Friday, December 30, 2011

Thank you to everyone who has made a donation to the FreeBSD Foundation this year! We have just around 24 hours left to reach our goal of raising $400,000 for 2011. At this time we have raised over $320,000 from 758 donors.

Your donation helps us support FreeBSD by funding/sponsoring development projects, BSD-related conferences, FreeBSD developers to travel to these conferences, and legal support for the Project. We are a non-for-profit organization and we cannot do it without you.

If you have not had the opportunity to donate this year, it's not too late! It only takes a few minutes to make a donation and help make a difference for the FreeBSD Project and community.

Please visit us at to make a donation today! If you send a check, the envelope must be postmarked by December 31, 2011 to count as a 2011 donation.

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the season for giving

Colin Percival recently wrote this blog post. With his permission, it is republished here as it may be of interest to other Foundation supporters.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Pancha Ganapati, Hogmanay, Newtonmas, or simply the end of the Gregorian year, odds are that you're giving gifts some time around now. We give gifts to family; we give gifts to friends; we donate to charities; and many people also offer up tithes to religious institutions. Gifts to individuals are a social bonding ritual — the voluntary transfer of wealth signals a lower bound on the value we place on a relationship, and the giving of non-monetary gifts in particular can be a way to communicate our level of personal understanding — but these do not apply to charitable and religious donations. For those, I think an entirely different explanation is required: We pay voluntary taxes in order to help create the world we want to live in.

This also applies to companies. I run an online backup service, and for the past two years I've donated all of the profits made during the month of December to the FreeBSD Foundation; I'm going to be doing the same thing this year too. I'm not doing this just because I'm a FreeBSD developer, because I use FreeBSD personally, or because I would never have launched Tarsnap if I hadn't been able to build on the open source code in FreeBSD: I'm doing it because I think supporting FreeBSD development will make the world a better place for both Tarsnap and many other startup companies.

I'm not alone in believing in corporate support of open source software, either. NetApp and Hudson River Trading, both major FreeBSD users, have each made donations of $50,000 or more in each of the past 3 years, and many other companies regularly donate. Some open source software organizations have much longer lists of major donors. And last year Gabriel Weinberg launched a FOSS Tithing movement by pledging that DuckDuckGo would tithe in support of open source software every year.

Most internet startup companies today would never exist without open source software. As Paul Graham has noted, open source software is one of the big reasons why it's now possible to launch a startup with just $20k and a few months of coding; with high quality free operating systems, databases and datastores, application frameworks, web servers and caches, it's now easy to build companies which would have been nearly impossible a decade ago. It would be easy to say that startup companies should contribute back to open source projects out of simple gratitude, but I know it can be hard to justify making business decisions on that basis alone. Instead, I'd like to ask the startup community to look to the future: Think about how much open source has helped you, and help to build a better world — one where open source will be able to help you even more.

And remember that we live in a world where most startup founders end up launching several companies over their careers: If the past decade of open source software development has made your current startup company possible, just think how much the next decade of open source software development will help your next startup company.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Apache Software Foundation Testimonial

Did you know that the Foundation that powers half the Internet uses FreeBSD for nearly all of its public facing services? The FreeBSD Foundation recently received this testimonial from the Apache Software Foundation:

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects. The Foundation provides an established framework for intellectual property and financial contributions that simultaneously limits contributors potential legal exposure. Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process, Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products.

The ASF powers half the Internet, petabytes of data, teraflops of operations, billions of objects, and enhances the lives of countless users and developers. Established in 1999 to shepherd, develop, and incubate Open Source innovations, "The Apache Way," the ASF oversees 150+ projects led by a volunteer community of over 350 individual Members and 3,000 Committers across six continents.

ApacheCon North America 2011 was just recently held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where FreeBSD was a highlight in the DevOps track talks. The Apache Software Foundation itself leverages FreeBSD for nearly all of its public facing services including one of the largest SVN repositories in the world. Our repository is mirrored on several continents and contains over 1.4 million revisions stretching for over a decade. We will even be lending a hand converting the FreeBSD CVS ports tree to SVN.

The Apache Software Foundation makes use of both custom FreeBSD Tinderbox and FreeBSD Update servers to rapidly perform application and base system updates across multiple datacenters in an automated, quick, and efficient fashion. The Apache Infrastructure Team frequently works directly with FreeBSD developers to stress cutting-edge features like ZFS under real-world loads.

Like The FreeBSD Foundation, the ASF is also a 501(c)3 organization. Donating to FreeBSD through The FreeBSD Foundation, makes Apache better too and will help make your's and others' daily lives less stressful.

RideCharge/TaxiMagic Testimonial

Did you know that Taxi Magic, the first nationwide free online taxi booking service that is directly integrated with taxi dispatch systems, is entirely based on FreeBSD? Philip M. Gollucci, Director of Operations, recently explained why in his testimonial for the Foundation:

RideCharge, Inc. creates innovative technology solutions that improve local ground transportation industries. The company's most renowned product, Taxi Magic, is an online & mobile software application that revolutionizes the taxi industry by aligning riders, drivers and fleets for a better overall ride experience. Taxi Magic is the first nationwide free online taxi booking service that is directly integrated with taxi dispatch systems, providing consumers with the tools to:

  • Book a taxi from a mobile app or the Web with a few quick taps
  • Track the taxi's arrival
  • Charge the ride to a credit card through the mobile app
  • Expense the trip with an e-receipt
From its inception, RideCharge has been entirely based on FreeBSD. By leveraging FreeBSD Jails for virtualization, we are able to maximize resources and expand dynamically. ZFS keeps our data safe and our deployments magically quick. Userland DTRACE in FreeBSD 9 is now an indispensable tool for troubleshooting issues in real-time. Even our Juniper firewalls and switches leverage FreeBSD through JUNOS (TM). iXsystems is incredibly helpful in recommending the correct setup and optimizing our technology resources to fit our needs for FreeBSD.

RideCharge is a long time contributor to the FreeBSD ports collection and we employ highly active contributors in the ruby, apache, and perl areas. The Taxi Magic team leverages these incredibly tight feedback loops to quickly and efficiently contribute back to the community.

RideCharge/TaxiMagic has directly sponsored FreeBSD developers to enhance freebsd-update(8). We now use this update to quickly update every machine to maintain PCI DSS Level 1 compliance. These great capabilities are now available to the entire FreeBSD community.

Foundation Newsletter Published

The Foundation has published its semi-annual newsletter. It contains updates on this year's projects and fundraising campaign, testimonials from TaxiMagic and the Apache Software Foundation, and the Q1-Q3 balance sheet. You can read the newsletter here. It begins with the letter from the President which is as follows:

The Making of The FreeBSD Foundation

My first introduction to FreeBSD came in the form of a tall, wirery, figure, camped out in the Walnut Creek CDROM machine room. Rod Grimes cut the figure of a true hacker: skin only touched by the rays of a glowing CRT, nicotine stains on his long fingers toned by hours of vi keywork, and a wardrobe comprised of faded blue jeans and worn out t-shirts. Regardless of what hours I worked during my internship that summer of 1993, Rod was always awake, hunched over his keyboard, putting all of his energy into the first ever release of FreeBSD.

I was between my second and third years working on an undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley. Even attending the institute of BSD's genesis, I was completely unaware of Berkeley's contributions to UNIX. So it was really a stroke of luck, a random choice to take a job organizing OS/2 software into a CDROM distribution, that led me to Walnut Creek that summer to witness the making of FreeBSD 1.0. But without Rod's passion and dedication, I doubt I'd have realized the opportunity before me.

What I quickly learned from watching Rod and then delving into FreeBSD, was the incompleteness of my education from Berkeley. Sure I was technically proficient in computer algorithms and writing code, but my courses failed to give me a sense of the art of computer engineering: how to be a craftsman practicing my trade, how to design and build a complex system that is robust and maintainable, and how to collaborate successfully in such a system. The structure and methodology behind FreeBSD made it the perfect vehicle for absorbing the real world skills of being a successful programmer.

In 1993, the development model used by the BSDs was rarely encountered in open source projects: revision control, a bug tracking database, a coding style standard, the hardening of software through peer review and discussion, and a governing body to mediate write access to the code and to resolve disputes. Many of these pillars of professional and successful engineering are lacking in both corporate and open source environments today. In fact, it took almost a decade for BSD's main competitor Linux to catch up and adopt something as fundamental as revision control. In so many ways, FreeBSD's development model was superior and ahead of the times.

So I started my second education while completing my first. During my last two years at Berkeley I spent most of my free time, and some time I should have devoted to the classes for my degree, absorbing the lessons FreeBSD had to teach. The FreeBSD distribution offered practical examples of how to deal with almost any type of computer science challenge - examples that I found much more compelling than the contrived exercises in my text books. While I was learning I was also able to contribute in small ways. The reviews of my work were much more useful than for the projects associated with my formal studies. The feedback wasn't always delivered in the most pleasant way, but that in itself provided valuable experience on how to improve my people skills.

Small contributions lead to larger ones. The apprentice became a mentor. Upon receiving my degree, I found myself sitting on FreeBSD's governing body, the FreeBSD Core Team, with a skill set and experience in high demand and not found in other members of my graduating class.

The historical way to contribute back to the FreeBSD project has always been to volunteer time to enhance the "product" that is FreeBSD. For seven years this was the primary way I repaid FreeBSD for the valuable education I received by being part of its community. However, by 2000 I was struggling to find a better way to ensure the continued success of FreeBSD. FreeBSD's mindshare growth was slowing. Linux was starting to receive the attention and financial backing of large corporations. I wanted to create something that could promote, protect, and grow the use of FreeBSD even while the duties of my paid day job prevented me from personally achieving that mission. The natural answer was to form a corporation.

This had been done before. Jordan Hubbard was operating FreeBSD Inc., but its charter and activities were never well defined. I wanted to build an entity that engendered the trust of the FreeBSD community, followed in the Open Source spirit of doing good for good's sake, yet could perform tasks only possible with a legal corporate entity. The FreeBSD Foundation, an open-book, 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit charity, was born.

Fast forward a little over a decade, and the FreeBSD Foundation still adheres to the same mission I defined for it in 2000. Every year we sponsor BSD conferences and events around the globe, work to protect the intellectual property of the FreeBSD project, visit institutions and corporations to promote the use of FreeBSD, and fund research and development projects that enhance the FreeBSD OS. But even with our $400,000 annual budget there are so many things we want to do, but can't. Just as was the case for me in 2000, the FreeBSD Foundation is searching today for new ways to help support the FreeBSD project.

In the coming months you will see one of the ways the FreeBSD Foundation is changing. Using the feedback we have gleaned from countless meetings with FreeBSD consumers both large and small, the FreeBSD Foundation is sponsoring the work to fully specify and estimate the cost of implementing critical enhancements to the FreeBSD platform. Developed in partnership with the FreeBSD community, the goal of this effort is to provide a roadmap for infrastructure improvements that have long been needed, but have gone unsatisfied due to lack of a coherent direction. This model will also give current and potential supporters of the FreeBSD Foundation concrete insight into our future plans.

I can't imagine what my life would be like today without my FreeBSD experience. Through the FreeBSD Foundation I hope to give back to the FreeBSD community even more than I have received, and help to ensure that the next young engineer has the same opportunities as I did. However the FreeBSD Foundation can't do it alone. If FreeBSD has impacted your life, please visit our website and help us to continue FreeBSD's legacy.

Justin T. Gibbs
President and Founder
The FreeBSD Foundation

Monday, December 5, 2011

End-of-Year Fundraising Campaign

The FreeBSD Foundation has been proudly supporting the FreeBSD Project and community for 11 years now. Every year we sponsor BSD conferences and events around the globe, help developers with their travel expenses to attend these conferences, work to protect the intellectual property of the FreeBSD project, visit institutions and corporations to promote the use of FreeBSD, purchase equipment to grow the FreeBSD infrastructure, and fund research and development projects that enhance the FreeBSD OS.

We are deeply grateful for all the support we receive from so many individuals and organizations who value FreeBSD. We currently are at the half way point towards our goal of raising $400,000 this year. We are hoping that you, the FreeBSD community, will help us meet our goal by making a donation this month. By donating to the foundation, you are donating to the FreeBSD Project and community as a whole.

We have had the privilege of meeting many FreeBSD enthusiasts in person, through email, and on the phone. We are always impressed with the passion that these people have for FreeBSD. Most volunteer their precious time after work and some are more fortunate where they actually get paid by their companies to work with FreeBSD. When there is a BSD related conference we usually get quite a few travel grant applications requesting help with developers' travel expenses. Thanks to your support, we have been able to sponsor the travel expenses of developers from Mexico, Lithuania, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, Denmark, and many other countries.

Some of these developers recently wrote personal stories about how receiving help with their travel expenses to attend conferences helped them with their FreeBSD work. These stories will be published in our upcoming newsletter. One developer from Japan, whose attendance we've sponsored more than once, is a technical writer. The Japanese development community is comprised of earnest and skillful people. They are sharp programmers who know many programming languages, but learning and understanding English is difficult for many of them. He attends the conferences so he can keep up with the latest FreeBSD information and provide this information to the Japanese FreeBSD community in their native spoken language.

Another recent travel grant recipient runs a FreeBSD mirror server in Sweden, a country that apparently does not have many BSD users. He had a chance to meet many FreeBSD developers for the first time by attending EuroBSDCon. He has recently started submitting patches to our FreeBSD documentation set, and will hopefully become a committer, literally doubling the number of committers in Sweden!

Lastly, a Canadian developer that we've sponsored told us, "By attending these conferences I have gained valuable experience, connected with fascinating people that use FreeBSD, learned from presenters and most importantly, forged some friendships that will last a lifetime."

These grant recipients have given far more back to the FreeBSD community than what they have received from the foundation. And, this is only one area where your donations provide a significant, tangible, measurable benefit for the entire FreeBSD community.

If you benefit from FreeBSD, please donate. With your donation, we can continue to support FreeBSD activities like:

  • development projects to support emerging technologies such as IPv6 support in FreeBSD, GEM, KMS, and DRI support for Intel drivers, Five New TCP Congestion Control Algorithms, and much more.
  • BSD conferences around the globe, including Europe, Japan, Canada, US, and Ukraine.
  • giving students and contributors the opportunity to attend conferences and developer summits.
  • maintaining the infrastructure of computers and equipment that support our community.
  • growing the FreeBSD community through marketing and outreach to users and businesses.
  • protecting the FreeBSD trademarks and providing the project with access to legal counsel.
  • helping FreeBSD continue to serve as the foundation for research and enterprise.
Please consider making a donation so we can continue, and increase, our support of the FreeBSD Project and community! Visit The FreeBSD Foundation website to find out how you can make a difference for FreeBSD today.

Thank you for your support!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Foundation at LISA

There will be a FreeBSD booth during LISA in Boston, next Wednesday and Thursday (December 78). We’ll have some cool Foundation swag, Foundation brochures, and will be available to answer FreeBSD questions and to accept donations for the Foundation. Entrance to the exhibition area is free, but you do need to register first. If you’re in Boston, stop by booth #408 and say hi!

Friday, November 25, 2011

SoC Mentor Summit Trip Report

The Foundation provided a travel grant to Bjoern Zeeb to attend the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit and the FreeBSD Vendor Summit. Bjoern's trip report is as follows:

Thank you for helping with my travel costs to the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit and the FreeBSD Vendor Summit.

Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit

Google's registration requirements and provided wiki space made it possible to coordinate travel with others, which allowed me to make first contact with mentors from other Open Source projects even before I left and obviously I ran into more geeks by the time I got to the airport.

Saturday morning the Google buses picked us up.  After an excellent breakfast, there were important rules during the opening session: do not go beyond the areas where we have put up signs.  This was obviously the largest mentor summit so far as the classic un-conference approach for finding topics and rooms no longer scaled.  Since the schedule changed regularly, it wasn't possible to attend all the sessions I had planned, especially on Sunday.  Let me highlight a few:

  • Umbrella Organizations (Admins and Mentors meeting): while this does not directly apply to FreeBSD, I was curious to see what kinds of problems other organizations were facing and whether they have some interesting ways to solve their issues that could also help FreeBSD.  I was overwhelmed by the real problems I heard about and it made me realize how well organized and well run FreeBSD is.  On a side note, I learned that KDE had 50 GSoC slots, which I wish FreeBSD could handle as well.  One interesting idea that came up was that some organizations are either providing web forms or spreadsheets for mentors and students to more easily keep track not only of progress but also for catching interaction problems.  Given FreeBSD has the weekly or bi-weekly mailing list updates, tells students to let admins know in case of problems with their mentor, we are not too far away from that but it could certainly simplify some tracking for admins.
  • Women in Open Source: there were multiple sessions on this.  For me a lot of the discussions did not go too far into the topic of attracting more women to open source development.  Only Gnome has hosted women summer outreach programs in the past, which was interesting to hear about.  One important item is to provide dedicated mentors upfront that women can talk to one-to-one and that a list of these would be available all year long.  Astonishingly the discussions often went along the reasoning of not driving woman away rather than attracting them in first place; there were plenty of suggestions of what not to do, and what to do to help them stay.
  • Marketing and Open Source: a topic that FreeBSD needs to get further up to speed on.  A lot of talk was how to help commercialize an open source project.  Social Media, videos, and local communities were also big discussion items.  Some ideas were: leveraging users by providing pamphlets and posters that they can distribute, advertise at events, and use references and independent reviewers on the web page.  PostgreSQL is doing a good job and we should leverage some of their ideas.
  • Open Source OS summit: this was one of the most interesting discussion groups during the weekend.  It is like an organized hallway track with everyone but Linux in the room.  Major topics were:  combined arm twisting of vendors to not only help one but many projects, firmware licensing, shared documentation (such as data sheets) repository, and possibly setting up a mailing list to coordinate.  It was interesting to learn beyond other informal discussions how many other projects such as RTEMS, Haiku, and Illumos take bits and pieces from FreeBSD and wondering why we don't talk a lot more or invite them to our devsummits.  Another thing to consider is how to "sell" the project - which reaches into the marketing but also a funding discussion.  Should a project just provide the source and let the ecosystem create distributions?  Would commercial support on top be an option?
  • The hallway track and dinner conversations: in addition to the Open Source OS summit session, this was most helpful for getting in touch with other BSD consumers and projects which we consume.  I had extended chats with Illumos people pondering collaboration on some topics, talks with NTP folks, discussions on the network stack with RTMES, and I also got to know MoinMoin folks who are quite local to me and who could immediately help me to solve a problem so that we can easily have links on the wiki to SVN commits.  My other hallway track item was to debug why IPv6 on the Google guest network did not work for me.  The problem has since been worked around and IPv6 should work flawlessly for everyone there now.  The diagnosing on why it only affected certain people or possibly only BSD (derived) operating systems continues.  
All in all it was a productive, informative, fun weekend. Now that I am back home, I'll need to follow-up on some of the possible collaboration ideas.

The FreeBSD Vendor Summit

The FreeSBD vendor summit, a couple of days later, continued to provide insights on what people need or want from FreeBSD.   It was even more interesting to hear about what was cooking and what people considered to give back.   The general trend to push changes not considered to be IP back to FreeBSD continues and makes me believe that in some ways things are going better in our world.  The afternoon was almost all about virtualization.  We heard about FreeBSD on Microsoft Hyper-V and talked a bit about EC2, Xen, bhyve, as well as tools and frameworks to help to simplify the usage of FreeBSD in or for virtualized environments.  At the end of the day I started to look at the virtio drivers for Peter to commit them to HEAD and we got the QLogic 10G driver into the tree as well.  In addition to the session, the breaks provided some time to informally chat with the other participants.  It would have been great to have some time the following day to continue these informal group discussions but BSDCan is only a couple of months away.   Having such an event at least twice a year is extremely helpful and my thanks goes to George for running this!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trip Report: Andrew Turner

The next trip report is from Andrew Turner:

On day one of the Developer summit, I attended the bmake/bus_bma and toolchain working groups. I contributed to these by announcing a patch to allow FreeBSD to be compiled from Linux. The patch is available; however, it is against an old copy of HEAD and does not apply correctly. An updated version is expected to be committed to a project branch in subversion in the next few weeks as I have the time to work on it. In the toolchain working group, I discussed the current state of the ARM EABI port. The last remaining part is getting GCC configured correctly. Until now I have been using a minimally configured copy of GCC. Due to the nature of the change, I would like to ensure it is correct as the ABI will need to work with clang in the future.

The second day of the Developer summit had interesting discussions on virtualization. This is an area that will soon pick up in the embedded area when ARM vendors release their System on Chips containing Cortex-A15 cores, as these have hardware supported virtualization.

I gave a talk in the FreeBSD track at the conference on the current state of NAND flash with FreeBSD, what I would like to change, and where NAND flash hardware is heading. The main point is that the the NAND flash framework is mostly done; however, we need a flash filesystem or flash translation layer before we can use it.

As a result of my talk, I was asked about devices we support that contain NAND flash. The OpenRD-Ultimate appears to be a device we support that developers are able to buy; however, as I have never used one, I am unable to recommend it. This lead to a discussion on getting one into one of the FreeBSD clusters. Since the conference, Wojciech Koszek has taken the lead in organising embedded devices for the Netperf cluster.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trip Report: Brooks Davis

The next EuroBSDCon trip report is from Brooks Davis:

I arrived in Maarssen on the 5th of October and met up with fellow developers for drinks at the hotel and then dinner.

On the 6th, we headed to the conference site and commenced with the developers summit.  After an opening session, we broke up into working groups.  For the first session, I attended the ports session.  I lead a short discussion on the ports impact of our migration to Clang/LLVM as the base tool chain.  The general conclusion was that we need to add support for switching the default ports compiler (a project which is well underway), as well as the ability to specify a restricted set of acceptable compilers for a given port.  There seemed to be solid support for allowing the default to be clang for FreeBSD 10 builds on architectures where we make it the base compiler.

After lunch, I lead a session on our toolchain work.  I outlined our current status to the group.  The status report was followed up by a discussion of the remaining requirements to produce a GPL-free base system. Those items include:

  •  an LLDB port
  •  libgcc replacement on some architectures (at least MIPS and sparc64)
  •  libgcc*.so
  •  FDT tools
  •  unwinding library
  •  GDB server
  •  as(1) wrapper (maybe?)
  •  16-bit ASM support (at least on x86)
  •  libdwarf
While not required for a GPL free system, we also identified a desire for a CDDL-free CTF implementation and a libbsdctf or similar.

Of the pieces required for a GPL-free base, the largest component remaining is a linker.  Because linkers have quite a bit of scope, we spent most of the remaining time brainstorming requirements for a BSD licensed linker.  Those requirements included:
  •  linker scripts (or equivalent)
  •  LTO framework
  •  Link time optimization against IR or machine code
  •  Incremental linking
  •  Support for IR in ELF
  •  GNU ld compatibility
  •  IR processing by plugin
  •  Limited non-ELF support (for boot blocks, etc)
  •  Alternative hash table support
  •  Crunching support
  •  Be fast
  •  Native cross-architecture support
  •  Multipass lookup
  •  Unit tests
  •  Coded to LLVM standards (to allow inclusion in LLVM)
  •  linker is a library
  •  C and C++ support
  •  Architecture support: i386, x86_64, ARM, PPC(64), MIPS(64), PiNaCl
  •  Possible architecture support: sparc64
After the toolchain summit, I attended the capsicum summit where we discussed the status of capsicum and various thing we could protect with capability sandboxes.  We produced quite a long list of things that should be sandboxed, though it got a bit silly near the end when we basically started listing all ports.  One area I found my self pondering was how to sandbox moderately complex web applications like Trac which can't be fully sandboxed in Apache and must wait until at least application initialization has happened.

Friday the 7th commenced with an opening session followed immediately by working group reports.  I reported on the toolchain session and most other session leaders reported on their sessions.  That was followed by a discussion of options for using Git to track FreeBSD. At the end we concluded that we definitely need a to provide officially "blessed" git trees, but we left some details unresolved such as the exact scope of the git trees.  This discussion was followed by a set of presentations by Chris Buechler of pfSense, Jeroen van Nieuwenhuizen of Snow, Robert Watson of the Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Yvan Vanhullebus of NETASQ on their use (or non-use in the case of Snow's clients) of FreeBSD.  After these presentations we broke for lunch.

When we reconvened after lunch we started with a discussion of virtualization on FreeBSD.  In a number of key ways FreeBSD was late to the virtualization game, but it looks like we're catching up.  Between the addition of BHyVe and an upcoming Xen Dom0 implementation, we will soon be well positioned to host guest VMs on FreeBSD and our support for running as a guest seems to be improving steadily.  We're still behind in some senses, but given the remarkably poor reality that is accepted as the state of the art, it seems like we have a chance to pull ahead in areas of management if we invest some effort.

The virtualization session was followed by a session for FreeBSD 10.0 brainstorming.  As usual for such a session, many ideas were generated. If even half of them are completed, I think we'll have a fantastic 10.0 release.

Following the success of the dev summit track introduced at BSDCan this spring, Saturday contained such a track along side the conference.  I attended several of these talks and gave a presentation on our participation in the 2011 edition of the Google Summer of Code.  We had 13 successful projects and have already gained two comitters as a result of this year's projects, with a couple more expected in the next few months.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Trip Report: Gleb Kurtsou

The next trip report is from Gleb Kurtsou:

Thanks to the FreeBSD Foundation, I was able to attend the Developer Summit and EuroBSDcon'2011. It was my first Developer Summit. Two of my main goals were to popularize PEFS and meet in person people I communicate with via email. FreeBSD developers are all great people and nice to talk to. I only wish I could also meet my past GSoC mentors at the conference; hopefully I'll be more lucky next time.

PEFS is a kernel level stacked cryptographic file system for FreeBSD. It's been  around for a while, but still remains unknown to many FreeBSD users. I gave a short presentation about PEFS at the DevSummit, outlining its design and differences compared to other cryptographic stacked file systems. I had a number of comments, particularly regarding data authentication in PEFS, so I've started looking closer at the issue and have already evaluated various designs. What surprised me is that interest in PEFS has increased after adding PEFS to the list of talks on the wiki page. Perhaps the outcome of giving the talk could be even larger than I originally expected.

The DevSummit was both very inspirational and technically useful. I took valuable ideas and knowledge from every working group session. The toolchain and bmake groups discussed some of the issues I've faced myself building and maintaining a project partially based on FreeBSD and reusing its build system: portions of the code couldn't be compiled with the base system toolchain, managing interdependencies, and faster builds. It's encouraging to see the FreeBSD project solving these problems right way instead of using homegrown hacks. Capsicum and virtualization are areas of my interest and closely related to projects I work on. An additional file systems working group would have made this event ideal for me. It looks like a sufficient number of VFS gurus couldn't get to this place at the same time, so I'm looking forward to attending the next Developer Summit.

Thanks again to the Foundation for its support!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Trip Report: Niklas Zeising

 The next trip report is from Niklas Zeising:

This year I had the privilege and pleasure to attend EuroBSDcon 2011 and the preceding Developers Summit.  I have had plans to travel to earlier EuroBSDcon conferences, but have never been able to partly because of the cost.  What made this year different was the generous sponsorship from the FreeBSD Foundation which finally made it possible for me to attend EuroBSDcon 2011. My primary reason for attending the conference was to meet and talk to some of the people in the FreeBSD community that I have had contact with over IRC and e-mail.  I was also hoping to be able to contribute to the discussions during the Developer Summit and to listen to the talks and perhaps learn something new.

My travel started in Sweden from where I traveled via Copenhagen to Amsterdam and then on to the conference city, Maarssen.  When I arrived at the hotel, I was just in time to drop my things off in my room and run to the bus to catch up for the Wednesday dinner.

My first day since arriving in Maarssen I attended the FreeBSD Developers Summit, to which I had been invited by Benedict Reuschling.  After arriving at the venue and registering for the conference, the first order of business was eating breakfast, which was served at the venue.  After breakfast and the Developer Summit opening ceremony, I spent the rest of the morning attending the documentation working group.  During this session we had interesting discussions about several topics, including the conversion of the repository to subversion and what was needed to convert the FreeBSD documentation to a more modern markup language.  We also discussed how to get more people involved in the documentation effort and how to make use of all the howtos floating around in the FreeBSD forums and the Internet in general. After lunch I continued the day by attending the Toolchain and Capsicum working groups.  It was very nice to listen to these great minds discussing various aspects of FreeBSD.

The second day started with reports from the different working groups, after which Ulrich Spoerlein led a discussion about using git.  The next topic on the agenda was the vendor discussion.  It was very insightful and interesting to hear from some of the people that use FreeBSD in their commercial and research applications.  I also found it interesting to hear why some companies choose not to use FreeBSD in their IT infrastructure. After lunch, the Developer Summit continued with a discussion on Virtualization. For me it was very interesting to hear about BHyVe, since I was not aware that this project existed.  It is also clear that there still are tasks to work on to make FreeBSD an even more competitive platform in the virtualization market. The developer summit then ended with a brainstorming session on the FreeBSD 10.0 release.

Saturday meant that it was time for the conference proper.  After a very interesting keynote given by Hans van de Looy on the topic of the recent data breach at Diginotar, and other issues regarding IT security, such as trust, I started the day in the hacking lounge where I began working on some of the ideas and suggestions talked about during the documentation working group.  The first talk I attended was about OpenBSD's packet filter, PF, and its history. After lunch I spent the afternoon listening on the devsummit track.  The last talk of the day was by Marshall Kirk McKusick on the topic of BSD history.  I found this talk very funny and it was interesting to hear more about the history of BSD.

The EuroBSDcon social event took place Saturday evening at the railway museum in Utrecht.  I found the museum entertaining and we got a very nice guided tour through the museum.  After the tour, dinner was served in the museum.

Sunday began with a second keynote, this time the topic was reliable systems, which was given by Herbert Bos.  I continued the morning listening to the talk on Capsicum by Robert Watson and BSD Multiplicity by Michael Dexter.  After lunch the Sendmail talk by Eric Allman was on the agenda, which I followed up with the talk on OpenSSH by Damien Miller and ZFS by Brooks Davis.  The day ended with a work in progress session and the closing ceremony.  It was actually a little saddening that the conference was over since I had a very good time.

I am very glad that I went to EuroBSDcon 2011 and really hope that I will be able to go again in the future.  It was very nice to finally be able to meet some of the great persons behind e-mail addresses, commit messages and IRC nicknames and talk to them in person.  I want to thank Benedict Reuschling for talking me into finally going and to the FreeBSD Foundation for giving me the opportunity to attend.  I also want to thank all the other people I met and talked to during the conference and who made me feel right at home.  Last but not least, I want to thank the organizers who made the conference a reality. Hopefully we will see each other next year!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trip Report: Daichi Goto

The next EuroBSDCon trip report is from Daichi Goto:

Thank you for the great support of my journey to EuroBSDCon 2011 and the FreeBSD DevSummit 2011. It was a great experience. Thank you again.
On the first day of the DevSummit, I attended the Ports, Toolchain, and Capsicum working groups. These days, GPL-free toolchains are becoming a big concern between *BSD folks and users not only for business reasons but because they are technically interesting. Many developers and users require GPL-free toolchains and FreeBSD 10 represents a big milestone for that. The working group discussions were very exciting and had a forward-looking attitude.
The new idea "Package Set" and the weekly package set release are important for most common FreeBSD users. Come to think of it, developers and advanced users prefer to use the Ports Collection as their package management system, but it's hard for most novice users, lightweight users and enterprise-class managers who just want to run a stable system for their jobs. FreeBSD's current binary package management system is not good for updating as it can result in package update failures. The Package Set and the weekly update mechanism have an advanced potential to solve this issue and provide a more comfortable and easy to use packages update experience.
The new security feature "Capsicum" is valuable for all *nix. The working group discussions about Capsicum and FreeBSD have given developers a chance to discuss which libraries, commands and 3rd party applications would benefit from Capsicum. Capsicum will be a default feature from FreeBSD 9.1 and FreeBSD 10 will be the new land of Capsicum security.
On the 2nd day, the last session "FreeBSD 10 Thinking" provided me a chance to re-think the design and the implementation of our unionfs. FreeBSD's unionfs was reimplemented to solve some lock issues some years ago and it works very well in most situations. But in some situations, the current unionfs implementation causes a kernel panic because of kernel memory exhaustion. Also, our VFS based multi stackable unionfs implementation has some issues that are very difficult to solve. Based on the advice from hrs, we (I and ozawa-san) are re-thinking the design and implementation to improve robustness and reliability, as well as to include some new features such as the dynamic mount layer moves-up or moves-down and non-top layer umount. We are going to brush up our design ideas and try to do experimental developments for FreeBSD 10. I'm pleased to get a good chance at this.
The EuroBSDCon 2011 keynotes and sessions have also given me some great inspirations. My thanks goes to the EuroBSDCon 2011 committee members and sponsors. I'm looking forward to seeing all you at the next EuroBSDCon, and of course, if it is possible, I'm looking forward to seeing you at Spring, AsiaBSDCon 2012 in Tokyo. That's during cherry blossom's beautiful season.
When I get back to Japan, I am going to write some news and articles about FreeBSD and the conference for some Japanese IT media, including FreeBSD Daily Topics, MYCOM Journal, and @IT.. For most common Japanese developers and users, English news sources are hard to understand. My Japanese articles around FreeBSD are very valuable for Japanese users of FreeBSD. Thank you again for the FreeBSD Foundation's travel support.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trip Report: Marius Strobl

The EuroBSDCon trip reports are starting to arrive and will be posted here. The first report is from Marius Strobl:

The generous sponsorship of the FreeBSD Foundation for the first time allowed me to attend EuroBSDCon'11 as well as the associated Developer Summit in its entirety (so far I could only attend one day of last year's EuroBSDCon Developer Summit). Having the chance to take part in the busdma(9), for which Marcel Moolenaar and myself had a preparatory email conversation, and the bmake working groups on the first day was really helpful. Having done work for the sparc64 port and machine independent network and storage controller drivers, I came across several limitations in the current implementation of busdma(9). Other architectures will benefit from the proposed busdma(9) overhaul. Switching to a bmake based build infrastructure will provide better and optimized cross-compilation of FreeBSD on other operating systems. While this isn't something that I have a direct need for, it will come in handy should the rest of the FreeBSD developers decide to remove the GPL'ed toolchain in the base for all platforms in favor of LLVM/clang, which so far doesn't support 64-bit SPARC v9. The bmake based build infrastructure will provide a backup plan by allowing the use of an external GCC and binutils via its external toolchain support. Surprisingly, there was next to no opposition to the plans of these two working groups. Collaboration on the bmake build infrastructure and busdma(9) overhaul working groups will take place via the FreeBSD Wiki.

The working group presentations and the brainstorming sessions on the second day of the Developer Summit provided a good overview of what's going on and is planned in the FreeBSD project beyond the src base, including the infrastructure and the ports collection. Both the first and the second day of the Developer Summit as well as "day zero" were concluded by nice dinners which allowed one to make contacts with fellow FreeBSD developers, especially doc and ports committers, which I as a src committer otherwise don't have that much contact with, even online.

On the third day of the Developer Summit, which also was the first official day of EuroBSDCon'11, I gave a short talk about the status of the FreeBSD/sparc64 port. Based on the feedback that I received, the presentation was well received. The rest of that conference day I spent mainly attending the rest of the Developer Summit track, which was an official part of EuroBSDCon'11 and also attracted some non-FreeBSD committers. This again provided me with a good overview of what else is going in FreeBSD. The pkgng project seems like an especially worthy addition. Slides of the talks given in that track are available here. That day was closed by a nice social event at the Utrecht Railway Museum, again giving good opportunities to make contacts with fellow developers.

The second day of EuroBSDCon'11, which no longer hosted Developer Summit events,had some interesting talks, of which the "OpenBSD/sun4v: Porting OpenBSD to Sun's UltraSPARC T1 and T2 processors" by Mark Kettenis turned out to be especially useful as it gave me 2-3 new ideas about how to address integration of sun4v support into FreeBSD/sparc64. A short chat with Mark afterwards yielded helpful advice for adding support for the line of Fujitsu/Oracle Mx000 Enterprise servers to FreeBSD/sparc64.

I'm especially thankful that the Developer Summit and EuroBSDCon'11 for the first time allowed me to meet my former mentor Marcel Moolenaar in person. Other interesting contacts I've made and topics relevant to the FreeBSD project I've talked about with them were:

  • Jonathan Anderson
  • Gavin Atkinson (Solaris binary-compatibility for FreeBSD/sparc64)
  • Baptiste Daroussin (pkgng)
  • Pawel Dawidek (ZFS)
  • Wilko Bulte (donate a dual Sun SCSI-HBA and will try to get me disks for a machine used for package building and for my development machine)
  • Beat Gaetzi (will try to get me UltraSPARC T1/T2 hardware)
  • Justin Gibbs (fixing issues revealed by a recent commit of Kenneth Merry regarding sense residual handling in Justin's ahc(4) and ahd(4) drivers)
  • Alexander Motin (NCQ timeouts with ahci(4))
  • Gabor Pali (seems like I've even managed to catch his cold ...)
  • Daniel Seuffert (will try to get me UltraSPARC T1/T2 and SPARC64 VI/VII hardware)
  • Ed Shouten (thankfully agreed to adapt/fix rp(4) to his TTY-rework if I send him the respective card)
  • Shteryana Shopova
  • Florian Smeets
  • Bjoern Zeeb
While at the conference and during the trips to and from Maarssen I managed to finally commit support for SCHED_ULE to sparc64 and vice versa, which should also provide a tiny performance improvement on other architectures, commit fixes for two PRs, clean up some PHY device driver stuff Warner Losh left behind, fix fallout like the ahc(4)/ahd(4) issue mentioned above in other HBA drivers, port the NetBSD MII bitbang'ing code and convert most of the network device drivers that can take advantage of it to use it, and fix a real bug that is present in 153 device drivers.

All in all, I think it was fruitful for me to attend EuroBSDCon'11 and the associated Developer Summit as a member of the FreeBSD project and community.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Implementing xlocale APIs Project Update

The following project update was written by David Chisnall who received a grant from us to implement xlocale APIs to enable porting libc++. We're pleased that the project is almost completed! It's traditional to start this sort of thing by telling you who I am. I started using FreeBSD around 2001. At the time, I'd used Linux but switched to FreeBSD because it sounded like it worked correctly - I could have xmms playing music, my IM and email clients notifying me of new messages, and BZFLag making gunshot noises all at the same time. Apparently, ten years later, this still doesn't work reliably on Linux...
I got involved with clang via a somewhat indirect route. I'm a member of the core team of the Étoilé project, which aims to build a (BSD licensed) desktop environment on top of GNUstep. I grew increasingly frustrated with the level of Objective-C support in GCC, which included shipping one release with Objective-C completely broken and displaying no progress towards supporting the Objective-C 2 extensions that were about 5 years old at the time. I looked at the code, but it was an incomprehensible mess of spaghetti.

Apple had just released a new compiler front end (clang) that had Objective-C parsing mostly finished, but code generation missing. I started poking the clang code to try to support the GCC Objective-C runtime, and a few weeks later had a working Objective-C 2 compiler. I then grew frustrated with the limitations (including the license) of the GCC Objective-C runtime and wrote a more modern (MIT licensed) replacement. Clang now supports both and with the new runtime is at feature parity with Apple's implementation of the language.

While hacking on clang - which I do on FreeBSD - I fixed various FreeBSD-related bugs. This put me in contact with Roman Divacky, who had been working on importing clang into the base system. This is an important task, because FreeBSD currently uses the last GPLv2 version of GCC as the system compiler. Although this release seems less buggy than subsequent ones, it is now over 4 years old and is no longer supported upstream. It won't, for example, get any of the features of C1x or C++11.

The compiler is only half of the problem. The other half is the standard library. For C, this isn't an issue: FreeBSD has had its own C standard library implementation since before it was FreeBSD. For C++, it's a bigger problem. FreeBSD currently ships with GNU libstdc++, which has undergone the same sort of license change as GCC, leaving FreeBSD stuck with an old version.

A good candidate for replacement is libc++, developed as part of the LLVM project and available under UIUC and MIT licenses. This has a few dependencies. One is a low-level C++ ABI library, which implements the dynamic parts of C++ such as exception handling and run-time type information. I'd written an implementation of this for PathScale, and the FreeBSD and NetBSD Foundations jointly paid for it to be open sourced. I've since extended it with some additional features required to support C++11, which includes an std::exception_ptr object that allows exceptions to be passed between threads.

The other dependency is the C standard library. Libc++ was written by Apple developers (Apple is in the same situation as FreeBSD with regards to the GPLv3) and so uses some features of Darwin libc that are not portable. Specifically, Darwin libc has a convenient set of extensions to localisation: xlocale. This extends the POSIX 2008 per-thread locale APIs (missing in FreeBSD) to provide a set of _l variants of locale-aware libc functions that use a specific locale, rather than the global one.

My recent work, sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation, has been to implement the missing xlocale APIs. This is now mostly done and pending code review. With this and the new tweaks to libcxxrt, it's now possible to build libc++ on FreeBSD and most of the tests pass.

Most of the remaining test failures are in the header. This defines a lot of complex atomic operations and requires a lot of compiler support. Eli Friedman has been working on adding this support in clang, and with his latest patch applied 25 of the 52 atomic tests pass. There are still a few remaining failures:

- 27 caused by clang not fully supporting the atomic operations yet
- 3 caused by clang not fully supporting the C++11 type-trait intrinsics
- 20 that I don't think are real failures - they're caused by the VM where I'm running the tests not having sufficiently fine-grained time reporting for the thread operation timeout tests to work properly
- 1 is caused by FreeBSD lacking the C1x quick_exit() APIs.
- 2 caused by FreeBSD lacking the uchar.h header

For comparison, Howard Hinnant, the libc++ lead developer, just sent me a list of the failures on OS X. On FreeBSD, 4271 tests pass, 53 fail. On OS X 4253 pass, 71 fail. This is looking very promising for an entirely GNU-free C++ stack.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that Swinburne University of Technology's Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures has been awarded a grant to implement DIFFUSE for FreeBSD.

DIFFUSE (Distributed Firewall and Flow-shaper Using Statistical Evidence) is an extension to the FreeBSD IPFW firewall subsystem developed by CAIA. It allows IPFW to classify traffic based on statistical properties of flows being observed in realtime, and instantiate network actions across a distributed set of "action nodes" for particular flows if required.

This project will tidy up and integrate the existing DIFFUSE prototype into FreeBSD, and incorporate a number of important new features. Integration of DIFFUSE into FreeBSD will increase FreeBSD's utility to designers and implementers of FreeBSD-based networking infrastructure.

Network architects frequently require the ability to classify different traffic types flowing across a network, typically using packet inspection capabilities of base system tools such as ipfw and pf. Traffic classification then enables the provision of customized service levels to different traffic types (such as priority packet queuing and forwarding, or allocation of specific bandwidth guarantees).

DIFFUSE uses machine learning techniques to enable robust and efficient classification of IP traffic flows based on their unique statistical properties in addition to traditional inspection of packet header or payload contents. DIFFUSE also allows traffic classification to occur in one place (e.g. in the core of a network) and trigger traffic shaping and differentiation elsewhere (e.g. at the edges of a network). DIFFUSE has applications in ISP, residential broadband and large corporate network scenarios to name a few.

The project will conclude the end of October 2011.

Implementing xlocale APIs

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that David Chisnall has been awarded a grant to implement xlocale APIs to enable porting libc++.

The C standard library (libc) is one of the most important parts of a UNIX system as most programs interact with the kernel through interfaces written in C. Porting code between platforms with similar libc implementations is trivial and if something is supported by libc, higher-level languages can use it without being reimplemented.

Over time, the C language has slowly evolved to modern multicore systems, but there are still some places that are problematic. One of these is localization as C began originally had no localization support. FreeBSD libc and Darwin libc (used by Mac OS X) are similar, making it much easier to port code from OS X to FreeBSD than from OS X to Linux. The libc used by OS X supports a set of extended locale functions (xlocale) that allow locale to be set on a per-thread basis.

Additionally, libc++, from the LLVM project, was originally developed on Darwin, so it uses xlocale for most of the C++ locale support. The lack of this support is the primary obstacle to porting it to FreeBSD.

Once xlocale is supported in FreeBSD libc, we can port libc++ to FreeBSD, giving us an MIT-licensed C++11 standard library implementation. This, in conjunction with Clang and libcxxrt, means that the entire C++ stack in FreeBSD will be free of any GNU code. This leaves the linker as the only significant obstacle to a GPL-free FreeBSD 10.

The project will conclude the end of September 2011.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Participate in Software Freedom Day

This Saturday, September 17, is Software Freedom Day (SFD). SFD is an annual global event that encourages open source software users to reach out to their local community to educate others about the benefits of using open source.

Frederic Muller, President of SFI, the non-profit organization behind Software Freedom Day, has been very helpful in encouraging FreeBSD users to participate in SFD. FreeBSD is listed as a partner on the SFD website. In addition, the FreeBSD logo is included on the cover letter and a copy of PC-BSD was included with the 210 packages that were shipped to the pre-registered teams. He also added the FreeBSD news RSS feed to planet SFD so that other SFD participants will get FreeBSD updates.

Julian H. Stacey has also been helpful in spreading the word and will be participating with the Munich team.

BSD user groups are encouraged to put together a team and to register it on the SFD wiki. If you have not participated in SFD before, take a moment to read through the Start Guide for instructions on how to promote your team. If you do register a team, leave a comment so that we can mention it on the @bsdevents twitter feed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Accepting Travel Grant Applications for EuroBSDCon 2011

Calling all FreeBSD developers needing assistance with travel expenses to EuroBSDCon 2011.

The FreeBSD Foundation will be providing a limited number of travel grants to individuals requesting assistance. Please fill out and submit the Travel Grant Request Application by September 5, 2011 to apply for this grant.

How it works:

This program is open to FreeBSD developers of all sorts (kernel hackers, documentation authors, bugbusters, system administrators, etc). In some cases we are also able to fund non-developers, such as active community members and FreeBSD advocates.

(1) You request funding based on a realistic and economical estimate of travel costs (economy airfare, trainfare, ...), accommodations (conference hotel and sharing a room), and registration or tutorial fees. If there are other sponsors willing to cover costs, such as your employer or the conference, we prefer you talk to them first, as our budget is limited. We are happy to split costs with you or another sponsor, such as just covering airfare or board.

If you are a speaker at the conference, we expect the conference to cover your travel costs, and will most likely not approve your direct request to us.

(2) We review your application and if approved, authorize you to seek reimbursement up to a limit. We consider several factors, including our overall and per-event budgets, and (quite importantly) the benefit to the community by funding your travel.
Most rejected applications are rejected because of an over-all limit on travel budget for the event or year, due to unrealistic or uneconomical costing, or because there is an unclear or unconvincing argument that funding the applicant will directly benefit the FreeBSD Project. Please take these points into consideration when writing your application.

(3) We reimburse costs based on actuals (receipts), and by check or bank transfer. And, we do not cover your costs if you end up having to cancel your trip. We require you to submit a report on your trip, which we may show to current or potential sponsors, and may include in our semi-annual newsletter.

There's some flexibility in the mechanism, so talk to us if something about the model doesn't quite work for you or if you have any questions. The travel grant program is one of the most effective ways we can spend money to help support the FreeBSD Project, as it helps developers get together in the same place at the same time, and helps advertise and advocate FreeBSD in the larger community.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Semi-Annual Newsletter Available

We are pleased to announce the publication of The FreeBSD Foundation's 2011 Semi-Annual Newsletter. In this edition:

  • Letter From the President
  • Fundraising Update
  • Development Project Updates
  • IPv6 support in FreeBSD and PC-BSD
  • Implementing support of GEM, KMS, and DRI for Intel Drivers
  • Resource Containers Project
  • Feed-Forward Clock Synchronization Algorithms Project
  • Five New TCP Project
  • libcxxrt C++ Runtime Available Under BSD License
  • Conference Updates
  • AsiaBSDCon 2011
  • BSDCan 2011
  • 2011 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients
  • NYI Testimonial
  • Foundation Update
  • Financials
You can help to support the FreeBSD Project by making a donation to the Foundation.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BSDCan Trip Report: Baptiste Daroussin

The Foundation recently sponsored Baptiste Daroussin to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

This year I had the privilege to attend BSDCan 2011 thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Foundation. I was invited by Erwin Lansing to participate in the Ports Workgroup by presenting the project I am working on with Julien Laffaye: pkgng. That was really important to me because I was able to meet Julien face to face and have a real discussion with him about the future of pkgng. I delivered two presentations for pkgng, one during the Developer Summit (for the Ports Workgroup) and one during the BSDCan short talk. I have to confess that I wasn't really confident about the presentations as it was the first time I had to make a technical presentation in English (I now dread to watch the videos if any) and also the first time we publicly discussed pkgng.

The Ports Workgroup was really interesting and pkgng couldn't have beeen made public at a better time. It fits exactly the need for a better way to distribute packages and perform binary upgrades in the future. We received really good feedback from people concerning pkgng and the project gained a new member, Will Andrews, which brings in new views to further pkgng development. During BSDCan and since then Will has contributed a lot of good code to the project and it was a great pleasure to meet him.

BSDCan is not only technical but also human. I was privileged to meet and discuss with many people and put a face on login names. I was able to meet in person my mentor, Thomas Abthorpe, as well as Rene Ladan who had been my vacation mentor and with whom I have often worked. I have been able to discover the best place in Ottawa to get good Scottish whisky :).

BSDCan was not only about the good points as I was there to present a project that I was expecting to be quite controversial. But it was greatly accepted, and we now have a lot of work to finish it! But it seems that was not enough for some people as I was personally punished during BSDCan when the portmgrs forced me to become one of them! It's unfair :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

BSDCan Trip Report: Julien Laffaye

The Foundation recently sponsored Julien Laffaye to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

During my trip in Ottawa, I met Baptiste Daroussin, with whom I developed the pkg_install replacement pkgng. It was nice to meet face-to-face and to discuss the future goals of pkgng development. I also met Will Andrews (who was interested by our project and has since joined our effort), Thomas Abthorpe and Rene Ladan. I was also able to put a face to many FreeBSD logins for the first time.

Indeed, the main purpose of my trip to Ottawa was to present pkgng in the Ports and Binary Package workgroup at the FreeBSD DevSummit. In the working group, we discussed issues such as the state of packages building. The agreement was that the project should build packages sets weekly, and monthly sets with an extended support. This approach raised some concerns for the disk space required by the mirrors, and we had a very interesting discussion about the current infrastructure of the project. Here, the agreement was to setup a kind of Content Distribution Network. The main idea behind this new policy of package building is to facilitate the installation and upgrade process of binary packages.

I was very pleased that our effort has been well received. We had a discussion about the state of pkgng, and if it should be commited into HEAD for the 9 release. We thought that pkgng will be ready around the date targeted by the 9 release, but we preferred to have more time to test it. So the agreement was to ship it in 10, and maybe in 9.1 but not as the default package manager.

Then we talked about the migration process and defined the tasks that must be done to make it happen. At the end of the workgroup, we had a very clear list of tasks, and each team (the Ports managers, the cluster administrators and pkgng developers)
knew their part in the process.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

BSDCan Trip Report: Simon Nielsen

The Foundation recently sponsored Simon Nielsen to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

My main goal of attending BSDCan 2011 and the preceding Developers Summit was "networking", talking in person to many of the people I normally only interact with via email or IRC. Both to discuss some of the many smaller and larger outstanding issues but also just to generally meet people and talk to them in person which always help working together in the future. This certainly happened both during the "work day" time at the DevSummit and conference, but also at other times like during breakfast, lunch, and dinner which was almost always done with other FreeBSD'ers.

With my " admins hat" I spent some time talking to Brad Davis and Peter Losher about ways to improve administration of systems in the future. Among the discussed topics were ISC's use of Kerberos which might be useful at and the Puppet system for system administration. Some time was spent talking with Mark Linimon and Brad Davis about future plans for the site. I also attended Mark's talk about lessons learned from the rollout to date.

The FreeBSD Security Team held an informal meeting during the conference where we discussed how to try and improve the workings of the Security Team which will hopefully stir things up a bit.

One evening we had a DNSSEC dinner where it was discussed how to integrate support for DNSSEC into the FreeBSD base system. The main goal was to be able to support DNSSEC verification in normal applications. It was discussed both at the API level (e.g. should applications be able to know about DNSSEC verification failures) and the system level on how to actually implement this in FreeBSD. The primary conclusion was that this needed to be built into the NSS system, and likely integrated with nscd somehow.

I briefly talked to Hiroki Sato about the possibility for setting up an IPv6 tunnel broker for FreeBSD developers as some can't easily get local IPv6 connectivity.

The ports developers have been talking about changing the version control system for the Ports Collection from CVS to Subversion. I had a few discussions in this regard about how to practically do this, including repository layout and a time limited svn2cvs.

During the DevSummit I attended the Ports Working Group where the future of the FreeBSD package system, including distribution, was discussed. I attended the working group both with my hat of admin and Security Team member. The discussions were very useful and a rough consensus was agreed upon both for the future of packages, where they can hopefully be a lot more useful, and for how to handle distribution. From the security perspective the proposed system will allow us to build security into the system in the future. The new package system, coupled with the proposed "package set" concept, will require a radically different way of distributing packages. We discussed a workable model where we move to a more centralized system with fewer but better nodes for distribution. This will also allow us to better utilize our current sites and possibly add other sites in the future.

For the main conference, the "BHyVe a Native BSD Hypervisor" presentation was very interesting both from a general technical perspective and because it might allow the admins team to run some virtualization of servers without having to run other operating systems as is required today. George Neville-Neil's "Synchronizing Systems on a LAN: An Introduction to PTPd" presentation was very interesting from the technical perspective in hearing about all the challenges of very accurate timekeeping. The talk also had a lot of audience participation from people who knew a lot about the topic which made it even more interesting.

My Photo Album from the trip is available here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

BSDCan Trip Report: Thomas Abthorpe

The Foundation recently sponsored Thomas Abthorpe to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

The first time I was privileged to attend BSDCan was in 2009, a generous sponsorship from the FreeBSD Foundation enabled me to attend. Of the many topics I could have reported on, I chose to identify the human aspect of FreeBSD, the people that make it happen, and why the Foundation sends developers to conferences.

To me, people are still the most valuable resource in the project. I have mentored in many committers to the ports tree, and at BSDCan 2011, I was pleased to learn that two of my mentees would be attending. Rene Ladan (rene@) and Baptiste Daroussin (bapt@) would be in Ottawa, and for the first time ever, I would meet my proteges face to face. Julien Laffaye had been collaborating with Bapt, and was here for the presentations. Our sense of camaraderie in IRC made the initial meeting feel like a well established friendship. Our travels around Ottawa became a standing joke, “A Canadian, Dutchman and a pair of Frenchmen walk into a ...”, from this you can make your own joke.

This year at BSDCan, the DevSummit was organised a little different than usuall It was done with break out groups forming into working groups and bringing together like minded people to get together and share ideas. As a porter, and member of portmgr@, my working group was the ports infrastructure. Erwin Lansing (erwin@), took the lead in organising this particular session, uniting porters and other interested parties. He asked me to deliver 15 minutes on the Licensing Infrastructure in the Ports tree.

Other speakers throughout the morning included Ben Haduk, presenting Athena Packing, Peter Losher from ISC with his wishlist for ports, and Will Andrew (will@) sharing his vision for ports. A brainstorming period was hosted by Erwin to illicit feedback from the crowd.

The particular, show stopping presentation of the day belonged to Baptiste Daroussin. Bapt, along with former GSoC student Julien Laffaye, offered to revolutionise the packaging infrastructure with libpkgng. Their reports will follow, I do not want to steal their thunder.

Suffice to say the morning session time that was allocated was not enough time considering the buzz and excitement around libpkng; an afternoon session was added to get all topic material included. More detailed plans were discussed on what would be needed to integrated libpkgng into the src base, along with feature requests and other tidbits of administrivia.

One thing that typifies our Information Age is electronic chatter. The hot topic of conversation during coffee and lunch was libpkgng; this was discussed face to face, in groups, and throughout IRC. There were even emails being circulated, particularly through the portmgr mailbox. A private conversation between Mark Linimon (linimon@) and Erwin declared that Bapt may be a valuable member on the
Ports Management Team, not just for his efforts on libpkgng, but for other ideas he has, including a new means of grouping OPTIONS in a port Makefile. The usual vote was held, and unlike the usual week to take care of business, within 24 hours the tally was in favour of adding a new member to portmgr.

Now that the vote was cast, all that remained was to ask Bapt if he was interested. For geographical reasons, this is normally done via IRC, but we had 3 port managers in Ottawa and this one could be done by an old fashioned press gang. It was agreed during the lunch break the three of us would sequester Bapt, and have the chat. Being the jokester that I am, I thought it would be amusing to instill Bapt with a sense of angst. In IRC, I told him privately that the two of us needed to have a “Man-toMan” chat at lunch. Grudgingly, he accepted. We met him in the hall, and we laid it on the line. Bapt graciously accepted and you can see it as YouTube's least viral video.

From this we had what I am told was a new record, 4 portmgr at one event. Not only was this worth celebrating, but was worth hosting an ad-hoc meeting. With the joys of modern technology, a video conference was setup with Florent Thoumie (flz@), Ion-Mihai Tectcu (itetcu@), and Martin Wilke (miwi@). Yet another first. In this meeting, we were able to share the success stories of the Ports Working Group, libpkgng, plus talk other business.

Every night after supper, I took the opportunity to return to the Hacker Lounge for a time of visiting and hacking. This was a great relaxed venue to just sit back and do as much or as little as you wanted! Human nature what it is, hackers in the lounge flocked together based on their commit bits, src guys there, doc guys there, and ports guys here. One could do an interesting sociological study in there!

Prior to BSDCan, I organised a Facebook event called “portmgr appreciation week”. This was a self serving event to encourage committers to close PRs, perform an act of hospitality for a portmgr or whatever people felt appropriate. Friday night a group of us brought beverages into the lounge and took up a collection. We declared this the “portmgr appreciation week donation fund” and turned over the proceeds at the Foundation Desk Saturday morning.

If BSDCan 2011 had ended on Thursday for me, I could still have considered the event an overwhelming success. But this was just the pre-conference, the real thing was to start on Friday! As usual Dan Langille and friends did a great job organizing the event.

With some assistance from my portmgr peers, we composed a little thank you to the FreeBSD Foundation for their generous grants which brought us together. I would personally like to thank the Board for this wonderful opportunity to be able to travel to Ottawa and participate in this year's BSDCan.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

BSDCan Trip Report: Sergio Ligregni

The Foundation recently sponsored Sergio Ligregni to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

The travel started at Mexico City's International Airport, flying to Montreal and then to Ottawa.

The first day of BSD activity was Wednesday, May 11th, when the FreeBSD DevSummit took place at the University of Ottawa. We arrived, got our badges and started discussing development stuff. I was invited by Robert Watson to the Capsicum DevSummit. Unfortunately he was not there in person, instead of that, we talked to the Watson Box (Robert via Skype); I think this will remain famous through the years.

The DevSummit was interesting. It was my first Summit and I thought it would be like other conferences but with more participation from the audience. I was happily surprised when I found that there were opinions and really technical discussions on how to follow the development of the Capsicum framework. Pawel Dawidek explained how he performs some process "jailing" and how Capsicum is helping to achieve his goal, but also what he does not like too much and some ideas how to improve it. I felt surrounded by really serious security people, like my mentor in GSoC 2010, Stacey Son, who I finally was able to meet in person.

After that Summit I had the opportunity to talk to Dru Lavigne and ask her some final questions before taking my BSDA Certification Exam, like if it is needed to know all about the four BSDs regarding the certification goals (the answer: yes!).

In the second day of the Summit, Justin Gibbs gave a FreeBSD Foundation Report. I learned how the Foundation helps to spread the word on FreeBSD by sponsoring events and attendees. I analyzed that there's a gap in the Latin America area (north and central). I asked Justin how can the Foundation help to get a BSDCon in Latin American north area (since there a couple of events in South America). I think that Justin's answer changed the purpose of my trip to Ottawa: "the FreeBSD Foundation would help to get a BSDCon there, but we need a local contact to organize it". I started thinking on a next BSDCon in Mexico that covers the Mexico & Central America area.

The seed is set, it's just a matter of getting the elements to bring BSD to Mexico. I decided to give my mobile phone a better use than texting friends and I started interviewing people, important *BSD people, like:

* Michael Lucas - BSD books author
* Pawel Dawidek - FreeBSD commiter
* Stacey Son - FreeBSD/TrustedBSD developer
* Matt Olander
* Dan Langille - BSDCan organizer
* Brett Davis - iXsystems sales manager (I am trying to get more FreeBSD users by letting they know they will have strong support services)
* Dru Lavigne
* Josh Paetzel - FreeBSD developer (iXsystems)
* Julio Merino - NetBSD developer
* George Neville-Neil

The goal is to let the Universities know that *BSD is serious, in order to get some sponsorship and a venue. Also to let the company managers know that the OS is not only a learning OS or a hobby. BSD can be used in a really serious way and it is not just saving money, it's about investing in improving the product and giving back to the community.

After the FreeBSD Foundation report, I saw how FreeBSD is "cooked". I was in the "kitchen" looking at how the new ideas and features are discussed, and the greatest part: once the board is full of items, it is time to assign them to the developers. I'd like to say "me" next time I am there. I want to be more prepared as I know there is a release in 4 months.

The first day of the BSDCan conference was on Friday. I was a little nervous since I was taking my BSDA Certification Exam in a couple of hours. We started with a talk about UNICS in an architectural view. It was more than the non-technical view of UNIX development and it was fun and interesting to hear that from someone that actually lived it.

Then I took my certification exam. I asked Dru how many BSDA certified professionals are out there and it was great to hear that more than 150 professionals are certified. I think, however, we need to keep pushing to get more people certified. I can speak from my experience that the test is not impossible, but it really tests you. I found it really interesting, actually. I am still waiting for my result and hope to pass the exam.

I attended some other conference sessions at BSDCan, both ones where I know about the topic and others where I didn't know it actually existed. It was great to meet such professionals and to learn about new features.

Some of the talks I remember were the Kris Moore talk about the new PBI format for PC-BSD/FreeBSD. I think that will help newcomers to get involved using the system by its simplicity but at the same time its robustness. Also, Josh Paetzel's talk about a project I am currently working on, the new installer pc-sysinstall. It felt great to know that my code will impact a lot of systems.

There were these talks of previously unknown but interesting things: like the new SQL for monitoring systems and the Superpages for memory management. I found those really interesting and will read and digest their papers.

About the conference: I can say that I met great and interesting people and became curious about a lot of stuff. I am willing to get a project finished and present it to the community at a future BSD conference.

I also have a lot of materials to start moving things in Latin America, such as the videos I recorded. There is already a guy in Mexico that started the FreeBSD community and its website. BSD is getting stronger here: in the last Latin American Open Source Install Festival, PC-BSD was the second most asked for OS. I am sure that with a lot of effort, the help from the community and Foundation, and a little bit of luck, we will plan the next Mexico BSDCon. I talked with a guy in the hostel about the conference I was attending and the plan to get one in Mexico, and he proposed SalsaBSDCon. I think that name is great and will help attract people here in Latin America. I think I can help to bring BSD to Mexico even though we are "so close Berkeley, so far BSD".

Monday, June 6, 2011

FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems Announce IPv6-only Testing Versions of FreeBSD and PC-BSD

The Foundation is pleased to announce that Bjoern Zeeb has made good progress in the Improved IPv6 Support project and that testing snapshots for both FreeBSD and PC-BSD are now available in time for World IPv6 Day. From the press release:

The FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems announced today their commitment to support the efforts of World IPv6 Day to accelerate global IPv6 deployment. Earlier this year, the FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems jointly awarded Bjoern Zeeb a grant to create an IPv6-only version of the FreeBSD and PC-BSD open source operating systems.

FreeBSD is well-known as a network stack research and reference platform and its KAME-based reference implementation appeared over a decade ago. With the help of the community, FreeBSD has been serving releases from IPv6 enabled servers for more than 8 years and FreeBSD's website, mailing lists, and developer infrastructure have been IPv6 enabled since 2007. FreeBSD is used by critical Internet infrastructure such as root name servers, routers, firewalls and some of the world's busiest and most reliable web sites. PC-BSD is a complete desktop operating system, based on FreeBSD, having the casual computer user in mind.

Bjoern Zeeb explains the work as follows: "Similar to many modern operating systems, IPv6 in FreeBSD was an optional feature that implied IPv4 support. Since most "IPv6-ready" applications rely on dual-stack behavior, broken IPv6 support often goes unnoticed given the IPv4 fallback option. Providing an implementation of an IPv6-only kernel without IPv4 support provides the FreeBSD Project with the ability to test and fix such regressions while encouraging other software developers to improve their code for true IPv6 readiness. With PC-BSD serving the desktop community and FreeBSD targeting the server, infrastructure and embedded markets, we have created an ideal development and test platform for other open source and proprietary IPv6-aware application software."

Kris Moore, founder and lead developer of the PC-BSD Project notes that "PC-BSD, with its FreeBSD base, makes an ideal platform for the testing of end-user desktop applications and utilities in an IPv6 environment. We are proud to be able to offer an IPv6 desktop testing environment for World IPv6 Day."

FreeBSD testing snapshots are available here and PC-BSD testing snapshots are available here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

BSDCan Trip Report: Daichi Goto

The FreeBSD Foundation recently provided a travel grant to Daichi Goto to attend BSDCan and the FreeBSD Developer Summit. He has provided the following trip report:

What have you accomplished by attending this conference?

I have written thirteen BSDCan 2011 related articles for the "FreeBSD Daily Topics" section of The articles describe BHyVe, virtualization, FreeBSD on Amazon EC2, BSDInstall, PKGng, tool-chains, PCI Express hot-plug, Chromium, UFS2/SUJ, GEOM performance, and FreeBSD vendors. Articles will be posted one per day and the complete list can be found here.

I will also write about the new features of FreeBSD 9 and 10 for the MYCOM Journal and about IPv6 and HAST for @IT. Both are major Japanese IT news sites and the articles will be written in Japanese.

What did you learn by attending BSDCan and the DevSummit?

Many many things. BSD Hypervisor BHyVE and virtualization situation are very hot. The FreeBSD DevSummit is a great opportunity to get fresh FreeBSD news and developers thinking. I was able to travel with my mentor, Hiroki Sato, from whom I have learned many things. I also learned new things from the IPv6 tutorial attendees and other FreeBSD developers.

Thanks again to the Foundation for your support!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FreeBSD portmgr thank you to the FreeBSD Foundation

The FreeBSD Ports Management Team wrote a thank you note to the Foundation for providing travel grants to several developers who therefore were able to attend the very successful Ports Working Group session.

We would like to publicly thank the FreeBSD Foundation for granting Baptiste Daroussin and Julien Laffaye a travel grant to travel to BSDCan 2011 for the Ports and Packages Working Group held at in Ottawa last week. The working group itself was a huge success and a number of improvements with regard to automated binary package creation and distribution to ease upgrade procedures for our users were discussed and will hopefully be implemented over the next few months.

None of these improvements, however, would be possible without a long overdue rewrite of the package tools provided by FreeBSD. Over last few years, a number of attempts were made to enhance the current tools, but none have been as all-compassing as the PKGNG project by Baptiste and Julien. The presentation given by Baptiste at the packages summit and summariszed at the DevSummit track of BSDCan showed a comprehensive new tool that can completely replace the current tools, and provide a clear migration path from the old to the new tool. It also provides a large number of new features while keeping the old ones and is a lot more flexible to be able to add more features later. As you may have heard, Baptiste has also joined the ports management team as a result of his efforts.

Thanks again to the Foundation for sponsoring Baptiste, Julien, Simon Nielsen (Deputy Security Officer) and Thomas Abthorpe (Ports Management Team) who all were instrumental into making the ports working group such a success.

Monday, May 23, 2011

libcxxrt C++ Runtime Now Available Under BSD License

The FreeBSD Foundation and the NetBSD Foundation announced today that they have acquired a non-exclusive copyright license to the libcxxrt C++ runtime software from PathScale, a leader in high performance Fortran, C and C++ compiler products for AMD64, Intel64 and MIPS. The press release, available from the FreeBSD Foundation, Pathscale, and PRWeb websites, is as follows:

The FreeBSD Foundation and the NetBSD Foundation announced today that they have acquired a non-exclusive copyright license to the libcxxrt C++ runtime software from PathScale, a leader in high performance Fortran, C, and C++ compiler products for AMD64, Intel64, and MIPS. This software is an implementation of the C++ Application Binary Interface originally developed for Itanium and now used for the x86 family by BSD operating systems. Libcxxrt will be available under the 2-clause BSD license.

This implementation is a full replacement for the GNU libsupc++ library for platforms that use the Itanium C++ ABI, including i386 and x86-64, and will replace portions of the C++ stack previously only available under the GPL. It provides implementations of the dynamic features of C++, including dynamic casting, exception handling, and thread-safe static initializers, and will continue the gradual replacement of GNU toolchain and runtime components, furthering the aim of a purely BSD-licensed system.

"This work complements other work done in the community and is a further step in letting us adopt alternative toolchains in FreeBSD," said Robert Watson, a FreeBSD committer and Director at the FreeBSD Foundation.

"There are already a number of STL implementations with other licenses, but libcxxrt is the missing link for a BSD licensed C++ compiler and the C++ runtime," said NetBSD developer Joerg Sonnenberger.

"It's great to work with the BSD community and help provide these core parts of the toolchain," said Christopher Bergström, CTO at PathScale. "This is a first step to PathScale offering first class support for both NetBSD and FreeBSD."

About The FreeBSD Foundation

The FreeBSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the FreeBSD Project and community. The Foundation gratefully accepts donations from individuals and businesses, using them to fund and manage projects, sponsor FreeBSD events, Developer Summits and provide travel grants to FreeBSD developers. In addition, the Foundation represents the FreeBSD Project in executing contracts, license agreements, and other legal arrangements that require a recognized legal entity. The FreeBSD Foundation is entirely supported by donations. More information about The FreeBSD Foundation is available on the web.

About The NetBSD Foundation

The NetBSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the NetBSD Project and community. Under its education and research mandate, it supports development of the NetBSD operating system which supports over fifty different computer architectures from a single, unified set of kernel and userland source files. The NetBSD codebase is used by commercial embedded developers, educational institutions, and individual end-users. Through donations received from individuals and corporations the Foundation is able to fund substantial work undertaken by developers. More information about The NetBSD Foundation is available on the web.

About PathScale

PathScale Inc. has developed industry leading high performance Fortran, C and C++ compiler products for AMD64, Intel® 64, MIPS processors and provides support to users desiring the highest level of performance from their applications. The PathScale EKOPath Compiler Suite has the world's most advanced optimization infrastructure and can fully exploit the potentials of many-core architectures. The company’s goal is to deliver robust and high performance compilers tailored to clustered, GPGPU and multi-core computing environments. More information about PathScale is available on the web.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Funded Project: Improved IPv6 Support

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded Bjoern Zeeb a grant to improve the maturity of IPv6 support in FreeBSD and PC-BSD. This project is jointly sponsored with iXsystems.

FreeBSD's KAME-based reference implementation of IPv6 first appeared in FreeBSD 4.0, and can be found in a broad range of FreeBSD-derived commercial products. To date, IPv6 has been an optionally configured feature present in the default FreeBSD kernel; however, IPv6 configuration has implied configuration of IPv4. With much "IPv6-ready" application software relying on dual-stack behavior, broken IPv6 applications go unnoticed. Adding support for an IPv6 kernel without IPv4 will make FreeBSD and PC-BSD an ideal test and development platform for both open source and proprietary IPv6-aware application software.

"Narrowing down the code base to not rely on legacy IP will help us to identify OS and application components requiring improvement to work well in an IPv6 environment. This project will help to ensure a bright IPv6 future, as FreeBSD is used throughout the Internet: root name servers, storage appliances, routers, firewalls, TVs, desktop and mobile systems, and many of the world's busiest web sites," said Mr. Zeeb. FreeBSD Foundation director and FreeBSD core team member Robert Watson described the project as critical to the future of FreeBSD, "Bjoern's work will not only improve the maturity of our IPv6 implementation, but also motivate improvement of applications used in million of deployed FreeBSD and FreeBSD-derived systems." The project will also improve the quality and performance of FreeBSD's IPv6 stack.

Bjoern Zeeb is a consultant based in Germany and has been an active FreeBSD committer since 2004. He is currently also a member of the FreeBSD Security and Release Engineering teams, and was recently awarded the Itojun Service Award for his work on IPv6 in FreeBSD.