FreeBSD and PC-BSD Release New Versions
The FreeBSD project announced the release of versions 8.2 and 7.4 on February 24. Both bring lots of new features and bug fixes. FreeBSD can be run on a large variety of architectures and is still considered one of the most stable and hardened systems available. The most user-friendly derivative, PC-BSD, saw a new release the same day as well.
The FreeBSD project released two versions of its popular BSD-clone line. 8.2 and legacy 7.4 were released simultaneously with many of the same improvements. They feature GNOME 2.32.1 and KDE 4.5.5. Asynchronous Logging Queues support has been improved to allow for variable length messages set at execution by flags for more flexibility. Sysctl has been improved to allow for more current updates and larger contiguous free range in memory management and several new virtual memory variable options. Other memory improvements were seen as well in the areas of detection and reallocation of freed memory blocks. GUID partition tables are now supported and partition table and header checksum verification has been fixed. Quite a number of disk and networking enhancements and fixes were implemented at the kernel level as well as in userspace applications. Lots of network and graphic driver improvements and additions were implemented. Various filesystem support elements have been improved across the board. The security fixes include a bzip2 integer overflow and several vulnerabilities in OpenSSL. And, of course, all your favorite applications have been updated as well.
Not to be outdone, PC-BSD released their latest and greatest on February 24 too. PC-BSD is sometimes referred to as the Ubuntu of *BSD. It does embody many of the same elements as most any Linux distributions. Pretty and easy graphical installer, an attractive and useful desktop out-of-the-box, handy applications, and an easy-to-use graphical software manager.
Being based on FreeBSD 8.2, many of the same improvements in it are inherited in PC-BSD 8.2. BC-BSD 8.2 features things like KDE 4.5.5, Xorg 7.5, and Nvidia Driver 260.19.29. Besides a range of KDE apps, the default install comes with software such as ImageMagick, Digikam, and the GIMP. When installing, one can choose extra software including FireFox 3.6.13, OpenOffice 3.2.1, and VLC 1.1.5.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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