OpenBSD 6.6 Released Early

OpenBSD's second of its biannual releases came early again this year with the release of OpenBSD 6.6 last week; while this post comes late.

For anyone who isn't yet aware, Theo's announcement came a few days ago on Thursday, October 17 to the relevant mailing lists.

Among the many changes are:

  • sysupgrade(8): an automatic upgrade utility that performs release and snapshot upgrades with one command
  • LibreSSL 3.0.2: a new release of the project's OpenSSL fork
  • sshsig: a minimal signature and verification utility for ssh-keygen(1)
  • OpenSSH 8.1: a new release of the project's ubiquitous ssh protocol implementation …
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October Rx/Tx


50 Years of Unix


However, something else happened that summer which you won’t find in most history books… a Bell Labs researcher named Ken Thompson created the first version of Unix, which turned out to be one of the most important pieces of computer software ever invented.

This year, we celebrate 50 years of Unix! It was the summer of 1969 that Ken Thompson finished what came to be known as Unix over a three week period when his wife took his kid to visit the in-laws for summer. It wouldn't be hyperbole to suggest that what Ken accomplished literally revolutionised computing.

Bell Labs is …

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SerenityOS: A Graphical Unix-like Operating System

If you're even slightly interested in systems programming, a Unix afficionado, or simply appreciative of highly motivated, intelligent, and genuinely good people, and aren't already aware of Andreas Kling, you'll most definitely enjoy subscribing to his YouTube channel. Andreas regularly shares screencasts of his impressively productive hacking sessions where you'll find him hacking on Serenity—a Unix-like operatng system that he's built from the ground up, entirely from scratch—or catch his candid and enlightening commute talks where he answers questions submitted by followers while sharing personal insights and experiences from his life as a programmer who has worked at places like …

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OpenBSD: Secure by Default

Continuing with the theme of my last post regarding the impetus of the OpenBSD project, and the principles by which development of the operating system adheres, I felt compelled to enumerate some of the tangible benefits that such a system produces. The principled purist within me notwithstanding, for what reason do I not only choose to use but advocate for OpenBSD when there are so many viable alternatives? What are the benefits? Candidly, there are plenty. Beyond the intangible, esoteric, and ideological, there are myriad reasons that could incentivise installing and running OpenBSD; if not as a daily driver—a firewall, router …

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OpenBSD: Clean, Correct Code by Default

I was perusing some not-too-recent-nor-old messages on the misc@openbsd.org mailing list when I entered a thread based on an interest in the subject—OpenBSD Project—where after reading the original message I would have normally passed on the rest but fortuitously didn't, and was pleased to read a contribution that reminded me of one of OpenBSD's most compelling merits:

"If your choice of operating system depends on any kind of formalities rather than on technical quality, OpenBSD is not the project you are looking for."

The entire message deserves a read but this key point made by author Ingo Schwarze …

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Sourcehut: Open Source Software Development Platform

With the ubiquity of Git, there's always the question of where do I host my code? Github is obviously the dominant domain for developers but I can understand the reluctance of many free and open source software proponents to use an entirely closed source system. And with the new owners, it's an even less appealing prospect—particularly for those who have been around a little longer than Gen Z. Sure, there's a surfeit of options but the majority are, for the most part, Github clones.

This is where sourcehut—heretofore known by its abridged moniker sr.ht —shines.

It provides all of …

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netcalc update: it's 2019 after all

After receiving a request from Martin on the misc@ mailing list to make IPv6 the default version for netcalc, I decided to implement my original idea of dynamically detecting which version IP address the user supplies so that no switch is necessary to discern the two. It was a trivial change but definitely an improvement; and, like Martin remarked, "it's 2019 after all." Despite the fact that IPv4 still traffics most of the Internet with approximately 75% coverage, any encouragement to implement its successor should be the default position.

I am a little surprised that IPv6 wasn't the default being taught at …

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IPv4 and IPv6 CIDR Subnet Calculator

tl;dr: download netcalc—an IPv4 and IPv6 subnet calculator—to make subnetting easier.

In one of my Computer Science units last year we studied subnetting. It was really interesting but also highly programmatic. So like any good CS student, when faced with a repetitive problem to solve—such as calculating subnets—you automate the process; which I did! I first wrote a program in Python but then decided to create one in C. It only provided IPv4 functionality, though, as that's all we worked on at university. More recently, however, I thought I'd expand it to include IPv6; C makes this …

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Sage Studying: Note-Taking and Revision

The second semester of 2019 commenced today, which brought to the forefront of my mind how I would study and prepare for the forthcoming assessments and exams. And so I thought I'd share my study strategy, and the tactics I use toward executing said strategy, which to date has resulted in a distinguished academic achievement. I suppose I should emphasise that I don't necessarily set out to achieve High Distinctions as a primary goal, but to learn the course content well—and the HD grades are an appreciated bonus. A fortunate byproduct of the whole process. But the pursuit of knowledge—a …

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