vBSDcon Wrap-Ups

November 20, 2013 1 comment

vBSDcon Wrap-Ups!

Verisign’s first-ever vBSDcon was a very successful event which was held October 25 – 27, 2013 at the Dulles Hyatt in Herndon, VA.  Speakers and attendees from all over the US and Europe convened at vBSDcon for exclusive networking opportunities, plenary talks, birds of a feathers, and speed geeking.

In the weeks following the conference, several organizations posted follow-ups of the event.  We’d like to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through them at the links below.

  • iXsystems, a vBSDcon Gold sponsor, posted this write-up
  • RootBSD, the vBSDcon Tote sponsor, posted this write-up
  • BSDNow, a weekly BSD news podcast, has a podcast review of vBSDcon here
  • Undeadly.org published a small article based on Henning Brauer and Reyk Floeter’s experiences here.
  • Check out the million+ impression tweets here
  • John-Mark Gurney provided a trip report here
  • Verisign’s own wrap-up, by CTO Burt Kaliski, is here

OpenBSD at vBSDcon October 25 – 27, 2013 in Virginia

October 8, 2013 Leave a comment

OpenBSD at vBSDcon October 25 – 27, 2013 in Virginia

For only USD$75 you can register for vBSDcon hosted by Verisign on October 25 – 27, 2013 in Herndon, VA. That is less than 3 weeks away! If you have not registered yet, it is definitely recommended as vBSDcon will feature a series of roundtable discussions, educational sessions, best practice conversations, and exclusive networking opportunities. Registrations for vBSDcon will be open until October 23, 2013 at http://www.vbsdcon.com/.

vBSDcon will feature developers, Henning Brauer and Reyk Floeter, from the OpenBSD project. Henning and Reyk will be tag teaming a presentation on packet inspection with pf in OpenBSD. pf was introduced in 2001 as an alternative to ipf. Over the years, pf has become a mature, secure, and powerful, yet easy to use high performance packet filter. In this presentation, Henning Brauer will describe some of the features of pf and Reyk Floeter will describe utilizing relayd in conjunction with pf. You can expect to hear about using hooks for transparent proxies, deep packet inspection, socket splicing, NATs, load balancing and more.

Read more about our speakers and their topics, the conference agenda, other activities, and registrations at http://www.vbsdcon.com/. This is an event you will not want to miss. Register now before it’s too late!

Follow @VERISIGN and @hostileaddmin on Twitter for more news and updates on #vBSDcon

Enabling mrepo Support for FreeBSD Packages

October 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Enabling mrepo Support for FreeBSD Packages

mrepo is a content management application for Yum/APT RPM Repositories which does not support FreeBSD packages. While this is not necessarily an elegant solution, it’s enough to enable support for FreeBSD packages and can get one started in deploying a more proper implementation.

Enabling preliminary support for FreeBSD packages involves the following procedure. This procedure assumes repos are available via HTTP at the location where content is downloaded from. We also assume a web server is installed and configured to serve mrepo content. Any discussion involving the configuration of these components is beyond the scope of this post.

  1. Apply the patch below to the mrepo.conf and add some FreeBSD repos
  2. Update the local mrepo repositories
  3. Execute `find` symlinking to the updated content
  4. Setup cronjobs to update repos periodically

Applying The Patch

This patch was generated with GNU patch on RHEL6 and should be applied using GNU patch in the following manner to minimize potential issues. It patches the mrepo script, mrepo.conf, and adds three mrepo repositories. The patch:

diff -u usr/bin/mrepo usr/bin/mrepo.new
--- usr/bin/mrepo	2011-07-01 21:16:09.000000000 -0400
+++ usr/bin/mrepo.new	2013-09-26 12:10:22.072081702 -0400
@@ -214,6 +214,7 @@
         self.lftpcleanup = self.getoption('main', 'lftp-cleanup', 'yes') not in disable
         self.lftpexcldebug = self.getoption('main', 'lftp-exclude-debug', 'yes') not in disable
         self.lftpexclsrpm = self.getoption('main', 'lftp-exclude-srpm', 'yes') not in disable
+        self.lftpincltbz = self.getoption('main', 'lftp-include-tbz', 'yes') not in disable
         self.lftpoptions = self.getoption('main', 'lftp-options', '')
         self.lftpcommands = self.getoption('main', 'lftp-commands', '')
         self.lftpmirroroptions = self.getoption('main', 'lftp-mirror-options', '-c -P')
@@ -1282,6 +1283,8 @@
         mirroropts = mirroropts + ' -X \"*.src.rpm\" -X \"/SRPMS/\"'
     if cf.lftpexcldebug:
         mirroropts = mirroropts + ' -X \"*-debuginfo-*.rpm\" -X \"/debug/\"'
+    if cf.lftpincltbz:
+        mirroropts = mirroropts + ' -I \"*.tbz*\"'
     ret = run('%s %s -c \'%s mirror %s %s %s\'' % (cf.cmd['lftp'], opts, cmds, mirroropts, url, path),dryrun=True)
     if ret:
diff -ruN etc/mrepo.conf newetc/mrepo.conf
--- etc/mrepo.conf	2013-09-30 10:57:32.036840555 -0400
+++ newetc/mrepo.conf	2013-09-30 09:08:34.960901787 -0400
@@ -1,4 +1,4 @@
+### Configuration file for mrepo
 ### The [main] section allows to override mrepo's default settings
 ### The mrepo-example.conf gives an overview of all the possible settings
@@ -23,3 +23,5 @@
 hardlink = no
 shareiso = no
 rhnget-download-all = yes
+lftp-include-tbz = yes
diff -ruN etc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-dev.conf newetc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-dev.conf
--- etc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-dev.conf	1969-12-31 19:00:00.000000000 -0500
+++ newetc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-dev.conf	2013-09-30 10:59:07.834704096 -0400
@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@
+name = FreeBSD 8.x Packages - Dev Repo
+release = 8
+metadata = yum repomd
+dev-repo = $url_to_the_development_repo
diff -ruN etc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-prod.conf newetc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-prod.conf
--- etc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-prod.conf	1969-12-31 19:00:00.000000000 -0500
+++ newetc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-prod.conf	2013-09-30 10:59:18.794803601 -0400
@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@
+name = FreeBSD 8.x Packages - Production Repo
+release = 8
+metadata = yum repomd
+prod-repo = $url_to_the_production_repo
diff -ruN etc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-qa.conf newetc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-qa.conf
--- etc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-qa.conf	1969-12-31 19:00:00.000000000 -0500
+++ newetc/mrepo.conf.d/FreeBSD-8-x86_64-qa.conf	2013-09-30 10:59:28.171888437 -0400
@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@
+name = FreeBSD 8.x Packages - QA Repo
+release = 8
+metadata = yum repomd
+qa-repo = $url_to_the_qa_repo

are applied by executing the following respectively for each patch after the patches have been downloaded:

# cd / && patch < mrepo.patch

Note this patch includes variables that should be replaced by URLs where the repos exist. This URL could be the URL to FreeBSD’s binary package repos, but the size of the repo could cause some issues with this process, especially the step below where the symlinks are generated. My use case involves HTTP repos of home grown FreeBSD packages.

This patch can also be modified to enable support for other file types. For example, tgz and txz files which are supported in FreeBSD’s new pkg framework. which will be default in FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE. Doing so would enable support for FreeBSD 10 ‘pkg’ files to mrepo as well.

Updating The Repositories

mrepo repositories are updated by executing the patched mrepo script as described here:

# mrepo -ug dev-repo
# mrepo -ug qa-repo
# mrepo -ug prod-repo

These commands update each of the above repos [ included in the patch ] according to srcdir and wwwdir specified in mrepo.conf. Therefore, content downloads to srcdir and wwwdir will be updated in the next step.

Symlink Content

mrepo downloads content from the URLs specified in the mrepo config files located in /etc/mrepo.conf.d/. The FreeBSD-8-x86_64-*.conf repositories in this case. The files are symlinked to from the repo identified by the combination of the value in wwwdir specified in /etc/mrepo.conf and the repo name. This is done by executing the following:

# cd $wwwdir/$repodir && find $srcdir/$repo –type f –name '*tbz' -exec ln –s {} . \;

Where $wwwdir and $srcdir are taken from /etc/mrepo.conf and $repodir is actual directory name of the repo on disk. This step should be executed for each of the repos. Completion of this step means the repos are now available via HTTP.

Configure Cronjobs

It is generally considered a good idea to enable periodic updates of mrepo repos. This can be done in any number of ways, including cronjobs. I choose cronjobs here for simplicity’s sake. Your cronjobs may look similar to the following:

0 0 1 * * mrepo -ug $repo && cd $wwwdir/$repo && find $srcdir/$repo –type f –name ‘*tbz’ -exec ln –s {} . \;

Where $repo is the repo tag specified in it’s config file in /etc/mrepo.conf.d/, $srcdir and $wwwdir are as specified in /etc/mrepo.conf.

Make Content Available Via Cobbler

Some technologists may employ provisioning platforms to distribute OS and package repo contents throughout an environment. I utilize Cobbler in my environments. Therefore, an additional one-time step to create the Cobbler repo is necessary for each repo.

Once the symlinks are created in $wwwdir/$repo, one can add the repo to Cobbler making it available there. This is done by executing:

# cobbler repo add --name="$repo_name" --breed="rsync" --mirror="$wwwdir/$repo"

The new repos will be updated any time a `cobbler reposync` is executed.


This blog is posted for informational purposes only. Extensive testing is recommended prior to implementing changes discussed here.

Exciting News About BSD News!

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Exciting News About BSD News!

BSD News, one of the BSD community’s token news blogs, announced today the ability of users to submit stories for consideration to be posted to BSD News. Take a moment to check the blog announcing this feature at http://bsdnews.net/exciting-news-about-bsd-news/.

Online submissions can be made via the submissions page at http://bsdnews.net/submissions/.

Categories: Uncategorized

vBSDcon Registrations Only Open For 30 More Days!

September 23, 2013 2 comments

vBSDcon Registrations Only Open For 30 More Days!

There are only 30 more days left to register for Verisign’s vBSDcon.  Online registrations will become unavailable October 23, 2013.  For those planning to attend, we encourage you to register soon at http://www.vbsdcon.com/.  You will not want to miss this event.  There will presentations by several well seasoned technologists such as Baptiste Darroussin on the subject of “PkgNG“, a new packaging system for FreeBSD based system such as FreeBSD, PC-BSD, and Dragonfly BSD.

Baptiste has a background in UNIX Systems Engineering and is involved in multiple facets of the FreeBSD project including being a Ports committer for 3 years and a src committer for 2 years. His involvement also includes being a member of the Port management team. PkgNG, a new package management framework for FreeBSD, is one of Baptiste’s primary roles where he is a lead developer.

In addition to plenary speakers, vBSDcon will also feature after conference hours Hacker Lounges and Doc Sprints.  These sessions will be available for the entire BSD communities to include NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and other BSD based distributions to have a collaborative space to work and communicate with one another.  Complimentary wireless internet access will also be available.

We look forward to seeing you all there for this opportunity to come together as a community.  Remember, online registrations will close on October 23, 2013.  Register for vBSDcon at http://www.vbsdcon.com/

vBSDcon Registrations Remain Open, Join Us In Celebrating 20 Years of FreeBSD!

September 19, 2013 Leave a comment

vBSDcon Registrations Still Open!

As many of you are aware, the social aspect of BSD-related conferences is very important and offers opportunities to meet and socialize with one another. Maintaining that tradition, Verisign’s vBSDcon will feature a mid-conference social, brought to you exclusively by Juniper, and will be celebrating 20 years of FreeBSD. We encourage all attendees to join Verisign and Juniper to celebrate this milestone for the FreeBSD project.

Conference activities start on October 25, 2013 at 6:00PM Eastern with a reception dinner hosted by Verisign at the Dulles Hyatt. General conference activities start the following morning with a presentation by David Chisnall, FreeBSD Core Team member, on the migration from GCC to LLVM/Clang within FreeBSD. David Chisnall is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where he works on the interface between languages, operating systems, and hardware. He is also a member of the FreeBSD Core Team and an LLVM/Clang committer. He is the author of several books, including the Definitive Guide to the Xen Hypervisor. He created the current GNUstep implementation of Objective-C and has maintained it for some years, and is now mostly responsible for the C++ stack in FreeBSD, having implemented the ABI library and ported the STL implementation.

We are in high gear planning for vBSDcon 2013 hosted by Verisign at the Dulles Hyatt in Herndon, VA and we are drawing closer by the week with 5 weeks left to register. Registrations are being accepted on the conference web site at http://www.vbsdcon.com/ through October 23, 2013 after which registrations will be taken in person at the event.

Reminder: vBSDcon Registrations Are Open!

September 9, 2013 1 comment

vBSDcon Registrations Still Open!

With approximately six (6) weeks until the event, Registrations for vBSDcon 2013 remain open until October 23rd, 2013.  Register now for this BSD conference scheduled to take place at the Dulles Hyatt in Herndon, VA from October 25 – 27, 2013.

Users and developers from across the BSD communities are encouraged to attend the event intended bring together members of the BSD community for a series of roundtable discussions, educational sessions, best practice conversations, and exclusive networking opportunities.  Those interested in such an opportunity to learn, experience, and meet others involved in the BSD communities should plan to attend vBSDcon 2013.

vBSDcon is proud to bring such prolific speakers like:

vBSDcon is being hosted at the Dulles Hyatt in Herndon, VA making it extremely convenient for attendees who book their room at the venue.  The venue is also just minutes from Dulles International Airport with regular shuttles to/from the hotel and airport terminal during the day.  Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided on-site by the hotel’s on premise restaurant.

The schedule includes a reception dinner at the Dulles Hyatt on the evening of October 25th provided by Verisign and a mid-conference social the following evening celebrating 20 years of FreeBSD.  Space for off hours hacker lounges and doc sprints will be available in the conference facilities with complimentary wireless internet access.  The BSD Certification Group will also be hosting a BSDA certification exam on Saturday evening following the completion of conference activities for the day.

All are invited to take part in this event and are encouraged to register at the vBSDcon web site at http://www.vbsdcon.com/.  Simply click the “Register now” button to begin your registration!  We look forward to meeting you all there!