Skip to content


Upcoming in FreeBSD 8.x

A friend of mine shot me this article today (What’s cooking for FreeBSD 8?), which is a pretty detailed outline of the things coming up for FreeBSD 8. I have to say, some of the things have got be excited! Some of the highlights that I want to see: Parallel Ports Build (announcement) Jails v2 (commit message) Xen Dom-U support (wiki page) There is actually quite a bit more, but those are the immediate ones that look like they’d noticeably affect me. I’d really love to have FreeBSD setup on a VPS via Xen, with Jails for each of my services. Currently I have that setup at home (jails), but its on old hardware that takes forever to compile. Parallel Ports Build would sure be a nice improvement, assuming the hardware can handle it (which my current hardware cannot). To any of you other FreeBSD users out there, what are you excited for in the list and why? Read more

Weekly Update Notifications via Portmaster

Update: I have suggested a minor improvement to this setup. Read More… For some time now I’ve been maintaining about a dozen FreeBSD jails, each running a different set of services. Everything from email to BIND, DHCP to nagios. One of the difficulties of trying to maintain so many servers has been tracking and applying updates, particularly servers that use the ports system which is updated so frequently. The solution that I’ve come up with is to use portmaster inside a weekly cron job to notify me of available updates on each machine. This requires a slightly different cron job on the host system that within the jails. Here is an example of what I’m running within each: #!/usr/local/bin/bash /usr/sbin/portsnap cron /usr/local/bin/ezjail-admin update -P /usr/local/sbin/portmaster -L | egrep -B1 ‘(ew|ort) version|Aborting|installed|dependencies|IGNORE|marked|reason:|MOVED’ | grep -v ‘^–‘ | mail -s “Portmaster Weekly Check for $(hostname)” [email protected] <br /> #! Read more

update your system (and ports) with csup

I want to thank one of the readers who left a comment recently regarding the use of cvsup. Apparently, some time ago, cvsup was replaced with a smaller, faster utility which comes included in the base OS. This tool is simply: csup. Some of the benefits of using csup instead of cvsup are: It comes preinstalled in the base OS. No need to build cvsup and all its dependencies. No need to install base ports in order to build cvsup in order to update your ports. I tried csup and noticed that it should be a drop-in replacement for those that still use cvsup. You should be able to use the same options and command arguments that you did previously. Here is an example of something I’ve setup which allows me to update my base OS + ports using csup and one command: /etc/make.conf ## csup config (just use 'make update' in /usr/ports or /usr/src)<br /> SUP_UPDATE=yes<br /> SUP= /usr/bin/csup<br /> SUPFLAGS= -g -L2<br /> SUPHOST= cvsup. Read more