The arrow of time

Ivan Voras' blog

pkgng goes official in FreeBSD

As seen on the announcements list, pkgng is now officially up and running for FreeBSD! The infrastructure had some rough times before and the deployment was prolonged a bit, but now it's finally there and the old pkg_* tools can be put to rest.

The preferred format for referencing repos has changed a bit, so if you have old config files, be sure to update them!

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Why UFS in FreeBSD is great

ZFS is of course the rock-star file system in FreeBSD, with numerous features and new ones frequently coming in, but UFS is also a pretty solid deal which is perfectly usable for a wide number of tasks. Here are some of my favourite UFS features.

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Apache 2.2 and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS)

Update: apparently (I haven't tested it yet), Apache 2.2.26 finally supports ECDH cipher suites! The remainder of this blog post is not as usable any more and you can simply use some common SSLCipherSuite lines.

Using modern Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) cipher suites with #Apache 2.2 and #OpenSSL is not really possible in the general case. The best you can do is enable some DHE suites instead of the faster #ECDHE variants - for those you will need Apache 2.4.

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What I like about the Nimrod programming language

Nimrod is a relatively new programming language which I find very interesting mainly because it is a compiled language and has a syntax which is a combination of Python's and Pascal's syntax, the two languages I find most aesthetically pleasing, with a small sprinkling of other influences, like JavaScript.

The language and its community are growing, there is an increasing number of available modules (like Jester, for web apps), and it's currently on the top of my list of things to learn.

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pgrep - another little known FreeBSD command

Have you ever wanted to perform an action on a large set of processes which are forked from one another (or started from the same binary in some other way) but were stopped by the need to use awk or something else to parse the PIDs from the output of ps or a similar utility? Pgrep allows you to do just that!

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GEOM_SHSEC: A shared secret disk drive GEOM module

GEOM_SHSEC is one of the less frequently used GEOM modules from FreeBSD, but it is actually pretty interesting. It combines several drives (or any other entities which are presentable as GEOM devices - including USB memory keys and files) into a single virtual drive which has the property that all its constituent devices must be present and available before its contents can be accessed.

For example, you might have two USB keys which both need to be plugged in before the Very Important Secret stored on them can be read. A very neat concept!

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Viber voip+messaging app working on FreeBSD under Wine

A friend told me that Viber (a free VoIP + messaging application for smartphones, similar to Skype) now has a Windows application and it works for him on Wine on Linux, so I just had to try it out on FreeBSD - and it works. Surprisingly easy.

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People will be people

I am frequently amused by all the recent happenings around Snowden and the revelations of privacy breaches by various governments. Before going on, I'd like to say that I don't offer any answers here in this text, just commentary, so it is probable you won't learn anything new from me. I'm writing this because I have an itch to scratch...

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