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55:17 Berkeley System Distribution (BSD), Andrea Ross English 2013

Subclassing in Newbus

A brief tutorial for the subclassing part of the FreeBSD configuration system (known for years as newbus). The author will present work bringing this power to legacy portions of the system, as well as suggestions for future work in this fruitful area. This lecture will present a background of the FreeBSD driver system. The subclassing part of this system is radically under-documented. A companion document for this lecture will amplify the current documentation and provide additional examples to illustrate the power of the subclassing system. The lecture will then shift to reviewing the work the author has done to use these techniques to help map items in the kernel device tree to device nodes in the devfs tree.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Berkeley System Distribution (BSD), Andrea Ross
  • Language: English
46:34 Berkeley System Distribution (BSD), Andrea Ross English 2013

Tales from the North

Over five years ago I joined a Northern Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada providing high-speed internet, email, website hosting, and other specialized network services to approximately 50 communities located within the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Our satellite headend was located in Ottawa. Originally, each site systems (known as earth stations) ran FreeBSD 5.2.1, but, we could not run the same version of FreeBSD on newer hardware. Thus, we started using FreeBSD 6.2. Different sites running different versions of the FreeBSD operating system created many headaches when debugging software issues for a given service and while migrating services within a community from one server to another. Also, due to a lack of foresight, a central repository was not implemented and thus with the use of the newer version of FreeBSD the diverse software stack versions were not the same. To solve the software stack issue we implemented FreeBSD 5.2.1 instances within the FreeBSD jail framework before jailutils and the Warden application from PC-BSD. Custom scripts were created to launch and terminate various jail instances. However, this still caused issues because the system tools used in diagnostics on the host system were inconsistent across the various sites. It was my job to develop a strategy to update the base operating systems on all of our systems located across the entire network. To do this I relied heavily on my past experience of administering and updating Diskless Gentoo Linux instances at MUN and reading the FreeBSD Handbook. I took this task one step further and created a custom FreeBSD ISO based off of FreeBSD RELEASE coupled with SYSLINUX's PXELINUX framework. I was able to install the custom OS from a known stable state. I would like to present this material to the BSDCan attendees in order to share my experience with others and to show that you can accomplish the same task without spending a large amount of money on proprietary software.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Berkeley System Distribution (BSD), Andrea Ross
  • Language: English
59:20 Berkeley System Distribution (BSD), Andrea Ross English 2013

FreeBSD Birth to Death

In todays IT workplace, managing and tracking servers is becoming more and more important. Many Sys Admins are responsible to not only their Boss, but to the users that want the system to run their apps and the CFO who wants to be able to depreciate them properly. We will talk about effective ways to track and manage the servers to keep everyone happy. Cover best practices with tracking and building the server including - Asset tracking - Scripted Install over PXE - Serial Console for out of band management - Package management/updating with Poudriere and pkgng - Including custom nob tuning - Configuration management using tools like - Puppet - Chef - CFEngine - Server patching with FreeBSD-Update and failover with CARP - Server retirement, i.e. Data destruction and Asset depreciation
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Berkeley System Distribution (BSD), Andrea Ross
  • Language: English
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