OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD Journal

Booting from an FFS2 filesystem

Contributed by Paul 'WEiRD' de Weerd on from the giving us the boot dept.

Developer Otto Moerbeek (otto@) has been working on support to boot from FFS2. He writes in with the below article, to give us a little insight into the challenges he faced while working on this.

FFS2 filesystem support has been in OpenBSD for quite a while. FFS2 has a few advantages above FFS1: large partition support, 64-bit timestamps, faster newfs(8) and faster fsck(8), but it is only used for large (> 1TB) filesystems at the moment. The only drawback is that its meta-data overhead is a bit larger than FFS1 because of 64-bit instead of 32-bit blocknumbers and timestamps.

I decided that it was time to start using FFS2 in as many places as possible, and that includes booting from it. Booting is an area where there are quite large differences between the various platforms OpenBSD supports. The boot code interacts with the platform-specific firmware and the bootstrap process uses different vendor-specific mechanisms.

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Bob Beck Interview from EuroBSDCon 2018

Contributed by Tom Smyth on from the we have TLSened to this from way over here dept.

I had the pleasure of sitting with Bob Beck at EuroBSDCon 2018 in Bucharest and asking him some questions about the OpenBSD Project, its approaches and some of his favourite aspects of the Operating System and its projects. Bob patiently outlines the hows and whys of his involvement in the BSD project.

Tom and Bob conduct a post-mortem on a training course on LibTLS Bob Delivered (excellently) in EuroBSDCon & BSDCAN. Bob discusses what online services he used in class for training students on LibTLS and why it can be a very effective teaching aid.

Bob modestly plays down his ability to churn out LibTLS Developers. Bob also gives guidance on the approaches to contributing to the project.

Bob reveals the code he least likes working on and why.

Bob lets us know what he really thinks about documentation and its value to the community.

Bob outlines an example of applying lessons learned from one bug to inform audits looking for similar bugs elsewhere in the OS and the software ecosystem that it supports.

I enjoyed making the interview with Bob who answered the questions with a remarkable combination of purpose and humour.

Bob thanks again for your time, and putting up with my interruptions and jokes :)

p2k19 Hackathon Report: Rafael Sadowski on KDE+Qt5 progress, more

Contributed by rueda on from the untangling-all-the-qute-tentacles dept.

We have a new p2k19 report from Rafael Sadowski (rsadowski@), who writes:

My first OpenBSD hackathon

When p2k19 was announced, I was quite happy that it was located in Bucharest. A quick check of flight connections, showed that there is a direct connection from Hannover. Without a second thought or planning a vacation, I booked the round trip. I guess I was the first person to put his name under the list.

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a2k20 Hackathon Report: Ken Westerback on xhci(4), dhclient(8), and scsi

Contributed by rueda on from the Hobart-harbourside-hacking dept.

Ken Westerback (krw@) kindly wrote in with a report from last month's a2k20 hackathon in Hobart, Australia:

tl;dr -- excellent coffee fuelled lots of hacking in Hobart

I started my journey to Hobart via Sydney in a state of some anxiety. Air Canada's continuing reservation system troubles meant it was unclear until the last minute whether I would arrive in Sydney rested or frazelled. In the end all went well and I arrived at dtucker@'s place after a good sleep. After a pleasant evening with Darren, we caught our flight to Hobart the next morning without trouble. We found tedu@ had been on the same flight, despite not spotting him during boarding.

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u2k20 Hackathon Report: Tracey Emery on GotWeb

Contributed by Janne Johansson on from the web of game of gits dept.

Fresh in from u2k20 is this report from Tracey Emery, who visited the hackathon in Uckermark, Germany after getting invited by Stefan Sperling (stsp@):

Stefan Sperling and I started a discussion in November about a CGI program, which would work in httpd(8), use the Game of Trees library along with the kcgi library by Kristaps Dzonsons, to display repository information in a browser. I was getting frustrated with working on my own project and was looking for something else to hack on. So, I told Stefan that I'd take a crack at Gotweb.

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u2k20 Hackathon Report: Alexandr Nedvedicky on PF anchors work

Contributed by Peter N. M. Hansteen on from the puffing up for re-anchoring dept.

The first report from the just concluded u2k20 hackathon comes from Alexandr Nedvedicky (sashan@), who writes:
How to read a commit message (a.k.a. thank you Thomas for u2k20)

Commit messages just capture the brief summary of changes. Believe it or not, there is a story behind every single commit you may find in a project history. Especially if you read there a short phrase 'discussed with many' or 'input by many'. In cases like this you can always bet the story is not short.

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Firefox pkg for 6.6-stable will not receive latest updates. [Updated]

Contributed by Janne Johansson on from the old-code-rusts, new porters shine dept.

An update has now been committed to the -stable branch for the latest firefox version, and the package is available for updating!

Previously, solene@ wrote:
Dear OpenBSD users, due to Firefox being too complicated to package (thanks to cbindgen and rust dependencies) on the stable branch (as this would require testing all rust consumers), the 6.6-stable branch won't receive updates for www/mozilla-firefox, so it will remain vulnerable to MFSA2020-03 and vulnerabilities that may appear after.

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OpenBSD Errata

OpenBSD 6.6

0232020-03-13 RELIABILITY Local outbound UDP broadcast or multicast packets sent by a spliced socket can crash the kernel.
0222020-03-10 RELIABILITY Missing input validation in sysctl(2) can be used to crash the kernel.
0212020-02-24 SECURITY An out of bounds read in smtpd allows an attacker to inject arbitrary commands into the envelope file which are then executed as root. Separately, missing privilege revocation in smtpctl allows arbitrary commands to be run with the _smtpq group.
0202020-02-17 SECURITY A missing range check in the vmm pvclock allows a guest to write to host memory.
0192020-01-30 SECURITY An incorrect check allows an attacker to trick mbox delivery into executing arbitrary commands as root and lmtp delivery into executing arbitrary commands as an unprivileged user.
0182020-01-30 RELIABILITY smtpd can crash on opportunistic TLS downgrade, causing a denial of service.

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Copyright © - Daniel Hartmeier. All rights reserved. Articles and comments are copyright their respective authors, submission implies license to publish on this web site. Contents of the archive prior to as well as images and HTML templates were copied from the fabulous original with Jose's and Jim's kind permission. This journal runs as CGI with httpd(8) on OpenBSD, the source code is BSD licensed. undeadly \Un*dead"ly\, a. Not subject to death; immortal. [Obs.]