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!

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