The Installfest | BSD 19

The Installfest | BSD 19

We\’ve got some special treats for you this week on the show. It\’s the long-awaited \”installfest\” segment, where we go through the installer of each of the different BSDs. Of course we also have your feedback and the latest news as well… and… we even have our very first viewer contest! There\’s a lot to get to today on BSD Now – the place to B.. SD.

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– Show Notes: –


FreeBSD\’s new testing infrastructure

  • A new test suite was added to FreeBSD, with 3 powerful machines available
  • Both -CURRENT and stable/10 have got the test suite build infrastructure in place
  • Designed to help developers test and improve major scalability across huge amounts of CPUs and RAM
  • More details available here
  • Could the iXsystems monster server be involved…?

OpenBSD gets signify

  • At long last, OpenBSD gets support for signed releases!
  • For \”the world\’s most secure OS\” it was very easy to MITM kernel patches, updates, installer isos, everything
  • A commit to the -current tree reveals a new \”signify\” tool is currently being kicked around
  • More details in a blog post from the guy who committed it
  • Quote: \”yeah, briefly, the plan is to sign sets and packages. that\’s still work in progress.\”

Faces of FreeBSD

  • This time they interview Isabell Long, a 19 year old female that\’s involved with FreeBSD
  • She\’s a volunteer staff member on the freenode IRC network
  • In 2011, she participated in the Google Code-In contest and became involved with documentation
  • \”The new committer mentoring process proved very useful and that, plus the accepting community of FreeBSD, are reasons why I stay involved.\”

pkgsrc-2013Q4 branched

  • The quarterly pkgsrc branch from NetBSD is out
  • 13472 total packages for NetBSD-current/amd64 + 13049 binary packages built with clang!
  • Lots of numbers and stats in the announcement
  • pkgsrc works on quite a few different OSes, not just NetBSD
  • See our interview with Amitai Schlair for a bit about pkgsrc

OpenBSD on Google\’s Compute Engine

  • Google Compute Engine is a \”cloud computing\” platform similar to EC2
  • Unfortunately, they only offer poor choices for the OS (Debian and CentOS)
  • Recently it\’s been announced that there is a custom OS option
  • It\’s using a WIP virtio-scsi driver, lots of things still need more work
  • Lots of technical and networking details about the struggles to get OpenBSD working on it

This episode was brought to you by


The Installfest

We\’ll be showing you the installer of each of the main BSDs. As of the date this episode airs, we\’re using:
+ FreeBSD 10.0
+ OpenBSD 5.4
+ NetBSD 6.1.2
+ DragonflyBSD 3.6
+ PCBSD 10.0

News Roundup

Building an OpenBSD wireless access point

  • A neat write up we found around the internet about making an OpenBSD wifi router
  • Goes through the process of PXE booting, installing base, using a serial console, setting up networking and wireless
  • Even includes a puffy sticker on the Soekris box at the end, how cute

FreeBSD 4.X jails on 10.0

  • Blog entry from our buddy Michael Lucas
  • For whatever reason (an \”in-house application\”), he needed to run a FreeBSD 4 jail in FreeBSD 10
  • Talks about the options he had: porting software, virtualizing, dealing with slow old hardware
  • He goes through the whole process of making an ancient jail
  • It\’s \”an acceptable trade-off, if it means I don’t have to touch actual PHP code.\”

Unscrewed: a story about OpenBSD

  • Pretty long blog post about how a network admin used OpenBSD to save the day
  • To set the tone, \”It was 5am, and the network was down\”
  • Great war story about replacing expensive routers and networking equipment with cheaper hardware and BSD
  • Mentions a lot of the built in tools and how OpenBSD is great for routers and high security applications

PCBSD weekly digest

  • 10.0-RC3 is out and ready to be tested
  • New detection of ATI Hybrid Graphics, they\’re working on nVidia next
  • Fixed an issue with detecting disk drives that take a LONG time to probe
  • Re-classifying Linux jails as unsupported / experimental (and all 4 people that use them wept)



  • We\’re going to be having our first viewer contest!
  • We\’ll be giving away a handmade FreeBSD pillow – yes you heard right
  • All you need to do is write a tutorial for the show
  • Submit your BSD tutorial write-ups to
  • If you want to email us your idea first, I can tell you if I already have a tutorial for that topic prewritten for the show in the backlog
  • Check for all the rules, details, instructions and a picture of the pillow.

  • All the tutorials are posted in their entirety at
  • The OpenBSD router tutorial has gotten some improvements. It now includes an option to encrypt all your DNS lookups, as well as some cool utilities you can use for bandwidth monitoring, performance improvements and other fun router stuff
  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to
  • Watch live Wednesdays at 2:00PM Eastern (19:00 UTC)
  • BSD Now got some unintended publicity at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (1:28:16 – 1:31:00 in the video)

7 Responses to “The Installfest | BSD 19”

  1. garegin Says:

    all the installers blow donkey chucks. BSD installers are similar to Debian, where the setup and the installation is mixed together like it was in Windows pre-Vista.
    Windows, OS X and some Linuxes have the most logical installers. First it sets up the installation, installs it and then configures the computer. It doesn’t start asking stupid questions in the middle of the install.

  2. Edward SB Says:

    The PCBSD install process is light-years better than any Linux distro…..

    What needs to happen is that all other BSD distros need to partially emulate the PCBSD install…..

    With one exception, leave it up to the BSD distro creators to which choices of desktops they want to include in their .iso files

    The Install with so many choices of desktops is so cool, but some people might want to keep their .iso files under 700mg…

  3. Chris Says:

    Light-years? Why?

  4. Edward SB Says:


    To answer you question, I say Light-Years better because once it starts I guarantee it will finish the install, and you will always have a working desktop. it is not so much the design of the how pretty it is. IT IS THAT IT WORKS EVERY TIME…

    Take some of the most popular Linux Distro’s, say MINT 16 or Fedora 20, they all use GParted…but on some installs the darn things work just fine on other identical machine installs GParted will sometimes just freeze and stop working, then the HD is all jumbled up….you need to start from step #1….

    The only Linux distributions where GParted works perfectly EVERY TIME is PUPPY Linux, any time I hose a HD trying stuff I stick a Puppy disk and I can fix it in Minutes…

    By the way I haven’t just improperly partitioned and formatted HD’s trying Linux distributions, I have actually killed a few HD’s.

    Trying Linux I have also killed and a few very expensive laptops.

    So PCBSD LIGHT YEARS better because it just works and it doesn’t damage my laptops.

  5. Chris Says:

    I never had an Issue with an Installer. And in 13 years of Linux/BSD/Windows/QNXbackintheday i never killed a machine with an Install. So your “Light years” are just your Personal Experiences. I thought there was more to it. And i personally cant wrap my head around the possibility of damaging a HD with gparted to the Point of no return.

    But thanks for the Reply.

  6. Edward SB Says:

    Try installing fedora 20 say 10 times on the same machine or different machines, I guarantee the installer will stop at least twice!

  7. Chris Says:

    I’m more interrested in the fact how you were able to kill “few very expensive laptops” with a Linux install. What happend exactly?

    For review purposes (German here, thats why the English is so Bad ;)) i install Linuxes and BSDs quiete a few times a week (on a VM, Acer 5230e, My desktop PC and a Acer Aspire One 756). I never had an issue with any of them. So i really cant follow your Experience with Linux. Nothing ever gave up on me 😉

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