BSDCan 2012

Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: conference, FreeBSD | 2 Comments »

Thanks to FreeBSD foundation for sponsoring my trip to BSDCan2012 This was my first time attending BSDCan and had a lot of fun and learning.

Day:1 05-09-2012 Wednesday
Ports and maintaining/testing them:
– A lot of rant
– how can the dependencies be maintained easily? so that change in one port does not break other.
– Before updating my port how can I know what all would break from the changes?

Lunch: Sandwiches and salad

Vendor summit:
– Who are all vendors/ppl here? What companies are they from? Who do they represent? Why they are here?
– What do you like/do not like in FreeBSD.
– What do you have that you can push to head.
– What is nice to have (features you like).
– what was promised in last vendor summit and by whom? what is the status of that project?

Dinner: Nice Indian food.

Day:2 05-10-2012 Thursday
Virtualization Dev Summit:
– All about FreeBSD virtualization efforts
– Talked a lot about BHyVe, QEMU
– replace taskqueues with ithreads. (whats the difference?)
– backporting BHyVe to lets say 8.0 is _hard_.

Got a nice caffee mocha from “Second Cup”.

Lunch: Sandwiches and Salad

SSH Tutorial By Michael Lucas:
– Usual ssh configuration related things.
– ssh_config, sshd_config.
– Stupid mistakes ppl make.
– Replace passwords with public-keys i.e. pass-phrases.
– Port forwarding / Reverse port-forwarding.

Day:3 05-11-2012 Friday Conference day 1
BSD Multiplicity:
– History of virtualization
– jails/BHyVe
– And general discussion about how/where things are at

IPv6 and FreeBSD:
– offloading problem?
– TEO – TCP Offloading Engine.
– gre(4) – neeed fixing, small enough – Email bjoen.
userland improvements.

freebsd IPv6 todo – a lot is yet to be done.
Bjoern Zeeb – bz@

Fast reboots with kload:
– /sbin/kload
– Look at loader and userboot code – understand how it works.
– does image loading/setup but its not the right place according
to the speaker. why?
– bootup code is much different in i386 from amd64
i368 – its the assembly
amd64 – a bunch of c code to setup page-tables
– still experimental but reboots can be really really fast.
– similar thing working fine in linux

Virtually-Networked FreeBSD Jails:
– VNAT – virtual networking for freebsd, ZFS – god of filesystems and Jails

– Why 3 togather? – creates a _cloud_
ZFS – instant snapshots/clients
Vnet – VLAN/ dedicated network stack for each jail
Jail – for VMs (simple, requires less resources)
– Gotcha:
no pf-ipf – doesnt really matter.
No vlan jails support on rc.d for FreeBSD
– Dtrace with Jails? – can be done?

Day:4 05-12-2012 Saturday Conference day 2
Optimization in ZFS:
by Spectra – Justin Gibbs and Will
– how ZFS works
– copy-on-write
– they worked on some optimizations
– working on a paper which will be published with details
– code will be available (obviously)
– ZFS has many moving pieces
– has a lot of bugs
– needs a lot of testing/test cases
– Lumos – community for ZFS

Amazon Web Services:
by Randy Harper
– EC2
– animoto – amazing example
– No data-center in India

Ethernet Switch Framework:
By: Stefan Bethke [email protected]
Aleksandr Raybalko [email protected]
– Adrian initiated it – Qualcomm Atheros HW
– Trimming freebsd to 8 MB?
– configuration mechanism
– need to get actual FLASH file system (not ufs)
with FLASH, things are easy. how?
– Hardware details of the board
– todo: expose IOCTL for userland to do stuff

Recent Advances in IPv6 Security:
– Talked about security issues and concerns in IPv6

Hackers Lounge

This was one of the most fun parts of BSDCan.

– motto: Shut up and code!
– Socialize

Ergo keyboard

Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: fun | Tags: , | No Comments »

I’ve never understood why do “non-ergo” keyboards exist in the first place. But that’s just me.

Anyways, I looked at and tried a few ergo keyboards but liked none. So I made my own:

my ergo keyboard

Things you need are a Microsoft Natural Elite Keyboard and a saw.

Ask the Internet for detailed instructions and just make sure you do not cut the keyboard membrane.

Happy typing!

Adding a printer in FreeBSD

Posted: June 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: FreeBSD | Tags: , , | No Comments »

To add a line printer in FreeBSD, you need following:

1) lpd daemon should be enabled and running.

lpd(8) is the print spooler. It accepts printing jobs and sends them to printers defined in /etc/printcap

=> to enable, add following entry in /etc/rc.conf

This entry will start lpd on next reboot.
You can also start it manually:
# lpd

=> make sure its running
# ps awwux | grep lpd
root 1525 0.0 0.0 10072 1620 ?? Is Wed11AM 0:00.00 /usr/sbin/lpd

2) Update /etc/printcap file with printer details:

For example, if printer name is “holi” and it’s sitting at,

lp|holi|holi laser printer:\
:[email protected]:\

You can also setup different filters.

Look up “man printcap” for the details.

Accessing hosted website within the home network

Posted: June 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: hosting, web | No Comments »

I was having troubles accessing my own hosted website from within my home networks as mentioned in the previous post.

2 things can be done:
1st: Use some free proxy server to access your website (not a very good solution)
2nd: Add an entry in /etc/hosts file of the machine that you are using to access the website:
Following is an example from machine I am using to connect to my website, where is the address of the machine that is hosting the website.