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Episode 263: Encrypt That Pool | BSD Now 263

1:03:45

Episode description

Mitigating Spectre/Meltdown on HP Proliant servers, omniOS installation setup, debugging a memory corruption issue on OpenBSD, CfT for OpenZFS native encryption, Asigra TrueNAS backup appliance shown at VMworld, NetBSD 6 EoL, and more.

##Headlines
###How to mitigate Spectre and Meltdown on an HP Proliant server with FreeBSD

As recently announced in a previous article I wanted to write a couple of guides on how to mitigate Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in GNU/Linux and UNIX environments. It is always a good and I hope a standard practice to have your systems patched and if they aren’t for whatever the reason (that legacy thing you’re carrying on for ages) you may take the necessary extra steps to protect your environment. I never planned to do any article on patching anything. Nowadays it’s a no brainer and operating systems have provided the necessary tools for this to be easy and as smooth as possible. So why this article?
Spectre and Meltdown are both hardware vulnerabilities. Major ones. They are meaningful for several reasons among them the world wide impact since they affect Intel and AMD systems which are ubiquitous. And second because patching hardware is not as easy, for the manufacturer and for the users or administrators in charge of the systems. There is still no known exploit around left out in the open hitting servers or desktops anywhere. The question is not if it will ever happen. The question is when will it happen. And it may be sooner than later. This is why big companies, governments and people in charge of big deployments are patching or have already patched their systems. But have you done it to your system? I know you have a firewall. Have you thought about CVE-2018-3639? This particular one could make your browser being a vector to get into your system. So, no, there is no reason to skip this.
Patching these set of vulnerabilities implies some more steps and concerns than updating the operating system. If you are a regular Windows user I find rare you to be here and many of the things you will read may be foreign to you. I am not planning to do a guide on Windows systems since I believe someone else has or will do it and will do it better than me since I am not a pro Windows user. However there is one basic and common thing for all OS’s when dealing with Spectre and Meltdown and that is a microcode update is necessary for the OS patches to effectively work.
What is microcode? You can read the Wikipedia article but in short it is basically a layer of code that allows chip manufacturers to deal with modifications on the hardware they’ve produced and the operating systems that will manage that hardware. Since there’s been some issues (namely Spectre and Meltdown) Intel and AMD respectively have released a series of microcode updates to address those problems. First series did come with serious problems and some regressions, to the point GNU/Linux producers stopped releasing the microcode updates through their release channels for updates and placed the ball on Intel’s roof. Patching fast does always include risks, specially when dealing with hardware. OS vendors have resumed their microcode update releases so all seems to be fine now.
In order to update the microcode we’re faced with two options. Download the most recent BIOS release from our vendor, provided it patches the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, or patch it from the OS. If your hardware vendor has decided not to provide support on your hardware you are forced to use the latter solution. Yes, you can still keep your hardware. They usually come accompanied with a “release notes” file where there are some explanatory notes on what is fixed, what is new, etc. To make the search easy for you a news site collected the vendors list and linked the right support pages for anyone to look. In some scenarios it would be desirable not to replace the whole BIOS but just update the microcode from the OS side. In my case I should update an HP Proliant ML110 G7 box and the download link for that would be this.
Instead of using the full blown BIOS update path we’ll use the inner utilities to patch Spectre and Meltdown on FreeBSD. So let’s put our hands on it

  • See the article for the technical breakdown

###A look beyond the BSD teacup: OmniOS installation

Five years ago I wrote a post about taking a look beyond the Linux teacup. I was an Arch Linux user back then and since there were projects like ArchBSD (called PacBSD today) and Arch Hurd, I decided to take a look at and write about them. Things have changed. Today I’m a happy FreeBSD user, but it’s time again to take a look beyond the teacup of operating systems that I’m familiar with.

  • Why Illumos / OmniOS?

There are a couple of reasons. The Solaris derivatives are the other big community in the *nix family besides Linux and the BSDs and we hadn’t met so far. Working with ZFS on FreeBSD, I now and then I read messages that contain a reference to Illumos which certainly helps to keep up the awareness. Of course there has also been a bit of curiosity – what might the OS be like that grew ZFS?
Also the Ravenports project that I participate in planned to support Solaris/Illumos right from the beginning. I wanted to at least be somewhat “prepared” when support for that platform would finally land. So I did a little research on the various derivatives available and settled on the one that I had heard a talk about at last year’s conference of the German Unix Users Group: “OmniOS – Solaris for the Rest of Us”. I would have chosen SmartOS as I admire what Bryan Cantrill does but for getting to know Illumos I prefer a traditional installation over a run-from-RAM system.
Of course FreeBSD is not run by corporations, especially when compared to the state of Linux. And when it comes to sponsoring, OpenBSD also takes the money… When it comes to FreeBSD developers, there’s probably some truth to the claim that some of them are using macOS as their desktop systems while OpenBSD devs are more likely to develop on their OS of choice. But then there’s the statement that “every innovation in the past decade comes from Solaris”. Bhyve alone proves this wrong. But let’s be honest: Two of the major technologies that make FreeBSD a great platform today – ZFS and DTrace – actually do come from Solaris. PAM originates there and a more modern way of managing services as well. Also you hear good things about their zones and a lot of small utilities in general.
In the end it was a lack of time that made me cheat and go down the easiest road: Create a Vagrantfile and just pull a VM image of the net that someone else had prepared… This worked to just make sure that the Raven packages work on OmniOS. I was determined to return, though – someday. You know how things go: “someday” is a pretty common alias for “probably never, actually.”
But then I heard about a forum post on the BSDNow! podcast. The title “Initial OmniOS impressions by a BSD user” caught my attention. I read that it was written by somebody who had used FreeBSD for years but loathed the new Code of Conduct enough to leave. I also oppose the Conduct and have made that pretty clear in my February post [ ! -z ${COC} ] && exit 1. As stated there, I have stayed with my favorite OS and continue to advocate it. I decided to stop reading the post and try things out on my own instead. Now I’ve finally found the time to do so.

  • What’s next?

That’s it for part one. In part two I’ll try to make the system useful. So far I have run into a problem that I haven’t been able to solve. But I have some time now to figure things out for the next post. Let’s see if I manage to get it working or if I have to report failure!

###What are all these types of memory in top(1)?

  • Earlier this week I convinced Mark Johnston, one of the FreeBSD VM experts to update a page on the FreeBSD wiki that I saw was being referenced on stackoverflow and similar sites
  • Mark updated the explanations to be more correct, and to include more technical detail for inquiring minds
  • He also added the new type that appeared in FreeBSD somewhat recently

Active - Contains memory “actively” (recently) being used by applications
Inactive - Contains memory that has not been touched recently, or was released from the Buffer Cache
Laundry - Contains memory that Inactive but still potentially contains useful data that needs to be stored before this memory can be used again
Wired - Memory that cannot be swapped out, including the kernel, network stack, and the ZFS ARC
Buf - Buffer Cache, used my UFS and most filesystems except ZFS (which uses the ARC)
Free - Memory that is immediately available for use by the rest of the system

##News Roundup
###OpenBSD saves me again! — Debug a memory corruption issue

Yesterday, I came across a third-part library issue, which crashes at allocating memory:

Program terminated with signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
#0 0x00007f594a5a9b6b in _int_malloc () from /usr/lib/libc.so.6
(gdb) bt
#0 0x00007f594a5a9b6b in _int_malloc () from /usr/lib/libc.so.6
#1 0x00007f594a5ab503 in malloc () from /usr/lib/libc.so.6
#2 0x00007f594b13f159 in operator new (sz=5767168) at /build/gcc/src/gcc/libstdc++-v3/libsupc++/new_op.cc:50

It is obvious that the memory tags are corrupted, but who is the murder? Since the library involves a lot of maths computation, it is not an easy task to grasp the code quickly. So I need to find another way:
(1) Open all warnings during compilation: -Wall. Nothing found.
(2) Use valgrind, but unfortunately, valgrind crashes itself:

valgrind: the 'impossible' happened:
Killed by fatal signal

host stacktrace:
==43326== at 0x58053139: get_bszB_as_is (m_mallocfree.c:303)
==43326== by 0x58053139: get_bszB (m_mallocfree.c:315)
==43326== by 0x58053139: vgPlain_arena_malloc (m_mallocfree.c:1799)
==43326== by 0x5800BA84: vgMemCheck_new_block (mc_malloc_wrappers.c:372)
==43326== by 0x5800BD39: vgMemCheck___builtin_vec_new (mc_malloc_wrappers.c:427)
==43326== by 0x5809F785: do_client_request (scheduler.c:1866)
==43326== by 0x5809F785: vgPlain_scheduler (scheduler.c:1433)
==43326== by 0x580AED50: thread_wrapper (syswrap-linux.c:103)
==43326== by 0x580AED50: run_a_thread_NORETURN (syswrap-linux.c:156)

sched status:
running_tid=1

(3) Change compiler, use clang instead of gcc, and hope it can give me some clues. Still no effect.
(4) Switch Operating System from Linux to OpenBSD, the program crashes again. But this time, it tells me where the memory corruption occurs:

Program terminated with signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
#0 0x000014b07f01e52d in addMod (r=<error reading variable>, a=4693443247995522, b=28622907746665631,

I figure out the issue quickly, and not bother to understand the whole code. OpenBSD saves me again, thanks!

###Native Encryption for ZFS on FreeBSD (Call for Testing)

To anyone with an interest in native encryption in ZFS please test the projects/zfs-crypto-merge-0820 branch in my freebsd repo: https://github.com/mattmacy/networking.git

git clone https://github.com/mattmacy/networking.git -b projects/zfs-crypto-merge-0820

The UI is quite close to the Oracle Solaris ZFS crypto with minor differences for specifying key location.
Please note that once a feature is enabled on a pool it can’t be disabled. This means that if you enable encryption support on a pool you will never be able to import it in to a ZFS without encryption support. For this reason I would strongly advise against using this on any pool that can’t be easily replaced until this change has made its way in to HEAD after the freeze has been lifted.
By way of background the original ZoL commit can be found at:

###VMworld 2018: Showcasing Hybrid Cloud, Persistent Memory and the Asigra TrueNAS Backup Appliance

During its last year in Las Vegas before moving back to San Francisco, VMworld was abuzz with all the popular buzzwords, but the key focus was on supporting a more agile approach to hybrid cloud.
Surveys of IT stakeholders and analysts agree that most businesses have multiple clouds spanning both public cloud providers and private data centers. While the exact numbers vary, well over half of businesses have a hybrid cloud strategy consisting of at least three different clouds.
This focus on hybrid cloud provided the perfect timing for our announcement that iXsystems and Asigra are partnering to deliver the Asigra TrueNAS Backup Appliance, which combines Asigra Cloud Backup software backed by TrueNAS storage. Asigra TrueNAS Backup Appliances provide a self-healing and ransomware-resistent OpenZFS backup repository in your private cloud. The appliance can simultaneously be used as general-purpose file, block, and object storage. How does this tie in with the hybrid cloud? The Asigra Cloud Backup software can backup data from public cloud repositories – G Suite, Office 365, Salesforce, etc. – as well as intelligently move backed-up data to the public cloud for long-term retention.
Another major theme at the technical sessions was persistent memory, as vSphere 6.7 added support for persistent memory – either as a storage tier or virtualized and presented to a guest OS. As detailed in our blog post from SNIA’s Persistent Memory Summit 2018, persistent memory is rapidly becoming mainstream. Persistent memory bridges the gap between memory and flash storage – providing near-memory latency storage that persists across reboots or power loss. vSphere allows both legacy and persistent memory-aware applications to leverage this ultra-fast storage tier. We were excited to show off our newly-introduced TrueNAS M-Series at VMworld, as all TrueNAS M40 and M50 models leverage NVDIMM persistent memory technology to provide a super-fast write cache, or SLOG, without any of the limitations of Flash technology.
The iXsystems booth’s theme was “Enterprise Storage, Open Source Economics”. iXsystems leverages the power of Open Source software, combined with our enterprise-class hardware and support, to provide incredibly low TCO storage for virtualization environments. Our TrueNAS unified storage and server offerings are an ideal solution for your organization’s private cloud infrastructure. Combined with VMware NSX Hybrid Connect – formerly known as VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension – you can seamlessly shift running systems into a public cloud environment for a true hybrid cloud solution.
Another special treat at this year’s booth was iXsystems Vice President of Engineering Kris Moore giving demos of an early version of “Project TrueView”, a single-pane of glass management solution for administration of multiple FreeNAS and TrueNAS systems. In addition to simplified administration and enhanced monitoring, Project TrueView will also provide Role-Based Access Control for finer-grained permissions management. A beta version of Project TrueView is expected to be available at the end of this year.
Overall, we had a great week at VMworld 2018 with lots of good conversations with customers, press, analysts, and future customers about TrueNAS, the Asigra TrueNAS Backup Appliance, iXsystems servers, Project TrueView, and more – our booth was more popular than ever!

###End of life for NetBSD 6.x

In keeping with NetBSD’s policy of supporting only the latest (8.x) and next most recent (7.x) major branches, the recent release of NetBSD 8.0 marks the end of life for NetBSD 6.x. As in the past, a month of overlapping support has been provided in order to ease the migration to newer releases.

  • As of now, the following branches are no longer maintained:

  • netbsd-6-1

  • netbsd-6-0

  • netbsd-6

  • This means:

  • There will be no more pullups to those branches (even for security issues)

  • There will be no security advisories made for any those branches

  • The existing 6.x releases on ftp.NetBSD.org will be moved into /pub/NetBSD-archive/

  • May NetBSD 8.0 serve you well! (And if it doesn’t, please submit a PR!)

##Beastie Bits

##Feedback/Questions

  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to feedback@bsdnow.tv

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1:47:36

The strange birth and long life of Unix, FreeBSD jail with a single public IP, EuroBSDcon 2018 talks and schedule, OpenBSD on G4 iBook, PAM template …

Episode 258: OS Foundations | BSD Now 258

August 8th, 2018

1:27:52

FreeBSD Foundation July Newsletter, a bunch of BSDCan trip reports, HardenedBSD Foundation status, FreeBSD and OSPFd, ZFS disk structure overview, …

Episode 257: Great NetBSD 8 | BSD Now 257

August 2nd, 2018

1:23:11

NetBSD 8.0 available, FreeBSD on Scaleway’s ARM64 VPS, encrypted backups with OpenBSD, Dragonfly server storage upgrade, zpool checkpoints, g2k18 …

Episode 256: Because Computers | BSD Now 2^8

July 25th, 2018

1:44:42

FreeBSD ULE vs. Linux CFS, OpenBSD on Tuxedo InfinityBook, how zfs diff reports filenames efficiently, why choose FreeBSD over Linux, PS4 double free exploit, OpenBSD’s wifi autojoin, and FreeBSD jails the hard way.

Episode 255: What Are You Pointing At | BSD Now 255

July 18th, 2018

1:20:27

What ZFS blockpointers are, zero-day rewards offered, KDE on FreeBSD status, new FreeBSD core team, NetBSD WiFi refresh, poor man’s CI, and the power …

Episode 254: Bare the OS | BSD Now 254

July 12th, 2018

1:31:23

Control flow integrity with HardenedBSD, fixing bufferbloat with OpenBSD’s pf, Bareos Backup Server on FreeBSD, MeetBSD CfP, crypto simplified …

Episode 253: Silence of the Fans | BSD Now 253

July 5th, 2018

1:26:51

Fanless server setup with FreeBSD, NetBSD on pinebooks, another BSDCan trip report, transparent network audio, MirBSD's Korn Shell on Plan9, static site generators on OpenBSD, and more.

##Headlines
###Silent Fanless …

Episode 252: Goes to 11.2 | BSD Now 252

June 28th, 2018

1:34:26

FreeBSD 11.2 has been released, setting up an MTA behind Tor, running pfsense on DigitalOcean, one year of C, using OpenBGPD to announce VM networks, the power to serve, and a BSDCan trip report.

##Headlines
###FreeBSD …

Episode 251: Crypto HAMMER | BSD Now 251

June 21st, 2018

1:28:43

DragonflyBSD’s hammer1 encrypted master/slave setup, second part of our BSDCan recap, NomadBSD 1.1-RC1 available, OpenBSD adds an LDAP client to …

Episode 250: BSDCan 2018 Recap | BSD Now 250

June 14th, 2018

1:41:10

TrueOS becoming a downstream fork with Trident, our BSDCan 2018 recap, HardenedBSD Foundation founding efforts, VPN with OpenIKED on OpenBSD, FreeBSD on a System76 Galago Pro, and hardware accelerated crypto on Octeons.

Episode 249: Router On A Stick | BSD Now 249

June 6th, 2018

1:25:17

OpenZFS and DTrace updates in NetBSD, NetBSD network security stack audit, Performance of MySQL on ZFS, OpenSMTP results from p2k18, legacy Windows …

Episode 248: Show Me The Mooney | BSD Now 248

May 29th, 2018

1:44:33

DragonflyBSD release 5.2.1 is here, BPF kernel exploit writeup, Remote Debugging the running OpenBSD kernel, interview with Patrick Mooney, FreeBSD buildbot setup in a jail, dumping your USB, and 5 years of gaming on …

Episode 247: Interning for FreeBSD | BSD Now 247

May 24th, 2018

1:29:59

FreeBSD internship learnings, exciting developments coming to FreeBSD, running FreeNAS on DigitalOcean, Network Manager control for OpenBSD, OpenZFS …

Episode 246: Properly Coordinated Disclosure | BSD Now 246

May 17th, 2018

1:29:54

How Intel docs were misinterpreted by almost any OS, a look at the mininet SDN emulator, do’s and don’ts for FreeBSD, OpenBSD community going gold, …

Episode 245: ZFS User Conf 2018 | BSD Now 245

May 10th, 2018

1:24:37

Allan’s recap of the ZFS User conference, first impressions of OmniOS by a BSD user, Nextcloud 13 setup on FreeBSD, OpenBSD on a fanless desktop computer, an intro to HardenedBSD, and DragonFlyBSD getting some SMP …

Episode 244: C is a Lie | BSD Now 244

May 3rd, 2018

1:25:32

Arcan and OpenBSD, running OpenBSD 6.3 on RPI 3, why C is not a low-level language, HardenedBSD switching back to OpenSSL, how the Internet was …

Episode 243: Understanding The Scheduler | BSD Now 243

April 25th, 2018

1:25:24

OpenBSD 6.3 and DragonflyBSD 5.2 are released, bug fix for disappearing files in OpenZFS on Linux (and only Linux), understanding the FreeBSD CPU …

Episode 242: Linux Takes The Fastpath | BSD Now 242

April 18th, 2018

1:23:20

TrueOS Stable 18.03 released, a look at F-stack, the secret to an open source business model, intro to jails and jail networking, FreeBSD Foundation March update, and the ipsec Errata.

Headlines TrueOS STABLE 18.03 …

Episode 241: Bowling in the LimeLight | BSD Now 241

April 12th, 2018

2:01:00

Second round of ZFS improvements in FreeBSD, Postgres finds that non-FreeBSD/non-Illumos systems are corrupting data, interview with Kevin Bowling, BSDCan list of talks, and cryptographic right answers.

Episode 240: TCP Blackbox Recording | BSD Now 240

April 7th, 2018

1:39:18

New ZFS features landing in FreeBSD, MAP_STACK for OpenBSD, how to write safer C code with Clang’s address sanitizer, Michael W. Lucas on sponsor gifts, TCP blackbox recorder, and Dell disk system hacking.

Episode 239: The Return To ptrace | BSD Now 239

March 29th, 2018

1:32:43

OpenBSD firewalling Windows 10, NetBSD’s return to ptrace, TCP Alternative Backoff, the BSD Poetic license, and AsiaBSDcon 2018 videos available.

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