Episode 381

Shell origins


December 17th, 2020

41 mins 57 secs

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About this Episode

The Origin of the Shell, Return to Plan 9, ArisbluBSD: Why a new BSD?, OPNsense 20.7.5 released, Midnight BSD 2.0 Release Status, HardenedBSD November 2020 Status Report, and more.

This episode of BSDNow is brought to you by Tarsnap


The Origin of the Shell

CTSS was developed during 1963 and 64. I was at MIT on the computer center staff at that time. After having written dozens of commands for CTSS, I reached the stage where I felt that commands should be usable as building blocks for writing more commands, just like subroutine libraries. Hence, I wrote "RUNCOM", a sort of shell driving the execution of command scripts, with argument substitution. The tool became instantly most popular, as it became possible to go home in the evening while leaving behind long runcoms executing overnight. It was quite neat for boring and repetitive tasks such as renaming, moving, updating, compiling, etc. whole directories of files for system and application maintenance and monitoring.

Return to Plan 9

Plan 9 from Bell Labs has held the same charm after my last visit that took a few days. This time I'll keep this operating system in an emulator where I can explore into it when I am distracted.

News Roundup

Why a new BSD?

This article is to explain some decisions and plans made by the ArisbluBSD team, why we are making our own thing, and what the plan is for the OS. We mainly want to talk about five things: desktop, package management, software availability, custom software, and the future of the OS. We mostly want to explain what the goal of the OS is, and how we plan to expand in the near future. Without further ado, let's explain ArisbluBSD's plan.

OPNsense 20.7.5 released

We return briefly for a small patch set and plan to pin the 20.1 upgrade path to this particular version to avoid unnecessary stepping stones. We wish you all a healthy Friday. And of course: patch responsibly!

Midnight BSD 2.0 Release Status

We identified some issues with the 2.0 ISOs slated for release with the ZFS bootloader not working.
Until this issue is resolved, we are unable to build release ISOs. We've left the old ones up as they work fine for anyone using UFS.

HardenedBSD November 2020 Status Report

We're getting close to the end of November. My wife and I have plans this weekend, so I thought I'd take the time to write November's status report today.

Beastie Bits

• [rga: ripgrep, but also search in PDFs, E-Books, Office documents, zip, tar.gz, etc.](https://phiresky.github.io/blog/2019/rga--ripgrep-for-zip-targz-docx-odt-epub-jpg/)
• [exa - A modern replacement for ls](https://the.exa.website/)
• [The myriad meanings of pwd in Unix systems](https://qmacro.org/2020/11/08/the-meaning-of-pwd-in-unix-systems/)


  • This weeks episode of BSDNow was sponsored by our friends at Tarsnap, the only secure online backup you can trust your data to. Even paranoids need backups.