FreeBSD, SysAdmin

Merry Xmas: Gift ideas for a BSD aficionado

Greetings fellow BSD folks! Christmas is here ! Did you know that there’s life outside of chocolate, turkey and countless hours of watching Home Alone? Here are 6 gift ideas for the BSD aficionados out there.

1. Introduction to the FreeBSD Open Source Operating System LiveLessons


This series of videos from Addison-Wesley, is a must have for the BSD fan. During the more than 10 hours of discourse,  Dr. Marshall Kirk McKusick does a superb job of taking you into a tour of the many subsystems that make FreeBSD. The material presented here will go side-by-side with the Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System. This course is a subset of a 15-weeks long training that McKusick offers as a consultant. More information can be found on his personal website

Here’s what Dr. McKusick covers during this LiveLessons:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to the FreeBSD Community
  • Lesson 2: Introduction to the Kernel
  • Lesson 3: Processes
  • Lesson 4: Virtual Memory
  • Lesson 5: I/O System Overview
  • Lesson 6: Devices
  • Lesson 7: The Fast Filesystem
  • Lesson 8: The ZFS Filesystem
  • Lesson 9: Networking and Interprocess Communication

You can buy the LiveLessons here.

2. Raspberry Pi


Yes, the Raspberry Pi, a tiny little computer that you can run FreeBSD. You can fetch a ready to go image at the official repo (RPI-B and RPI2) and for RPI3 you can use the images at RaspBSD. In my setup (above picture) I have a mix of 3 RPI2 and one RPI3 coupled with a NETGEAR GS108E switch (capable of VLAN tagging). To power up this setup, I’m using an Anker Multi-USB Charger.

With FreeBSD you can access the GPIO interface with gpioctl(1). Vadim Zaigrin has a full detailed blog post on how to use it.

3. Annual subscription to the FreeBSD Journal

FreeBSD Journal.png

Keeping up with all things FreeBSD might be hard, we have a very active community and  there seems to be something interesting happening. An excellent resource to keep you up to date is the FreeBSD Journal. The Journal is a bi-monthly publication that contains articles from known FreeBSD figures such as Allan Jude, Dru Lavigne, George Neville-Neil, Joseph Kong and Michael W. Lucas just to name a few.

4. All of the books from Michael Lucas


I can’t praise him enough, Michael Lucas has a rare gift of making really dry material palatable to the masses. From SSH, to PAM going to FreeBSD (including an incredible specialty series on filesystems – yep, ZFS is covered), he has done it all – but don’t tell him that, we still want him to publish more  🙂 . You can’t go wrong with any of his material, so this is extremely recommended. Check out his work at the Tilted Windmill Press or at Amazon.

5. BSD Magazine Online Courses


The BSD Magazine is a free (yes, free!) online resource that is published on a monthly basis with news, various articles and tutorials. On the BSD Magazine website you can also find some courses such as the DevOps with Chef on FreeBSD, Using FreeBSD as a Fileserver with ZFS and Deploying on office / workgroup server on FreeBSD. During the holiday season you can use the promo code holidays30 to get 30% off on everything announced on their site! A pretty good deal!

6. FreeBSD Mall Goodies


The FreeBSD Mall is a known place if you want to get FreeBSD memorabilia. From t-shirts, polo shirts, CDs, books, stickers and hats, the FreeBSD Mall has it all. Check their promo and special sections to get extra savings on assorted items. On December 23rd they just released two new FreeBSD baseball caps (have to check them out!).

Have your self a Merry Christmas and an awesome New Year !



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