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BSD

GhostBSD: A Solid Linux-Like Open Source Alternative

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Reviews
BSD

Overall, aside from the system tools and the installation process, I did not see much not to like in running this BSD operating system. I experienced some annoyance when things failed to work just right, but I felt no frustrations that led me to give up on trying to use GhostBSD or find solutions to mishaps. I could provide a litany of Linux distros that did not measure up that well.

Some lingering problems for which I am still seeking workarounds are why my USB storage drives intermittently are not recognized and fail to mount. Another issue is why some of the preinstalled applications do not fully load. They either do not respond to launching at all, or crash before fully displaying anything beyond a white application window.

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Review: First impressions of Project Trident 18.12

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Reviews
BSD

I have a lot of mixed feelings and impressions when it comes to Trident. On the one hand, the operating system has some great technology under the hook. It has cutting edge packages from the FreeBSD ecosystem, we have easy access to ZFS, boot environments, and lots of open source packages. Hardware support, at least on my physical workstation, was solid and the Lumina desktop is flexible.

However, there were a lot of problems I ran into during this trial. Some of them are matters of taste or style. The installer looks unusually crude, for example, and the mixed icon styles weren't appealing. Similarly, switching themes made some icons in toolbars disappear. These are not functional issues, just presentation ones. There were some functional problems too though. For example, needing to close and re-open AppCafe to see available packages, or the desktop not resizing when running Trident in a virtual machine, which required that I change the display settings at each login.

Lumina has come a long way and is highly flexible and I like the available alternative widgets for desktop elements. This is useful because Lumina's weakest link on Trident seems to be its defaults as I had some trouble with the "Start" application menu and I think some work to polish the initial impression would be helpful.

The biggest issues though were with security. Trident ships with some extra security features in place, but most of them can be easily bypassed by any user by simply opening the Control Panel to view or kill processes or even add or remove packages. Some systems intentionally give the user full access by running everything as root, but in those cases at least the administrator knows they have complete access. This situation seems worse since Trident gives the illusion of security and limited access, but any curious user can run administrator tools. I think the project needs time to mature before I would recommend using it.

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ZFS and FreeBSD

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BSD
  • ZFS Boot Environments Are Helping To Improve The Resilience Of FreeBSD Upgrades

    Besides the ZFS file-system just being a heck of a lot better all-around than FreeBSD's traditional UFS, tooling around ZFS paired with its native snapshot capabilities is allowing for more resilient installations and upgrades of FreeBSD.

    FreeBSD developer Allan Jude talked at last weekend's FOSDEM conference about "magic upgrades" in making FreeBSD system upgrades atomic, safe, and fast by leveraging ZFS Boot Environments.

  • FOSDEM 2019 | BSD Now 284

    We recap FOSDEM 2019, FreeBSD Foundation January update, OPNsense 19.1 released, the hardware-assisted virtualization challenge, ZFS and GPL terror, ClonOS 19.01-RELEASE, and more.

MidnightBSD 1.1

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BSD

I’m happy to announce the availability of MidnightBSD 1.1 for amd64 and i386. This is a minor release to fix a few hardware and security issues that have come up since the 1.0 release. It is strongly recommended that you upgrade, particularly if you have newer Intel hardware.

This release also includes a new version of OpenSSL. This is a move from 1.0.1 to 1.0.2p in base. Many mports are built with a package and will likely not be affected. It is still recommended that you rebuild any mports using SSL or update the packages as appropriate.

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Also: Desktop-Friendly MidnightBSD 1.1 Released

NetBSD 9.0 Will Have Performance & Security Improvements

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BSD

The recently releases of FreeBSD 12.0 and DragonFlyBSD 5.4 have been exciting in the BSD space while moving forward there is the NetBSD 9.0 release a ways out on the horizon.

NetBSD 9.0 has yet to be branched, but it was talked about this weekend at FOSDEM 2019 by developer Benny Siegert. Enhancing the security of NetBSD 9.0 is now kernel ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization), a kernel leak detector, Kernel Address Space Address Sanitizer (KASAN), Kernel Undefined Behavior Sanitizer (KUBSAN), user-space sanitizers, and other security work.

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Review: FreeNAS 11.2

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BSD

In my opinion, FreeNAS is probably one of the easier NAS solutions to set up and it has probably the nicest web-based interface I have used. The web portal looks nice, I think it is well organized and there are a huge number of features. Further, FreeNAS offers good documentation and is fairly light on resources. The base system is smaller than 1GB on the disk and typically uses less than 1GB of RAM.

I also like the support for ZFS, an advanced file system well known for its reliability, snapshots and ability to handle vast amounts of data. FreeNAS makes setting up ZFS volumes, and user accounts on these volumes, a point-n-click process and I applaud the developers for that.

On the negative side of things, some features did not work for me. I struggled with plugins and file synchronization through the web portal (working with files from the command line worked fine for me) and getting networking set up properly took more effort than I had expected. I was also a bit concerned about the lack of local security. If your server is headless or in a locked room, it is not a big deal to have root logged in, but for a lot of environments it is not advisable to leave root logged in at the console.

I think whether FreeNAS is a good choice for managing storage will depend a lot on how comfortable the administrator is with FreeBSD. For people who are comfortable setting up a FreeBSD server and manually adding storage pools, there may not be a lot of added benefit to FreeNAS. However, if you want to manage a lot of storage space and other services through a polished point-n-click web interface rather than manually doing everything through the command line, then FreeNAS is an excellent tool. There are a few rough edges to work out, I think, but on the whole I found FreeNAS made administering ZFS volumes and related services pleasantly straight forward.

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Enjoy Netflix? You Should Thank FreeBSD

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BSD

Netflix uses FreeBSD and open source software to deliver its content efficiently worldwide.
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BSD: OpenSSH Fix and FreeBSD in DRM Giant

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BSD
  • OpenSSH Progress Display Missing Character Encoding Spoofing Vulnerability [CVE-2019-6109]

    A vulnerability in the Secure Copy Protocol (SCP) client utility of OpenSSH could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to conduct a spoofing attack on a targeted SCP client system.

  • Netflix Continues Experiencing Great Performance In Using FreeBSD For Their CDN

    It's been a love affair going on for years, but should you not already know, Netflix has long been leveraging FreeBSD as part of its in-house content delivery network (CDN) for serving its millions of users with on-demand video. This weekend at FOSDEM, Jonathan Looney of the company talked about their usage of FreeBSD.

    Netflix remains one of the big FreeBSD studios and continues leveraging that BSD operating system for its network performance on their "Open Connect" CDN. What is even more unique about their FreeBSD setup is they closely track the CURRENT/head version of FreeBSD rather than sticking to the stable releases.

Audiocasts: BSD Now, Ubuntu Podcast, and This Week in Linux

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Linux
Interviews
BSD
Ubuntu
  • Graphical Interface-View | BSD Now 283

    We’re at FOSDEM 2019 this week having fun. We’d never leave you in a lurch, so we have recorded an interview with Niclas Zeising of the FreeBSD graphics team for you. Enjoy.

  • Ubuntu Podcast S11E99 – Listener Get Together

    We’re having a Get Together in Reading, UK on Saturday March 16th 2019. The exact venue is not decided yet, but will be in Reading town centre.

    We’d like to gauge how many people might come, so please sign in and mark yourself as wanting to come.

  • WINE 4.0, LXQt 0.14, Parrot OS, Mastodon, MythTV, Gitea, APT Vulnerability | This Week in Linux 52

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we got some big new releases from the WINE project, LXQt, Parrot OS, Mastodon, MythTV, Gitea, and many more! We’ll also check out a security issue regarding the APT package manager and a potential blunder coming to Chromium based browsers. Then we’ll cover a new really cool utility to control GPU Overclocking on Linux. Later in the show, we’ll check out some new Linux Hardware and some Linux Gaming news. All that and much more!

OPNsense 19.1 released

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Security
BSD

For more than four years now, OPNsense is driving innovation through modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, HardenedBSD security, fast adoption of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing.

The 19.1 release, nicknamed "Inspiring Iguana", consists of a total of 620 individual changes since 18.7 came out 6 months ago, spread out over12 intermediate releases including the recent release candidates. That is the average of 2 stable releases per month, security updates and important bug fixes included! If we had to pick a few highlights it would be: The firewall alias API is finally in place. The migration to HardenedBSD 11.2 has been completed. 2FA now works with a remote LDAP / local TOTP
combination. And the OpenVPN client export was rewritten for full API support as well.

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Server: HTTP Clients, IIS DDoS and 'DevOps' Hype From Red Hat

  • What are good command line HTTP clients?
    The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a very famous quote from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist. This quote is particularly pertinent to Linux. In my view, one of Linux’s biggest strengths is its synergy. The usefulness of Linux doesn’t derive only from the huge raft of open source (command line) utilities. Instead, it’s the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with larger applications. The Unix philosophy spawned a “software tools” movement which focused on developing concise, basic, clear, modular and extensible code that can be used for other projects. This philosophy remains an important element for many Linux projects. Good open source developers writing utilities seek to make sure the utility does its job as well as possible, and work well with other utilities. The goal is that users have a handful of tools, each of which seeks to excel at one thing. Some utilities work well independently. This article looks at 4 open source command line HTTP clients. These clients let you download files over the internet from the command line. But they can also be used for many more interesting purposes such as testing, debugging and interacting with HTTP servers and web applications. Working with HTTP from the command-line is a worthwhile skill for HTTP architects and API designers. If you need to play around with an API, HTTPie and curl will be invaluable.
  • Microsoft publishes security alert on IIS bug that causes 100% CPU usage spikes
    The Microsoft Security Response Center published yesterday a security advisory about a denial of service (DOS) issue impacting IIS (Internet Information Services), Microsoft's web server technology.
  • 5 things to master to be a DevOps engineer
    There's an increasing global demand for DevOps professionals, IT pros who are skilled in software development and operations. In fact, the Linux Foundation's Open Source Jobs Report ranked DevOps as the most in-demand skill, and DevOps career opportunities are thriving worldwide. The main focus of DevOps is bridging the gap between development and operations teams by reducing painful handoffs and increasing collaboration. This is not accomplished by making developers work on operations tasks nor by making system administrators work on development tasks. Instead, both of these roles are replaced by a single role, DevOps, that works on tasks within a cooperative team. As Dave Zwieback wrote in DevOps Hiring, "organizations that have embraced DevOps need people who would naturally resist organization silos."

Purism's Privacy and Security-Focused Librem 5 Linux Phone to Arrive in Q3 2019

Initially planned to ship in early 2019, the revolutionary Librem 5 mobile phone was delayed for April 2019, but now it suffered just one more delay due to the CPU choices the development team had to make to deliver a stable and reliable device that won't heat up or discharge too quickly. Purism had to choose between the i.MX8M Quad or the i.MX8M Mini processors for their Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone, but after many trials and errors they decided to go with the i.MX8M Quad CPU as manufacturer NXP recently released a new software stack solving all previous power consumption and heating issues. Read more

Qt Creator 4.9 Beta released

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.9 Beta! There are many improvements and fixes included in Qt Creator 4.9. I’ll just mention some highlights in this blog post. Please refer to our change log for a more thorough overview. Read more

Hack Week - Browsersync integration for Online

Recently my LibreOffice work is mostly focused on the Online. It's nice to see how it is growing with new features and has better UI. But when I was working on improving toolbars (eg. folding menubar or reorganization of items) I noticed one annoying thing from the developer perspective. After every small change, I had to restart the server to provide updated content for the browser. It takes few seconds for switching windows, killing old server then running new one which requires some tests to be passed. Last week during the Hack Week funded by Collabora Productivity I was able to work on my own projects. It was a good opportunity for me to try to improve the process mentioned above. I've heard previously about browsersync so I decided to try it out. It is a tool which can automatically reload used .css and .js files in all browser sessions after change detection. To make it work browsersync can start proxy server watching files on the original server and sending events to the browser clients if needed. Read more