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Episode 083: woN DSB


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Major changes coming in PCBSD 11

  • The PCBSD team has announced that version 11.0 will have some more pretty big changes (as they've been known to do lately with NTP daemons and firewalls)
  • Switching from PF to IPFW provided some benefits for VIMAGE, but the syntax was just too complicated for regular everyday users
  • To solve this, they've ported over Linux's iptables, giving users a much more straightforward configuration
  • While ZFS has served them well as the default filesystem for a while, Kris decided that Btrfs would be a better choice going forward
  • Since the FreeBSD kernel doesn't support it natively, all filesystem calls will be through FUSE from now on - performance is Good Enough
  • People often complain about PCBSD's huge ISO download, so, to save space, the default email client will be switched to mutt, and KDE will be replaced with DWM as the default window manager
  • To reconfigure it, or make any appearance changes, users just need to edit a simple C header file and recompile - easy peasy
  • As we've mentioned on the show, PCBSD has been promoting safe backup solutions for a long time with its "life preserver" utility, making it simple to manage multiple snapshots too
  • To test if people have been listening to this advice, Kris recently activated the backdoor he put in life preserver that deletes all the users' files - hope you had that stuff backed up

NetBSD and FreeBSD join forces

  • The BSD community has been running into one of the same problems Linux has lately: we just have too many different BSDs to choose from
  • What's more, none of them have any specific areas they focus on or anything like that (they're all basically the same)
  • That situation is about to improve somewhat, as FreeBSD and NetBSD have just merged codebases... say hello to FretBSD
  • Within a week, all mailing lists and webservers for the legacy NetBSD and FreeBSD projects will be terminated - the mailing list for the new combined project will be hosted from the United Nations datacenter on a Microsoft Exchange server
  • As UN monitors will be moderating the mailing lists to prevent disagreements and divisive arguments before they begin, this system is expected to be adequate for the load
  • With FretBSD, your toaster can now run ZFS, so you'll never need to worry about the bread becoming silently corrupted again

Puffy in the cloud

  • If you've ever wanted to set up a backup server, especially for family members or someone who's not as technology-savvy, you've probably realized there are a lot of options
  • This post explores the option of setting up your own Dropbox-like service with Owncloud and PostgreSQL, running atop the new OpenBSD http daemon
  • Doing it this way with your own setup, you can control all the security aspects - disk encryption, firewall rules, who can access what and from where, etc
  • He also mentions our pf tutorial being helpful in blocking script kiddies from hammering the box
  • Be sure to encourage your less-technical friends to always back up their important data

NetBSD at AsiaBSDCon

  • Some NetBSD developers have put together a report of what they did at the most recent event in Tokyo
  • It includes a wrap-up of the event, as well as a list of presentations that NetBSD developers gave
  • Have you ever wanted even more pictures of NetBSD running on lots of devices? There's a never-ending supply, apparently
  • At the BSD research booth of AsiaBSDCon, there were a large number of machines on display, and someone has finally uploaded pictures of all of them
  • There's also a video of an OMRON LUNA-II running the luna68k port

Interview - Kamila Součková - / @anotherkamila

BSD conferences, Google Summer of Code, various topics

News Roundup

FreeBSD foundation March update

  • The FreeBSD foundation has published their March update for fundraising and sponsored projects
  • In the document, you'll find information about upcoming ARMv8 enhancements, some event recaps and a Google Summer of Code status update
  • They also mention our interview with the foundation president - be sure to check it out if you haven't

Inside OpenBSD's new httpd

  • BSD news continues to dominate mainstream tech news sites… well not really, but they talk about it once in a while
  • The SD Times is featuring an article about OpenBSD's in-house HTTP server, after seeing Reyk's AsiaBSDCon presentation about it (which he's giving at BSDCan this year, too)
  • In this article, they talk about the rapid transition of webservers in the base system - apache being replaced with nginx, only to be replaced with httpd shortly thereafter
  • Since the new daemon has had almost a full release cycle to grow, new features and fixes have been pouring in
  • The post also highlights some of the security features: everything runs in a chroot with privsep by default, and it also leverages strong TLS 1.2 defaults (including Perfect Forward Secrecy)

Using poudriere without OpenSSL

  • Last week we talked about using LibreSSL in FreeBSD for all your ports
  • One of the problems that was mentioned is that some ports are configured improperly, and end up linking against the OpenSSL in the base system even when you tell them not to
  • This blog post shows how to completely strip OpenSSL out of the poudriere build jails, something that's a lot more difficult than you'd think
  • If you're a port maintainer, pay close attention to this post, and get your ports fixed to adhere to the make.conf options properly


  • Someone, presumably a Google Summer of Code student, wrote in to the lists about his HAMMER FS porting proposal
  • He outlined the entire process and estimated timetable, including what would be supported and which aspects were beyond the scope of his work (like the clustering stuff)
  • There's no word yet on if it will be accepted, but it's an interesting idea to explore, especially when you consider that HAMMER really only has one developer
  • In more disk-related news, Ken Westerback has been committing quite a lot of GPT-related fixes recently
  • Full GPT support will most likely be finished before 5.8, but anything involving HAMMER FS is still anyone's guess


Mailing List Gold

  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to - tell us what you'd like to see on future episodes
  • Just a reminder: we don't really check YouTube or anything like that, so please email us if you want your comments to be seen
  • Also, if you want to come on for an interview, or know of someone who's doing something interesting with BSD, let us know
  • We want to dedicate this week's episode to the chairman of the EuroBSDCon foundation, Paul Schenkeveld - he's been a great asset to all the BSD communities over the years, and just recently passed away (he's also the one that encouraged Kamila to do an interview with us)
  • He was especially known for his work in keeping EuroBSDCon fair and balanced to all the BSDs, something that we hope other conferences will also push for going forward
  • Check his FOSDEM talk, as well as our interview and BSDTalk's interview if you haven't seen the man before
  • Thanks for all the work you did, and rest in peace

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