fd0 runs BSD

How this came to be

It all started back in the early 90’s when Dr.Dobbs Journal published a series of articles with accompanying code for the 386BSD Operating System. For me this was “First Contact” with a Unix flavour. More specifically, with a BSD flavour.

At that time I had no computer hardware and wasn’t very interested in various OSes so it took until 1996 until I got really involved with Unix through my work, with various flavours of BSD, SystemV and something in between.

These Unix variations I was working with at the time were:

Back in 2000 I installed Rock Linux, a nice barebones distro onto my laptop, a Sony Vaio 11”. This was my first own Open Source OS laptop. This followed with a test machine at home, running Gentoo Linux which again followed with a machine hosted in a datacenter running the same early version of Gentoo Linux with Xen, LVM on top of fully encrypted disks with LUKS, which ran fine for many years until I was convinced by the late Paul Schenkeveld to migrate to FreeBSD in 2007.

My first FreeBSD experience comes with m0n0wall, as an early adopter, installed on a Soekris embedded system, back in 2003. I switched to pfSense a few years later on a newer version of the Soekris hardware, which btw, is no longer available.

In 2007 I converted my rack mounted machine to FreeBSD 7.x with jails and ZFS.

I am forever grateful to have been “customer #1 for this project” of Paul Schenkeveld, who developed this with me using NanoBSD. I served as his tester and bugfixer until all was working as designed. This was later on upgraded to FreeBSD 8.1-STABLE.

This has been running for many years without a problem. I still have this FreeBSD 8.1 running in the wild with this setup, which will be decommissioned shortly. This decommisioning has been started by purchasing a successor machine.

More FreeBSD came into play with the use of various FreeNAS systems, currently on a FreeBSD 9.3. I know it needs upgrading as well. Its successor may become a FreeBSD machine, not FreeNAS. I haven’t really figured that out yet.

Until April of this year I had no real experience with OpenBSD as a platform. That changed when doing some consulting at a customer’s site. They are an OpenBSD shop, infrastructure wise, using other OSes for their main businesses.

The aforementioned new machine is running FreeBSD-11.2

Recently I came in contact with Mischa Peters thru a mutual friend, for hosting this new machine and through him I also learned about OpenBSD Amsterdam. I am a proud user of one of the OpenBSD Amsterdam VMs.

OpenBSD is a very clean OS.

At the moment I am still finalising my FreeBSD box. This is using ZFS, obviously and jails (using iocage). One of my main goals is to get OpenBSD running as a bhyve guest. Other BSD flavours, and who knows some Linux as well, will also be tried as bhyve guests.

I am a huge fan of *BSD. You can find me on Twitter.

9 Aug 2018

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