BSD News 07/08/13

Last week in BSD

NetBSD news - pkgsrc - NuOS announced - MidnightBSD 0.4 - FreeBSD secure boot - FreeBSD radeon - PC-BSD stuff - OpenBSD Wallpaper


MidnightBSD 0.4-RELEASE

MidnightBSD 0.4 has been released on July 5, 2013. It includes many new features, but
of particular interest is the new package management tool, mport.  
This release is a bit different from previous releases in that we plan to update
packages during the support period for 0.4. Rather than upload packages and
sit on them for the life of the release, you will be able to download updated
packages for i386 and amd64 periodically.
This release is a bit disruptive due to the number of changes, but it was decided
to move forward with it due to the age of 0.3-RELEASE.  The next release is planned
as a stability release and meant to work on desktop related functionality.

Other news

The nuOS project ( ) is about bringing back the power to the people! Currently, technical software, hardware and networking power. Ultimately, the power of personal communication and community self-organization. Currently made by geeks/nerds/hackers for geeks/nerds/hackers, our intent is to create an entirely new software ecosystem that promotes quality, easy to use software that is for any-and-every man woman and child yet without lassoing us all into one herd of sheeple. ;) Simple, common things should always be EASY. Complex, amazing or never-before imagined things should always be POSSIBLE.

Bunch of NetBSD news

SX support added for NetBSD
Support for Sun's SX rendering engine ( found in the SparcStation 20 and 10SX's memory controllers ) has been added, both for the console and X. Both drivers support basic acceleration ( block copy, rectangle fill, character drawing in the kernel ), the Xorg driver also supports Xrender acceleration. This probably makes SX the oldest supported hardware which can do that. 

Zorro attachment code for slhci(4) driver was added. Thylacine USB card is now supported. However, so far only keyboards and mice work reliably. To use them instead of standard Amiga keyboard and mouse wscons kernel is required.

Family of ELBOX Mediator 4000 PCI bridges is now supported by the new em4k(4) driver. It was tested successfully with SATALink 3114 and NE2000-compatible ethernet cards. Work on graphics cards support is in progress.

The new empm(4) driver adds support for power management circuit on ELBOX Mediator 1200 TX and SX models. It allows powering off the Amiga from software if ATX PSU is used.

The new z3rambd(4) driver allows using Zorro III RAM boards (like ZorRAM and BigRamPlus) as swap space. If the kernel is built without this driver, it is also possible to use these boards as normal RAM memory in some configurations (which was the usual behaviour). However, it might have performance consequences, it is advised to use Zorro III RAM as swap space where possible.

The xsurf(4) driver was extended to support IDE controller present on Individual Computers X-Surf cards.

The driver for A2000-style Real Time Clock modules (popular also on A1200 CPU cards) had bit-rotted so far as to be useless. It was rewritten as machine-independent msm6242b(4) driver, with amiga-specific frontend under old a2kbbc(4) name.

The ed(4) driver, supporting Hydra AmigaNet and ASDG LAN Rover cards was rewritten by Frank Wille. The new incarnation solved compatibility problems of old ed(4) driver (especially with 68040 and 68060)

FreeBSD begins process to support secure boot

The FreeBSD project has begun the process of making it possible for the operating system to run alongside Windows 8 on a computer which has secure boot enabled.
Secure boot is a feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface or UEFI, the replacement for the BIOS on the motherboard.
Microsoft has implemented secure boot for Windows 8, using cryptographic keys for authenticating the kernel that is being loaded. This means that any other operating system looking to load itself on a secure boot-enabled Windows 8 system has to also be able to authenticate itself.
Some GNU/Linux distributions have developed their own methods of booting on such hardware. However, installing such distributions alongside Windows 8 is still not an easy task for the average user.
Continue reading Marshall McKusik’s interview with itwire: FreeBSD begins process to support secure boot

FreeBSD Radeon Support Might Be Good In Mesa 9.2

The porting of the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver to FreeBSD is coming along well. The developer behind this work is hoping that the user-space Radeon Mesa/Gallium3D driver changes will be merged upstream for Mesa 9.2.
While there wasn't too much progress for June, a new Radeon FreeBSD driver update came this week to the AMD GPU FreeBSD Wiki.
There's now a yet-to-be-merged patch available that may solve a TTM crashing issue. Beyond that, the note dated from 2 July states, "In parallel, patches to Mesa were submitted upstream. Some of them are already committed. I hope that all of them will be integrated before Mesa 9.2."
Mesa 9.2 will be branched soon in anticipation of a release in August. Hopefully the necessary FreeBSD support code will land in time to improve the R600 Gallium3D driver for non-Linux users.

pkgsrc-2013Q2 is out

The official announcement has gone out.

In pkgsrc, there are: 12389 total packages for NetBSD-current/amd64 11912 binary packages built with gcc for NetBSD-6.1/amd64 11906 binary packages built with clang for NetBSD-current/amd64 10254 binary packages built with gcc for Joyent's SmartOS/i386 318 packages have been added this quarter 41 packages have been renamed this quarter 32 packages have been removed this quarter 1564 packages have been updated this quarter

Kris has announced that the PC-BSD project has moved over to a CDN (content delivery network) service for its network backbone. The CDN will replace the existing system of mirrors the project used for many years. It also means that users will no longer have to pick a mirror close to their geographical location in order to get decent download speeds when downloading PC-BSD, updates, and software. It will also prevent failed updates because the selected mirror is out of date or offline.

 Interview with Kris Moore at Texas Linux Fest

Kris gets to sit down with a blogger at Texas Linux Fest and discuss a bit about PC-BSD.

 Wallpaper of the week

 as found at google plus (sorry don't remember where, but proly OpenBSD community)

Did I miss some important news? Let the others know in comments!


Jan Hovancik

software developer - guitar player - poetry lover