Portmaster funding proposal

Doug Barton wrote in the @announce mailing list,

I have launched an initiative to give the community the opportunity to fund further development work on portmaster. As much as I love doing this work I need to be able to support myself and my family and the kinds of features that users have requested (such as package support) will take a lot of time to implement correctly.

The URL is here: http://dougbarton.us/portmaster-proposal.html

Several users have been kind enough to send donations and I have updated the web page to indicate the work that has been completed, and that which is in progress.

If you have any interest in funding this project take a look at that web page. Of course additional ideas for features are also welcome.

Have a look at or download portmaster here

11 BSD Success Stories

O’Reilly has a free PDF article with 11 BSD success stories

Adventures in BSD
How BSD Keeps Me Sane
FreeBSD at Shannon Medical Center
BSD in a Panic
You Haven’t Had E-mail Since When? FreeBSD
saves a dot-org, and maybe me, too!
A FreeBSD Success Story
(and Dragon?yBSD too)
BSD In a Microsoft Of?ce
Museum Guardian
OpenBSD Saves the Day
A FreeBSD Implementation
Open Source Software in
Co-operation Ireland
  1. Adventures in BSD
  2. How BSD Keeps Me Sane
  3. FreeBSD at Shannon Medical Center
  4. BSD in a Panic
  5. You Haven’t Had E-mail Since When? FreeBSD saves a dot-org, and maybe me, too!
  6. A FreeBSD Success Story (and Dragon?yBSD too)
  7. BSD In a Microsoft Of?ce
  8. Museum Guardian
  9. OpenBSD Saves the Day
  10. A FreeBSD Implementation
  11. Open Source Software in  Co-operation Ireland

Read/Download the article

(via – freebsd.lt)

Development Release: FreeBSD 8.0-RC2

Ken Smith announced on 28/10 the availability of the second release candidate for FreeBSD 8.0:

The second of the release candidates for the FreeBSD 8.0 release cycle is now available. At this point we feel most of what has been discovered during public testing that is feasible to fix as part of the release process has been addressed. So the current plan is to have 8.0-RC3 in about two weeks. ISO images for all supported architectures are available on the FTP sites, and a ‘memory stick’ image is available for amd64/i386 architectures. For amd64/i386 architectures the CD-ROM and memory stick images include the documentation packages but no other packages. The DVD image includes the packages that will probably be available on the official release media.

Announcement | Download | Website

New FreeBSD Foundation Project: Flattened Device Tree

FreeBSD foundation logoThe FreeBSD Foundation has announced another funded project!

“Rafal Jaworowski and Semihalf has been awarded a grant to provide FreeBSD with support for the flattened device tree (FDT) technology. This project allows for describing hardware resources of a computer system and their dependencies in a platform-neutral and portable way.

The main consumers of this functionality are embedded systems whose hardware resources assignment cannot be probed or self-discovered.

The FDT idea is inherited from Open Firmware IEEE 1275 device-tree notion (part of the regular Open Firmware implementation), and among other deployments is used as a basis for Power.org’s embedded platform
reference specification (ePAPR).

Rafal JaworowskiThanks to this project, embedded FreeBSD platforms will grow in a uniform and extensible way of representing hardware devices, compliant with industry standards (ePAPR, Open Firmware), independent of architecture and platform (portable across ARM, MIPS, PowerPC etc.),

said Rafal Jaworoski, FreeBSD Developer.

Semihalf is a privately owned company, based in Krakow, Poland. They specialize in embedded systems design and development, with expertise in both software and hardware. Among their portfolio are FreeBSD ports to high-end embedded processors (including multi-core) with a wide range of peripheral drivers (storage, networking, pattern matching, security engines etc.); most of this work is publicly available from the FreeBSD repository.

You can find out more about the project at http://wiki.freebsd.org/FlattenedDeviceTree.

This project will complete by February 2010.”

If you want, you can support this project too.

New FreeBSD Foundation Project: HAST

FreeBSD foundation logoThe FreeBSD Foundation has announced that is funding a new funded project: HAST

“Pawel Jakub Dawidek has been awarded a grant to implement storage replication software that will enable users to use the FreeBSD operating system for highly available configurations where data has to be shared across the cluster nodes. The project is partly being funded by OMCnet Internet Service and TransIP BV.

The software will allow for synchronous block-level replication of any storage media (GEOM providers, using FreeBSD nomenclature) over the TCP/IP network and for fast failure recovery. HAST will provide storage
using GEOM infrastructure, which means it will be file system and application independent and could be combined with any existing GEOM class. In case of a master node failure, the cluster will be able to
switch to the slave node, check and mount UFS file system or import ZFS pool and continue to work without missing a single bit of data.

High-availability is the number one requirement for any serious use of any operating system,

Pawel Jakub Dawideksaid Pawel Jakub Dawidek, FreeBSD Developer.

Highly available storage is one of the key components in such environments. I strongly believe there are many FreeBSD users that have been waiting a long time for this functionality. I’ll do my best to deliver software that matches FreeBSD quality and that will satisfy the needs of our users.

Pawel has been an active FreeBSD committer since 2003. During this period, he has touched almost every part of the kernel. But, his main interest in FreeBSD is storage and security related topics. Pawel is the author of various GEOM classes (eli, mirror, gate, label, journal, hsec, etc.), geom(8) utility, various opencrypto improvements as well as port of the ZFS file system from OpenSolaris to FreeBSD.

The project will complete by February 2010.”

If you want, you can support this project too.

FreeBSD Release Process

Ivan Voras sumarised a little while ago the FreeBSD release procedure:

“It goes something like this (or at least it did/will be for 8.0-RELEASE):

  1. An approximate date is set on one of the DevSummits – this is usually of the granularity of “autumn 2009″ rather than a specific day.
  2. As the set date approaches, a more specific deadline is set for a “code freeze”.
  3. Developers try to get as much code into the tree as they can before the code freeze – this is still “free-for-all” time.
  4. After the code freeze, only code specifically approved by the release engineering (releng) team can go in.
  5. During various BETA releases, a RELENG branch – what is known for the users as a “STABLE” branch is created from VCS “head”. Some early beta releases might be cut of the “head” of the tree, latter from the RELENG branch.
  6. Release candidates are cut from the RELENG (STABLE) branch. This is where debugging is turned off system-wide and the performance is as it should be in the released versions. Debugging is never turned back on for STABLE branches (except of course that developers have it on by themeselves).
  7. After a certain amount of BETA and RC releases, the number of which is determined ad-hoc as needed, a release comes out. Everyone is happy, especially developers who can now commit freely to “head” again.
  8. The release engineering period for a major .0 release takes any time from a month to several months.”
  9. To find out more about FreeBSD release engineering, visit the FreeBSD Release Enginering page or Murray Stokely’s Release Document.

    FreeBSD 6.3 end of life

    On January 31st, FreeBSD 6.3 will reach its End of Life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Users of this release are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a newer release before that date — more conservative users will probably wish to upgrade to FreeBSD 6.4 or FreeBSD 7.1 (which are both extended-support branches), while others will probably wish to upgrade to FreeBSD 7.2 or the upcoming FreeBSD 8.0.

    Read the announcement

    Clang/LLVM support on FreeBSD

    A couple of developers are working to replace GCC in the FreeBSD base system with clang/LLVM. Clang is a compiler built on the Low Level Virtual Machine compiler infrastructure. Both clang and llvm are released under a BSD like license, unlike GCC that’s GPL licensed.

    Roman Divacky has an update on the project:

    The situation as of late September:

    • i386 – kernel boots, world needs little hacks but works
    • amd64 – kernel compiles but does not boot, world needs little hacks
    • ppc – broken because of unknown RTLD bug

    All other platforms are untested. Ie. this is a regression from the situation in early spring when we could boot amd64 as well…

    A lot has happened over the spring/summer – amd64 got proper mcmodel=kernel support, compiler-rt was introduced (paving the way for libgcc replacement), we ran two experimental ports build to see how clang does there, C++ support is able to parse devd.cc without warnings, we got kernel working with -O2, we promoted FreeBSD to be officially supported plaform in LLVM etc. etc.

    The developers could do with a bit of support and help with the testing. Can you?

    We have problems though: we don’t have manpower for testing (thats why amd64 kernel stopped booting) and developers for integrating stuff into FreeBSD (maintaining ports etc.). So if you are interested in helping please contact me or join us on IRC in #freebsd-clang on irc.oftc.net. We especially need amd64 testers (because of the amd64 kernel bug) and people with minor platforms like arm/mips/sparc to see how clang/llvm performs there and improve that

    FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (April-Sep 2009)

    freebsd project logo 100x100The FreeBSD Project has released it’s ‘quarterly’ update with an overview of current and finished projects:

    This report covers FreeBSD related projects between April and September 2009. During that time a lot of work has been done on wide variety of projects, including the Google Summer of Code projects. The BSDCan conference was held in Ottawa, CA, in May. The EuroBSDCon conference was held in Cambridge, UK, in September. Both events were very successful. A new major version of FreeBSD, 8.0 is to be released soon

    Table of contents:

    Google Summer of Code


    FreeBSD Team Reports

    Network Infrastructure