Several members of the RootBSD team enjoyed attending the first vBSDcon event which was held in Dulles, VA this past weekend. vBSDcon was the first BSD conference organized and hosted by Verisign. We were delighted to be able to both attend and sponsor this event.
We would like to acknowledge and thank Verisign and their vBSDcon team for all of the hard work they put in planning and running the conference. Thanks to their hard work, the event attracted attendees and speakers from all over the world. The conference was very well organized with top of the line facilities, meals, refreshments and drinks. The schedule was clear, with enough time for both structured events as well as socializing.
We met people who were both brand new to FreeBSD, as well as many hardcore developers who have been involved since the “early days” of FreeBSD ~20 years ago. Presentations were given on various topics in the FreeBSD community such as LLVM/Clang, pkgng, bsdconfig, and much more. The “Birds of a Feather” timeslot allowed everyone to split into a smaller group to focus on specialty topics such as Bhyve/virtualization, ZFS and privacy.
Overall, everyone seemed to have a great time at vBSDcon 2013 and we hope Verisign will be continuing with vBSDcon 2013 as an annual event
The FreeBSD Foundation has just recently released version 8.4-RELEASE which featured an array of security advisories, kernel changes, hardware support fixes and updates to contributed software. The entire release notes are available at the FreeBSD Foundation website. We have added 8.4-RELEASE to our signup form, and is now available as an install option for all of our VPS and Dedicated Server packages.
The major question most face is, do I need to upgrade? The answer depends on what you are using your system for and what subsystems you are using. If you have a highly customized FreeBSD configuration, it will be far more important that you read through all of the release notes. If you’re considering migrating to FreeBSD 9.0 or 9.1 you might want to wait until 9.2 is released, especially if you’re using ZFS pools with feature flags (see below). Version 9.x does offer some major changes from 8.x including high performance SSH, ZFS v28, updated ATA/SATA drivers with AHCI support and the NFS system is upgraded to support NFSv4. Version 9.2 could be available as early as December (unconfirmed) as for end of life on the current versions, 8.3 and 8.4 are extended (24 month security officer support) while 9.0 and 9.2 are slated to be normal (12 month). That also puts 9.1 and 9.3 at extended with 9.1 being supported until Dec. 31, 2014.
In FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE there were a lot of bug fixes in the network interface support area as well as some new hardware support. Network protocols also had a major list of updates including some bug fixes to IPv6. FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE also includes updates to major contributed software like OpenSSH, OpenSSL, and sendmail and the KDE desktop environment.
As security is always a major concern, here is a quick overview of what was fixed in FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE based on previous security advisories. The oldest and most outstanding of these are the OpenSSL vulnerabilities that were fixed which dated back to May 2012 (SA-12:01.openssl and SA-13:03.openssl). Other security updates including changes to crypt(), named, bind, and input validation for the NFS server which could potentially have been exploited to allow arbitrary code to be run in kernel context.
In terms of the kernel itself, several bugs were fixed including those dealing with CPU affinity, VIMAGE and mmap. Other changes include some workarounds dealing with old versions of QEMU and Xen, and big changes to the FreeBSD sched_ule scheduler in terms of CPU selection in systems with symmetrical multithreading (or hyperthreading for Intel CPUs).
It you are considering migrating to FreeBSD 9.0 or 9.1 and are using the ZFS subsystem it’s important to note that FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE can now support feature flags in ZFS pools, but the default version number will still be 28. FreeBSD 9.0 and 9.1 do not support these feature flags and so they cannot be used but a version 8.x system can be upgraded to version 9.0 or 9.1 without problem provided the ZFS pools are v28. If a ZFS pool is upgraded from v28 it would then prevent upgrade. However, FreeBSD 9.2 and later are slated to support ZFS pools with feature flags.
The FreeBSD Project officially announced the availability of FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE. New features include the following:
- New Intel GPU driver with GEM/KMS support
- netmap(4) fast userspace packet I/O framework
- ZFS improvements from illumos project
- CAM Target Layer, a disk and processor device emulation subsystem
- Optional new C++11 stack including LLVM libc++ and libcxxrt
- Jail devfs, nullfs, zfs mounting and configuration file support
- POSIX2008 extended locale support including compatibility with Darwin extensions
- oce(4) driver for Emulex OneConnect 10Gbit Ethernet card
- sfxge(4) driver for 10Gb Ethernet adapters based on Solarflare SFC9000 controller
- Xen Paravirtualized Backend Ethernet Driver (netback) improvement
- hpt27xx(4) driver for HighPoint RocketRAID 27xx-based SAS 6Gb/s HBA
- GEOM multipath class improvement
- GEOM raid class is enabled by default supporting software RAID by deprecated ataraid(8)
- kernel support for the AVX FPU extension
- Numerous improvements in IPv6 hardware offload support
Any new VPS or Dedicated Server can have 9.1-RELEASE installed on it.
We recommend that any current customers that wish to upgrade use freebsd-update unless you have compiled FreeBSD from source. Please follow the normal upgrade procedures recommended here: http://www.freebsd.org/releases/9.1R/installation.html
To celebrate the release, we are offering 20% off your first payment for any new order with any billing cycle. Be sure to use the coupon code 91RELEASE!
In honor of the end of the Mayan calendar, as well as the winter solstice, we are running a special promotion for anyone who wants to order a dedicated server. This promotion is valid today only!
Get full control with your own dedicated server. This includes IPMI with remote reboot and remote KVM so that you can completely reinstall your operating system whenever you’re in the mood!
Special End Of The World pricing: $79/month, FREE SETUP!
- Intel Atom Dual-core CPU
- 4GB RAM
- 1TB hard disk
- 100Mbps public port speed
- 1Gbps connection to our private network
- 100GB backup space on our backup server
- 2,000GB/mo bandwidth
- /29 IPv4 (5 usable IP addresses)
- /64 IPv6 (18,446,744,073,709,551,616 usable IP addresses)
- Your choice of OS (any FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Linux)
- IPMI remote control