VPN, My Dear Watson | BSD Now 50

VPN, My Dear Watson | BSD Now 50

It’s our 50th episode, and we’re going to show you how to protect your internet traffic with a BSD-based VPN. We’ll also be talking to Robert Watson, of the FreeBSD core team, about security research, exploit mitigation and a whole lot more. The latest news and answers to all of your emails, on BSD Now – the place to B.. SD.

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– Show Notes: –


MeetBSD 2014 is approaching

  • The MeetBSD conference is coming up, and will be held on November 1st and 2nd in San Jose, California
  • MeetBSD has an “unconference” format, which means there will be both planned talks and community events
  • All the extra details will be on their site soon
  • It also has hotels and various other bits of useful information – hopefully with more info on the talks to come
  • Of course, EuroBSDCon is coming up before then

First experiences with OpenBSD

  • A new blog post that leads off with “tired of the sluggishness of Windows on my laptop and interested in experimenting with a Unix-like that I haven’t tried before”
  • The author read the famous “BSD for Linux users” series (that most of us have surely seen) and decided to give BSD a try
  • He details his different OS and distro history, concluding with how he “eventually became annoyed at the poor quality of Linux userland software”
  • From there, it talks about how he used the OpenBSD USB image and got a fully-working system
  • He especially liked the simplicity of OpenBSD’s “hostname.if” system for network configuration
  • Finally, he gets Xorg working and imports all his usual configuration files – seems to be a happy new user!

NetBSD rump kernels on bare metal (and Kansai OSC report)

  • When you’re developing a new OS or a very specialized custom solution, working drivers become one of the hardest things to get right
  • However, NetBSD’s rump kernels – a very unique concept – make this process a lot easier
  • This blog post talks about the process of starting with just a rump kernel and expanding into an internet-ready system in just a week
  • Also have a look back at episode 8 for our interview about rump kernels and what exactly they do
  • While on the topic of NetBSD, there were also a couple of very detailed reports (with lots of pictures!) of the various NetBSD-themed booths at the 2014 Kansai Open Source Conference that we wanted to highlight

OpenSSL and LibreSSL updates

  • OpenSSL pushed out a few new versions, fixing multiple vulnerabilities (nine to be precise!)
  • Security concerns include leaking memory, possible denial of service, crashing clients, memory exhaustion, TLS downgrades and more
  • LibreSSL released a new version to address most of the vulnerabilities, but wasn’t affected by some of them
  • Whichever version of whatever SSL you use, make sure it’s patched for these issues
  • DragonFly and OpenBSD are patched as of the time of this recording but, even after a week, FreeBSD (outside of -CURRENT) and NetBSD are not

Interview – Robert Watson – rwatson@freebsd.org

FreeBSD architecture, security research techniques, exploit mitigation


Protecting traffic with a BSD-based VPN

News Roundup

A FreeBSD-based CGit server

  • If you use git (like a certain host of this show) then you’ve probably considered setting up your own server
  • This article takes you through the process of setting up a jailed git server, complete with a fancy web frontend
  • It even shows you how to set up multiple repos with key-based user separation and other cool things
  • The author of the post is also a listener of the show, thanks for sending it in!

Backup devices for small businesses

  • In this article, different methods of data storage and backup are compared
  • After weighing the various options, the author comes to an obvious conclusion: FreeNAS is the answer
  • He praises FreeNAS and the FreeNAS Mini for their tight integration, rock solid FreeBSD base and the great ZFS featureset that it offers
  • It also goes over some of the hardware specifics in the FreeNAS Mini

A new Xenocara interview

  • As a follow up to last week’s OpenSMTPD interview, this Russian blog interviews Matthieu Herrb about Xenocara
  • If you’re not familiar with Xenocara, it’s OpenBSD’s version of Xorg with some custom patches
  • In this interview, he discusses how large and complex the upstream X11 development is, how different components are worked on by different people, how they test code (including a new framework) and security auditing
  • Matthieu is both a developer of upstream Xorg and an OpenBSD developer, so it’s natural for him to do a lot of the maintainership work there

Building a high performance FreeBSD samba server

  • If you’ve got to PXE boot several hundred Windows boxes to upgrade from XP to 7, what’s the best solution?
  • FreeBSD, ZFS and Samba obviously!
  • The master image and related files clock in at over 20GB, and will be accessed at the same time by all of those clients
  • This article documents that process, highlighting some specific configuration tweaks to maximize performance (including NIC bonding)
  • It doesn’t even require the newest or best hardware with the right changes, pretty cool


  • All the tutorials are posted in their entirety at bsdnow.tv
  • We want to give a special thanks to our viewer Adam (aka bsdx) for writing most of today’s OpenVPN tutorial
  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to feedback@bsdnow.tv
  • Watch live Wednesdays at 2:00PM Eastern (18:00 UTC)

Question? Comments? Contact us here!