Book Review: Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 by Bryan J. Hong

My first exposure to Unix was ULTRIX from the Digital Equipment Corporation, a former employer. ULTRIX was Digital's version of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, Unix) that ran on VAX computers. FreeBSD, also descended from BSD, is a robust operating system for x86 and other architectures. What Bryan J. Hong attempts to do in Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 is to create a guide to installing FreeBSD, its applications and services--in short order and without fuss. Hong does this successfully and in great detail.

Writing a kernel module for FreeBSD

FreeBSD 7.0 has already been released. If you are a real hacker, the best way to jump in and learn it is hacking together an introductory kernel module. In this article I'll implement a very basic module that prints a message when it is loaded, and another when it is unloaded. I'll also cover the mechanics of compiling our module using standard tools and rebuilding the stock FreeBSD kernel. Let's do it!

Guidelines to switch to a free platform

The topic of switching from Windows to Linux has been bashed numerous times and it often comes with the same arguments: high-performance, cheap, goes against the big monopolies, and so forth. Now, as a user, does it really matter? This article focuses on the steps you need to make for a successful switch or, at least, mix platform for the best result.


Review of FreeBSD 7

The next major update of FreeBSD 7, due this December, is in the running to be one of the most impressive FreeBSD releases to date. The ULE scheduler has now reached maturity, leading to significant gains across the board (particularly in server workloads). This new scheduler brings notably impressive performance improvements to both MySQL and PostgreSQL.

In the first section of this article, I'm going to take a look at what's new. In the second section, I will discuss what the future holds for FreeBSD beyond the upcoming FreeBSD 7.0 release, including screen shots of the revamped FreeBSD installer "finstall".

Secure email servers from scratch with FreeBSD 6 (Part 2)

In the last article we parted ways after configuring a base FreeBSD system, enabling it with upgrades via cvsup and portsupgrade, and securing it with a simple ipfw2 firewall. The previous article created a solid foundation which this article will build on, covering the configuration of Postfix, amavisd-new, ClamAV, SpamAssassin, MySQL and finally SquirrelMail for web mail.

Running BSD on PowerPC/PPC

When you think of the PowerPC processor, chances are you’ll think of just two platforms and, by association, two operating systems. Apple’s Mac OS X, which runs on Apple’s own hardware, and the AIX Unix operating system from IBM, which runs on their own PowerPC platform systems. In reality, there is a wide choice of potential operating systems that work on a wide range of PowerPC platforms. If you want a Unix-like alternative to AIX, particularly a free software one, then Linux seems the obvious choice, but there are others.

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