Issue 42
Published October 20, 2020

OpenBSD celebrating their 25th anniversary with 6.8 release, NetBSD SA, NomadBSD errate plus latest news and tutorials

Celebrating OpenBSD project’s 25th anniversary with OpenBSD 6.8

On its 25th birthday, the OpenBSD project has released OpenBSD 6.8, the 49th release.

The new release comes with a large number of improvements and debuts a new architecture, OpenBSD/powerpc64, running on the POWER9 family of processors. The full list of changes can be found in the announcement and on the release page. Some highlights:

  • this release debuts the OpenBSD/powerpc64 architecture, supporting the POWER9 [and POWER8] family of processors
  • Numerous kernel improvements such as better time measurements across several architectures, updated graphics support, and of course numerous improvements in hardware support with updated drivers across several platforms
  • Numerous network stack improvements.
  • wg(4), an in-kernel driver for WireGuard VPN
  • login_ldap added to base
  • FFS2 improvements
  • LibreSSL 3.2.2 with TLSv1.3 enabled for both client and server, and a new-and-improved X509 certificate chain validator


FreeBSD 12.2-RC3 Available: The third RC build for the FreeBSD 12.2 release cycle is now available. ISO images for the amd64, armv6, armv7, arm64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, powerpcspe, and sparc64 architectures are available on most of the FreeBSD mirror sites.


NomadBSD 1.3.2 Errata notes are now available:

  • sysutils/e2fsprogs breaks pkg upgrade
  • Qt5 applications do not start after upgrade

NetBSD Security Advisory 2020-003: USB network interface jumbo packets: Some USB network interface drivers are missing a bounds check, without which data from the network may be copied past the end of an array allocated in a kernel mbuf cluster. This enables a network device on the same LAN to corrupt kernel memory. The affected USB network interfaces are: atu(4), axe(4), axen(4), otus(4), run(4), ure(4).

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


Google Summer of Code 2020: [Final Report] Enhancing Syzkaller support for NetBSD: This report was written by Ayushu Sharma as part of Google Summer of Code 2020 and summarizes the work done during the third and final coding period of project.


Oldschool Gaming on FreeBSD: When was the last time you played a computer game? Let’s learn about some oldschool gaming on FreeBSD system.

OpenBSD Laptop: How to get OpenBSD with Gnome up and running.

Cryptographic Signing using ssh-keygen(1) with a FIDO Authenticator: signify(1) does not support the use of FIDO authenticators. However, recent versions of OpenSSH do support signing using the -Y sign option of ssh-keygen(1), and with the recent addition of FIDO authenticator support to OpenSSH, we have a means (using tools in base OpenBSD) of using a hardware factor when signing files.

Switching Xorg keyboard layout on OpenBSD: Here’s a few minimalistic options to switch keyboard layout on OpenBSD. Of course, if you run a complex DE, like Gnome, KDE or even XFCE, there is a graphical tool that allows switching keyboard layout. But when using cwm(1), you have to dig elsewhere.

open-vm-tools on FreeBSD under VMware ESXi ARM Fling: open-vm-tools is a set of services and modules that enable several features in VMware products for better management of, and seamless user interactions with, guests. There are two different options to get open-vm-tools on FreeBSD for ARM right now. Author provided pre-compiled packages for a few key FreeBSD versions. Alternatively, you can compile them yourself from the custom ports that author provided.


As always, there are more sources of BSD goodness. Latest BSD Now talks about Wayland on BSD, My BSD sucks less than yours, Even on SSDs, ongoing activity can slow down ZFS scrubs drastically, OpenBSD on the Desktop, simple shell status bar for OpenBSD and cwm, 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 2020-10-19.

In Other BSDs for 2020/10/17 is out, too.

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

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