Issue 29
Published July 22, 2020

This week we take a look at April-June FreeBSD report. Then we take a look at the rest of BSD world with latest releases, news and tutorials.

FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report - Second Quarter 2020

This report is covering FreeBSD related projects between April and June, and covers a diverse set of topics ranging from kernel updates over userland and ports, as well to third-party work.

Some hilights picked with the roll of a d100 include, but are not limited to, the ability to forcibly unmounting UFS when the underlying media becomes inaccessible, added preliminary support for Bluetooth Low Energy, a introduction to the FreeBSD Office Hours, and a repository of software collections called potluck to be installed with the pot utility, as well as many many more things.


TrueNAS Core will soon replace FreeNAS: Network-storage vendor iXsystems announced the release of TrueNAS 12.0-BETA1, which will replace FreeNAS later in 2020. The major offering of the new TrueNAS Core—like FreeNAS before it—is a simplified, graphically managed way to expose the features and benefits of the ZFS filesystem to end users. In the most basic environments, this might amount to little more than a Web front-end to ZFS itself, along with the Samba open-source implementation of Microsoft’s SMB network file-sharing protocol. TrueNAS Core will be what FreeNAS is now—the free, community version of iXsystems’ NAS (Network Attached Storage) distribution. End users—and system administrators who aren’t looking for paid support—can download FreeNAS or TrueNAS Core ISOs directly from iX.


OpenBSD Errata: July 16th, 2020 (tty): Errata patches for the kernel have been released for OpenBSD 6.6 and 6.7. tty subsystem abuse can impact performance badly. 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: July 22nd, 2020 (tty): Errata patches for the kernel have been released for OpenBSD 6.6 and 6.7. Only pty devices need reprint delays. 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.

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


Bastille 0.7.20200714 Released: Bastille Day 2020 brings us another release! This release matures the project from 0.6.x to 0.7.x and includes a number of features. Improvements include evolution of the template automation system, new mount/umount sub-commands, improved documentation and more.

More touchpad support for Dragonfly: DragonFly now has the wsp(4) device, for Wellspring touchpads on Apple laptops.

GSoC Reports: Benchmarking NetBSD, first evaluation report: This report was written by Apurva Nandan as part of Google Summer of Code 2020.

Wireguard on (current|6.8): OpenBSD added wg to the Kernel a while ago. Why not have a look into and do some speedtests?

FreeBSD Back To Seeing Progress On 802.11ac WiFi Support, Ath10k Driver: Longtime FreeBSD/Linux network stack developer and former Qualcomm Atheros engineer Adrian Chadd is back to working on FreeBSD wireless networking improvements. Adrian has announced his return to working on FreeBSD’s wireless networking stack with a particular focus on the 802.11ac support (or there the largely lack of at the moment) and the porting of the Ath10k driver from Linux to FreeBSD.

DragonFlyBSD Lands New EXT2/3/4 File-System Driver: While DragonFlyBSD has its own, original HAMMER2 file-system, for those needing to access data from EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 file-systems, there is a brand new “ext2fs” driver implementation for this BSD operating system.

Next FreeBSDFridays: Join the FreeBSD Foundation July 24 at 17:00 UTC (10:00am PDT) for the next FreeBSDFridays. For Part 1 of the FreeBSD InstallFest, Roller Angel will take you through the process of downloading, installing and configuring your FreeBSD instance on a VM.


2.11BSD Original Tapes Recreation: Almost all of the BSD releases have been well preserved. If you want to find 1BSD, or 2BSD or 4.3-TAHOE BSD you can find them online with little fuss. However, if you search for 2.11BSD, you’ll find it easily enough, but it won’t be the original. You’ll find either the latest patched version (2.11BSD pl 469), or one of the earlier popular version (pl 430 is popular). You can even find the RetroBSD project which used 2.11BSD as a starting point to create systems for tiny mips-based PIC controllers. You’ll find every single patch that’s been issued for the system. The goal of the project is to create two main artifacts. First, it would be cool to have a git repo that has all the 2.11BSD patch points in it. Second, it would be really cool to have a near copy of the 2.11BSD release tapes. This project aims to create these artifacts in a reproducible way. There’s next part now as well, SIMH Setup for 2.11BSD restoration project.

Traditional Unix Toolchains: Older Unix systems tend to be fairly uniform in how they handle the so-called ‘toolchain’ for creating binaries. This blog will give a quick overview of the toolchain pipeline for Unix systems that follow the V7 tradition (which evolved along with Unix, a topic for a separate blog maybe).

FreeBSD Qt WebEngine GPU Acceleration: FreeBSD has a handful of Qt WebEngine-based browsers. Falkon, and Otter-Browser, and qutebrowser and probably others, too. All of them can run into issues on FreeBSD with GPU-accelerated rendering not working. Let’s look at some of the workarounds.


As always, there are more sources of BSD goodness. Latest BSD Now talks about Throw-Away Browser on FreeBSD With “pot” within 5 minutes, OmniOS as OpenBSD guest with bhyve, BSD vs Linux distro development, My FreeBSD Laptop Build, FreeBSD CURRENT Binary Upgrades, 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 2020-07-20.

In Other BSDs for 2020/07/18 is out, too.

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