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Episode 094: Builder's Insurance

2015-06-17

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BSDCan 2015 videos


Documenting my BSD experience

  • Increasingly common scenario: a long-time Linux user (since the mid-90s) decides it's finally time to give BSD a try
  • "That night I came home, I had been trying to find out everything I could about BSD and I watched many videos, read forums, etc. One of the shows I found was BSD Now. I saw that they helped people and answered questions, so I decided to write in."
  • In this ongoing series of blog posts, a user named Michael writes about his initial experiences with trying different BSDs for some different tasks
  • The first post covers ZFS on FreeBSD, used to build a file server for his house (and of course he lists the hardware, if you're into that)
  • You get a glimpse of a brand new user trying things out, learning how great ZFS-based RAID arrays are and even some of the initial hurdles someone could run into
  • He's also looking to venture into the realm of replacing some of his VMs with jails and bhyve soon
  • His second post explores replacing the firewall on his self-described "over complicated home network" with an OpenBSD box
  • After going from ipfwadmin to ipchains to iptables, not even making it to nftables, he found the simple PF syntax to be really refreshing
  • All the tools for his networking needs, the majority of which are in the base system, worked quickly and were easy to understand
  • Getting to hear experiences like this are very important - they show areas where all the BSD developers' hard work has paid off, but can also let us know where we need to improve

PC-BSD tries HardenedBSD builds

  • The PC-BSD team has created a new branch of their git repo with the HardenedBSD ASLR patches integrated
  • They're not the first major FreeBSD-based project to offer an alternate build - OPNsense did that a few weeks ago - but this might open the door for more projects to give it a try as well
  • With Personacrypt, OpenNTPD, LibreSSL and recent Tor integration through the tools, these additional memory protections will offer PC-BSD users even more security that a default FreeBSD install won't have
  • Time will tell if more projects and products like FreeNAS might be interested too

C-states in OpenBSD

  • People who run BSD on their notebooks, you'll want to pay attention to this one
  • OpenBSD has recently committed some ACPI improvements for deep C-states, enabling the processor to enter a low-power mode
  • According to a few users so far, the change has resulted in dramatically lower CPU temperatures on their laptops, as well as much better battery life
  • If you're running OpenBSD -current on a laptop, try out the latest snapshot and report back with your findings

NetBSD at Open Source Conference 2015 Hokkaido

  • The Japanese NetBSD users group never sleeps, and they've hit yet another open source conference
  • As is usually the case, lots of strange machines on display were running none other than NetBSD (though it was mostly ARM this time)
  • We'll be having one of these guys on the show next week to discuss some of the lesser-known NetBSD platforms

Interview - Marc Espie - espie@openbsd.org / @espie_openbsd

Recent improvements to OpenBSD's dpb tool


News Roundup

Introducing xhyve, bhyve on OS X

  • We've talked about FreeBSD's "bhyve" hypervisor a lot on the show, and now it's been ported to another OS
  • As the name "xhyve" might imply, it's a port of bhyve to Mac OS X
  • Currently it only has support for virtualizing a few Linux distributions, but more guest systems can be added in the future
  • It runs entirely in userspace, and has no extra requirements beyond OS X 10.10 or newer
  • There are also a few examples on how to use it

4K displays on DragonFlyBSD

  • If you've been using DragonFly as a desktop, maybe with those nice Broadwell graphics, you'll be pleased to know that 4K displays work just fine
  • Matthew Dillon wrote up a wiki page about some of the specifics, including a couple gotchas
  • Some GUI applications might look weird on such a huge resolution,
  • HDMI ports are mostly limited to a 30Hz refresh rate, and there are slightly steeper hardware requirements for a smooth experience

Sandboxing port daemons on OpenBSD

  • We talked about different containment methods last week, and mentioned that a lot of the daemons in OpenBSD's base as chrooted by default - things from ports or packages don't always get the same treatment
  • This blog post uses a mumble server as an example, but you can apply it to any service from ports that doesn't chroot by default
  • It goes through the process of manually building a sandbox with all the libraries you'll need to run the daemon, and this setup will even wipe and refresh the chroot every time you restart it
  • With a few small changes, similar tricks could be done on the other BSDs as well - everybody has chroots

SmallWall 1.8.2 released

  • SmallWall is a relatively new BSD-based project that we've never covered before
  • It's an attempt to keep the old m0n0wall codebase going, and appears to have started around the time m0n0wall called it quits
  • They've just released the first official version, so you can give it a try now
  • If you're interested in learning more about SmallWall, the lead developer just might be on the show in a few weeks...

Feedback/Questions


  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to feedback@bsdnow.tv

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