Vox Populi | BSD Now 91

Vox Populi | BSD Now 91

This week on the show, we’ve got something pretty different. We went to a Linux convention and asked various people if they’ve ever tried BSD and what they know about it. Stay tuned for that, all this week’s news and, of course, answers to your emails, on BSD Now – the place to B.. SD.

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– Show Notes: –



  • Last week, we were surprised to find out that DragonFlyBSD has support for dm-crypt, sometimes referred to as LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup)
  • It looks like they might not be the only BSD with support for it for much longer, as OpenBSD is currently reviewing a patch for it as well
  • LUKS would presumably be an additional option in OpenBSD’s softraid system, which already provides native disk encryption
  • Support hasn’t been officially committed yet, it’s still going through testing, but the code is there if you want to try it out and report your findings
  • If enabled, this might pave the way for the first (semi-)cross platform encryption scheme since the demise of TrueCrypt (and maybe others BSDs will get it too in time)

FreeBSD gets 64bit Linux emulation

  • For those who might be unfamiliar, FreeBSD has an emulation layer to run Linux-only binaries (as rare as they may be)
  • The most common use case is for desktop users, enabling them to run proprietary applications like Adobe Flash or Skype
  • Similar systems can also be found in NetBSD and OpenBSD (though disabled by default on the latter)
  • However, until now, it’s only supported binaries compiled for the i386 architecture
  • This new update, already committed to -CURRENT, will open some new possibilities that weren’t previously possible
  • Meanwhile, HardenedBSD considers removing the emulation layer entirely

BSD at Open Source Conference 2015 Nagoya

  • We’ve covered the Japanese NetBSD users group setting up lots of machines at various conferences in the past, but now they’re expanding
  • Their latest report includes many of the NetBSD things you’d expect, but also a couple OpenBSD machines
  • Some of the NetBSD ones included a Power Mac G4, SHARP NetWalker, Cubieboard2 and the not-so-foreign Raspberry Pi
  • One new addition of interest is the OMRON LUNA88k, running the luna88k port of OpenBSD
  • While at the event, NetBSD even revived their older luna68k port
  • There was even an old cell phone running Windows games on NetBSD
  • Check the mailing list post for some links to all of the nice pictures

LLVM introduces OpenMP support

  • One of the things that has kept some people in the GCC camp is the lack of OpenMP support in LLVM
  • According to the blog post, it “enables Clang users to harness full power of modern multi-core processors with vector units”
  • With Clang being the default in FreeBSD, Bitrig and OS X, and with some other BSDs exploring the option of switching, the need for this potential speed boost was definitely there
  • This could also open some doors for more BSD in the area of high performance computing, putting an end to the current Linux monopoly

Interview – Eric, FSF, John, Jose, Kris and Stewart

Various “man on the street” style mini-interviews

News Roundup

BSD-licensed gettext replacement

  • If you’ve ever installed ports on any of the BSDs, you’ve probably had GNU’s gettext pulled in as a dependency
  • Wikipedia says “gettext is an internationalization and localization (i18n) system commonly used for writing multilingual programs on Unix-like computer operating systems”
  • A new BSD-licensed rewrite has begun, with the initial version being for NetBSD (but it’s likely to be portable)
  • If you’ve got some coding skills, get involved with the project – the more freely-licensed replacements, the better

Unix history git repo

  • A git repository was recently created to show off some Unix source code history
  • The repository contains 659 thousand commits and 2306 merges
  • You can see early 386BSD commits all the way up to some of the more modern FreeBSD code
  • If you want to browse through the giant codebase, it can be a great history lesson
  • Paper with additional details and methodology

PCBSD 10.1.2 and Lumina updates

  • We mentioned 10.1.1 being released last week (and all the cool features a couple weeks before) but now 10.1.2 is out
  • This minor update contained a few hotfixes: RAID-Z installation, cache and log devices and the text-only installer in UEFI mode
  • There’s also a new post on the PCBSD blog about Lumina, answering some frequently asked questions and giving a general status update


Mailing List Gold

  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to feedback@bsdnow.tv
  • We’re recording two episodes next week, so some extra feedback email would be good

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