The FreeBSD 2009 Quarterly Status Report is now available (Jan – Mar):

Since the last Status Reports there has been interesting progress in FreeBSD Development. FreeBSD 7.2 was released just a few days ago. Some of the highlights include: Support for superpages in the FreeBSD Virtual Memory subsystem. The FreeBSD Kernel Virtual Address space has been increased to 6GB on amd64. An updated jail(8) subsystem that supports multi-IPv4/IPv6/noIP and much more. 

Table of contents:


FreeBSD Team Reports



Google Summer of Code

 Whole report below:


Contact: Gábor Kövesdán <>

Currently, grep is finished and is only waiting for a portbuild test. It is known to be more or less feature complete, while it is much smaller than the GNU version.

As for sort, there has been some progress with the complete rewrite and it is lacking few options. Performance is to be measured, as well.

Open tasks:

  1. Test grep on pointyhat.
  2. Complete sort with the missing features.
  3. Do performance measurements for sort and look for possible optimization opportunities.
  4. Test sort on pointyhat.




Contact: Ed Schouten <
Contact: Roman Divacky <
Contact: Brooks Davis <
Contact: Pawel Worach <>

The last 3-4 months we’ve been working together with the LLVM developers to discuss any bugs and issues we are experiencing with their Clang compiler frontend. The FreeBSD project is looking at the possibility to replace GCC with Clang as a system compiler. It can compile 99% of the FreeBSD world and can compile booting kernel on i386/amd64 but it still contains bugs and its C++ support is still immature.

Ed is maintaining a patchset for the FreeBSD sources to replace cc(1) by a Clang binary and bootstrap almost all sources with the Clang compiler.

The LLVM developers are very helpful fixing most of the bugs we’ve reported (over 100). Unfortunately we are currently blocked on some bug reports that prevent us from building libc, libm, libcrypto and various CDDL libraries with Clang but the FreeBSD kernel itself compiles and boots.

Open tasks:

  1. Testing Clang with compilation of various applications and reporting bugs.
  2. Testing the llvm-bmake branch to find more bugs.
  3. Arranging an experimental ports build.




Contact: John Baldwin <>

GPU device drivers are increasingly requiring more sophisticated support for mapping objects into both userland and the kernel. For example, memory used for textures often needs to be mapped Write-Combining rather than Write-Back. I have recently created three patches to provide several extensions.

The first patch allows device drivers to use a different VM object to back specific mmap() calls instead of always using the device pager. The second patch introduces a new VM object type that can map an arbitrary set of physical address ranges. This can be used to let userland mmap PCI BARs, etc. The third patch allows memory mappings to use different caching modes (e.g. Write-Combining or Uncacheable).

Together I believe these patches provide the remaining pieces needed for an Nvidia amd64 driver. They will also be useful for future Xorg DRM support as well. The current set of patches can be safely merged back to 7.x as well.

Currently I am waiting for review and feedback from several folks. I am hopeful that these patches will be in HEAD soon, prior to the 8.0 freeze.




Contact: Remko Lodder <
Contact: René Ladan <>

The FreeBSD Dutch Documentation Project is an ongoing project to translate FreeBSD Documentation into the Dutch language.

The translation of the Handbook was completed last January. It is kept up-to-date with the English version. Furthermore five articles and the flyer have been translated.

Some initial work has been done to translate the website, but most likely more translators are needed to fully realize it.

Open tasks:

  1. Recruit more translators.
  2. Keep the translations up-to-date with the English versions.
  3. Finish the translation of the FAQ.
  4. Translate more articles and maybe some books.




Contact: Mark Linimon <bugmeister@
Contact: Remko Lodder <bugmeister@>

We continue to classify PRs as they arrive, with ‘tags’ corresponding to the kernel subsystem, or man page references for userland PRs. These tags, in turn, produce lists of PRs sorted both by tag and by manpage

Mark Linimon (linimon@) has created special reports for the Release Engineering Team to help focus on regressions and other areas of interest relating to the release of FreeBSD 7.2 in the coming weeks. This is a refinement of the ‘customised reports for developers’ announced in the last status report.

A full list of all the automatically generated reports is also available. Any recommendations for reports which do not currently exist but which would be beneficial are welcomed.

Mark Linimon also continues attempting to define the general problem and investigating possible new workflow models, and will be presenting on the subject at BSDCan.

The list of PRs recommended for committer evaluation by the bugbusting team continues to receive new additions. This list contains PRs, mostly with patches, that the bugbusting team feel are probably ready to be committed as-is, or are probably trivially resolved in the hands of a committer with knowledge of the particular subsystem. All committers are invited to take a look at this list whenever they have a spare 5 minutes and wish to close a PR.

Since the last status report, the number of open bugs has continued to hover around the 5600 mark, although has began to rise with the 7.2 ports freeze.

As always, more help is appreciated, and committers and non-committers alike are invited to join us on #freebsd-bugbusters on EFnet and help close stale PRs or commit patches from valid PRs.

Open tasks:

  1. Try to find ways to get more committers helping us with closing PRs that the team has already analyzed.
  2. Think of some way for committers to only view PRs that have been in some way ‘vetted’ or ‘confirmed’.
  3. Generate more publicity for what we’ve already got in place, and for what we intend to do next.
  4. Define new categories, classifications, and states for PRs, that will better match our workflow (in progress).




Contact: Nathan Whitehorn <>

FreeBSD 8.0-CURRENT now has support for PowerPC CPUs operating in the 64-bit bridge mode. This includes the PowerPC 970 (G5) as well as the POWER3 and POWER4. Currently only Apple systems are known to work.

Open tasks:

  1. IBM systems currently are not supported due to missing northbridge support.
  2. Software fan control on SMU-based Apple G5 systems (G5 iMac, later Powermac G5) is not available.



Contact: Marius Strobl <>

Like announced in the previous status report, support for sun4u-machines based on UltraSPARC III and beyond has been MFC’ed to stable/7 (the last missing piece was r190297) and thus will be present in the upcoming 7.2-RELEASE and can be already tested with 7.2-RC1. Additionally, as of r191076 machfb(4) has been fixed to work with UltraSPARC III and beyond, that fix unfortunately did not make it into 7.2-RC1 but will be in the final version. The X.Org 7.4 and firefox ports as well as some other gecko-based ones like seamonkey once again have been fixed to also work and package on sparc64, including on UltraSPARC III and UltraSPARC IIIi based machines equipped with cards driven by creator(4) or machfb(4). The driver for the Sun Cassini/Cassini+ as well as National Semiconductor DP83065 Saturn Gigabit NICs found on-board for example in Fire V440 and as add-on cards is coming along nicely, the last thing which needs to be implemented before it can hit CURRENT is support for jumbo frames.




Contact: Johann Kois <
Contact: Martin Wilke <>


In Februay 2009 the German version of the FreeBSD Developer’s handbook went online. Additionally we managed to update large areas of the FAQ thanks to the contributions of Benedict Reuschling.

The website (at least the areas we see as relevant for a translation) is translated and updated constantly.

More volunteers are always welcome of course, as there is still plenty of work to be done.


Open tasks:

  1. Update the existing documentation set (especially the handbook).
  2. Read the translations. Check for problems/mistakes. Send feedback.




Contact: Gábor Kövesdán <
Contact: Gábor Páli <>

We are proud to announce that the FreeBSD Hungarian web pages have been extended by the following items:

  • Project news entries, staring from 2009 (HTML, RSS, RDF)
  • Press releases, starting from 2008 (HTML, RSS)
  • Events, starting from 2009 (HTML, RSS)
  • Security advisories (HTML, RSS)

We are still hoping that having the FDP Primer translated will encourage others to help our work. Feel free to contribute, every submitted line of translation or feedback is appreciated and is highly welcome. For more information on how to contribute, please read the project’s introduction (in Hungarian).

Open tasks:

  1. Translate news entries, press releases.
  2. Translate Release Notes for -CURRENT and 8.X.
  3. Translate articles.
  4. Translate web pages.
  5. Read the translations, send feedback.




Contact: Robert Watson <
Contact: TrustedBSD audit mailing list <>

The TrustedBSD Project has now released OpenBSM 1.1, the second production release of the OpenBSM code base. OpenBSM 1.1 has been merged to FreeBSD 8-CURRENT, and will be merged to 7-STABLE before FreeBSD 7.3. Major changes since OpenBSM 1.0 include:

  • Trail files now include the host where the trail is generated. Crash recovery has been improved. Trail expiration based on size and date is now supported; by default trail files will be expired after 10MB of trails. The default individual trail limit is now 2MB.
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard is now a fully supported platform; launchd(8) can now be used to launchd auditd(8). Command line tools and libraries are now supported on Mac OS X Leopard.
  • Extended header tokens are now supported, allowing audit trails to be tagged with a host identifier. IPv6 addresses are now supported in subject tokens. BSM token and record types have been further synchronized to OpenSolaris; support for many new system calls has been added. Local errors and socket types are mapped to and from BSM values.

Since the last test release, OpenBSM 1.1 beta 1, 32/64-bit compatibility has been fixed for the auditon(2) system call. A default “expire-after” of 10MB is now set in audit_control(5). Local fcntl(2) arguments are now mapped to wire BSM versions using new APIs. The audit_submit(3) man page has been fixed. A new audit event class has been added for post-login authentication and access control events. 

Open tasks:

  1. Migrate to sbufs in token-encoding.
  2. Support for auditing NFS RPCs.




Contact: Release Engineering Team <>

The Release Engineering Team (with lots of help from lots of other people) released FreeBSD 7.2 on May 4th, 2009. During this period we have also begun reminding developers of the upcoming FreeBSD 8.0 release cycle which is scheduled to begin in early June 2009 with release targeted at early September 2009.




Contact: Daniel Gerzo <>

Sysinfo a shell script which purpose is to automatically gather system information and document hardware and software configuration of the given host system. The goal is to provide a system operator with descriptive information about an unknown FreeBSD installation.

It consists of several modules (also shell scripts), thus is easily extensible and provides an easy way to inspect overall system configuration.

It has been written as part of my Bachelor thesis and its development is a work in progress. Therefore, I would appreciate if you could provide me with some feedback as I will defend my thesis soon. Your feedback is welcome at the forums , or alternatively you can send me a private email.

The tool itself can now be installed using the Ports tree from the sysutils/sysinfo port.

Open tasks:

  1. Receive additional feedback.
  2. Perform more testing.
  3. Extend and improve the tool.




Contact: Robert Watson <
Contact: TrustedBSD discussion mailing list <>

There is on-going work to allow “options MAC” to be included in the GENERIC kernel for 8.0. This primarily consists of performance work to reduce overhead when policies are used, and eliminate when none are configured. Work to date includes:

  • The MAC Framework now detects which object types are labeled by policies, and MAC label storage is not allocated when it won’t be used.
  • Add MAC Framework DTrace probes so allow more easy analysis of MAC Framework and policy interactions.
  • Eliminate mutex-protected reference count used to prevent module unload during entry point invocation, and replace with an sx lock and an rwlock, respectively for long-sleepable and short-sleepable entry points, significantly lowering the overhead of entering the MAC Framework. If no dynamic policies are loaded, no locking overhead is taken.


Open tasks:

  1. Move to rmlocks for non-sleepable entry points to reduce cache line thrashing under load.
  2. Macroize invocation of MAC Framework entry points from the kernel, and perform caller-side determination of whether MAC is enabled in order to avoid additional function call overhead in the caller path if MAC is disabled.




Contact: Robert Watson <>

A new DTrace provider, dtnfsclient, has been added to the FreeBSD 8.x kernel, and will be merged to 7.x before 7.3. The following probes are available:

  • nfsclient:{nfs2,nfs3}:{procname}:start – NFSv2 and NFSv3 RPC start probes
  • nfsclient:{nfs2,nfs3}:{procname}:done – NFSv2 and NFSv3 RPC done probes
  • nfsclient:accesscache:: – NFS access cache flush/hit/miss/load probes
  • nfsclient:attrcache:: – NFS attribute cache flush/hit/miss/done

In addition, a number of VFS probes have been added:

  • vfs:vop:{vopname}:entry – VOP entry probe
  • vfs:vop:{vopname}:return – VOP return probe
  • vfs:namei:lookup:entry – VFS name lookup entry probe
  • vfs:namei:lookup:return – VFS name lookup return probe
  • vfs:namecache:*:* – VFS namecache enter/enter_negative/fullpath_enter/fullpath_hit/fullpath_miss/fullpath_return/lookup_hit/lookup_hit_negative/lookup_miss/purge/purge_negative/purgevfs/zap/zap_negative probes

These probes make it much easier to trace NFS and VFS events. 

Open tasks:

  1. Add VFSOP tracing.
  2. Add RPC-layer tracing, such as RPC retransmits.
  3. Provide decoded NFS RPCs in order to expose transaction IDs and file handles.




Contact: Beat Gaetzi <
Contact: Bernhard Froehlich <
Contact: Dennis Herrmann <
Contact: Martin Wilke <>

After the first mail from Alexander Eichner on the vbox-dev mailinglist, we started the work on a virtualbox port. 6 Days was needed to get virtualbox to start with over 20 patches. We’d like to say thanks to Alexander Eichner, all the VirtualBox Developers, Gustau Perez and Ulf Lilleengen. If you like to play with the current port you can checkout the port here. Please do not ping us about any problems, we know about a lot and are still working to get them all solved before we do an offcial call for testing.

Open tasks:

  1. Fix kernel crashes on 7.2-RELEASE.
  2. Code cleanup.
  3. Fix errors on AMD64.
  4. Fix user/permission problems.