Category Archives: FreeBSD

FreeBSD related stuff

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

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 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 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 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 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.

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:

And finally, the latest version of this script can be found at:

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 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.

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 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 and it will be available from the following URL:
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 to get the idea.

nanobsd(8) is in the tree!

So long, so good. The nanobsd(8) manual page that I have written is in the tree for around a week now and a few minutes ago I managed to MFC it to RELENG_6 so that means that it will be available in the FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE. This was also my first commit to RELENG_6, it was a bit tricky to get it wokring for me, but I think it was successful. Let’s take a look at other things that need to be MFC’ed before we will hit the freeze, which is right around the corner.


I was badly bored today, so I decided that I have to find something to do. Since I have written a NanoBSD article and there is still missing a manual page for this utility, I realized that it would be pretty nice to write one. Finally, it’s done and I’ve sent it to my mentors and Ruslan for review. Let’s hope it’s good enough and will be available in our tree soon!

First commits

After I got my new shiny commit bit, I made my first FreeBSD commits. It’s pretty exciting this all for me, because I have never before used CVS or any other Version Control System. After all, the basic things are not that hard, I expected it to be far more complicated then it really is, although I haven’t made any complex actions yet 🙂 After my first FreeBSD committer days I have closed some of our PRs in the GNATS database, one of which was my long-standing PR with patch for ipfw Handbook chapter. Also I have commited my first typo, which was cought by Tom (ah well, I should wait for his approval too :-)) and I have immediately commited a fix for it. After all, my mentors are really neat and it’s great opportunity to work with them together.