Issue 3
Published January 15, 2020

Last week was very interesting for FreeBSD, again. Distrowatch migrated to it, there is new FreeBSD Journal issue, FreeBSD swag shop and FreeBSD-based FreeNAS and OPNsense had their new releases. We also cover all the rest of BSD world with the latest news and tutorials.

Distrowatch running on FreeBSD

Distrowatch, website dedicated to talking about, reviewing and keeping up to date with open source operating systems, has been working on a new server last weekend. They are now using FreeBSD for their data and hosting needs.

There is a very interesting AMA session going on on Reddit, where they explain why they decided to switch to FreeBSD.

Netcraft confirms Apache/2.4.41 FreeBSD OpenSSL/1.1.1a-freebsd PHP/7.4.1.


OPNsense 19.7.9 has been released. This update brings you a GeoIP database configuration page for aliases which is now required due to upstream database policy changes and a number of prominent third-party software updates.

FreeNAS 11.3-RC2 is out. The 11.3 series represent a year-long development and testing effort. In a departure from previous BETA release cycles, this RC has been fully vetted by the iXsystems QA team internally and users should notice a significant improvement in both stability and usability.


ShopFreeBSD - Official Store for FreeBSD Project and FreeBSD Foundation Branded Swag is now on.

Attending SCaLE? Friday, March 6, 2020 - 10:00 to 17:00 you can join full day workshop that will teach you how to install FreeBSD and the ports and packages necessary to get you up and running. You’ll leave the workshop with the knowledge to install and administer a FreeBSD Operating System and know where to go to learn even more about using FreeBSD.

2020 brings about even more opportunities to spread the word about your work with BSD. Submit to these upcoming conferences:

  • OSCON 2020: July 13-16, 2020, Portland, OR - Submission Deadline Approaching: January 14, 2020
  • Mini FreeBSD Developers Summit at FOSDEM 2020, January 31, Brussels, Belgium - Submission Deadline Approaching: January 15, 2020
  • LinuxFest Northwest: April 24-26, 2020, Bellingham, Washington - Submission Deadline Approaching: January 15, 2020
  • BSDCan 2020: June 2-6, 2020, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - Submission Deadline: January 19, 2020
  • Open Source Summit, North America 2020: June 22 – 24, 2020, Austin, Texas - Submission Deadline: February 16, 2020

FreeBSD Journal - Network Virtualization - November/December 2019 is out, covering: Jail Migration, Arranging Your Virtual Network on FreeBSD, Interview with Kirk McKusick, Foundation Letter, Conference Report, New Faces of FreeBSD, We Get Letters, and Events Calendar.

With the 50th birthday of the UNIX operating system being in the news of late, there has been a bit of a spotlight shone upon its earliest origins. At the Living Computers museum in Seattle though they’ve gone well beyond a bit of historical inquiry though, because they’ve had UNIX version 0 running on a DEC PDP-7 minicomputer. This primordial version on the original hardware is all the more remarkable because unlike its younger siblings very few PDP-7s have survived.

Due to Firefox being too complicated to package on the stable branch, OpenBSD’s Firefox pkg for 6.6-stable won’t receive updates, so it will remain vulnerable to MFSA2020-03 and vulnerabilities that may appear after. On the other hand, firefox-esr is still updated so we recommend switching to firefox-esr if you are running 6.6-stable.

cpdup(1), a DragonFly copying tool that really should be more used, now uses microseconds for comparison. This is probably related to the sysctl vfs.timestamp_precision also now using microseconds.

Read this Start of the year update for KDE on FreeBSD to learn about latest FreeBSD and KDE developments. Good news, we’re almost up to date.

NetBSD folks started working on bringing proper i386 support to LLDB. Upstream describes LLDB as a next generation, high-performance debugger. It is built on top of LLVM/Clang toolchain, and features great integration with it. At the moment, it primarily supports debugging C, C++ and ObjC code, and there is interest in extending it to more languages.

This month, there have also been improvements on the NetBSD ptrace(2) API: removing one legacy interface with a few flaws and replacing it with two new calls with new features, and removing technical debt. As LLVM 10.0 is branching now soon (Jan 15th 2020), they have worked on proper support of the LLVM features for NetBSD 9.0 (today RC1) and NetBSD HEAD (future 10.0).

For the final report, another NetBSD team provides an overview of what changes were made to complete the GSoC project of Incorporating the memory-hard Argon2 hashing scheme into NetBSD.


The broot file manager is quite fresh and nice approach to files and directories. The broot tools is not yet available on the FreeBSD systems (as package or port). This guide will show you how to built and install it on your FreeBSD system.

Hunspell is an excellent spell checking library. It’s also the spell checker used for LibreOffice,, and Mozilla applications. It requires installation of the library, and one or more word lists to compare words against. FreeBSD installation is straightforward using ports or packages.

Getting Started With Containers on FreeBSD? BastilleBSD wrote a great tutorial on getting started with containers on FreeBSD. BastilleBSD also has a growing number of videos on YouTube explaining and demonstrating what is possible with FreeBSD Jail automation.

Encryption is a great feature of ZFS, but you can do it in UFS as well using GEOM ELI although it does take a little bit more work. This video tutorial will create an unencrypted boot partition, then will add encryption to the system partition - then the rest of the normal install can take place.

Owner of Nvidia Optimus? This post is a “step by step” tutorial to describe how you can use Nvidia GeForce GT540M graphic card of FreeBSD laptop. Refer to github project pouya-eghbali/freebsd-nvidia-optimus for extra description and options.

If you want to lock and unlock your UNIX laptop with your phone – by just attaching it to your device – this is where the FreeBSD’s devd(8) subsystem come handy. Read this tutorial to learn hot to do it.

There’s also new quick how-to video on installing ClamAV in FreeBSD + a chkrootkit install and scan.

OpenBSD had supported installation templates for a few years now. The central tool of autoinstallation of OpenBSD is the “install.conf” file, which contains answers to every question that the install wizard would normally ask you interactively. Read this to learn more.

syslog-ng is the Swiss army knife of log management. You can collect logs from any source, process them in real time and deliver them to wide range of destinations. It allows you to flexibly collect, parse, classify, rewrite and correlate logs from across your infrastructure. This is why syslog-ng is the perfect solution for the central log host of FreeBSD based infrastructure.

(sys)Upgrade encrypted OpenBSD 6.5 to 6.6 on Vultr hosting - Author runs an OpenBSD instance with encrypted root on Vultr VPS since v6.2. It has never been reinstalled and with 6.5, they used sysupgrade(8), and it went as smooth as expected.


As always, there are more sources of BSD goodness. Latest BSD Now talks about announcing HyperbolaBSD, IPFW In-Kernel NAT setup on FreeBSD, Wayland and WebRTC enabled for NetBSD 9/Linux, LLDB Threading support ready for mainline, OpenSSH U2F/FIDO support in base, Dragonfly drm/i915: Update, and more.

BSD is one of the first UNIX implementations, and the IP stack in BSD is one of the first widely used open-source implementations of TCP/IP. Rodney Grimes joins the History of Networking to talk about the origins of BSD and these first IP implementations.

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 2020-01-13.

In Other BSDs for 2020/01/11 is out, too.

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