Issue 23
Published June 10, 2020

Main topic of this week is FreeBSD Community Survey. Then we take a look at the rest of BSD world with the latest releases, news, tutorials and security announcements.

2020 FreeBSD Community Survey

The FreeBSD Core Team invites you to complete the 2020 FreeBSD Community Survey:

The purpose of the survey is to collect quantitative data from the public in order to help guide the project’s priorities and efforts. As an example, last year’s survey results helped fuel the project’s conversion to git. The survey will remain open for 14 days and will close on June 16 at 17:00 UTC (Tuesday 10am PDT).

Please feel free to share the survey URL on social media or with your peers, co-workers, employer, friends, or anyone else interested in FreeBSD.

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.


Seems like none.


OpenBSD Errata: June 5th, 2020 (hid): Errata patches for the kernel have been released for OpenBSD 6.6 and 6.7. Malicious HID descriptors could be misparsed. Binary updates for the amd64, i386, and arm64 platforms are available via the syspatch utility. As these affect the kernel, a reboot will be needed after patching.

OpenBSD Errata: June 8th, 2020 (asr): Errata patches for libc have been released for OpenBSD 6.6 and 6.7. libc’s resolver could get into a corrupted state. Binary updates for the amd64, i386, and arm64 platforms are available via the syspatch utility.

FreeBSD Errata Notice FreeBSD-EN-20:11.ena: The ena(4) driver attempts to allocate a large number of 16 kB mbuf clusters to use as buffers for received packets. Under low memory conditions, the process of attempting to allocate these buffers may take a long time. On FreeBSD 12.x, these allocations are attempted from an interrupt thread running at high priority, and can subsequently starve other parts of the system of CPU time. It appears that systems using the ZFS filesystem may be more likely to experience this issue, possibly due to the memory pressure created by the allocation of memory to the ZFS ARC. The system may become unresponsive, appearing to “lock up” for periods of several seconds.

FreeBSD Errata Notice FreeBSD-EN-20:12.iflib: The iflib watchdog would sometimes trigger a false positive queue hang just after a link state change.

FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-20:17.usb: USB Human Interface Device (HID) descriptors may push/pop the current state to allow description of items residing in a so-called union. FreeBSD supports 4 such pop levels. If the push/pop level is not restored within the processing of the same HID item, an invalid memory location may be used for subsequent HID item processing. An attacker with physical access to a USB port may be able to use a specially crafted USB device to gain kernel or user-space code execution. Setting “sysctl hw.usb.disable_enumeration=1” disables USB device enumeration preventing the error from occurring.

As always, it’s worth following BSDSec. RSS feeds and Twitter account available.


While no one would expect this, there are huge efforts from a small team to bring more games into OpenBSD. In fact, now some commercial games works natively now, thanks to Mono or Java. There are no wine or linux emulation layer in OpenBSD. Read on for a list of most well known games that run on OpenBSD.

Jonathan Gray (jsg@) has just committed an update to the DRM code to the tree. This update brings support for newer AMD and Intel graphics parts. This work was sponsored by the OpenBSD Foundation.

TrueNAS isn’t abandoning BSD—but it is adopting Linux: To the surprise—and likely consternation—of BSD fans everywhere, FreeNAS vendor iXsystems is building a new version of its core product, TrueNAS, on top of Debian Linux.

FreeBSD HEAD Binary Upgrades: is a proof-of-concept of binary updates for FreeBSD/amd64 CURRENT/HEAD to facilitate the exhaustive testing of FreeBSD and the bhyve hypervisor and OpenZFS 2.0 specifically. Updates are based on the SVN revisions of official FreeBSD Release Engineering bi-monthly snapshots. This proof-of-concept is not a publication of FreeBSD.

A collection of FreeBSD desktop distributions that have taken the FreeBSD operating system in a new direction while still relying on the incredibly powerful and stable base operating system of FreeBSD. From integrated desktop environments, portable USB-based systems, to data recovery tools, FreeBSD has been used by a wide variety of open-source projects. This page hopes to highlight just a few of these projects.

NetBSD’s VAX port needs help. The VAX is the oldest machine architecture still supported by NetBSD. Unfortunately there is another challenge, totally outside of NetBSD, but affecting the VAX port big time: the compiler support for VAX is … let’s say sub-optimal. It is also risking to be dropped completely by gcc upstream.

Check this video about 10 Myths about FreeBSD, and a reply against them.


Manage Kubernetes clusters from OpenBSD: In this article author will talk about how they manage work infrastructure (all cloudy and containery) from the comfort of their OpenBSD-current workstation.

This document is work in progress of a user installing OpenBSD 6.7-current on a PineBook Pro 64.

Following is the roadmap on how to get yubikey-agent set up on FreeBSD. The actual details depend on your system.

Asset inventory with Rumble on FreeBSD: Inventory and control of your IT hardware and software based assets is one of the basic processes you must have in place managing and securing an IT infrastructure properly. Rumble is a network asset discovery tool and as of 2 June 2020 it is also available on FreeBSD.

Installing Debian under FreeBSD’s bhyve: It turns out that Debian tries to make multi-booting possible and puts its EFI binary into a non-standard location. That combined with bhyve not persisting EFI variables after shutdown results in any boot after the the first poweroff not even trying to look at the Debian-specific path.

Fuguita OpenBSD server - building a new wifi-router/server: Podcast episode from Hacker Public Radio: Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

Crossplatform .dotfile management: One of the defining feautures of Unix is that all your user-specific configuraiton is contained in dotfiles in your home directory. With a bit of care to make them POSIX or portable, one could use the same dotfiles on FreeBSD, macOS, illumos/Solaris, and Linux.


As always, there are more sources of BSD goodness. Latest BSD Now talks about scheduling in NetBSD, ZFS vs. RAID on Ironwolf disks, OpenBSD on Microsoft Surface Go 2, FreeBSD for Linux sysadmins, FreeBSD on Lenovo T480, 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 2020-06-08.

In Other BSDs for 2020/06/06 is out, too.

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

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