Tag Archives: solaris

Books About FreeBSD

There are many books in which FreeBSD is covered or it is the one of the main objectives of such book. Today I will guide you through these books. I will try to focus on more up to date ones because it would be pointless (beyond historical purposes) to read them now.

The Hateful Eight

I will start with official FreeBSD documentation – as it offers 8 different books for you to get to know that UNIX operating system better. The two most known are FreeBSD Handbook and FreeBSD FAQ. The FreeBSD Handbook covers all/most general topics about FreeBSD operating system setup and administration while FreeBSD FAQ tries to answer most popular questions about it – and does it quite well. There are also other books that are more developer oriented. Below you will find the list of all available eight books from the FreeBSD project.

FreeBSD Handbook https://freebsd.org/handbook
FreeBSD FAQ https://freebsd.org/faq
FreeBSD Architecture Handbook https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/arch-handbook/
FreeBSD Developers Handbook https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/developers-handbook/
FreeBSD Porters Handbook https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/porters-handbook/
Design and Implementation of 4.4BSD Operating System https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/design-44bsd/
Project Model for FreeBSD https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/dev-model/
FreeBSD Documentation Project Primer for New Contributor https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/fdp-primer/

Example FreeBSD Handbook page from PDF file below.

freebsd-handbook

… and while you can download and read PDF files (there are also EPUB/HTML/TXT formats available for download) you can also read it online – this is how the FreeBSD FAQ looks online.

freebsd-faq-www

I sometimes miss that FreeBSD project does not deliver dedicated book in the same PDF/EPUB/HTML/TXT manner for the FreeBSD man pages as for example Solaris or AIX does. At least you can read them online on the https://man.freebsd.org/command page where you will put the needed man page in the place of ‘command’ word – for example the manual page for gstat(8) command is available at https://man.freebsd.org/gstat URL.

If there are two man pages with the same name like crontab(1) and crontab(5) for example then add the man page section number after the slash (/) at the end of URL like that https://man.freebsd.org/crontab/5 – this will solve that problem.

Below you can see the Solaris 10 – Man Pages Section 1M – System Administration Commands book with all Solaris administrative (1M) commands. For FreeBSD the administrative commands are at (8) section.

sol10man1M

The Usual Suspects

The most known books that cover FreeBSD operating system aspects are the ones that are authored by Michael W. Lucas (in more recent titles sometimes accompanied by Allan Jude).

The most famous (and useful) one is the Absolute FreeBSD – Complete Guide to FreeBSD in its most recent 3nd Edition. It is quite recent as its from 2019 year. You can get it both in digital (PDF/EPUB) and traditional printed way. If you already read the FreeBSD Handbook and FreeBSD FAQ are wondering what you should get next to continue your FreeBSD journey then this book is the answer. It fill all the gaps and bring a lot of additional information that you will find very useful in your day to day life with FreeBSD system.

absolute-fbsd

Several books later (not only technical) Michael W. Lucas started the FreeBSD Mastery series with many interesting books about FreeBSD. For the two that cover the ZFS filesystem Allan Jude is also a coauthor.

mastery

Here they are:

  • FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials (2014)
  • FreeBSD Mastery: Specialty Filesystems (2015)
  • FreeBSD Mastery: ZFS (2015)
  • FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZFS (2016)
  • FreeBSD Mastery: Jails (2019)

If you are gonna read them – then also do it in that order sa they are listed above. You will need all that ‘introduction’ to get the most of FreeBSD Jails. Even Michael W. Lucas mentioned that you need to ‘do’ several other of his books to truly take advantage of all things written in the FreeBSD Mastery: Jails book. While the FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials and FreeBSD Mastery: Specialty Filesystems are very close related to FreeBSD operating system the other two FreeBSD Mastery: ZFS and FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZFS have also a lot of general ZFS knowledge not only limited to FreeBSD operating system.

One additional word about the FreeBSD Mastery: Jails book as its quite ‘special’ in approach. For most parts of the FreeBSD operating system the FreeBSD Handbook covers some or most of the information and tasks needed to do convening particular topic. When it comes to FreeBSD Jails its not that simple anymore. There are two types of Jails. The ‘traditional’ Jails that use the host system network stack and the new ‘VNET’ Jails that bring their own – separate from the host – network stack. It gives you a lot more possibilities and features but it comes with only one downside. The official FreeBSD Handbook does not cover the ‘VNET’ Jails at all. Zero. Nada. Zip. None. You can get ‘some’ grasp about them from the FreeBSD man pages but that is definitely not enough. The ‘VNET’ Jails are of course production ready from many years but for some reason the missing chapter in the FreeBSD Handbook is still missing. That is the most important reason why you should get the FreeBSD Mastery: Jails book.

As we are in the FreeBSD Jails scope … I should also mention the FreeBSD Jails using VNETs book by Derik Ramirez from 2020.

added-JAILS

Its not as ‘big’ as the FreeBSD Mastery: Jails but keep in mind that half of Michael W. Lucas content is about the iocage(8) framework … which is quite dead now unfortunately. The biggest upside of FreeBSD Jails using VNETs book is that it covers – as described in the book title – the VNET Jails. Also being released in 2020 its very up to date.

The Taste of Others

Written in 2018 by Manish Jain the book Beginning Modern Unix covers both FreeBSD and Linux operating systems at the same time.

beginning-modern-unix

It also beginner friendly and as author writes in Preparing for Part I“The structure is intended to make things simple for Windows users planning to migrate to FreeBSD/Linux.” I also really liked the author explanation in the Preface about why he choose BSD/FreeBSD and GNU/Linux (like that syntax by the way). You can find part of it below.

beginning-modern-unix-preface

To be honest I like that ‘dual’ approach with sections showing how to achieve the same on two different (yet somewhat similar) operating systems. It may be useful especially when writing playbooks for various configuration management software like Ansible or Salt. I know that most of these configuration management systems provide their own ‘general’ integrations like ‘install packages’ on a system and then it uses pkg(8) on FreeBSD and yum(8) on CentOS but sometimes not all integrations are available or they are also sometimes broken or buggy. I have heard several times this already that its safer to rely on your own scripts and ‘raw’ commands instead of the ‘integration modules’ in many cases. Of course your millage may vary.

The Beginning Modern Unix book covers many desktop related topics but it also covers POSIX shell scripting and basic C programming which is very nice.

Another interesting ‘dual’ book is UNIX The Textbook from 2017 by Syed Mansoor Sarwar and Robert M. Koretsky authors.

unix-textbook

In its 3rd Edition it covers both Solaris and FreeBSD (in a form of PC-BSD tho) systems. As Solaris by default uses GNOME and PC-BSD (while it existed) used KDE the book also covers a lot about these two desktop environments.

unix-textbook-preface

It is illustrated with many useful diagrams of how things work on UNIX system. Below you can check the pipe explanation.

unix-textbook-pipe

Another good part of the book is that it also covers a lot of POSIX shell scripting and C programming techniques. Even covering things like writing simple servers, inter process communication, threads and a lot more. The book is really huge with almost 1400 pages of useful content. The book leave you at the end of each chapter with QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS. This approach reminds me of the legendary The C Programming Language written by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie UNIX fathers where it was also present.

Next one is very well known UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook by Evi Nemeth and Garth Snyder and Trent R. Hein and Ben Whaley … but it depends which version you get πŸ™‚

unix-linux-admin-4th

The 4th Edition is more conservative and covers Linux/Solaris/HP-UX/AIX systems. This is the description of which systems they have chosen in 2011 and why.

unix-linux-admin-4th-systems

If you try to find FreeBSD there you will fail. They only mentioned it once and added that along with OpenBSD and NetBSD and that BSD systems “(…) enjoy somewhat less support from third-party software vendors.” See for yourself.

unix-linux-admin-4th-freebsd

Lets now move 7 years forward to 2017 in which the 5th edition of the same UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook book was released. Authors also changed a little with Dan Mackin being added to current lineup of authors of this book.

unix-linux-admin-5th

Besides modified cover I would risk a stance that its quite entirely different book right now. Its because the 5th Edition covers only Linux and … FreeBSD. No AIX. No Solaris. No HP-UX. Authors also added quite long justification on why they have chosen these operating systems and not the other ones. The time of oldschool UNIX dinosaurs that ruled for decades seem to slowly vanish. Its probably not without reason.

The last HP-UX version 11.31 (also known as 11i v3 variant) was released in 2007. Still uses ‘manual’ packages like in 1995. I like its ‘ecosystem’ tho. What I mean by that is that you can install and setup several HP-UX machines. Setup HP Serviceguard HA cluster on these machines and then make HP Virtual Machines or HP SRP Containers highly available between these hosts as Serviceguard services. I was fortunate enough to be able to see such 6 node cluster in action and it worked really well.

The last AIX version 7.2 was released in 2015 but I do not recall any ground braking features. Also AIX still does not have any modern package management and the most that IBM AIX developers could do was to adopt RPM database to add RPM packages along with the native ones. In 2021 the newer AIX 7.3 release also saw the light of day … but also without any groundbreaking features. In other words the last two AIX system releases fell only like a maintenance releases. While the HP-UX ‘ecosystem’ is ‘connected’ between their products and features its not that easy and simple in the AIX ‘POWER World’. For example its not possible to create similar setup with LPARs or WPARs that their high availability would be controlled by PowerHA cluster software. Even if you would create LPARs with purely virtual devices and storage from the SAN network. The POWER ecosystem offers a feature called Remote Restart for LPARs on HMC but its far from being close to what HP-UX ecosystem offers here.

As for Solaris … I think that Oracle taking over SUN is probably one of the worst things that could happen to Solaris. Oracle could extend and continue the OpenSolaris road started by SUN. It could move and expand Solaris to 21st century. Instead it also went the ‘maintenance’ road along with maximizing the cash outcome of Solaris ‘asset’ with 11.3 in 2015 and 11.4 in 2018 releases. Besides adding PF firewall from OpenBSD and Live Migration feature for Kernel Zones I do not recall any groundbreaking features to be added. Maybe some ZFS development but looking at what OpenZFS is achieving with each release these Oracle developments do not look ‘big’ at all. From what is known Oracle also fired most of SPARC and Solaris developers leaving only small teams to make it running in ‘maintenance mode’ up to 2034 to which Oracle promised to keep Solaris alive instead of moving forward with Solaris 12.0 which was even in alpha or beta state. I agree with authors statement in which they say that “The popularity of UNIX has been waning for some time, and most of the stalwart UNIX distributions (e.g., Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX) are no longer in common use.”

Below is the authors description why they have chosen the FreeBSD and Linux systems for the 5th Edition of their well respected and acknowledged book.

unix-linux-admin-5th-systems

Back to FreeBSD world … and the authors quote why FreeBSD was included in this most recent version of their book – “The open source descendants of BSD are exceptions to this trend and continue to enjoy a cult following, particularly among operating system experts, free software evangelists, and security-minded administrators. In other words, some of the world’s foremost operating system authorities rely on the various BSD distributions. Apple’s macOS has a BSD heritage.” This most recent version is also little shorter with ‘only’ about 1200 pages while earlier edition topped at little over 1300. Keep in mind that newer edition covers Linux and FreeBSD while the older one had to describe and document to systems more.

Last but not least I should also mention the Book of PF – No Nonsense Guide to OpenBSD Firewall book by Peter N.M. Hansteen from 2015 in its most recent 3rd Edition.

pf-book

While originally targeted at OpenBSD users the FreeBSD users will also be able to get a lot of useful knowledge about PF firewall that FreeBSD uses. Keep in mind that there are some syntax differences between OpenBSD and FreeBSD PF firewalls.

Source Code

Here you will find the books that are little less useful for sysadmins and more useful for developers and programmers. We will start with updated Design and Implementation of FreeBSD 11 Operating System from 2015 in 2nd Edition form. Written by one of the original BSD UNIX and FreeBSD developers Marshall Kirk McKusick along with other two FreeBSD developers George V. Neville-Neil and Robert N.M. Watson.

design-implementation-bsd

Its generally more up to date version of the official FreeBSD documentation available as Design and Implementation of 4.4BSD Operating System title from the FreeBSD project documentation page – which one of the authors is also Marshall Kirk McKusick. Is it worth to get it then? Absolutely. A lot have changed and many new technologies have been imported into FreeBSD source tree such as ZFS or DTrace or for example the ULE scheduler.

The final book that I would like to mention here is the FreeBSD Device Drivers book from 2012 written by Joseph Kong.

bsd-device-drivers

The book tries to achieve what it title says – to help you first understand and then modify or write your own device drivers. While it covers little older FreeBSD 8 version it is not a problem because the FreeBSD API and ABI change very slow and only when no other way is possible.

Another great tool for programmers and developers in the process of making FreeBSD better is book about DTrace – the dynamic tracing framework. The DTrace – Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD book.

added-DTRACE

Written by Brendan Gregg and Jim Mauro in 2011 greatly helps to jump into that topic in simple and straightforward way. Besides covering FreeBSD it also does cover Mac OS X, Solaris and even OpenSolaris. That means that it should also be useful for Illumos developers. The book contains a lot of DTrace scripts and examples on how to use that fantastic tool.

Another book that you may find useful in your FreeBSD programmer career is the Designing BSD Rootkits: An Introduction to Kernel Hacking book by Joseph Kong.

added-ROOTKITS

Written in 2007 still contains lots of up to date information for the FreeBSD hackers. While the term ‘rootkit’ may be taken ‘negatively’ the author itself describes the book by himself the best way – “Though rootkits have a fairly negative image, they can be used for both good and evil. Designing BSD Rootkits arms you with the knowledge you need to write offensive rootkits, to defend against malicious ones, and to explore the FreeBSD kernel and operating system in the process.” I agree with the author here. To be well protected against something you first need to know how that thing works. The book contains many code examples that you may compile and use and also build upon with your own ideas. Would recommend.

Gone with the Wind

If you know other FreeBSD related books then please let me know.

For those few that did not noticed – the titles of the headers are really great movies πŸ™‚

ZFS Boot Environments Reloaded at NLUUG Autumn Conference 2018

Today I was honored to give ZFS Boot Environments Reloaded talk at the NLUUG Najaarsconferentie 2018 (the NLUUG Autumn Conference 2018).

zfsbectl-shot-256

Dunno for how long the conference page will be available so below you will find both conference page and its program.

NLUUG 2018 NL Site

… and the program.

NLUUG 2018 NL Program

There were lots of interesting talks, I really liked the Salt workshop at the end of the day. I wanted to also attend Ansible presentation in the morning but having spend almost 17 hours in the car driving from central Poland to Netherlands I really needed some sleep πŸ™‚

You are invited to download the PDF Slides – https://is.gd/BECTL – available here.

As I just finished the talk the video from the talk is not yet available, but I will update the post when it will be.

Besides obvious things that ZFS Boot Environments can do I also talked about upcoming FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE improvements in this area. Currently FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE is planned to be released around Christmas later this year and is at the BETA4 stage currently.

Also here is the abstractΒ that I added at the conference page about the presentation.

Abstract

As long as sysadmins need to maintain, change and update operating systems there is always need to protect against problems that may occur during these operations. Various solutions were used starting from simple backup/restore procedures or copying the contents of system filesystems into spare disks to snapshots and clones recently. None of these solutions were transparent enough or bulletproof enough to provide complete and consistent protection again failures in the change or update process.

One of such holy grails is ZFS Boot Environments solution. It protects entire system (and even additional data when needed) against almost any change or update process. As ZFS Boot Environments matured in Solaris/Illumos systems and then on FreeBSD UNIX other systems started to copy its principles to provide similar solutions such as snapper with BTRFS in SUSE or Boot Environment Manager for DragonFly BSD with their HAMMER filesystem.

The presentation aims to walk through the history of these solutions with the focus on practical ZFS Boot Environments solutions and examples.

Β 
Hope you will enjoy it.

EOF

My FreeBSD Story

As Roman Zolotarev asked if I would write an entry for his Tell Your BSD Story page I could not refuse. That page was available at the https://www.bsdjobs.com/people/hi.html URL but seems that Roman abandoned the bsdjobs.com domain unfortunately. I really tried to make it short and small but I guess its not that straight πŸ™‚

My first devices/computers/consoles (not at the same time) that I remember were Atari 2600 and Pegasus console which was hardware clone of the Nintendo NES.

atari-2600.png

Back then I did not even knew that it was Atari 2600 as I referred to it as Video Computer System … and I did not even knew any english by then. It took me about two decades to get to know (by accident) that this Video Computer System was Atari 2600 πŸ™‚

This equipment was used for playing computer games only.

Then I got AMIGA 600 computer (or should I say my parents bought it for me) which served both for playing computer games and also other activities for the first time. AMIGA is the computer that had the greatest influence on me, as it was the first time I studied the books about Amiga Workbench operating system and learned commands from Amiga Shell terminal. I loved the idea of Ram Disk icon/directory on the desktop that allowed me to transparently put any things in system memory. I still miss that concept on today’s desktop systems … and I still remember how dismal I was when I watched Amiga Deathbed Vigil movie.

amiga-600.png

At the end of 1998 I got my first PC that of course came with Windows and that computer served both as gaming machine and as well as typical tool. One time I dig into the internals with Windows Registry (which left me disgusted by its concepts and implementation) and its limited command line interface provided by CMD.EXE executable. I remember that the heart of this box was not the CPU or the motherboard but the graphics accelerator – the legendary 3Dfx Voodoo card. This company (3Dfx) – their attitude and philosophy – also left solid fingerprint on my way. Like AMIGA did.

Hence how the top of my laptop looks like now πŸ™‚

laptop.jpg

Some games was even released as special edition with the only feature being support for the 3Dfx Glide driver like Need for Speed II: Special Edition.

nfs.jpg

After ‘migration’ from AMIGA to PC it never again ‘felt right’. The games were cool but the Windows system was horrible. Time has passed and different Windows versions and hardware modifications took place. Windows XP felt really heavy at that time, not to mention Windows 2000 for example with even bigger hardware requirements. I also do not understand all the hate about Windows ME. It crashed with the same frequency as Windows 98 or later Windows 98 Second Edition but maybe my hardware was different πŸ™‚

windowsme.png

I do not have any ‘mine’ screenshots from that period as I lost all my 40 GB (huge then) drive of data when I moved/resized the partition with Partition Magic to get some more space from the less filled C: drive. That day I learned hard that “there are people who do backups and people who will do backups”. I never lost data again as I had multiple copies of my data, but the same as Netheril fall the lost data was was gone forever.

I always followed various alternatives which led me to try Linux in 2003, after reading about various distributions philosophies I decided to run Slackware Linux with KDE 3. My buddy used Aurox Linux by then (one of the few Linux distributions from Poland) and encouraged me to do the same – especially in the context of fixing possible problems as he already knew it and also as he recently dumped Windows system. But Slackware sounded like a better idea so I took that path instead. At first I dual booted between Windows XP and Slackware Linux cause I had everything worked out on the Windows world while I often felt helpless in the Linux world, so I would reboot into Windows to play some games or find a solution for Linux problem if that was required. I remember how strange the concept of dual clipboards (PRIMARY and SECONDARY) was for me by then. I was amazed why ‘so much better’ system as Linux (at least marketed that way) needs a system tray program to literally manage the clipboard. On Windows it was obvious, you do [CTRL]+[C] to copy and [CTRL]+[V] to paste things, but on Linux there (no I know its X11 feature) there were two clipboards that were synchronized by this little system tray program from KDE 3. It was also unthinkable for me that I will ‘lost’ contents of last/recent [CTRL]+[C] operation if I close the application from which the copy was made. I settled down a little on Slackware but not for long. I really did not liked manual dependency management for packages for example. Also KDE 3 was really ugly and despite trying all possible options I was not able to tweak it into something nice looking.

After half a year on Slackware I checked the Linux distributions again and decided to try Gentoo Linux. I definitely agree with the image below which visualizes Gentoo Linux experience, especially when You install it for he first time πŸ™‚

gentoo-fly

Of course I went with the most hardcore version with self building Stage 1 (compiler and toolchain) which was horrible idea at that time because compilation on slow single core machine took forever … but after many hours I got Gentoo installed. I now have to decide which desktop environment to use. I have read a lot of good news about Fluxbox at that time so this is what I tried. It was very weird experience (to create everything in GUI from scratch) but very pleasant one. That recalled me the times of AMIGA … but Linux came in the way too much often. The more I dig into Gentoo Linux the more I read that lots of Gentoo features are based on FreeBSD solutions. Gentoo Portage is a clone of FreeBSD Ports. That ‘central’ /etc/rc.conf system configuration file concept was taken from FreeBSD as well. So I started to gather information about FreeBSD. The (then) FreeBSD website or FreeBSD Ports site (still) felt little outdated to say the least but that did not discouraged me.

Somewhere in 2005 I installed FreeBSD 5.4 on my computer. The beginnings were hard, like the earlier step with Gentoo but similarly like Gentoo the FreeBSD project came with a lot of great documentation. While Gentoo documentation is concentrated within various Gentoo Wiki sites the FreeBSD project comes with ‘official’ documentation in the form of Handbook and FAQ. I remember my first questions at the now nonexistent BSDForums.org site – for example one of the first ones – how to scroll the terminal output in the plain console. I now know that I had to push Scroll Lock button but it was something totally new for me.

How BSDForums.org looked like.

bsdforums.png

This is the earliest screenshot I got from that period, and Gentoo setup looked very similar.

vermaden-2005.11.08.jpg

Why FreeBSD and not OpenBSD or NetBSD? Probably because Gentoo based most their concepts on the FreeBSD solutions, so that led me to FreeBSD instead of the other BSD operating systems. Currently I still use FreeBSD but I keep an steady eye on the OpenBSD, HardenedBSD and DragonFly BSD solutions and improvements.

As the migration path from Linux to FreeBSD is a lot easier – all configuration files from /home can be just copied – the migration was quite fast easy. I again had the Fluxbox configuration which I used on the Gentoo. Now – on FreeBSD – it started to fell even more like AMIGA times. Everything is/has been well thought and had its place and reason. The documentation was good and the FreeBSD Community was second to none.

I even decided to upgrade the hardware to something more exotic. I got Gigabyte-GA-7DPXDW server motherboard with dual CPU sockets – and as Athlon XP (desktop) processors were very easily modified to ‘be’ Athlon MP (server) ones I got also the second one along with 1 GB of ECC RAM.

gigabyte-GA-7DPXDW.jpg

This dual CPU setup – quite unusual at these times – server me very well. I switched from nvidia binary blob driver to software but open nv because nvidia would break my uptime every several days πŸ™‚

I accumulated 30 days of uptime on that desktop box, not bad for a system without any emergency UPS πŸ™‚

uptime-vermaden.png

This was also the last time I used ECC RAM on FreeBSD (at least on my boxes) while ZFS did not even existed on FreeBSD πŸ™‚ But as time flied I started to feel the need for something faster. As I also got interested in Intel graphics card I got the new motherboard with fastest Intel graphics card available then – as silly as it sounds – the Asus P5B-V with Intel X3000 GMA … and that was a terrible idea because FreeBSD graphics stack supported all the Intel graphics cards instead of that one. At the beginning I used software vesa driver but the problem was not the performance of the driver (as I also had quad core Intel Q6600 CPU) but the resolution on the screen. As I got 1280 x 1024 screen by then using limited 1024 x 768 was real PITA. I decided that I will try something else then FreeBSD will Intel X3000 support finally arrives. I needed to do something fast as I also needed to write my Masters Thesis at that time.

That was in the middle of 2007. I wanted to try the other end of the Linux distributions spectrum. Ubuntu. I could not go more ‘desktop’ way πŸ™‚ It of course installed gently with GNOME 2 environment and pulseaudio already unfortunately existed. As I preferred to run my computer all the time back then (I did not payed the electricity bills) there were several things that annoyed my very much. For example the mentioned pulseaudio – the sound freezed after one-two days of using the computer (even if I did not played any music or videos) and it stayed that way. I could restart pulseaudio or reload the ALSA modules but it stayed in this SUSFU state (situation unchanged still fucked up) until reboot. As I needed to finish my Masters Thesis I did not had time to reinstall into something else as pulseaudio will be probably similarly broken on other Linux distributions and FreeBSD was still lacking the Intel X3000 GMA support. Generally GNOME 2 experience was not bad but I really missed all my custom settings, keyboard shortcuts and customized behavior. I remained in pain on the Ubuntu for two months – to the time I have finished my Masters Thesis about Operating Systems’ Virtualization which you can download and read but its in Polish so use translator if needed πŸ™‚

This is how Ubuntu looked back then.

ubuntu.jpg

I also had ‘side’ journey to the Mac wonderland as I got opportunity to use Macbook Pro with Mac OS X Leopard for a year. That allowed me to get real ‘feel’ of the Mac ecosystem and their hardware (and philosophy) so I will not repeat same stereotypes over and over again like a lot of anti-apple people. But after I switched back to FreeBSD system at work it just felt better. I used Terminal.app on Mac a lot but the xterm(1) at FreeBSD just felt more natural.

What makes me laugh now that I created Mac styled Fluxbox themes years till I got to run Mac and I still like Mac OS X look from the Leopard times.

vermaden-2007.10.14-mac.png

There was time on which I also played with Solaris (and later OpenSolaris). I must admit that there was time when Solaris so called Java Desktop based on GNOME 2 was really looking good. It was so good that only Mac OS X could only rival it for the best looking os by then.

solaris-10-GNOME-2-java-desktop.png

I really liked Solaris concepts and solutions like Zones and ZFS, also Crossbow, Comstar or IPS (FreeBSD did not had PNGng by then). But I always got problem with ‘desktop’ software. While I had everything in the FreeBSD Ports – almost the same amount of applications that is available on Linux – there was always some applications lacking in the Solaris world.

The Solaris ‘journey’ also left print on my soul so my Fluxbox themes went into Solaris style πŸ™‚

vermaden-2007.07.30-solaris-java-fluxbox-system.png

After the Ubuntu fiasco I got other motherboard as FreeBSD still did not supported Intel GMA X3000 card and settled in the FreeBSD land again. What a relief it was after this pulseaudio nonsense. In the meantime as I read a lot of good experiences about Openbox I decided to try it out instead of Fluxbox. It was strange feeling to mess with XML configuration files at the beginning but as I got used to it and ordered the rc.xml and menu.xml configuration files properly it was not a problem. Since then I used FreeBSD on different machines including physical servers, virtual machines and laptops. I learned that adequate supported hardware is the most important factor in FreeBSD ecosystem.

I still use Openbox and still use FreeBSD today and my desktop looks like that one below.

vermaden-NOW.jpg

After 15 years of using various Windows, UNIX (macOS/AIX/HP-UX/Solaris/OpenSolaris/Illumos/FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD) and UNIX-like (Linux) systems I always come to conclusion that FreeBSD is the system that sucks least. And sucks least with each release and one day I will write why FreeBSD is such great operating system … if I already haven’t πŸ™‚

UPDATE 1

As Roman Zolotarev got a moment he added my story to his Tell Your BSD Story page. That page was available at the https://www.bsdjobs.com/people/ URL but seems that Roman abandoned the bsdjobs.com domain unfortunately.

Thanks Roman!

You may check it for yourself at Slawomir Wojciech Wojtczak (vermaden) runs FreeBSD page.

EOF

Valuable News – 2018/08/25

UNIX

OpenBSD adds kcov(4) kernel code coverage tracing driver.
So far 8 distinct panics have been found and fixed.
https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=153467896308034&w=2

GCC 8.2 now packaged and available in Illumos/OpenIndiana.
https://bsd.network/@sehnsucht/100581557620270760
https://pkg.openindiana.org/hipster/info/0/developer%2Fgcc-8%408.2.0%2C5.11-2018.0.0.0%3A20180815T204704Z

FreeBSD arc4random is now based on ChaCha20 implementation from OpenBSD.
https://twitter.com/lattera/status/1031280553301925888
https://svnweb.freebsd.org/base?view=revision&revision=338059

Valve forked WINE into Proton as compatibility tool for Steam Play.
https://github.com/ValveSoftware/Proton/
https://steamcommunity.com/games/221410/announcements/detail/1696055855739350561

AMD Threadripper 2990WX 32-core/64-thread on DragonFly BSD.
http://apollo.backplane.com/DFlyMisc/threadripper.txt
http://lists.dragonflybsd.org/pipermail/users/2018-August/357858.html

Using 10GE Adapters with PowerVM SEA – Virtual Ethernet Considerations.
http://ibmsystemsmag.com/aix/administrator/virtualization/using-10gbit-ethernet-adapters/

Native ZFS Encryption on FreeBSD CFT on the road to 12.0-RELEASE.
https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-current/2018-August/070832.html

Backup FreeNAS and TrueNAS to Backblaze B2 Cloud.
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-to-setup-freenas-cloud-storage/

Colin Percival heroic (I am not joking here) fight for removing unneeded sleeps during boot on FreeBSD.
https://twitter.com/cperciva/status/1031928231635677184
https://reviews.freebsd.org/D16723

Writing SYSTEMD service files.
https://twitter.com/mulander/status/1031908074733428736
https://obsd.pl/mfm/iptables/

Illumos/Tribblix packages of openjdk9 and openjdk10 available.
https://twitter.com/ptribble/status/1031650238266789893
https://twitter.com/ptribble/status/1031900360271491074
http://pkgs.tribblix.org/openjdk/

Difference between OpenBSD xenodm and regular xdm.
https://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article&sid=20160911231712

X.Org Security Advisory – 2018/08/21.
http://seclists.org/oss-sec/2018/q3/146

FreeBSD removes legacy DRM and DRM2 from its tree.
https://twitter.com/f0andrey/status/1032234624544583680
https://svnweb.freebsd.org/base?view=revision&revision=338172

OmniOS CE (Community Edition) r151026p/r151024ap/r151022bn with CVE-2018-15473 addressed.
https://omniosce.org/article/releases-026p-024ap-022bn.html

Running Mastodon on FreeBSD.
https://ftfl.ca/blog/2017-05-23-mastodon-freebsd.html

Upgrading Mastodon on FreeBSD.
https://ftfl.ca/blog/2017-05-27-mastodon-freebsd-upgrade.html

KDE Plasma 5.x on Pinebook Laptop.
https://twitter.com/SoftpediaLinux/status/1032262240437723137

FreeBSD – Raspberry Pi 3B+ – UART.
https://blackdot.be/2018/08/freebsd-uart-and-raspberry-pi-3-b/

FreeBSD – Raspberry Pi 3B+ – Remote Access Console.
https://blackdot.be/2018/08/remote-access-console-using-raspberry-pi-3b-and-freebsd/

FreeBSD 12.x has LUA loader enabled by default.
https://twitter.com/bsdimp/status/1031638933690441728

In Other BSDs for 2018/08/18.
https://www.dragonflydigest.com/2018/08/18/21609.html

Shared library load order randomization in HardenedBSD for use with Firefox/Chromium/Iridium.
https://twitter.com/lattera/status/1030823681843507202

Researchers Blame ‘Monolithic’ Linux Code Base for Critical Vulnerabilities.
https://threatpost.com/researchers-blame-monolithic-linux-code-base-for-critical-vulnerabilities/136785/

2018/08/23 is the End of Life for NetBSD 6.x tree.
https://www.netbsd.org/changes/#netbsd6eol

Carlos Neira ZCAGE is now able to create BHYVE Branded Zones on Illumos.
https://bsd.network/@sehnsucht/100599247272911030
https://www.npmjs.com/package/zcage
https://asciinema.org/a/QLnjO8J2NVVPQrs3jh0EKEGta

FreeNAS 11.1-U6 Available.
https://twitter.com/FreeBSD_News/status/1032666675194167297
https://www.ixsystems.com/blog/library/freenas-11-1-u6/

FreeBSD vs. DragonFly BSD vs. Linux on AMD Threadripper 2990WX.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=bsd-threadripper-2990wx

Disable SMT/Hyperthreading in all Intel BIOSes – Theo de Raadt.
https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=153504937925732&w=2

OpenSSH 7.8 Released.
https://www.openssh.com/releasenotes.html#7.8

TRIM Consolidation on UFS/FFS Filesystems on FreeBSD.
https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-current/2018-August/070797.html

FreeBSD vt(4) will now cache most recently drawn text to not redraw it.
https://reviews.freebsd.org/D16723

What is New in Solaris 11.4?
https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/docs/dc/sev100738019-ww-us-on-ce1-ie1a-ev.html

OpenBSD Foundation gets first 2018 Iridium ($100K+) donation.
https://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article;sid=20180824145543

How to Run a More Secure Browser.
https://www.dragonflybsd.org/docs/docs/handbook/RunSecureBrowser/

Hardware

IBM POWER9 E950 and E980 Servers Launched.
https://www.servethehome.com/ibm-power9-e950-and-e980-servers-launched/

Intel Microcode EULA Prohibits Benchmarking!
https://twitter.com/RaptorEng/status/1031919319909892096
https://pastebin.com/raw/J8MXpPdh

GIGABYTE Cavium ThunderX2 1U and 2U Systems.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/13234/gigabyte-starts-sales-of-cavium-thunderx2-to-general-customers

Fujitsu Presents Post-K arm64 A64FXβ„’ CPU CPU Specifications with 48 Computing Cores and 4 Assistant Cores.
http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2018/0822-02.html

A4000TX ATX Motherboard.
http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?101477-A4000TX-ATX-Amiga-motherboard

IBM POWER9 Scale Up CPUs with Huge IO and Effective 32 Channel DDR4.
https://www.servethehome.com/ibm-power9-hc30/

Life

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker review – how more sleep can save your life.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/21/why-we-sleep-by-matthew-walker-review
https://youtube.be/pwaWilO_Pig

Bullshit jobs and the yoke of managerial feudalism.
https://www.economist.com/open-future/2018/06/29/bullshit-jobs-and-the-yoke-of-managerial-feudalism

Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers.
https://evonomics.com/why-garbage-men-should-earn-more-than-bankers/

Solitude.
https://www.pa-mar.net/Lifestyle/Solitude.html

Akrasia Effect – Why We Dont Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It.
https://jamesclear.com/akrasia

Other

Move/migrate Oracle and MySQL databases to PostgreSQL.
http://www.ora2pg.com/start.html
https://github.com/darold/ora2pg/releases

LIDL Killed SAP Migration After Spending 500 Million Dollars.
https://it.toolbox.com/blogs/clintonjones/lidl-cans-sap-project-after-spending-half-a-billion-073118

All BlackHat 2018 Attendee Registration Data Hacked and Available via Unauthenticated API.
https://ninja.style/post/bcard/
https://twitter.com/binitamshah/status/1032084847345459204

GOG Launches FCKDRM to Promote DRM-Free Art and Media.
https://torrentfreak.com/gog-launches-fckdrm-to-promote-drm-free-art-and-media-180822/

EOF

ZFS Boot Environments at PBUG

Today I was honored to give a talk about ZFS Boot Environments at the third (#3) Polish BSD User Group meeting.

You are invited to download the PDF Slides – https://is.gd/BEADM – here.

zfsbe-shot-256

As I just finished the talk the video from the talk is not yet available online, but I will update the post when it arises.

Back in 2012 I though that – then available solution – the manageBE script could be (re)written from scratch to ‘imitate’ the beadm command from Solaris/Illumos systems to make the use of Boot Environments easier and more natural. To do so I had written a small native FreeBSD beadm prototype in POSIX /bin/sh shell and shared the results of the work on the FreeBSD Forums in the HOWTO: FreeBSD ZFS Madness thread.

With the help of FreeBSD Community the beadm tool grown up into the complete native FreeBSD ZFS Boot Environment manager and later even the FreeBSD boot loader(8) has been modified/rewritten to support the selection of the ZFS Boot Environments created by the beadm script.

The attached PDF presentation explains following topics:

  • What ZFS Boot Environments are.
  • Why they are useful and what use cases it addresses.
  • What has been available in UNIX world before they were introduced.
  • What is available in the Linux world as alternative.
  • Practical examples in beadm usage.
  • History of the tools used for ZFS Boot Environments management.

If you will have the possibility and time to join the next Polish BSD User Group meeting, you will be impressed by the presence of lots BSD professionals with great attitude willing to share their ideas and experience … just like the whole FreeBSD Community. The next (#4) meeting will be organized on the 9th of August, same place as usual, Europe/Warsaw at Wheel Systems headquarters. The special guest of that meeting would be George Neville-Neil – a person that I do not have to introduce πŸ˜‰

UPDATE 1 – Video Available Online

The video from the talk has been uploaded online and its available here – https://youtu.be/t84s8DSgJRs – unfortunately its in Polish not English and subtitles are not available.

UPDATE 2

The ZFS Boot Environments at PBUG article was included in the BSD Now 258 – OS Foundations episode.

Thanks for mentioning!

EOF

FreeBSD Desktop – Part 1 – Simplified Boot

This is the first post in the FreeBSD Desktop series.

You may want to check other articles in the FreeBSD Desktop series on the FreeBSD Desktop – Global Page where you will find links to all episodes of the series along with table of contents for each episode’s contents.

The default FreeBSD boot process is quite verbose with a lot of debugging information along with kernel messages. We may divide that boot process into several β€˜screens’ or stages. First thing You see is the β€˜BIOS’ screen of the computer manufacturer. SecondΒ  thing is the FreeBSD BTX Loader. The third one is the FreeBSD Boot Menu with eventual ZFS Boot Environments if You use ZFS for root filesystem and other options to select like Single User Mode for example. The 4th one is the system boot along with kernel messages in non-native resolution. In the middle of that stage screen switches to native resolution and continues to display kernel messages and services leading to the text prompt with login: at the end. There comes optional fifth screen which may be graphically started (x11) login manager like slim or gdm.

This verbose information is usually useful for servers but not that much for laptops and/or desktop/workstation systems. The UNIX philosophy is to not β€˜say’ anything to stdout if everything is OK, so stdout/stderr should only be used when something is wrong … like on AMIGA, if anything is wrong then I want to see big red sign like [GURU MEDITAION] but if everything is ok, shut the … slience is golden πŸ™‚

guru-meditation

I really like Sun Solaris 10 approach here, that it boots with minimal information like its version and hostname into the login: prompt in less then 10 lines. The image below is from the first Sun Solaris 10 boot, so it includes additional OpenSSH server key generation information.

sun-solaris-10-boot-first

Unfortunately – despite what Oracle says – Oracle Solaris is dying, I gathered most of the information here – Oracle just killed Solaris/SPARC/ZFS teams – https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/62320/ – on FreeBSD Forums. The recent Oracle Solaris 11.4 release process along with public beta will not change that. Oracle Solaris will be kept in maintenance mode for the rest of its life, which is set by Oracle to 2034 currently. Pity because even BSD bits recently found its way into it Solaris, for example the OpenBSD PF firewall, there are some differences – Comparing PF in Oracle Solaris to IP Filter and to OpenBSD Packet Filter – https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E37838_01/html/E60993/pfovw-comparall.html – but there are differences between OpenBSD PF and FreeBSD PF too.

Back to FreeBSD – according to the project website – https://freebsd.org/ – β€œFreeBSD is an operating system used to power modern servers, desktops, and embedded platforms” so why not tune the boot process to be more appealing on laptops/desktops? Below are the stages of the default FreeBSD boot process up to the login: prompt.

stage0-BIOS.jpg

stage1-BTX-Loader.jpg

stage2-Boot-Menu.jpg

stage3-NOMOD-Non-Native-Boot.jpg

stage4a-NOMOD-Native-Boot-A.jpg.jpg

stage4b-NOMOD-Native-Boot-B.jpg

Not very lean to my standards. But with one parameter in /boot/loader.conf and 5 slightly silenced startup scripts its whole a lot better. Here are the modifications needed.

First add the boot_mute=YES option to the /boot/loader.conf file.

As we are here, You may as well add autoboot_delay=2 parameter to the /boot/loader.conf file to speed up boot process by 8 seconds. Default delay is 10 seconds.

% grep boot_mute /boot/loader.conf
boot_mute=YES
%

Next we will need to modify these startup scripts.

  • /etc/rc.d/ldconfig
  • /etc/rc.d/netif
  • /etc/rc.d/nfsclient
  • /etc/rc.d/random
  • /etc/rc.d/routing

Here is the summary of the changes. In most cases its just adding 1> /dev/null or 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null to not display unneeded information at boot process.

% grep -n -E '(1|2)> /dev/null' /etc/rc.d/* | grep -E 'routing|netif|ldconfig'
/etc/rc.d/ldconfig:40: check_startmsgs && echo 'ELF ldconfig path:' ${_LDC} 1> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/ldconfig:60: echo '32-bit compatibility ldconfig path:' ${_LDC} 1> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/netif:260: /sbin/ifconfig ${ifn} 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/routing:70: eval static_${_a} delete $_if 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/routing:97: static_$2 add $3 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/routing:104: static_$2 add $3 add $3 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null

The only exception is the /etc/rc.d/random which requires little more love.

% grep -n -A 8 'random_start()' /etc/rc.d/random
45:random_start()
46-{
47-
48-   # if [ ${harvest_mask} -gt 0 ]; then
49-   #       echo -n 'Setting up harvesting: '
50-   #       ${SYSCTL} kern.random.harvest.mask=${harvest_mask} > /dev/null
51-   #       ${SYSCTL_N} kern.random.harvest.mask_symbolic
52-   # fi
53-

Here are diff(1) patches if that way will be easier for you.

% diff -rq ~/CLEAN-FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE/etc/rc.d /etc/rc.d | column -t
Files  ~/CLEAN-FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE/etc/rc.d/ldconfig   and  /etc/rc.d/ldconfig   differ
Files  ~/CLEAN-FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE/etc/rc.d/netif      and  /etc/rc.d/netif      differ
Files  ~/CLEAN-FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE/etc/rc.d/nfsclient  and  /etc/rc.d/nfsclient  differ
Files  ~/CLEAN-FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE/etc/rc.d/random     and  /etc/rc.d/random     differ
Files  ~/CLEAN-FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE/etc/rc.d/routing    and  /etc/rc.d/routing    differ
% diff -u ./rc.d/ldconfig /etc/rc.d/ldconfig
--- ./rc.d/ldconfig     2017-07-21 04:11:06.000000000 +0200
+++ /etc/rc.d/ldconfig  2017-12-18 09:12:18.190074000 +0100
@@ -37,7 +37,7 @@
                                _LDC="${_LDC} ${i}"
                        fi
                done
-               check_startmsgs && echo 'ELF ldconfig path:' ${_LDC}
+               check_startmsgs && echo 'ELF ldconfig path:' ${_LDC} 1> /dev/null
                ${ldconfig} -elf ${_ins} ${_LDC}
 
                case `sysctl -n hw.machine_arch` in
@@ -57,7 +57,7 @@
                                fi
                        done
                        check_startmsgs &&
-                           echo '32-bit compatibility ldconfig path:' ${_LDC}
+                           echo '32-bit compatibility ldconfig path:' ${_LDC} 1> /dev/null
                        ${ldconfig} -32 -m ${_ins} ${_LDC}
                        ;;
                esac

% diff -u ./rc.d/netif /etc/rc.d/netif
--- ./rc.d/netif        2017-07-21 04:11:06.000000000 +0200
+++ /etc/rc.d/netif     2017-11-30 17:32:11.394251000 +0100
@@ -257,7 +257,7 @@
                esac
                if check_startmsgs; then
                        for ifn in ${_ok}; do
-                               /sbin/ifconfig ${ifn}
+                               /sbin/ifconfig ${ifn} 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
                        done
                fi
        fi
% diff -u ./rc.d/nfsclient /etc/rc.d/nfsclient
--- ./rc.d/nfsclient    2017-07-21 04:11:06.000000000 +0200
+++ /etc/rc.d/nfsclient 2017-12-18 09:15:38.200376000 +0100
@@ -44,7 +44,7 @@
        # successfully notified about a previous client shutdown.
        # If there is no /var/db/mounttab, we do nothing.
        if [ -f /var/db/mounttab ]; then
-               rpc.umntall -k
+               rpc.umntall -k 2> /dev/null
        fi
 }
 load_rc_config $name
% diff -u ./rc.d/random /etc/rc.d/random
--- ./rc.d/random       2017-07-21 04:11:06.000000000 +0200
+++ /etc/rc.d/random    2018-01-09 13:32:18.439347000 +0100
@@ -45,13 +45,13 @@
 random_start()
 {
 
-       if [ ${harvest_mask} -gt 0 ]; then
-               echo -n 'Setting up harvesting: '
-               ${SYSCTL} kern.random.harvest.mask=${harvest_mask} > /dev/null
-               ${SYSCTL_N} kern.random.harvest.mask_symbolic
-       fi
+       # if [ ${harvest_mask} -gt 0 ]; then
+       #       echo -n 'Setting up harvesting: '
+       #       ${SYSCTL} kern.random.harvest.mask=${harvest_mask} > /dev/null
+       #       ${SYSCTL_N} kern.random.harvest.mask_symbolic
+       # fi
 
-       echo -n 'Feeding entropy: '
+       echo -n 'Feeding entropy:'
 
        if [ ! -w /dev/random ] ; then
                warn "/dev/random is not writeable"

% diff -u ./rc.d/routing /etc/rc.d/routing
--- ./rc.d/routing      2017-07-21 04:11:06.000000000 +0200
+++ /etc/rc.d/routing   2017-12-18 09:22:16.604428000 +0100
@@ -67,7 +67,7 @@
        ""|[Aa][Ll][Ll]|[Aa][Nn][Yy])
                for _a in inet inet6 atm; do
                        afexists $_a || continue
-                       eval static_${_a} delete $_if
+                       eval static_${_a} delete $_if 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
                        # When $_if is specified, do not flush routes.
                        if ! [ -n "$_if" ]; then
                                eval routing_stop_${_a}
@@ -94,14 +94,14 @@
        _ret=0
        case $1 in
        static)
-               static_$2 add $3
+               static_$2 add $3 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
                _ret=$?
                ;;
        options)
                options_$2
                ;;
        doall)
-               static_$2 add $3
+               static_$2 add $3 add $3 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
                _ret=$?
                options_$2
                ;;

Now lets see how FreeBSD boots now after the modifications.

stage0-BIOS.jpg

stage1-BTX-Loader.jpg

stage2-Boot-Menu.jpg

stage3-MOD-Non-Native-Boot.jpg.jpg

stage4a-MOD-Native-Boot-A.jpg.jpg

stage4b-MOD-Native-Boot-B.jpg

Its definitely not perfect, but a lot better in my taste.

Now lets login to desktop πŸ™‚

I prefer not to use a login manager so I have an alias named x to xinit command. This way after I login I type x press [ENTER] and x11 desktop is started.

% which x
x: aliased to xinit ~/.xinitrc -- -dpi 75 -nolisten tcp 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null

stage4c-MOD-Native-Boot-C.jpg

stage5-X11.jpg

UPDATE 1 – FreeBSD 12.x

I recently tried FreeBSD 12.0-RC* versions and there is one ‘talkative’ script that also could be ‘silenced’ a little.

Its the /etc/rc.d/devmatch scrtipt.

Here is the needed patch to make it great again nice and clean again.

% diff -u /home/vermaden/rc-devmatch devmatch 
--- /home/vermaden/rc-devmatch        2018-11-27 17:49:53.573514000 +0100
+++ devmatch    2018-11-27 17:50:11.955342000 +0100
@@ -65,7 +65,7 @@
                case "#${x}#" in
                *"#${m}#"*) continue ;;
                esac
-               echo "Autoloading module: ${m}"
+               # echo "Autoloading module: ${m}"
                kldload -n ${m}
        done
        devctl thaw

UPDATE 2 – The drm-kmod Silencing

Recently to get support for newer GPUs the drm-kmod meta port/package is needed. The thing is that if you add the /boot/modules/i915kms.ko (for Intel GPUs) to the kld_list parameter it will display following error message from the kernel even with boot_mute=YES in the /boot/loader.conf file.

Loading kernel modules:
Dec 16 11:08:03 t420s kernel: Failed to add WC MTRR for [0xe0000000-0xefffffff]: -28; performance may suffer

The syslogd is guilty here with its default configuration in the /etc/syslog.conf file. To make it silent (not print pointless messages) make this change in the /etc/syslog.conf file.

% diff -u /root/syslog.conf /etc/syslog.conf
--- /root/syslog.conf   2018-12-18 11:49:48.204878000 +0100
+++ /etc/syslog.conf    2018-12-18 11:49:55.681504000 +0100
@@ -5,7 +5,7 @@
 #      separators. If you are sharing this file between systems, you
 #      may want to use only tabs as field separators here.
 #      Consult the syslog.conf(5) manpage.
-*.err;kern.warning;auth.notice;mail.crit                       /dev/console
+# *.err;kern.warning;auth.notice;mail.crit                       /dev/console
 *.notice;authpriv.none;kern.debug;lpr.info;mail.crit;news.err  /var/log/messages
 security.*                                                     /var/log/security
 auth.info;authpriv.info                                        /var/log/auth.log

Now it will not print these pointless messages.

This applies both to 11.2-RELEASE and 12.0-RELEASE versions.

UPDATE 3 – Silence the Services Starting Messages

Thanks to the vmisev suggestion we can silence the FreeBSD boot process even more.

Just add rc_startmsgs=NO to your /etc/rc.conf file and reboot to see effects.

Here is already silenced boot process by my earlier settings.

rc_startmsgs_YES.jpg

After adding rc_startmsgs=NO to the /etc/rc.conf file the boot messages are cut in half.

rc_startmsgs_NO.jpg

Now its very close to Solaris/Illumos provides πŸ™‚

EOF