Issue 17
Published April 29, 2020

Let’s take a look at the future of OSS in NetBSD. Plus all the rest of BSD world with the latest releases, news, tutorials and security announcements.

Improving libossaudio, and the future of OSS in NetBSD

There’s two ways user applications can communicate with the kernel audio layer in NetBSD:

  • audio(4) – the native API, based on the Sun API with a number of very useful NetBSD extensions
  • ossaudio(3) – a translation layer providing approximate compatibility with OSSv4’s ioctls, as also supported in FreeBSD, Solaris, and popular in the past on Linux.

Linux drifted away from OSS and towards ALSA due to licensing disagreements.

Because of this drift, we’re seeing increasing problems with OSS adoption today, even if the licensing concerns are no longer relevant, and other implementations of OSS have surpassed the original Linux OSSv3 implementation as far as their feature set and usability are concerned.

So, in NetBSD, it’s recommended to use the native API for new code and only rely on the OSS layer for compatibility with existing code.


TrueNAS versions 11.3-U2 and 11.3-U2.1 are generally available! These updates are based on FreeNAS 11.3-U2 . It supports API and Web UI improvements of the previous FreeNAS release. It also introduces easy-setup wizards, major replication improvements, and over 500 other enhancements.


No SAs this week, but as always, it’s worth following BSDSec. RSS feeds and Twitter account available.


500% if_bridge Performance Improvement in FreeBSD: With FreeBSD Foundation grant, Kristof Provost harnesses new parallel techniques to uncork performance bottleneck Independent embedded systems developer Kristof Provost certainly knows his way around the networking stack. For the past several years, (since George Neville-Neil approached him at AsiaBSDCon with an offer he couldn’t refuse) he has maintained FreeBSD’s port of the OpenBSD Packet Filter (pf) firewall. Even before this, if you’ve used IPv6, you’ve benefited from Kristof’s work to clean up fragment handling in the firewall. But it’s his 2018 engagement with Orange (France Telecom) that marks the beginning of this particular story.

MixerTUI 1.1 is out! MixerTUI is an audio mixer with a Terminal User Interface for FreeBSD. The new features of this version are: -d -h -m -v options and TAB to switch view mode. To install the port audio/mixertui: # cd /usr/ports/audio/mixertui/ && make install clean. To add the package: # pkg install mixertui.


A Look at SoundScrape on FreeBSD: SoundScrape makes it super easy to download artists from SoundCloud (and Bandcamp and MixCloud) - even those which don’t have download links! It automatically creates ID3 tags as well (including album art), which is handy.

Building a WireGuard Jail with the FreeBSD’s Standard Tools: If you would like to use WireGuard app on Android phone to access home NAS (a vanilla FreeBSD server) via the WireGuard tunnel and reach the Internet through the tunnel too.

urtwn0 altq_maxlen errors in DragonFly: If you’ve got an urtwn(4) device (RealTek USB wireless), and you are getting errors on altq_maxlen, take a look at this solution.


As always, there are more sources of BSD goodness. Latest BSD Now talks about Rethinking OpenBSD security, FreeBSD 2020 Q1 status report, the notion of progress and user interfaces, Comments about Thomas E. Dickey on NetBSD curses, making Unix a little more Plan9-like, Not-actually Linux distro review: FreeBSD, and more.

The Valuable News weekly series is dedicated to providing summary about news, articles and other interesting stuff mostly but not always related to the UNIX or BSD systems. The latest is from 2020/04/27.

In Other BSDs for 2020/04/25 is out, too.

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Thanks for reading and see you next week! Stay home and stay safe!

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