New FreeBSD Handbook Section – HAST

Long time, no see. Well, I must admit that with the exception of the regular (quarterly) FreeBSD Status Report, I am not working much on other community FreeBSD stuff these days, which makes me feel nostalgic from time to time. That’s why I spent some of my free time on working on the new FreeBSD Handbook section. This time it covers HAST – Highly Available Storage.

HAST was developed by pjd@ and is available since 8.1-RELEASE. It allows to transparently store the same data across several physically separated machines connected over TCP/IP. HAST can be understood as a network-based RAID1 (mirror), and is similar to the DRBD® storage system known from the GNU/Linux® platform.

In this new section, you will learn how to set up a robust storage system resistant to hardware failures by integrating other more advanced FreeBSD features, such as CARP and devd, together.

The full article is available at http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/disks-hast.html.

Thanks to all the reviewers, and hopefully you will enjoy the reading!
If you spot any problems, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

The FreeBSD.org top navigation drop-down menu

I had some spare time the other day, and as I haven’t made too many contributions to FreeBSD lately, so I thought it might be a good idea to do something to improve our FreeBSD.org web page.

I was thinking about the navigation of the homepage of the FreeBSD Project, and found out that it pretty much sucks. Although we have a lot of links in there, some pretty important pages are not linked, are difficult to find, or are simply hidden very well in secondary web pages. The navigation wasn’t very straight-forward.

It looks like most of the modern web sites resolve issues with navigation by adding a drop-down menus, which are easy to use, look pretty and are user friendly; Thus I looked around the web about how to implement those and found out that it should be possible to implement it in pure CSS.

I have read a few howtos and decided to try it out for FreeBSD.org web site. The result was pretty impressive (it works in all modern browsers, including Firefox 2.x+, Opera 9.5+, IE7+, Chrome and Safari) and as I got a good feedback from www@/doc@ team, I have yesterday commited a prototype of this implementation. As as result, you can now navigate through drop-down menus at the www.FreeBSD.org web site to reach some important pages you may have not even known about.

I hope that this change will improve the current situation around the navigation and that you will like it ;)

FreeBSD 8.0-BETA1

Dear FreeBSD users!

Some of you may have not yet noticed, but FreeBSD 8.0 release cycle has begun its latest stage, i.e. the first public beta release, FreeBSD 8.0-BETA1, has been released today. The final release is due about the end of this summer, so stay tuned.

The ISO images should be by now available on most of the FreeBSD mirror sites, and you are the most welcome to test those. We would like to hear your feedback, so that any outstanding bugs can be resolved before 8.0-RELEASE is out.

Please read the announcement carefully, as it contains some important information, mainly that this release still contains a lot of debugging features enabled by default (and as such is not ready for production environment). By now, the freebsd-update tool should be also ready for use.

This page may be of interest to you as well, as it contains some publicly accessible (but not an official standpoint of our release engineering team) information about the progress, known issues and open tasks involved in the release of FreeBSD 8.0.

On the other hand, an article by Ivan Voras talks about features that will, or might be present in the final release of FreeBSD 8.0, so if you are wondering about what’s cooking for this release, you definitely want to check that page out.

Knihy na predaj

Ahojte,

bracho mi objednal par knih z Amazonu, ktore som si bol dnes vyzdvihnut na poste. Uz na poste sa mi toho zdalo nejak vela a hned ako som doma otvoril krabicu som bol prekvapeny mnozstvom knih, ktore tam boli zabalene. Po ich vybaleni som zistil, ze miesto 4 knih, ktore som chcel mi doslo 8! Niektore knihy mam v dvoch kopiach, a jednu dokonca v troch :-)

Bohuzial toto nie je pripad, ze by sa pomylil Amazon a zabalil mi 8 knih za cenu 4 :( .

Brat ich objednaval v zhone na viackrat a neskontroloval si pocet knih v nakupnom kosiku a omylom objednal niektore knihy duplicitne. Kedze mam teraz z niektorych publikacii viac kopii, ktore samozrejme nepotrebujem, rad by som ich posunul dalej za nakupnu cenu (prepocitanu dnesnym NBS kurzom so zaokruhlenim nadol a bez postovneho). Su to fakt kvalitne knizocky a dufam, ze tato ponuka niekoho zaujme.

Takze k veci: Mam na predaj nasledovne publikacie:

Knizky su samozrejme uplne nove a neposkodene, prave vytiahnute z krabice. V pripade zaujmu ma prosim kontaktujte.

SysInfo: a set of scripts which document your FreeBSD system

Hello guys,

As part of my bachelor thesis, I am developing a script that automatically documents settings of particular FreeBSD box.

The point of this script is to provide some descriptive information about unknown system’s configuration (hardware and software) for administrator who has no idea about the given system.

I would greatly appreciate if you guys could test it in your environment and provide some feedback.  I would also like to hear your opinions on what kind of information would you be interested in, in the above described situation. If your ideas happen to be reasonable, I will gladly implement them and include in the next release of SysInfo.


You may be also interested in the Forums thread I have created for this tool at the FreeBSD forums:
https://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?p=19321


And finally, the latest version of this script can be found at:
http://danger.rulez.sk/projects/sysinfo/

You can also conveniently install it from the official FreeBSD port using the sysutils/sysinfo port.


Thank you.

FreeBSD Forums

As I have mentioned a few times, I was working together with a few other FreeBSD developers on an official FreeBSD web based forums. This initiative has started a pretty long time ago and took us almost a year (if not more) to finish it. There were times we felt like the work has been stalled, however we haven’t resigned.

Finally, we have annouced today the public launch of the official FreeBSD forums, that can be found at http://forums.freebsd.org. We are pleased to welcome you there.

The key members in this project are brd@, who kindly donated the vBulletin licence and is providing hosting services, joel@ who took the responsibility for creating the structure of the forum and writing its rules together with lme@ and miwi@ who have also participated in these efforts and who were given moderator privileges. These people deserve a lot of credits for their work. I have been working on the overall design and I hope you will like it :-)

If you have any ideas for improvements and/or you would like to submit some criticique, you are welcome to reach us at the Feedback forum.

BruteForceBlocker for iptables

Dear all,

some time ago I have received an email from Joshua Gimer asking me whether there are any efforst to port my brute force blocking tool to iptables, ipf and ipfw. He has commented that he would be gladly willing to assist in porting efforts as he uses bruteforceblocker in his environment quite successfuly.

Unfortunately I am these days very busy, thus am having almost none free time to spend on bruteforceblocker. I replied saying that I will be interested to see such ports and of course I would be pleased if someone could help me with this work.

After a few days he has send me port of BruteForceBlocker for iptables, which is widely used firewall backage on linux distributions. I promised him to review his code and release it. Well, I really hoped to review his code, but unfortunately this has not happen to date.

As I feel it is my duty and this tool might be helpful for you, I am releasing his port and I will be glad to see your comments whether it works for you, or whether there are any problems with it. This way I would also thank Joshua Gimer for his great work and all credits for this port are going to him.
Please note that I have not reviewed his code and it might contain bugs (not that my code doesn’t :-))

One great addition he has added is CIDR support for whitelists, which seems to be very useful to me. I will presumably adopt these changes to the original pf version.

You can download iptables port of Bruteforceblocker from whithin the download section, or direclty using this link.

Please test and report!

FreeBSD Errata Notices RSS Feed

Hello people,

we are working on the web based FreeBSD forums for some time now and we have added some rss feed based features to it, so that when a new item is added under News section or Security Advisories section of the www.freebsd.org page, it’s added to the approporiate forum and users can talk about the given item.
Recently, a new Errata Notice has been released (FreeBSD-EN-08:02.tcp.asc) and I have noticed that we do not have a RSS Feed for Errata notices. I have realized that it might be useful for our users to be able to subscribe to such feed so I have worked on this feature.
I have committed a few moments ago a code that brings support for Errata Notices RSS Feed to www.freebsd.org and it will be available from the following URL: http://www.freebsd.org/security/errata.xml.
So please subscribe now in order to be informed about new Errata Notices quickly and in an easy way.
This allows us to add this feed to the web based forum, so that users can disccus about errata notices as well.

More about the web based FreeBSD forums to come later.

New article – remote install

After some time, I have managed to write a new article.

It is based on the fact that we have moved some of our servers to the server hosting company located at Germany, that doesn’t officially support FreeBSD. They actually allow their customers to install FreeBSD over the remote console, but that costs some money.

However, thanks to Martin Matuska, we have found a way to install FreeBSD on our boxes without the need of the remote console. The idea is somehow based on the depinguinator project, but works with the latest versions of FreeBSD.

Please read the whole article at http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/remote-install/ to get the idea.

Web site changes

I have decided to move my web site to some content mangement system as I was bored to edit the static html pages all the time (well, there were a bunch of some php scripts, but those were used only to add headers and footers). Not that I have updated my web site on a regular basis, but well it’s always better to be able to update your web instantly anytime you want from any place in the world.

I have decided to use WordPress, as I heard some good reviews about it and I also have some little experience with it. The installation was really straightforward and easy; I got it working in a few minutes. I hope it’s going to serve me well.

I also have closed my blog hosted at blogs.freebsdish.org as I haven’t really written a lot in there and it’s now redundant to have a blog both there and here as well…so the planet.freebsdish.org is going to link only this blog.

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