FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report for October - December 2009
- From: Daniel Gerzo <danger@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 17:42:11 +0000
This report covers FreeBSD related projects between October and
December 2009. This is the last of the four reports covering 2009,
which has shown to be a very important year for the FreeBSD Project.
Besides other notable things, a new major version of FreeBSD,
8.0-RELEASE, has been released, while the release process for
7.3-RELEASE is soon to begin.
Thanks to all the reporters for the excellent work! We hope you enjoy
reading. Let us also take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and
successful new year for 2010.
Please note that the deadline for submissions covering the period
between January and March 2010 is April 15th, 2010.
Google Summer of Code
* BSD-licensed iconv
* 3G USB support
* Clang replacing GCC in the base system
* FreeBSD TDM Framework
* HAST -- Highly Available Storage
* Intel XScale hwpmc(9) support
* POSIX utmpx for FreeBSD
* SUJ -- Journaled SoftUpdates
* The webcamd deamon
FreeBSD Team Reports
* FreeBSD Bugbusting Team
* FreeBSD Release Engineering
* The FreeBSD Foundation Status Report
* bwn(4) -- Broadcom Wireless driver
* IP Payload Compression Protocol support
* Ralink wireless RT2700U/2800U/3000U run(4) USB driver
* Syncing pf(4) with OpenBSD 4.5
* Wireless mesh networking
* CAM-based ATA implementation
* Group Limit Increase
* NFSv4 ACL support
* V4L support in Linux emulator
* The FreeBSD German Documentation Project
* The FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project
* The FreeBSD Spanish Documentation Project
* Flattened Device Tree for embedded FreeBSD
* Chromium web browser
* Ports Collection
* VirtualBox on FreeBSD
Vendor / 3rd Party Software
* DAHDI (Zaptel) support for FreeBSD
* NVIDIA amd64 driver
* AsiaBSDCon 2010 -- The BSD Conference
* BSDCan 2010 -- The BSD Conference
* meetBSD 2010 -- The BSD Conference
* The FreeBSD Forums
* BSD-licensed text processing tools
3G USB support
Contact: Andrew Thompson <thompsa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Recently, a bunch of new device IDs have been added for the u3g(4)
cellular wireless driver; the list should be comparable now with other
operating systems around. A lot of these devices have a feature where
the unit first attaches as a disk or CD-ROM that contains the Win/Mac
drivers. This state should be detected by the u3g driver and the usb
device is sent a command to switch to modem mode. This has been working
for quite some time but as it is implemented differently for each
vendor I am looking for feedback on any units where the auto switchover
is not working (or the init is not recognized at all). Please ensure
you are running an up to date kernel, like r201681 or later from
9.0-CURRENT, or 8-STABLE after the future merge of this revision.
AsiaBSDCon 2010 -- The BSD Conference
Contact: AsiaBSDCon Information <secretary@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
AsiaBSDCon is a conference for users and developers on BSD based
systems. AsiaBSDCon is a technical conference and aims to collect the
best technical papers and presentations available to ensure that the
latest developments in our open source community are shared with the
widest possible audience. The conference is for anyone developing,
deploying and using systems based on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD,
DragonFlyBSD, Darwin and MacOS X.
The next conference will be held at the Tokyo University of Science,
Tokyo, Japan, on 11th to 14th March, 2010.
For more detailed information, please check the conference web site.
Contact: Gábor Kövesdán <gabor@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Good compatibility has been ensured and there are only few pending
items that have to be reviewed/enhanced. Recently, an enhancement has
been completed, which makes it possible to accomplish better
transliteration, just like in the GNU version. An initial testing patch
is expected at the beginning of February.
1. Enhance conversion tables to make use of enhanced transliteration.
2. A performance optimization might be done later.
BSD-licensed text processing tools
Contact: Gábor Kövesdán <gabor@xxxxxxxxxxx>
As 8.0-RELEASE is out, BSD bc/dc can be now committed to 9.0-CURRENT.
We are only waiting for an experimental package building to make sure
there are no regressions after this change. BSD grep is complete but it
cannot be integrated yet because of some regex library issues. We need
first a fast and modern regex library so that we can change to BSD
grep. BSD sort has few incomplete features and needs some performance
1. Commit BSD bc/dc.
2. Implement remaining features for sort and optimize performance.
BSDCan 2010 -- The BSD Conference
Contact: BSDCan Information <info@xxxxxxxxxx>
BSDCan, a BSD conference held in Ottawa, Canada, has quickly
established itself as the technical conference for people working on
and with 4.4BSD based operating systems and related projects. The
organizers have found a fantastic formula that appeals to a wide range
of people from extreme novices to advanced developers.
BSDCan 2010 will be held on 13-14 May 2010 at the University of Ottawa,
and will be preceded by two days of Tutorials on 11-12 May 2010.
There will be related events (of a social nature, for the most part) on
the day before and after the conference.
Please check the conference web site for more information.
bwn(4) -- Broadcom Wireless driver
Contact: Weongyo Jeong <weongyo@xxxxxxxxxxx>
bwn(4) is replacing bwi(4) driver for to the following reasons:
* Uses latest v4 firmware image instead of using the much older v3
firmware. In this way, we have some great benefits, such as support
for N-PHYs and the fixes of various earlier firmware bugs.
* Supports PIO mode. This is important because -- as you might know
-- the Broadcom Wireless Driver is created by reverse-engineering
so some pieces of hardware might not work with DMA operations.
* Supports 64 bit DMA operations.
* Separates bwi(4) driver into two parts; siba(4) driver and bwn(4)
driver. Many Broadcom wireless and NIC devices are based on Silicon
Sonics Backplane, such as bwi(4), which implemented the SIBA
operations internally. This resulted in code duplication as other
drivers had to implement their own routines to deal with SIBA. In
the case of bwn(4), these two parts have been separated and
implemented in their own kernel modules to avoid this problem and
help further development by providing a standalone siba(4) driver.
Currently, it is tested on big/little endian machines and 32/64-bit DMA
operation with STA mode. A major patch for siba(4) is being reviewed
before committing into 9.0-CURRENT.
1. MESH/IBSS/HOSTAP mode is not supported.
2. LP/N PHYs are not supported.
CAM-based ATA implementation
Contact: Alexander Motin <mav@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Scott Long <scottl@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Existing ata(4) infrastructure, which has been around many years, has
various problems and limitations when compared to modern
controllers/device support. Although the CAM subsystem (used for SCSI)
is almost as old as ata(4), it is more eligible to solve the current
problems. To reduce code duplication and better support border cases
such as ATAPI and SAS, we have started to develop a new CAM based ATA
As such, CAM infrastructure has been extended to support different
transports. New transport has been implemented to support PATA/SATA
buses. To support ATA disks, a new CAM driver (ada) has been written.
ATAPI devices are supported by existing SCSI drivers cd, da, sa, etc.
To support SATA port-multipliers another new CAM driver (pmp) has been
written. To support most featured and widespread SATA controllers, new
drivers ahci(4) and siis(4) have been developed.
To support legacy ATA controllers, a kernel option ATA_CAM has been
added. When used, it makes all ata(4) controllers directly available to
CAM, deprecating ata(4) peripheral drivers and external APIs. To make
this possible, ata(4) code has been heavily refactored, making
controller driver API stricter.
Command queuing support gives new ATA implementation up to double
performance benefit on some workloads, with 20-30% improvement quite
SATA Port Multiplier support makes it easy to build fast and cheap
storage with huge capacities, by using dozens of SATA drives in one
system or external enclosures,
Some of that code has been presented in the recently released FreeBSD
8.0-RELEASE but 8-STABLE now includes a much improved version.
1. Improve timeout and transport error recovery.
2. Improve hot-plug support.
3. Find and fix any show stoppers for legacy ata(4) deprecation.
4. Write a new, more featured driver for Marvell SATA controllers
5. Write SAS-specific transport and drivers for SAS HBAs
(specifications desired). SAS controllers can support SATA devices
and multipliers, so it should fit nicely into the new
Chromium web browser
Contact: Ben Laurie <ben@xxxxxxxxx>
Chromium is a Webkit-based web browser that is largely BSD licensed. It
has been ported from Linux to FreeBSD in October and we have been
posting patches and test builds periodically since then. Chromium works
well on FreeBSD -- it is very fast and stable but there are a handful
of rough edges that need to be polished up. Two remaining bugs should
probably be fixed before releasing a chromium-devel port. We are
looking for volunteers to test and maintain this port to make this BSD
browser a viable option on FreeBSD desktop systems.
1. Fix sporadic rendering freezes.
Clang replacing GCC in the base system
Contact: Ed Schouten <ed@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Roman Divacky <rdivacky@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Brooks Davis <brooks@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Pawel Worach <pawel.worach@xxxxxxxxx>
We are again able to build bootable i386/amd64 kernel. Nathan Whitehorn
committed a fix to FreeBSD, which enabled LLVM/clang to work mostly
fine on PowerPC. There is some preliminary testing of LLVM/clang on ARM
and MIPS being done. We have some ideas about sparc64 support which are
currently being investigated. You are welcome to contact us if you want
Since the last report, a lot has happened mostly in the area of C++;
clang is currently able to build working groff, gperf and devd, i.e.
all of the C++ apps we have in base. Unfortunately, it still cannot
build any of the C++ libraries -- two of them are missing builtins and
libstdc++ is broken for other reasons.
Not much happened in the clangbsd branch as we cannot upgrade the
clang/llvm there because we are blocked by a bug that requires using
newer assembler than we can ship. This might be solved by either fixing
this (short term) or using llvm-mc instead of GNU as for assembling
1. Help with ARM/MIPS/sparc64.
2. More testing of clang on 3rd party apps (ports).
3. Discussion on integrating LLVM/clang into FreeBSD.
DAHDI (Zaptel) support for FreeBSD
Contact: Max Khon <fjoe@xxxxxxxxxxx>
A DAHDI support module for FreeBSD has been created in the official
Asterisk SVN repository.
The following drivers are currently ported:
* main DAHDI driver
* all software echo cancellation drivers
The following HW drivers are currently ported and tested:
* wct4xxp, including HW echo cancellation support (Octasic)
+ Digium TE205P/TE207P/TE210P/TE212P: PCI dual-port T1/E1/J1
+ Digium TE405P/TE407P/TE410P/TE412P: PCI quad-port T1/E1/J1
+ Digium TE220: PCI-Express dual-port T1/E1/J1
+ Digium TE420: PCI-Express quad-port T1/E1/J1
+ Digium B410: PCI quad-port BRI
+ Junghanns.NET HFC-2S/4S/8S duo/quad/octoBRI
+ OpenVox B200P/B400P/B800P
+ BeroNet BN2S0/BN4S0/BN8S0
1. The port for dahdi_dynamic_eth and dahdi_dynamic_ethmf is underway.
2. More HW drivers need to be ported.
3. Please let me know if you can provide remote access with serial
console to any box with ISDN/T1/E1 HW not currently supported by
DAHDI for FreeBSD but supported by DAHDI for Linux. I am also
interested in porting drivers for FXO/FXS cards. Please let me know
if you can provide a remote access or donate a card.
Flattened Device Tree for embedded FreeBSD
Contact: Rafal Jaworowski <raj@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
The purpose of this project is to provide FreeBSD with support for the
Flattened Device Tree (FDT) technology, the mechanism for describing
computer hardware resources, which cannot be probed or self enumerated,
in a uniform and portable way. The primary consumers of this technology
are embedded FreeBSD platforms (ARM, AVR32, MIPS, PowerPC), where a lot
of designs are based on similar chips but have different assignment of
pins, memory layout, addresses bindings, interrupts routing and other
Current state highlights:
* Environment, supported tools
+ Integrated device tree compiler (dtc) and libfdt into FreeBSD
userspace, kernel and loader build
+ Full support for device tree blob handling
+ Load, traverse, modify (including add/remove) device tree
nodes and properties
+ Pass the device tree blob to the kernel
+ Both ARM and PowerPC loader(8) supported
* Kernel side FDT support (common)
+ Developed OF interface for FDT-backed platforms
+ ofw_bus I/F (and /dev/openfirm) available with FDT
+ Integrated FDT resources representation with newbus (fdtbus
and simplebus drivers)
* PowerPC kernel (Freescale MPC85XX SOC)
+ MPC8555CDS and MPC8572DS successfully converted to FDT
* ARM kernel (Marvell Orion, Kirkwood and Discovery SOC)
+ Work in progress on integrating FDT infrastructure with ARM
Work on this project has been sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation.
1. Complete missing pieces for PowerPC (PCI bridge driver conversion
2. Complete ARM support.
3. Merge to SVN.
FreeBSD Bugbusting Team
Contact: Gavin Atkinson <gavin@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Mark Linimon <linimon@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Remko Lodder <remko@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Volker Werth <vwe@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Bugmeister Gavin Atkinson has now been granted a src commit bit, and is
now starting to work through some of our backlog.
The list of PRs recommended for committer evaluation by the Bugbusting
Team continues to receive new additions; however, it has not yet
achieved high visibility. (This list contains PRs, mostly with patches,
that the Bugbusting Team consider potentially ready to be committed
as-is, or are probably trivially resolved in the hands of a committer
with knowledge of the particular subsystem.) One of the suggestions at
the Cambridge devsummit was to create a way for people to be emailed
the weekly summary that is posted to freebsd-bugs@, and this has now
been implemented. Please email linimon@xxxxxxxxxxx to ask to be added
to the recommended_subscribers.txt file (see above).
We continue to classify PRs as they arrive, adding 'tags' to the
subject lines corresponding to the kernel subsystem involved, or man
page references for userland PRs. These tags, in turn, produce lists of
PRs sorted both by tag and by manpage. At this point most of the PRs
that refer to supported versions of FreeBSD have been converted, and we
are keeping up as new ones come in. We hope that this is making it
easier to browse the PR database.
The overall PR count jumped to over 6,200 during the 8.0-RELEASE
release cycle but seems to have stabilized at around 6,100. As in the
past, we have a fairly good clearance rate for ports PRs but much less
so for other PRs. (Partly this is due to the concept of individual
ports having 'maintainers'.)
1. Try to find ways to get more committers helping us with closing PRs
that the team has already analyzed.
FreeBSD Release Engineering
Contact: Release Engineering Team <re@xxxxxxxxxxx>
The Release Engineering Team announced FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE on November
26th, 2009. With 8.0-RELEASE completed planning has begun for
7.3-RELEASE. The schedule has been set with the release date planned
for early March 2010.
The Release Engineering Team would like to thank George Neville-Neil
(gnn@) for his service on the team. George continues to work with the
FreeBSD Project but has stepped down from the Release Engineering Team
to focus on other activities.
FreeBSD TDM Framework
Contact: Rafal Czubak <rcz@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Michal Hajduk <mih@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Important changes regarding FreeBSD TDM Framework since the last status
* Fully functional TDM controller driver for Marvell Kirkwood and
* Working voiceband channel character device driver.
* Working Si3215, Si3050 codec drivers on corresponding FXS, FXO
* Demo application, which is capable of manipulating voiceband
channel and codec state, starting/stopping channel transfers and
echoing on single channel.
* Preliminary version of driver bridging the voiceband infrastructure
1. Improve various issues regarding working drivers and demo
2. Test Si3050 codec driver operation with PSTN.
3. Fully integrate voiceband infrastructure with Zaptel/DAHDI
telephony hardware drivers.
Contact: Marcel Moolenaar <marcel@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Work continues on our ia64 port. Many recent commits to help improve
stability have been made to 9.0-CURRENT and MFCed to 8-STABLE.
Due to interest from a very motivated user, package builds have been
restarted for ia64-8. This is primarily intended as a QA step to
discover and fix bugs on ia64, rather than to create packages for
Based on the above, Mark Linimon documented how to add more
architectures to the package cluster scheduler. (This work will also be
of use in an upcoming effort to start powerpc package builds.)
There are currently 3 ia64 machines online and building packages. The
machines seem stable as long as multiple simultaneous package builds
are not attempted, in which case they get machine checks. This is
puzzling, since other heavy workloads seem stable on the same machines.
1. Continue to try to understand why multiple simultaneous package
builds bring the machines down.
2. Upgrade the firmware on the two machines at Yahoo! to see if that
helps the problem.
3. Configure a fourth machine that has been made available to us.
4. Figure out the problems with the latest GCC port on ia64.
5. We can use some help with reviewing the ia64 platform pages and
bringing them up-to-date.
Contact: The FreeBSD/mips mailing list <mips@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Warner Losh <imp@xxxxxxxxxxx>
The base/projects/mips branch has been merged into 9.0-CURRENT. The
merge is complete and the sanity tests have passed. The code has booted
on both a Ubiquiti RouterStation (big endian) as well as in gxemul
The branch lived for one year, minus a day, and accumulated much work:
* A new port to the Atheros AR71xx series of processors. This port
supports the RouterStation and RouterStation PRO boards from
Ubiquiti. Other boards should work with minimal tweaking. This port
should be considered as nearing production quality, and has been
used extensively by the developers. The primary author of this port
is Oleksandr Tymoshenko (gonzo@xxxxxxxxxxx).
* A new port to the SiByte BCM1250 SoC on the BCM91250 evaluation
board (aka SWARM). This port is reported to be stable, but this
hardware is a little old and not widely available. The primary
author of this port is Neel Natu (neel@xxxxxxxxxxx). Only one core
is presently supported.
* A port, donated by Cavium, to their Octeon and Octeon plus series
of SoC (CN3xxx and CN5xxx). This code is preliminary, supporting
only a single core right now. It has been lightly tested on the
CN3860 evaluation board only in 32-bit mode. Warner Losh
(imp@xxxxxxxxxxx) has been driving the efforts to get this code
into the tree.
* A port, donated by RMI, to their XLR series of SoCs. This port is
single core only, as well. The code reaches multi-user but should
be considered beta quality for the moment. Randal Stewart
(rrs@xxxxxxxxxxx) has been driving the efforts to integrate this
into the tree.
* Preliminary support for building a mips64 kernel from this source
base. More work is needed here, but at least two kernels
successfully build in 64-bit mode (OCTEON1 and MALTA64).
* Very early support for N32 and N64 ABIs
* Support for booting compressed kernels has been added (gonzo@).
* Improved support for debugging
* Improved busdma and bus_space support
* Many bug fixes
* More types of MIPS cores are recognized
* Expanded cache handling for newer processors
* Beginning of a port to the alchemy au1XXX cpus is present, but
* Work on SMP is underway to support multicore processors like the
SiByte, Octeon and XLR processors.
The development branch had been updated incorrectly several times over
the past year, and the damage was too much to repair. We have retired
the branch and will do further mips development in 9.0-CURRENT for the
time being. If you have a checked out tree, the suggested way to update
the projects/mips tree you have is to do a "svn switch
svn://svn.FreeBSD.org/base/head" in that tree.
I would like to thank everybody that has contributed time, code or
hardware to make FreeBSD/mips better.
As development proceeds, I will keep posting updates. In addition, I
hope to have some mini "how-to" wiki pages done for people that want to
try it out.
1. We are still investigating how feasible merging all this work into
8-STABLE will be, as it represents a huge leap forward in code
stability and quality.
Contact: Marius Strobl <marius@xxxxxxxxxxx>
The main thing that has taken place since the last Status Report is
that I have gotten to the bottom of the remaining PCI problems with Sun
Fire V215/V245 and support for these has been completed and since
r202023 now is part of 9.0-CURRENT. With some luck it will also be part
of the upcoming 7.3-RELEASE.
Some other news:
* Two bugs in the NFS server causing unaligned access and thus panics
on sparc64 and all other architectures with strict alignment
requirements (basically all Tier-2 ones) have been fixed. There
likely will be a 8.0-RELEASE Erratum Notice released for these.
* FreeBSD has been adopted to the changed firmware of newer Sun Fire
V480 (those equipped with version 7 Schizo bridges) and has been
reported to now run fine on these. The necessary change will be
part of 7.3-RELEASE. Unfortunately, using the on-board NICs in
older models of Sun Fire V480 (at least those equipped with version
4 Schizo bridges) under FreeBSD still leads to the firmware issuing
a FATAL RESET due to what appears to be a CPU bug, which needs to
be worked around.
* Work on supporting Sun Fire V1280 has been started but still is in
very early stages. Unfortunately, these are rather quirky machines.
After solving two firmware specialties the loader now is able to
boot the kernel but the latter currently still fails in early
cycles as trying to take the trap table over from the firmware
results in a solid hang.
Group Limit Increase
Contact: Brooks Davis <brooks@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Historically, FreeBSD has limited the number of supplemental groups per
process to 15 (NGROUPS_MAX was incorrectly declared to be 16). In
FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE we raised the limit to 1023, which should be
sufficient for most users and will be acceptably efficient for
incorrectly written applications that statically allocate NGROUPS_MAX +
Because some systems such as Linux 2.6 support a larger group limit, we
have further relaxed this restriction in 9.0-CURRENT and made
kern.ngroups a tunable value, which supports values between 1023 and
INT_MAX - 1. We plan to merge this to 8-STABLE before 8.1-RELEASE.
HAST -- Highly Available Storage
Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <pjd@xxxxxxxxxxx>
HAST software will provide synchronous replication of any GEOM provider
(eg. disk, partition, mirror, etc.) or file from one FreeBSD machine
(primary node) to another one (secondary node).
Because data is replicated at the block level neither applications, nor
file systems have to be modified to take advantage of this
The functionality that HAST software will provide is very similar to
the functionality provided by the DRBD project for Linux.
The HAST project is sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation.
Work is progressing well; first milestone was reached in December 2009
and the expected project completion date is January 31, 2010.
Check out FreeBSD mailing lists for patches to test in February and
wish me good luck!
And by the way, do not forget to donate to the FreeBSD Foundation, as
your donations make projects like this possible.
Intel XScale hwpmc(9) support
Contact: Rui Paulo <rpaulo@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Preliminary Hardware Performance Counter support for Intel XScale ARM
processors was committed to FreeBSD 9.0-CURRENT in December. This adds
another supported architecture to hwpmc(9). The system works for basic
performance counter usage but more advanced usage scenarios, namely
callchain support, are not yet implemented.
IP Payload Compression Protocol support
Contact: Bjoern A. Zeeb <bz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
One of the longer outstanding feature problems with the FreeBSD IP
security stack, broken IP Payload Compression Protocol (IPcomp)
support, has been fixed.
While working on the fix, various problems had been identified:
* Problems with the IPcomp packet handling in IPsec.
* opencrypto compression handling and deflate implementation
limitations. These were debugged using DTrace SDT probes.
* Problems due to an outdated version of zlib used in some parts of
the network stack and by the opencrypto framework.
Patches for all but the zlib support have been committed to 9.0-RELEASE
and merged to all supported stable branches including 6-STABLE. Special
thanks to Eugene Grosbein for helping with testing.
1. Fix ng_deflate so that we can make use of Kip Macy's work on an
up-to-date unified zlib version in the kernel, which would also fix
the last occasional IPcomp hiccups.
meetBSD 2010 -- The BSD Conference
Contact: meetBSD Information <info@xxxxxxxxxxx>
The meetBSD conference is an annual event gathering users and
developers of the BSD operating system family, mostly FreeBSD, NetBSD
and OpenBSD. Afer the special California edition, meetBSD Wintercamp in
Livigno, this year we are back to Krakow, Poland.
In 2010, meetBSD will be held on 2-3 July at the Jagiellonian
See the conference main web site for more details.
NFSv4 ACL support
Contact: Edward Tomasz Napierala <trasz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Native NFSv4 ACL support in ZFS and UFS has been committed into
9.0-CURRENT. It is expected to be MFCed in order to make it into
1. Support for NFSv4 ACLs in tar(1).
NVIDIA amd64 driver
Contact: John Baldwin <jhb@xxxxxxxxxxx>
NVIDIA has released the first BETA version of its graphics drivers for
FreeBSD/amd64. Note that this driver will work on FreeBSD versions
7.3-RELEASE or 8.0-RELEASE and later. It also works on very recent
versions of 7.2-STABLE. More details are provided in the official
Contact: Mark Linimon <linimon@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Most of the recent activity has been dealing with the 8.0-RELEASE
process. As an experiment, we have tried to decouple the ports QA
timeline as much as possible from the src QA timeline. Although this
meant that the impact on people actively maintaining and using ports
has been much less than in previous releases, it still has not solved
the problem of the release going out with a stale set of packages. We
are still trying to come up with a better solution for the problem.
The ports count is over 21,000. The PR count jumped to over 1,000 but
is now back to around 950.
We are currently building packages for amd64-6, amd64-7, amd64-8,
i386-6, i386-7, i386-8, i386-9, ia64-8, sparc64-7, and sparc64-8. This
represents the addition of i386-9 and ia64-8 since the last report.
There has been some discussion of when to drop regular package builds
for 6.X but no decision has been made yet. The cluster and the port
managers are struggling to keep up with so many branches being active
all at the same time.
Mark Linimon continues to make progress on the cluster nodes. Almost
every node that does not have a hard disk failure is now online. In
addition, he continues to make progress debugging problems that
occasionally take nodes offline.
The next task is to characterize the overall performance of the build
cluster. The question has been asked of us, "what would it take to
speed up package builds?" There is no one simple answer. It is not
merely a matter of having a larger number of package building machines,
so before asking for funding we first need to identify the current
bottlenecks. While we are starting to understand the problems on the
nodes, the problems on the dispatch machine itself are much harder.
Complicating the matter is that there are several periodic processes
(ZFS backup, ZFS expiration, and errorlog compression, among others)
that can combine to slow that machine significantly. The simultaneous
interaction of all these is proving difficult to quantify.
Between Pav Lucistnik and Martin Wilke, many more experimental ports
runs have been completed and committed.
We have added 3 new committers since the last report, and 1 older one
has rejoined us.
1. We are still trying to set up ports tinderboxes that can be made
available to committers for pre-testing.
2. Most of the remaining ports PRs are "existing port/PR assigned to
committer". Although the maintainer-timeout policy is helping to
keep the backlog down, we are going to need to do more to get the
ports in the shape they really need to be in.
3. Although we have added many maintainers, we still have more than
4,700 unmaintained ports. (See, for instance, the list on portsmon.
The percentage remains steady at just over 22%.) We are always
looking for dedicated volunteers to adopt at least a few
unmaintained ports. As well, the packages on amd64 and especially
sparc64 lag behind i386, and we need more testers for those.
POSIX utmpx for FreeBSD
Contact: Ed Schouten <ed@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On January 13, I removed the utmp user accounting database and replaced
it with a new POSIX utmpx implementation. Unfortunately, the upgrade
path is a bit complex, because the utmp interface provided almost no
library interface to interact with the database files.
This change may have caused some regressions. Some ports may fail to
build, while there could also be bugs in the library functions.
1. Get a list of broken ports.
2. Fix them to comply to standards.
3. Send patches upstream.
Ralink wireless RT2700U/2800U/3000U run(4) USB driver
Contact: Akinori Furukoshi <moonlightakkiy@xxxxxxxx>
The run(4) driver brings support for Ralink RT2700U/2800U/3000U USB
wireless devices. For detailed information and list of all the
supported devices, please see the above mentioned URL. The source code
has been imported to the USB P4 repository on January 10, 2010
1. Solve USB_TIMEOUT problem when sending beacons, and/or confirm
which chipsets supports AP mode if all of them do not support it.
2. Read TX stats for AMRR on AP mode, and/or confirm which chipsets
supports AP mode if all of them do not support it.
3. Maintain the code.
SUJ -- Journaled SoftUpdates
Contact: Jeff Roberson <jeff@xxxxxxxxxxx>
I have been adding a small intent log to SoftUpdates to eliminate the
requirement for fsck after an unclean shutdown. This work has been
funded by Yahoo!, iXsystems, and Juniper. Kirk McKusick has been aiding
me with design critiques and helping me better understand SoftUpdates.
Extensive testing by myself and Peter Holm has yielded a stable patch.
Current users are encouraged to follow the instructions posted to the
current@xxxxxxxxxxx mailing list to verify stability in your own
workloads. Updates are forthcoming and it is expected to be merged to
9.0-CURRENT before the end of January. Ports to older versions of
FreeBSD will be available in SVN under alternate branches. Official
backports will be decided by re@ when 9.0-CURRENT is stable.
The changes are fully backwards and forwards compatible as there are
very few metadata changes to the filesystem. The journal may be enabled
or disabled on existing FFS filesystems using tunefs(8). The log
consumes 64 MB of space at maximum and fsck time is bounded by the size
of the log rather than the size of the filesystem. Other details are
available in my technical journal.
Syncing pf(4) with OpenBSD 4.5
Contact: Ermal LuĂ§i <eri@xxxxxxxxxxx>
This import is based on OpenBSD 4.5 state of pf(4). It includes many
improvements over the code currently present in FreeBSD. The actual new
feature present in pf45 repository is support for divert(4), which
should allow tools like snort_inline to work with pf(4) too.
Currently, the pf(4) import is considered stable with normal kernel, as
well as VIMAGE enabled kernels.
1. pflow(4)/pflog(4)/pfsync(4) need to be made VIMAGE aware.
2. More regression testing is needed.
The FreeBSD Forums
Contact: FreeBSD Forums Admins <forum-admins@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: FreeBSD Forums Moderators <forum-moderators@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Since the last report we have seen a growth of 2,000 users on our
forums resulting in approximately 10,000 registered users at this time.
The posts count is about to reach 60,000 soon, which are contained in
almost 9,000 threads.
The sign-up rate still hovers between 50-100 each week. The total
number of visitors (including 'guests') is currently hard to gauge, but
is likely to be a substantial multiple of the registered userbase.
New topics and posts are actively 'pushed out' to search engines. This
in turn makes the forums show up in search results more and more often,
making it a valuable and very accessible source of information for the
One of the contributing factors to the forums' success is their
'BSD-style' approach when it comes to administration and moderation.
The forums have a strong and unified identity and are very actively
moderated, spam-free, and with a core group of very active and helpful
members, dispensing many combined decades' worth of knowledge to
starting, intermediate and professional users of FreeBSD.
The FreeBSD Foundation Status Report
Contact: Deb Goodkin <deb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Despite a difficult economy, we more than doubled our number of donors,
we raised $269K towards our goal of $300K, and with an improved economy
hope to surpass that this year.
We have funded two new projects. One is the Flattened Device Tree by
Rafal Jaworowski. And, the second one is Highly Available Storage by
Pawel Jakub Dawidek. We continued supporting the New Console Driver by
Ed Schouten and Improvements to the FreeBSD TCP Stack by Lawrence
Stewart. We also purchased equipment for several projects.
We have big plans for the new year! We are going to significantly
increase our project development and equipment spending. Stay tuned for
a project proposal submission announcement soon. We just announced that
we are accepting travel grant applications for AsiaBSDCon and will be
accepting them soon for BSDCan. And, we are working on infrastructure
projects to beef up hardware for package-building, network-testing,
Read more about how we supported the project and community by reading
our end-of-year newsletter available at
We are fund-raising for 2010 now! Find out more at
The FreeBSD German Documentation Project
Contact: Johann Kois <jkois@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Benedict Reuschling <bcr@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Martin Wilke <miwi@xxxxxxxxxxx>
We are happy to announce that Benedict Reuschling is now free from
mentorship and can commit to the documentation tree on his own.
Since the last status report, the German Documentation Team has chased
updates to various sections of the FreeBSD Handbook, FAQ and the German
website. Many handbook pages have been updated to the latest version,
including chapters about configuration, disks, kernel configuration,
printing, multimedia and virtualization.
We require help from volunteers that are willing to contribute bug
fixes or translations. The following documents need active
maintainership and are a good training ground for those willing to join
the translation team:
* developers-handbook/sockets/ (translation from scratch)
* handbook/firewalls/ (translation from scratch)
1. Read the translations and report bugs to
2. Translate articles or missing sections listed above.
The FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project
Contact: Gábor Kövesdán <gabor@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Gábor Páli <pgj@xxxxxxxxxxx>
In the last months, no new translation has been added. Lacking human
resources, we can only manage to keep the existing documentation and
web page translations up to date. If you are interested in helping us,
please contact us via the the email addresses noted above.
1. Translate release notes.
2. Add more article translations.
The FreeBSD Spanish Documentation Project
Contact: Gábor Kövesdán <gabor@xxxxxxxxxxx>
There is one article translation pending review. Apart from this,
neither translations nor maintainance work have been done. We need more
volunteers, mostly translators but we are glad to have more reviewers,
as well. One can join by simply subscribing to the translators' mailing
list where all the work is done.
1. Update Handbook translation.
2. Update webpage translation.
3. Add more article translations.
The webcamd deamon
Contact: Hans Petter Selasky <hselasky@xxxxxxxxxxx>
The webcamd daemon enables hundreds of different USB based webcam
devices to be used under the FreeBSD-8/9 operating system. The webcam
daemon is basically an application, which is a port of Video4Linux USB
webcam drivers into userspace on FreeBSD. The daemon currently depends
on libc, pthreads, libusb and the VIDEO4BSD kernel module.
1. Add support for the remaining Video4Linux USB devices.
2. Make patches for increased buffer sizes, due to higher latency in
userspace. Especially for High Speed USB.
V4L support in Linux emulator
Contact: J.R. Oldroyd <fbsd@xxxxxxxx>
V4L video support in the Linux emulator is now available.
This work allows Linux applications using V4L video calls to work with
existing FreeBSD video drivers that provide V4L interfaces. It is
tested and working with the net/skype port and also with browser-based
Flash applications that access webcams. An early version has been
committed to 9.0-CURRENT and work is in progress to commit the latest
version and then MFC. It is also tested on FreeBSD-8.0/amd64 and
Note: to be clear, this does not add V4L support to all webcams. The
FreeBSD camera driver must already offer V4L support itself in order
for a Linux application to be able to use that camera. The
multimedia/pwcbsd port provides the pwc(4) driver that already has V4L
support. If your camera is supported by a different driver, you will
need to enhance that driver to add V4L support.
VirtualBox on FreeBSD
Contact: Beat Gaetzi <beat@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Bernhard Froehlich <decke@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Juergen Lock <nox@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Contact: Martin Wilke <miwi@xxxxxxxxxxx>
VirtualBox 3.1.2 has been committed to the ports tree.
Several changes to the port have been performed with this update
* Port has been renamed to virtualbox-ose to reflect that we are now
using the OSE version.
* A seperate port for the kernel modules has been created --
* A seperate port for guest additions for FreeBSD guests has been
created -- virtualbox-ose-additions.
* Proper FreeBSD support for PulseAudio has been added.
* Procfs is not required anymore because vbox uses sysctl(3) now.
* Juergen Lock's FreeBSD host networking patches have been added.
They are now also in the upstream vbox SVN (modulo vbox variable
naming style adjustments).
* Allow direct tap networking again (for users that need the best
network performance and/or need more complex network setups, like
when they want to use routing instead of bridging to e.g. protect
guests from messing with the lan's ARP tables; a tap + routing +
proxy arp example is in the above freebsd-emulation@ posting.)
* Enable vbox's shared MAC feature when using bridged mode on a Wifi
interface, together with the virtualbox-ose-kmod change this should
fix bridged mode for Wifi users.
* We would like to say thanks to all the people that helped us by
reporting bugs and submitting fixes. We also thank the VirtualBox
developers for their help with the ongoing effort to port
VirtualBox to FreeBSD
Wireless mesh networking
Contact: Rui Paulo <rpaulo@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Development of the FreeBSD 802.11s stack continues. The code in FreeBSD
HEAD has been updated to comply with draft 4.0. Merge to FreeBSD
8-STABLE will be done soon.
The developer is looking for funding to be able to implement mesh link
security algorithms and/or coordinated channel access (performance
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