Tuesday, October 26, 2010

EuroBSDCon 2010 Trip Report: Efstratios Karatzas

Efstratios Karatzas, the 2010 Google Summer of Code student who worked on the Audit Kernel Events project, has sent in his trip report for the EuroBSDCon DevSummit. This was his first FreeBSD conference and his first opportunity to meet other FreeBSD developers in person. He writes:

Attending the conference was a great way for me to get more involved with the FreeBSD project. The most significant part of the trip was getting to know all sorts of people actively working on the project, from kernel hackers to bugmeisters and doc people.

The 15 minute length presentations at the Dev Summit were helpful in getting informed about what other people are working on at the moment and also provided an understanding of how different teams operate in the scope of the FreeBSD project. Unfortunately, there weren't any people actively involved with parts of my work besides our pf maintainer, but I still had some very interesting talks with all sorts of people: a dinner with andre@ giving a mini lecture on kernel architecture and a talk with hps@ about memory mapping pop into mind. Another positive impact that the trip had on me was to encourage me to work harder and support the project to the best of my abilities. All in all, it was a great trip indeed.

MeetBSD California unConference and DevSummit

The FreeBSD Foundation is a proud sponsor of MeetBSD California, which will be held in Mountain View, California November 5-6. There will be a Foundation booth at this event with lots of swag and informational brochures. Be sure to stop by to say hi, get your questions answered, suggest ideas for future funded projects, and consider making a donation.

If you are in the California area and have a commit bit (src, ports, or docs) or have participated in a FreeBSD Google Summer of Code project, you're welcome to sign up for the DevSummit the day before the conference. If you need to be sponsored (i.e. don’t have a FreeBSD commit bit), let Kris know and he’ll add you to the wiki page.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Report from KyivBSD

The Foundation was a sponsor of this year's KyivBSD, held in Kiev, Ukraine on September 25. Alexander Yerenkow, the conference organizer, provided this report on the conference:

KyivBSD was the second installment in a newly created series of BSD-related conferences held in the Ukraine. The conference was attended by people from the Ukraine as well as Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The Foundation's financial support helped to make both this and last year's conference possible.

This year we were able to attract new partners and sponsors. Last year it was difficult to attract local companies as many were unfamiliar with BSD. This year, having last year's success as an example, was a lot easier. The local branch of D-Link was interested in sponsoring the conference and gave away three brand new WiFi routers. We received proposals from a few companies to place advertisements at the conference for money, but at the moment, we have no need for additional funds. We saw first-hand that many companies, individuals, and users have become more aware of FreeBSD and believe that the conference played a role in raising this awareness.

During the conference we ran a lottery with donated placards, books and routers for prizes. The funds raised from the lottery will be donated back to the Foundation at the end of this year.

The day after the conference we proctored the BSDA certification, which was the nearest certification event this fall for exam candidates from Russia and Kazakhstan. We were happy to provide them with the opportunity to take the exam.

Looking forward to next year, we hope to attract even more companies and attendees.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Update on DAHDI Project

Max Khon has completed the DAHDI Project and provides the following report:

I am pleased to announce the completion of the DAHDI/FreeBSD project.

DAHDI (Digium/Asterisk Hardware Device Interface) is an open-source device driver framework and a set of HW drivers for E1/T1, ISDN digital and FXO/FXS analog cards.

The main goal of this funded project was to make it possible to use FreeBSD as a base system for software PBX solutions.

Currently, most of the DAHDI bits have been ported, including the DAHDI framework itself, HW drivers, TDMoE drivers, drivers for software and HW echo cancellation (Octasic, VPMADT032) and HW transcoding (TC400B). The project is hosted in the official DAHDI SVN repository.

misc/dahdi in the FreeBSD ports collection now contains the most recent bits of DAHDI/FreeBSD and also some stuff that is not available in DAHDI/FreeBSD SVN due to licensing and copyright restrictions. These include the OSLEC echo canceller and the experimental zaphfc driver.

I will continue periodic merges from DAHDI/Linux SVN on a regular basis and roll out new DAHDI/FreeBSD releases. These will most likely be synchronized with DAHDI/Linux releases.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

EuroBSDCon2010 Trip Report: Brooks Davis

The Foundation sponsored several developers and summer of code students to attend last week's EuroBSDCon. We'll publish the trip reports as they come in. Brooks has already sent his and his report is as follows:

EuroBSDCon 2010 was a small, productive conference with a well organized developers summit. I arrived on Wednesday, October 6th and met a group of developers for dinner. The next morning we headed to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for the developers summit. The format was 15-minute talk & discussion sessions in the morning and longer meetings in the afternoon. In the morning we heard about and discussed USB, toolchains, documentation, NanoBSD, pf, jails, and virtual private servers. In the toolchain session I provided a quick review of the current state of affairs followed by a general discussion. The progress of clang's integrated assembler was of particular interest.

Useful outcomes from the initial discussion included identification of the need for people to drive both libgcc and libc++ replacement efforts. Much of libgcc has been replaced by compiler-rt, but we may need to write a few components and we need to package it appropriately. More work will be required for libc++, but there are patches available to make it work on Linux.

After lunch, topics for larger discussion were solicited and we broke up into groups. I lead a small discussion of toolchain issues. Koop Mast reported that nearly half of the ports collection now builds with clang and three ports have fixes in the works which will unblock over 5000 more ports. Ed Schouten volunteered to work on a libgcc replacement. As a prototype we decided to start by replacing all the parts of libgcc which have counterparts in compiler-rt and then see what's left. Koop expressed interest in trying to to get libc++ building as a port. One long pole dependency we found is support for POSIX 1003.1-2008 per-thread locales. Functions such as newlocale(), uselocale(), and freelocale() will need to be added to libc. Another issue we discussed was if we actually need a /usr/bin/as. It's not clear that anything in the base system needs it and most things that use an assembler directly actually use something like NASM. If we don't need it in the base that will make things easier since currently there isn't a gas replacement as part of llvm/clang.

Other topics of the afternoon included inet6, USD, documentation, and cluster administration.

The next day followed the same format with morning talks on PC-BSD; FreeNAS; kernel event timers; problem reports; ports tinderboxes; GSoC projects: NFS event auditing, optional kernel subsystem registration,ringmap, and accessing subsystems via libraries; and finally a general GSoC discussion. In the GSoC discussion there seemed to be general agreement that recent FreeBSD additions including the soc-status mailing list and the multidimensional ranking system we used for proposals this year were good ideas. There was a suggestion that we should make sure mentors instruct their students to provided some overall context in their soc-status proposals.

In the afternoon, discussions covered ports, pc-bsd, bugbusting, ringmap, cluster administration, event timers, and freenas. I joined the cluster administration discussion and working session where we talked about the status of the various clusters as well as some possibilities for new mirror systems as well as the fact that we're nearly ready to go with the things required to let us build ports with
quarterly releases.

After the days summit we adjourned to the developers summit dinner which was quite excellent. Over all the summit was well organized and the format worked well. My only complaints where a catering error which left us without snacks on the second day and that soliciting ideas for breakout sessions with a quick meeting before they started probably wouldn't scale to a larger group such as the BSDCan devsummit. For something like that some of the techniques from un-conferences would be appropriate.

The main conference was a normal two track format with a keynote at the beginning. Saturday began with an opening speech and then phk give a provocative overview of the system tools philosophy where he argued that we need to bring the power to Unix tools like grep to structured data (primarily XML). I think he made a good case and it certainly stirred up a good bit of controversy. I then attended the next four talks on Track 1. Three of those were virtualization with Bjoern Zeeb talking about jails and vimage, Jamie Gritton talking about his new jail management framework which includes config file support, and Klaus Ohrhallinger talking about his work on virtual private systems (VPS) which is essentially VIMAGE taken to the logical extreme and includes support for live migration of virtual instances. The fourth talk was on netpgp and the ability to use ssh host and user keys to sign and
encrypt data. I left the talk knowing that you could do that, but with no idea why you would want to. The final session I attended was on recent developments in pf on OpenBSD. It sounds like they greatly simplified some aspects of the code at the cost of breaking most users configuration files. If FreeBSD were to adopt this code it would need to be as yet another firewall. The day ended with the conference organizers asking me to give a FreeBSD status report on Sunday.

On Sunday I worked on slides for the status report during early talks. I did catch Martin Matuska's talk on ZFS which included detailed coverage of the current state of ZFS both technically and politically along with upcoming features in v28. While attending that talk I missed a talk on binary package updates which I would have liked to hear. In the afternoon I wrapped up my slides and the presented a FreeBSD status report along with reports on NetBSD, OpenBSD, and PC-BSD. Between the projects there were both sharp distinctions on some things like the toolchain and near total agreement on others like moving to mandoc for manpage rendering. On the toolchain front, OpenBSD is beginning to move from gcc 2 and 3 to various pre-GPLv3 versions of 4. NetBSD has been spending a fair bit of time on pcc, but has also imported a GPLv3 binutils and plans to import gcc 4.5 soon. While putting slides together I found it that pretty impressive to pull together a set of features from the last several months as well as works in progress. It was also interesting to see how many of the features were partially funded by the foundation.

All in all the conference came off well. I do fear that if we had more attendees in the future that we would need a different venue, but that will be many years away. I'm looking to next year's conference in the Netherlands.

Monday, October 4, 2010


The FreeBSD Foundation is a proud sponsor of EuroBSDCon. Several of the Foundation Directors will be at the conference later this week. We'll have a booth in the booth area with Foundation brochures and swag and you're welcome to drop by to give feedback, ask questions, and/or make a donation. Hope to see some of you there!