Greater Toronto Area BSD Users Group
Gee Tee Ay Bug eh? Tell me more.

GTABUG is a group of folks in the Toronto area that dig the BSD Unix family of computer operating systems. We're loosely knit, and most of the time use nerdy computer language as an excuse to eat pizza and drink beer. The meetings are on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and usually start around 7 o'clock. For the past number of years we've been meeting at Olympic 76 Pizza, 8A Gloucester Street, Toronto. There's a list of proposed meeting dates below but (just our little secret) these are generated by a computer, so there is always the chance they may be wrong. Or, we may cancel the meeting for other reason. Just to be safe, you should sign up for the mailing list as this page will not be updated with individual meeting changes.

  • August 15, 2018
  • September 19, 2018
  • October 17, 2018

Calendar: You can add events to your Google or other calendars by clicking on the individual dates, or to your Ical or compatible calendar as a recurring event using gtabug.ics.

Meetings: So, what do we do at the meetings? Anything... all get-togethers are very informal; everyone chips in on the pizza and we just let the conversation flow. Have a technical issue? Chances are very good that someone else has tinkered with the same thing and would love to gab about it.

Great, so what the heck is this BSD stuff?

A lot of people around the world use an operating system from Redmond, USA. It costs money, can be a pain in the butt and has a low "geek factor". BSD is a free operating system with a rich history spanning three decades, thousands of free applications ready to run, and a diverse and mature community. BSD (originally Berkeley Software Distribution) refers to the version of the Unix operating system that was developed at and distributed from the University of California at Berkeley.

And of course there is more than one BSD out there...

  • FreeBSD - Built to run very well on x86 hardware, possibly the most "user friendly" version of the family. Large support community and an easy install process.
  • NetBSD - NetBSD's focus is to have a clean implementation and to run on as many things as possible from Playstations, to Toasters...
  • OpenBSD - Security is the name of the game for OpenBSD and, with a through audit of every line of code there hasn't been a remote root exploit in "quite some time".
  • Mac OS X (from that big fruity computer company) is built on top of "Darwin", which is a merger of FreeBSD and something very geeky called Mach, about which the less said the better.

There are also many smaller distributions based upon one of the above (in alphabetical order):

  • BSDAnywhere was a live CD based on OpenBSD.
  • DesktopBSD is another relative newcomer based on FreeBSD using KDE as their GUI.
  • DragonFly BSD A relative newcomer to the BSD family, DragonFly is a continuation of the otherwise-defunct FreeBSD 4.x family.
  • OliveBSd was an OpenBSD live (hence "OLiveBSD") CD based on OpenBSD; this project has not been updated in a long time.
  • PC-BSD is a widely-used distribution based on FreeBSD using "a host of popular open source window managers and ... a custom-tailored application installer..." to make it all user-friendly.
  • PicoBSD was a distribution of FreeBSD designed to run from floppies (rememember them?).

Finally there are some special-purpose distributions (with web-based admin consoles) based on one of the major BSD's (in alphabetical order):

  • FreeNAS is a "Network Appliance Storage" engine built on FreeBSD
  • pfSense is a firewall based on FreeBSD

Read more about BSD on WikiPedia and see also their Comparison of BSD operating systems.

Resources, tips and tricks

If you would like to subscribe go to the list manager. Additionally if you would like to explore other BSD resources, see the Resource links at the left.

Familiar Faces

Everyone's got a webpage nowadays, and some of these folks have some pretty interesting things to say, so take a look.

The GTABug site is hosted by RejmiNet Group Inc. as a service to the BSD community in Toronto.