FreeBSD Release?

I’ve been looking at C-panel and Virtualmin. We currently run Plesk and are not going back.
When is the FreeBSD version going to be released? Hopefully it’s soon. Will there a x86_64 version or not? We need to make a decision in the next 60-90 days so any information you can give me would be great. For now I get back to setting up my GPL version.


I’d like to see a FreeBSD release in the next two to three weeks. I don’t know how much my likes will play a role. OS support always takes longer than I plan. But I’ve got no others in the queue (well, there is Fedora 7, but I believe it’s finished, or very close to it). There are some remaining issues on Debian and Ubuntu that I need to get worked out, but they’re mostly solid too.

So, since I’m running out of urgent matters to keep me from FreeBSD, it seems likely to come in the next few weeks. I dunno how long it will take, as I’ve only a passing knowledge of ports and the FreeBSD package management tools.

This would really help me. I was never able to get my freebsd setup working correctly.

I’d love to see this too. I have Virtualmin Pro running on FreeBSD 6.2 and just hit the 16 character username limit that FreeBSD unfortunately has. I truly hope you are close to a release for us FreeBSD folks.


Just to clarify… The 16 character limitation causes me problems when I have multiple virtual domains that all have a common username (like and

The 16 character limit is not something in Virtualmin’s power to change. It’s something the sysadmin should solve.


To allow more 16 character username in FreeBSD you must recompile the freebsd source code.

From "man adduser"

Login name. The user name is restricted to whatever pw(8) will
accept. Generally this means it may contain only lowercase char-
acters or digits. Maximum length is 16 characters. The reasons
for this limit are historical. Given that people have tradition-
ally wanted to break this limit for aesthetic reasons, it has
never been of great importance to break such a basic fundamental
parameter in UNIX. You can change UT_NAMESIZE in <utmp.h> and
recompile the world; people have done this and it works, but you
will have problems with any precompiled programs, or source that
assumes the 8-character name limit and NIS. The NIS protocol
mandates an 8-character username. If you need a longer login
name for e-mail addresses, you can define an alias in


Yes, Lucian is correct.

We are not going to make changes to the underlying system–we assume you have reasons for choosing your OS, and we respect that…we do everything as close to “by the book” on the systems we support as possible, and that’s one of the reasons folks love Virtualmin! :wink:

So, username limits are something you signed on for when you chose FreeBSD. You can change it, at your option, and Virtualmin can be configured to allow creation of longer usernames. But we’re not going to be recompiling parts of your OS, except when absolutely necessary (Apache suexec is, so far, the only widespread example of us rebuilding an OS-provided component).

I fully understand the 16 character limitation and never expected you would mod the OS. I was hoping that you might add a facility to address the problem where username clashes currently fixed by’s. Something like some a short unique domain extension or even a simple autoindexed number (fred-2, where the 2 is a short name for

At any case, I still intend to proceed with Virtualmin Pro on my current server since it really make managing things so much easier for a part-time server admin like me. I’ll deal with the name collisions some other way if need be.

Sorry I didn’t make that more clear before…but it was late…


Bump. Any progress or should I give up and use CentOS or Ubuntu? Which do you suggest?

I posted a few months ago the changes needed to make FreeBSD users names longer. If I recall correctly, you had to change 4 constants and recompile the OS. Look at the previous FreeBSD threads.



Drop me an e-mail, I can help you out in the interim. All of our systems are FreeBSD.

Bump again. I figure this is hard to do, but if you guys are having trouble how can you really expect us to manage a FreeBSD self-install?

I’ll be happy to work a script for you to update the OS to allow >16 character names. I’ve been using long user names for 4+ years on a VM gpl machine with no problems (other that “top” did not align the user name on the screen correctly, and that was fixed in FreeBSD 6 something).

I’d really like a config that is 100% interchangable with the standard setup you support on the other OSes. I want to move off the CentOS platform as soon as I can.

If you have a near-working script with most of the basics worked out, I’d be happy to research any specific problems you’re having.


Hey Steve,

The FreeBSD capable version of the install script was released over a week ago. See here:

If you’d like to whip up a script for converting, that’d be awesome. We won’t be automatically rebuilding core parts of the OS during install…that’s a little to dramatic even for me. But, it is a pretty big pain point in running Virtualmin on FreeBSD, and getting a predictable alternative in place would be nice.

As for being 100% interchangeable, we just can’t do it, no matter how hard we try, as far as I know. Last word we heard on the secondary groups issue was that FreeBSD only supports up to 15(?) secondary groups. This means that we can’t use our favorite groups model on FreeBSD (where Apache has group membership in all virtual servers–add this to suexec and nobody can ever see anybody else’s stuff, even if permissions are wrong within the home directory), and thus homes have to have 751 permissions.

Unless the secondary groups limit has changed on FreeBSD (I dunno…My google fu was not strong enough, perhaps you know?) switching between FreeBSD and CentOS will always be a different experience, because this is a pretty fundamental difference in the way permissions work (you have to be more careful on FreeBSD–it can be perfectly secure, but it’s not automatic).

BTW-I think the ProFTPd brokenness still exists. If you know how to install proftpd that isn’t broken on FreeBSD-7.0, that’d be cool.

I missed the announcement… that’s wonderful. I’ll celebrate by buying another license.

I should have guessed by the title what that post was about. <grin>


As I understand the differences then:

You are living within the 16char user-name & group-name limit, only 15 secondary groups and no proftpd.

I assume you truncate the names on the username format? If I modify my OS, will the truncation still happen, or will you allow long names?

With fewer secondary groups, is Apache still fully functional, just working differently internally? Can I backup a virtual domain hosted in CentOS and restore into a FreeBSD machine?

I’ll play with the proftpd package/ports to see if I can tease it to install.

I assume you truncate the names on the username format? If I modify my OS, will the truncation still happen, or will you allow long names?

It is configurable. By default, the limits are imposed…but it can be turned off so it acts like it does on Linux systems.

With fewer secondary groups, is Apache still fully functional, just working differently internally? Can I backup a virtual domain hosted in CentOS and restore into a FreeBSD machine?

Fully functional, including suexec and mod_fcgid. However, permissions have to be looser for everything to actually work. You can’t use 750 on homes…have to use 751 at the minimum. You may also need to enable some additional modules yourself, depending on what you were using on the CentOS box–we tend to stick with the philosophy of the OS when we add support, and the philosophy of FreeBSD is “only what you ask for explicitly”, so Apache and many other tools are far more limited “out of the box” on FreeBSD than on other systems. We assume that you like the OS and the way it works if you’re installing onto it, so we try to leave things as the OS intended as much as possible.

You should be able to restore backups made on CentOS into a FreeBSD machine and expect them to work reasonably similarly. Not identical, as when moving from any recent Linux to any other recent Linux, but nothing dramatic. If you run into problems that aren’t explained by the above explanations, file a bug and we’ll help you get it fixed. FreeBSD isn’t heavily tested, as we don’t have many folks using it, but we’re happy to fix bugs.

I’ve installed on a box and have a list of minor bugs/issues that I’ll forward to you. There is a possible fix for the proftp problem at:

If I get a chance I’ll try it.