's meant to be an exploit mitigation technique, disallowing pages in the address space of a process to be both writable and executable at the same time
  • This helps prevent some types of buffer overflows: code injected into it won't execute, but will crash the program (quite obviously the lesser of the two evils)
  • Through some recent work, OpenBSD's kernel now has no part of the address space without this feature - whereas it was only enabled in the userland previously
  • Doing this incorrectly in the kernel could lead to far worse consequences, and is a lot harder to debug, so this is a pretty huge accomplishment that's been in the works for a while
  • More technical details can be found in some recent CVS commits

Building an IPFW-based router

  • We've covered building routers with PF many times before, but what about IPFW?
  • A certain host of a certain podcast decided it was finally time to replace his disappointing consumer router with something BSD-based
  • In this blog post, Kris details his experience building and configuring a new router for his home, using IPFW as the firewall
  • He covers in-kernel NAT and NATD, installing a DHCP server from packages and even touches on NAT reflection a bit
  • If you're an IPFW fan and are thinking about putting together a new router, give this post a read

Interview - Jos Schellevis - project@opnsense.org / @opnsense

The birth of OPNsense


News Roundup

On profiling HTTP

  • Adrian Chadd, who we've had on the show before, has been doing some more ultra-high performance testing
  • Faced with the problem of how to generate a massive amount of HTTP traffic, he looked into the current state of benchmarking tools
  • According to him, it's "not very pretty"
  • He decided to work on a new tool to benchmark huge amounts of web traffic, and the rest of this post describes the whole process
  • You can check out his new code on Github right now

Using divert(4) to reduce attacks

  • We talked about using divert(4) with PF last week, and this post is a good follow-up to that introduction (though unrelated to that series)
  • It talks about how you can use divert, combined with some blacklists, to reduce attacks on whatever public services you're running
  • PF has good built-in rate limiting for abusive IPs that hit rapidly, but when they attack slowly over a longer period of time, that won't work
  • The Composite Blocking List is a public DNS blocklist, operated alongside Spamhaus, that contains many IPs known to be malicious
  • Consider setting this up to reduce the attack spam in your logs if you run public services

ChaCha20 patchset for GELI

  • A user has posted a patch to the freebsd-hackers list that adds ChaCha support to GELI, the disk encryption system
  • There are also some benchmarks that look pretty good in terms of performance
  • Currently, GELI defaults to AES in XTS mode with a few tweakable options (but also supports Blowfish, Camellia and Triple DES)
  • There's some discussion going on about whether a stream cipher is suitable or not for disk encryption though, so this might not be a match made in heaven just yet

PCBSD update system enhancements

  • The PCBSD update utility has gotten an update itself, now supporting automatic upgrades
  • You can choose what parts of your system you want to let it automatically handle (packages, security updates)
  • The update system uses ZFS and Boot Environments for safe updating and bypasses some dubious pkgng functionality
  • There's also a new graphical frontend available for it

Feedback/Questions


Mailing List Gold


  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to feedback@bsdnow.tv
  • Watch live Wednesdays at 2:00PM Eastern (19:00 UTC)

Latest News

New announcement

2017-05-25

Hi, Mr. Dexter...

Two Year Anniversary

2015-08-08

We're quickly approaching our two-year anniversary, which will be on episode 105. To celebrate, we've created a unique t-shirt design, available for purchase until the end of August. Shirts will be shipped out around September 1st. Most of the proceeds will support the show, and specifically allow us to buy...

New discussion segment

2015-01-17

We're thinking about adding a new segment to the show where we discuss a topic that the listeners suggest. It's meant to be informative like a tutorial, but more of a "free discussion" format. If you have any subjects you want us to explore, or even just a good name...

How did you get into BSD?

2014-11-26

We've got a fun idea for the holidays this year: just like we ask during the interviews, we want to hear how all the viewers and listeners first got into BSD. Email us your story, either written or a video version, and we'll read and play some of them for...


Episode 207: Bridge over the river Cam

2017-08-16

Direct Download:HD VideoMP3 AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines BSDCam recap The 2017 Cambridge DevSummit took place from 2-4 August 2017. The event took place over three days including a formal dinner at St John's College, and was attended by 55 registered developers and guests. Prior to the start of...

Episode 206: To hier is UNIX

2017-08-09

HD VideoMP3 AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines Lumina Desktop v1.3 released Notable Changes: New Utility: lumina-mediaplayer. Lumina Media Player is a graphic interface for the Qt QMediaPlayer Class, with Pandora internet radio streaming integration. Lumina Media Player supports many audio formats, including .ogg, .mp3, .mp4, .flac, and .wmv. It is also...

Episode 205: FreeBSD Turning it up to 11.1

2017-08-02

Direct Download:HD VideoMP3 AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE FreeBSD 11.1 was released on July 26th You can download it as an ISO or USB image, a prebuilt VM Image (vmdk, vhd, qcow2, or raw), and it is available as a cloud image (Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine,...

Episode 204: WWF - Wayland, Weston, and FreeBSD

2017-07-26

Direct Download:HD VideoMP3 AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines Matt Ahrens answers questions about the “Scrub of Death” In working on the breakdown of that ZFS article last week, Matt Ahrens contacted me and provided some answers he has given to questions in the past, allowing me to answer them using...