BSD News 05/02/2018

Las week in BSD

Releases: OPNsense
News: BSDSec, BSDNow, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly


OpenBSD Errata: February 2nd, 2018 (kernel)


OPNsense 18.1.1 released

18.1.1 addresses a few issues in the previous release, while also updating the packages and plugins. Most notably, a Python library change made intrusion detection rules fetch fail previously and we fixed GUI and backend behaviour for two special NAT cases.


Unix Architecture Evolution | BSD Now 231

We cover an interview about Unix Architecture Evolution, another vBSDcon trip report, how to teach an old Unix about backspace, new NUMA support coming to FreeBSD & stack pointer checking in OpenBSD.

The OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

Details of the 2018 campaign have been added to the Foundation's website. The goal for the year is for $300,000. The total for "smaller" donations has already taken the OpenBSD community to bronze level sponsorship! Please show your support by contributing.

Code stuff

NetBSD The LLVM Sanitizers stage accomplished
DragonFly Microcode updates for AMD
DragonFly Default kernel config changes

Interesting articles

Remi Locherer's EuroBSDcon 2017 Talk

BSD News 29/01/2018

Last week in BSD

News: BSDNow, Dragonfly BSD
Releases: none


there seems to be none


there seems to be none


Your questions, Part III | BSD Now 230
We provide you with updates to Spectre & Meltdown from various BSD projects, a review of TrueOS from Linux, how to set up FreeBSD on ThinkPad x240 & a whole bunch of beastie bits.

Code stuff

DragonFly now has support for the Adaptec 1420
DragonFly: Coffee Lake support in drm/i915
In Other BSDs for 2018/01/27

Interesting articles

ZFS on TrueOS: Why We Love OpenZFS
Are the BSDs dying? Some security researchers think so

BSD News 22/01/2018

Last week in BSD

Releases: OPNsense
News: BSDnow, DragonFly BSD, Meltdown, Spectre


there seems to be no security announcements


OPNsense 18.1-RC2 released

OPNsense 17.7.12 released

As 18.1 is drawing near this stable update for the 17.7 series could be the last one. So whether there will be a hotfix to enable the update path or a full 17.7.13 remains to be seen, but we will keep you informed either way. The targeted release date for 18.1 is January 29.

For now we refrain from letting users upgrade directly to the release candidates, but suffice to say that with the development version accompanying this update it is possible from the console. And again thank you to all early adopters which have made the release candidates a thoroughly enjoyable experience.


The Meltdown of Spectre | BSD Now 229

We review Meltdown & Spectre responses from various BSD projects, show you how to run CentOS with bhyve, GhostBSD 11.1 is out & we look at the case against the fork syscall.

Dragonfly: rcmds recently removed

The commands rcp(1), rlogin(1), rlogind(1), rsh(1) and rshd(1) have been removed from DragonFly.  There’s a net/bsdrcmds port if you still need them…  though I imagine/hope ssh is filling the void for everyone.

Code stuff

Dragonfly - morse(6) now encodes and decodes
In Other BSDs for 2018/01/20

Interesting articles

Some thoughts on Spectre and Meltdown

BSD News 15/01/2018

Last week in BSD

Releases: OPNsense
News: OpenBSD, OPNsense, Meltdown, Spectre, Dragon Fly, FreeBSD, Bhyve


OpenBSD Errata: January 14th, 2018 (libssl)


OPNsense® 18.1 Release Candidate 1

For more than 3 years now, OPNsense is driving innovation through modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, HardenedBSD security, fast adoption of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing. Over the second half of 2017 well over 500 changes have made it into this first release candidate. Most notably, the firewall NAT rules have been reworked to be more flexible and usable via plugins, which is going to pave the way for subsequent API works on the core firewall functionality. Meltdown and Spectre patches are currently being worked on in FreeBSD, but there is no reliable timeline.


An update on Meltdown and Spectre

We have previously issued a short statement with preliminary analysis of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. This post is an update now that we have an official statement from the FreeBSD project.

Dragonfly More Meltdown fixes

If you’re on the bleeding edge of DragonFly and already updated for Meltdown fixes, there’s a few more commits you’ll want to get. Matthew Dillon wrote a summary of the current status, noting there’s not much you can do for Spectre beyond new hardware.   There is an update to the “defensive browser setup” plan for DragonFly (using –site-per-process) that can help at least with Javascript versions of Spectre.

Dragonfly Even more Meltdown

Are you tired of hearing about Meltdown/Spectre yet?  Doesn’t matter!  The two sysctls for controlling mitigation in DragonFly have been renamed:


They go to hopefully sensible defaults, but Matthew Dillon has done some testing to show the effects of each in various combinations.   (Update: more changes and tests.)  Note that this is not the final mitigation work; compilers (i.e. gcc) are being updated to include workarounds for this, so new gcc -> new compiler in DragonFly -> new defenses.  No silver bullet there, though.

OpenBSD-current now has 'smtpctl spf walk'

If you run a mail service, you probably like to have greylisting in place, via spamd(8) or similar means. However, there are some sites that simply do not play well with greylisting, and for those it's useful to extract SPF information to identify their valid outgoing SMTP hosts.
Now OpenBSD offers a straightforward mechanism to do that and fill your nospamd table, right from the smtpctl utility via the subcommand spf walk. Gilles Chehade ([email protected]) describes how in a recent blog post titled spfwalk.
This feature is still in need of testing, so please grab a snapshot and test!

The Spectre of Meltdown | BSD Now 228

We review the information about Spectre & Meltdown thus far, we look at NetBSD memory sanitizer progress, Postgres on ZFS & show you a bit about NomadBSD.

Code stuff

In Other BSDs for 2018/01/13
Microcode updates on DragonFly
IBRS and IBPB support in DragonFly
CPU microcode update code for amd64 for OpenBSD
HAMMER1, mounted and unmounted cleanup

Interesting articles

Handling of CPU bugs disclosure 'incredibly bad': OpenBSD's de Raadt
Running CentOS with Bhyve
July-September 2017 FreeBSD Status Report

BSD News 08/01/2018

Last week in BSD

News: DragonFly BSD, NetBSD, BSDSec, HardenedBSD, Meltdown, Spectre, MirOS, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, BSDnow, 
Releases: HardenedBSD


NetBSD Security Advisory 2018-002: Local DoS in virecover
NetBSD Security Advisory 2018-001: Several vulnerabilities in context handling 


HardenedBSD-stable 10-STABLE v1000050.1

Downloads here, release notes here.


OpenBSD Response to the "Meltdown" Vulnerability

A message to [email protected] from Philip Guenther ([email protected]) provides the first public information from developers regarding the OpenBSD response to the recently announced CPU vulnerabilities:

 So, yes, we the OpenBSD developers are not totally asleep and a handful of
us are working out how to deal with Intel's fuck-up aka the Meltdown
attack.  While we have the advantage of less complexity in this area (e.g.,
no 32bit-on-64bit compat), there's still a pile of details to work through
about what has to be *always* in the page tables vs what can/should/must be
Read it.

Meltdown and Spectre and DragonFly

By now you’ve probably heard of the Meltdown/Spectre attacks.  (background rumors, technical note)  Matthew Dillon’s put together a Meltdown mitigation in DragonFly, done in four commits.
It’s turned off and on by the sysctl machdep.isolated_user_pmap – and defaults to on for Intel CPUs.  Buildworld tests show about a 4-5% performance hit, but that’s only one form of activity, measured, so there will surely be other effects.
Note that Spectre is not mitigated by this commit series, and as I understand it, cannot be realistically fixed in software.
Update: Matthew Dillon posted a summary to [email protected].

MirOS - The Intelpocalypse

The unveiling of the three new CPU bug classes, collected in the two brandbugs “Meltdown” and “Spectre”, has mostly shocked the BSDs; I’ve got it on some authority that even FreeBSD was not informed ahead of time, left alone the others. Thanks to laffer1 from MidnightBSD for a couple of heads-up warnings into our direction!
Here’s what I could gather until now (please do correct me if I’m wrong):
Meltdown is specific to Intel® CPUs with out-of-order execution, that is, all P6-class (Pentium Pro/MMX, Pentium Ⅱ, but not Pentium Ⅰ/MMX) or newer (except old Atom) CPUs. It appears to allow user processes to read kernel memory, but not across VMs, nor to attack a hypervisor. A variant for ARM exists but AMD’s x86 CPUs are supposedly safe. The KAISER/FUCKWIT/UASS/KPTI patches for Linux fix this, at huge performance cost on x86, not so much on ARM, and no cost for unaffected CPU models (runtime detected).
Spectre affects x86, ARM, POWER CPUs and possibly others. I’ve not yet found information on whether it is also limited to CPUs with out-of-order executions, but it seems likely. SPARC CPUs might be safe; Solaris/SPARC64 is safe due to the way its memory addressing works. If the OOO execution assumption is true, 80486 and P5 class x86 CPUs are also safe. This one does allow cross-VM and hypervisor attacks, so if the bare metal CPU is vulnerable, SOL. There does not yet seem to be a generic fix; some hint at having to patch the compiler and recompile everything with a workaround that has a performance cost, even if the CPU is not affected, or was fixed with a microcode update. AMD’s x86 CPUs are partially hit, one of the variants does not work on them.
“CERT recommends throwing away your CPU and buying an non-vulnerable one” (thanks to El Reg), but nobody states which CPUs are not vulnerable.
At the present time, we suggest any MirBSD/i386 instances that run on any CPU other than an 80486 or P5-class (Pentium Ⅰ or a non-PPro MMX) to be restricted to single user or trusted user access only, and no untrusted software including ECMAscript to be run on them.
Watch this space for updates. Oh, and, if you know what you’re (and I’m) talking about, please, again, do provide me with information necessary to provide those updates, both to MirBSD and to this space.

FreeBSD About the Meltdown and Spectre attacks

FreeBSD was made aware of the problems in late December 2017. We're working with CPU vendors and the published papers on these attacks to mitigate them on FreeBSD. Due to the fundamental nature of the attacks, no estimate is yet available for the publication date of patches.

HardenedBSD announcing the 2018 donation run

We've just published our goals for 2018. We've got a number of new goals planned, some that require new infrastructure. In 2018, we plan to migrate at least 90% of our infrastructure to a single data center in addition to expanding out existing infrastructure.

Hello, HelBUG

More user group news: Helsinki, Finland, has a new BSD User Group: HelBUG.  First meeting is February 7th.  There’s no mailing list/site that I know of, yet.

The long core dump | BSD Now 227

We walk through dumping a PS4 kernel in only 6 days, tell you the news that NetBSD 7.1.1 has been released, details on how to run FreeBSD on a Thinkpad T470 & there’s progress in OpenBSD’s pledge.

Code stuff

NetBSD: the LLVM Memory Sanitizer support work in progress
In Other BSDs for 2018/01/06