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Building a FreeBSD Appliance with NanoBSD

Poul-Henning Kamp

An appliance in this context is a computer which can be stuck in an attic, nailed to a wall and forgotten about. If there is problems with it, you can power cycle it and it will start again. Every time.

Appliances can do many different things: Firewalls, access points, data collection, industrial control, network monitoring and so on.

It should of course be possible to update the software remotely and if the new version doesn't fail, it should be possible to return to the old software version again.

NanoBSD is a way to build FreeBSD for use in such appliances.

The NanoBSD concept is to make the appliance look as much like a normal FreeBSD machine as possible, so that people feel intuitively home and don't have to waste time learning a lot of new stuff.

The talk will look at how to design a good appliance and go through the steps necessary to build a NanoBSD image for it.

About the Author

Poul-Henning Kamp has been hacking FreeBSD for more than a decade and is responsible for a lot of code people use without knowing it, in FreeBSD and elsewhere.

Despite having twice as many hits on Google as Queen Margrete II of Denmark, he still has to make a living by finding solutions to problems and vice versa.


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