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Introduction

This report covers FreeBSD related projects between January and March 2010. Being the first of the four reports planned for 2010 with 46 entries, it shows a good progress of the FreeBSD Project and proves that our committers are keeping up with the latest trends in the OS development. During this period, a new minor version of FreeBSD, 7.3-RELEASE, has been released, while the release process for 8.1-RELEASE is soon to begin and is planned to be released later this summer.

Thanks to all the reporters for their excellent work! We hope you enjoy the reading.

Please note that the deadline for submissions covering the period between April and June 2010 is July 15th, 2010.


Google Summer of Code

Projects

FreeBSD Team Reports

Network Infrastructure

Kernel

Documentation

Userland Programs

Architectures

Ports

Miscellaneous


    Google Summer of Code 2010

    URL: http://socghop.appspot.com/org/home/google/gsoc2010/freebsd
    URL: http://socghop.appspot.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2010/timeline

    Contact: Brooks Davis <brooks@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Robert Watson <rwatson@FreeBSD.org>

    We are once again participating in the Google Summer of Code. This is our 6th year of participation and we hope to once again see great results from our students. Currently applications have all been submitted and we are in the process of reviewing them. Accepted students will be announced April 26th and coding officially begins May 24th.


    Chromium web browser

    URL: http://chromium.jaggeri.com
    URL: http://wiki.FreeBSD.org/Chromium

    Contact: sprewell <chromium@jaggeri.com>

    Chromium is a Webkit-based web browser that is mostly BSD licensed. It works very well on FreeBSD and even supports new features like HTML 5 video. I have started offering subscriptions to fund the porting effort to FreeBSD, funding which has already paid to fix Chromium on BSD-i386. I am using a new funding model where subscriptions pay for development that is kept closed for at most 1 year, after which all patches used in a build are released to subscribers under the same BSD license as Chromium. Also, parts of the closed patches are continually pushed upstream, the BSD i386 fix has already been committed upstream. The goal is to fund Chromium development on BSD while continually pushing patches back to the BSD-licensed Chromium project. I will spin off a Chromium port for ports soon, for those who do not mind using an older, stable build that does not have all the paid features in the subscriber builds. You can read about the issues that a subscription would pay for, such as replacing the ALSA audio backend with OSS, and find out more about subscribing.


    Clang replacing GCC in the base system

    URL: http://wiki.FreeBSD.org/BuildingFreeBSDWithClang
    URL: http://lists.FreeBSD.org/pipermail/FreeBSD-current/2010-April/016648.html

    Contact: Ed Schouten <ed@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Roman Divacky <rdivacky@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Brooks Davis <brooks@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Pawel Worach <pawel.worach@gmail.com>

    Since the last status report we got to the state where we are able to build all of FreeBSD (the C and C++ bits) on i386/amd64 with clang. The only exception is the bootloader which does not fit within the given size constraint. This is where the current efforts are going on. The C++ part got a big boost now being able to compile all C++ code in FreeBSD and itself.

    We saw some movement on Mips and PowerPC. Mips got its driver definitions from Oleksander Tymoshenko and Nathan Whitehorn did the same for PowerPC and tested the kernel. Currently, the PPC kernel seems to boot but due to lack of va_arg implementation for PowerPC nothing is printed out. Nathan is working on that.

    Overall ClangBSD is selfhosting on i386/amd64 and some progress has been made on PowerPC/PPC. We also saw some contribution to the Sparc64 but this seems to have stalled.

    We need people to try out ClangBSD (see the wiki) and runtime test it. We also would appreciate help with other archs - namely ARM.

    Open tasks:

    1. Runtime test ClangBSD on amd64/i386.
    2. Help with ARM/Mips/Sparc64.
    3. More testing of clang on 3rd party apps (ports).
    4. Discussion on integrating LLVM/clang into FreeBSD.

    EFI support for FreeBSD/i386

    Contact: Rui Paulo <rpaulo@FreeBSD.org>

    Work on supporting EFI booting on FreeBSD/i386 resumed. The boot loader can now read an ELF file from the EFI FAT partition. We are now working on trying to boot a kernel.


    mfsBSD

    URL: http://mfsbsd.vx.sk

    Contact: Martin Matuska <mm@FreeBSD.org>

    mfsBSD is a set of scripts that generate a bootable image (e.g. an ISO file) that creates a working minimal installation of FreeBSD that is completely loaded into memory (mfs).

    The project has now reached a stable and well tested state. Images can be created from 8.0-RELEASE or 7.3-RELEASE ISO image files or from a custom makeworld.

    A new feature is a script called "zfsinstall" that automates a ZFS-only install of FreeBSD from a mfsbsd ISO (script works with 8-STABLE and 9-CURRENT, sample ISO images can be downloaded from the project web site).

    Open tasks:

    1. Bundle distribution installation files (target: 8.1-RELEASE).
    2. Make zfsinstall 7.3 compatible (mostly gpart syntax).
    3. Enable zfsinstall combination with sysinstall (zfsinstall prepares drives, sysinstall installs distribution).
    4. Integrate toolset into FreeBSD source (tools?).

    Modular Congestion Control

    URL: http://caia.swin.edu.au/urp/newtcp/
    URL: http://svn.FreeBSD.org/viewvc/base/projects/tcp_cc_head/

    Contact: Lawrence Stewart <lstewart@FreeBSD.org>

    I have just completed the last disruptive change to the KPI, which laid the groundwork to allow different congestion aware transports to share congestion control algorithms. The import into the head branch is a big job and my time is limited, so progress will be slow and I will not have it done and ready to MFC by 8.1 as I had hoped. I will aim to have it in 8.2 though.

    Open tasks:

    1. Solicit external testing.
    2. Commit to head.

    NAND Flash framework for embedded FreeBSD

    URL: http://wiki.FreeBSD.org/NAND#head-9a32aaa85046b2f9f9219e36ba34947ca47a4153
    URL: http://p4db.FreeBSD.org/changeList.cgi?FSPC=//depot/projects/nand2/...

    Contact: Grzegorz Bernacki <gjb@semihalf.com>
    Contact: Rafal Jaworowski <raj@semihalf.com>

    The purpose of this project is to provide embedded FreeBSD with a generic and flexible scheme to support NAND Flash devices. The framework provides a set of KOBJ interfaces inside the kernel, which allow for uniform and flexible management of the NAND devices:

    • NAND Flash Controller (NFC) layer, into which back-end drivers for individual controllers plug in (implementing low-level routines specific to a given NAND controller)
    • Generic (common) NAND layer which provides means to perform operations on the flash devices in an abstract way (read, program, erase, get status etc.)
    • NAND character device, which exports chip device as a standard character device and allows to read/write directly to a device, as well as perform other specific operations by using ioctl.
    • GEOM NAND class for basic access through GEOM.

    Part of the infrastructure is a full system simulator of ONFI-compliant devices (NANDsim), with a userland control application. This allows for exercising of the framework on platforms without real NAND chips.

    Current state highlights:

    • The framework is considered functionally complete (including NANDsim).
    • Framework compliant back-end drivers are available for the following NAND Flash controller (NFC) chips:
      • Freescale MPC8572 (PowerPC)
      • Marvell MV-78100 (ARM)
      • Samsung S3C24X0 (ARM)

    Open tasks:

    1. Extend interface with features / options suggested by early adopters of the code.
    2. Complete, clean up, merge with HEAD.

    Out of Tree Toolchain

    Contact: Warner Losh <imp@bsdimp.com>

    Work is underway to allow the FreeBSD build system to use out of tree compilers and binary utililies (loaders, linkers, etc), especially in a cross compilation environment. While it is possible to swap out the compiler with a compatible compiler relatively easily, swapping out the toolchain is more involved. In addition, when using an external compiler to build the system, certain parts of buildworld can be omitted.

    Open tasks:

    1. Create ports for latest binutils. This work is nearly complete, and is waiting for integration of two branches that are collapsing soon (the 'tbemd' branch from Warner and the mips collapse from Juli Mallet).
    2. Create ports for gcc. This work has been started. Native builds are straight forward, but cross builds have a buildworld dependency at the moment. These dependencies are being worked out, as well as some gcc library dependencies.
    3. Documentation needs to be written for how to use all of this.

    PC-BSD PC-SysInstall Backend

    URL: http://www.pcbsd.org
    URL: http://trac.pcbsd.org/browser/pcbsd/trunk/pc-sysinstall

    Contact: Kris Moore <kmoore@FreeBSD.org>

    We are currently doing a lot of code cleanup in the new System Installer backend for PC-BSD, pc-sysinstall, which can be used to install regular FreeBSD as well. Some new features have already been implemented, such as:

    • Improved ZFS support, raidz, mirroring, multiple mount-points per-pool, etc.
    • Support for GPT/EFI on "Full" installations, allowing us to go beyond the 2TB barrier.
    • MBR Slice/Partition manager.
    • geli passphrase support.

    Open tasks:

    1. We are mostly finished migrating to only using gpart instead of fdisk, which gives us some new functionality for dealing with GPT/EFI partitioning schemes.

    The tbemd branch

    Contact: Warner Losh <imp@bsdimp.com>

    'tbemd' stands for Target Big Endian Must Die. The current build systems requires that one define TARGET_BIG_ENDIAN for either big endian MIPS or big endian ARM processors. There are many problems with this approach. The resulting system will not create the proper binaries without TARGET_BIG_ENDIAN defined. There is no easy way to know what the endian is of the system you are running. There are many issues with ports, since they do not use bsd make, so do not pick up the extra flags that are added if TARGET_BIG_ENDIAN is defined.

    The tbemd branch seeks to fix this. We will move from MACHINE_ARCH=mips for all mips platforms to MACHINE_ARCH=mipsel, mipseb, mips64eb and mips64el to match NetBSD's conventions. These represent 32-bit mips little endian, 32-bit mips big endian, 64-bit mips big endian and 64-bit mips little endian respectively. ARM will move to arm (little endian) and armeb (big endian), again following the standards set elsewhere. To facilitate a number of different MACHINE_ARCHs all built from the same source, a new MACHINE_CPUARCH is introduced and represents the sources needed to build CPU support for a given MACHINE_ARCH.

    In addition, MACHINE_ARCH is overused in the build system today. Many of its uses are gratuitous and can be simplified. Many of its uses do not scale well and need to be refactored into a system that will scale well. A per MACHINE/MACHINE_ARCH/MACHINE_CPUARCH selection mechanism for makefile snippets will be introduced to move much of the current if spaghetti into more controlled lists.
    The branch can build everything we currently support with the new names.

    Open tasks:

    1. Finish migrating to bsd.arch.inc.mk.
    2. Reduce diffs between the branch and the mainline before the collapse.
    3. Documentation needs to be written for how to use all of this.

    webcamd

    URL: http://www.selasky.org/hans_petter/video4bsd/

    Contact: Hans Petter Selasky <hselasky@FreeBSD.org>

    Webcamd is a userland daemon that enables use of hundreds of different USB based Linux device drivers under the FreeBSD-8/9 operating system. Current focus has been on USB webcam and USB DVB-T/S/C devices. It is also possible to use the webcamd framework to make other Linux kernel USB devices work under the FreeBSD-8/9 operating system, without violating the GPL license. The daemon currently depends on libc, pthreads, libusb and libcuse4bsd. Cuse4BSD is a new character device from userland implementation that fully supports open, read, write, ioctl, mmap and close file operations.

    If you like this project or want me to spend more time on it, you can support it by transferring money to hselasky@c2i.net via paypal.

    Open tasks:

    1. Testing and bugfixes.
    2. Add support for more device drivers.

    FreeBSD Bugbusting Team

    URL: http://www.FreeBSD.org/support.html#gnats
    URL: http://wiki.FreeBSD.org/BugBusting
    URL: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~linimon/studies/prs/
    URL: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~linimon/studies/prs/recommended_prs.html
    URL: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~linimon/recommended_subscribers.txt
    URL: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~linimon/studies/prs/easy_prs.html
    URL: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~linimon/studies/prs/prs_for_all_groups.html
    URL: http://wiki.FreeBSD.org/AssigningPRs

    Contact: Gavin Atkinson <gavin@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Mark Linimon <linimon@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Remko Lodder <remko@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Volker Werth <vwe@FreeBSD.org>

    Bruce Cran (brucec) has graduated from GNATS-only access to having a src commit bit. He has been making commits to help us catch up with the PR backlog. Thanks!

    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. The most recent use of these tags is the creating of a new report, Summary Chart of PRs With Tags, which sorts tagged PRs into logical groups such as filesystem, network drivers, libraries, and so forth. The slice labels are clickable. The chart is updated once a day. You can consider it as a prototype for browsing "sub-categories" of kernel PRs.

    The "recommended list" has been split up into "non-trivial PRs which need committer evaluation" and the "easy list" of trivial PRs, to try to focus some attention on the latter.

    New reports were added for "PRs which are from FreeBSD vendors or OEMs", "PRs containing code for new device drivers", and "PRs referencing other BSDs". These will primarily be of interest to committers.

    Some other bitrot on the "experimental PR reports" pages has been fixed.

    It is now possible for interested parties to be emailed a weekly, customized, report along the lines of the above. If you are interested in setting one up, contact linimon@FreeBSD.org.

    The overall PR count has recently jumped to around 6400. This may be due to increasing uptake of FreeBSD 8.

    Our clearance rate of PRs, especially in kern and bin, seems to be improving.

    Mark Linimon polled various committers about their interest in specific PRs. As a result, the AssigningPRs page on the wiki and the src/MAINTAINERS file were updated based on feedback.

    As always, anybody interested in helping out with the PR queue is welcome to join us in #freebsd-bugbusters on EFnet. We are always looking for additional help, whether your interests lie in triaging incoming PRs, generating patches to resolve existing problems, or simply helping with the database housekeeping (identifying duplicate PRs, ones that have already been resolved, etc). This is a great way of getting more involved with FreeBSD!

    Open tasks:

    1. We will be having a bugbusting session at BSDCan. If you are developer who will be attending the conference, please stop by.
    2. try to find ways to get more committers helping us with closing PRs that the team has already analyzed.

    Release Engineering Team

    URL: http://www.FreeBSD.org/releng/

    Contact: Release Engineering Team <re@FreeBSD.org>

    The Release Engineering Team announced FreeBSD-7.3 on March 23rd, 2010. The schedule has been set for FreeBSD-8.1 with the release date planned for mid July 2010.


    The FreeBSD Foundation

    URL: http://www.FreeBSDFoundation.org

    Contact: Deb Goodkin <deb@FreeBSDFoundation.org>

    We were proud to be a sponsor for AsiaBSDCon in March. We also committed to sponsoring BSDCan 2010 and NYCBSDCon 2010. We provided travel grants for AsiaBSDCon.

    We funded a project by Murray Stokely to provide Closed Captioning of FreeBSD Technical Videos in the BSD Conferences YouTube Channel. We were very pleased that the foundation funded HAST project completed.

    We solicited project proposals and were very pleased with the number of proposals we received. With our project spending budget increase, we will be able to fund more projects this year.

    We grew our board of directors by adding Erwin Lansing. This will expand our representation in Europe. Erwin brings ports knowledge and expertise to the board.

    We continued our work on infrastructure projects to beef up hardware for package-building, network-testing, etc.

    Follow us on Twitter now!

    We are fund-raising for 2010 now! Find out more at http://www.FreeBSDFoundation.org/donate/.


    (Virtual) Network Stack resource cleanup

    Contact: Bjoern A. Zeeb <bz@FreeBSD.org>

    In February work was done to address resource leaks in the (virtual) network stack, especially on teardown.

    During that time also multiple general run-time problems and leaks were identified and fixed including leaked ipfw tables on module unload, routing entries leaked, in case of interfaces going away, as well as leaked link-layer entries in interaction with flowtable and timers.

    For virtual network stacks resources are are no longer allocated multiple times or freed upon teardown for eventhandlers, IP and upper level layers, like TCP syncache and host cache, flowtable, and especially radix/routing table memory.
    In addition epair(4) was enhanced and debugging was improved.

    This work was sponsored by ISPsystem.

    Open tasks:

    1. Merge the remaining patches.
    2. Work on a better teardown model and get to the point where we can free UMA zones without keeping pages for type stability and timers around.

    802.11n support

    Contact: Rui Paulo <rpaulo@FreeBSD.org>

    802.11n support in the Atheros driver is being worked on. Right now it can do AMPDU RX in software and we are working on TX AMPDU. The code lives in a private Perforce branch, but some bits of it are already committed to HEAD.

    This work is being sponsored by iXsystems, inc.


    Atheros AR9285 support

    Contact: Rui Paulo <rpaulo@FreeBSD.org>

    Atheros AR9285 support was added to FreeBSD HEAD and 8-STABLE. There are still some issues but in general it works fine.


    Enhancing the FreeBSD TCP Implementation

    URL: http://caia.swin.edu.au/freebsd/etcp09/
    URL: http://caia.swin.edu.au/urp/newtcp/
    URL: http://www.FreeBSDFoundation.org/projects.shtml
    URL: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~lstewart/patches/tcp_ffcaia2008/

    Contact: Lawrence Stewart <lstewart@FreeBSD.org>

    The ALQ(9) implementation and KPI has been rototilled and modified (one more patch needs to be committed) to support variable length messages. In addition, it can now be compiled and loaded as a kernel module.

    With the ALQ changes in head, SIFTR can finally be imported.

    Reassembly queue autotuning is in the project branch and needs to be extracted as a patch people can easily test.

    Open tasks:

    1. Solicit external testing for and commit SIFTR.
    2. Solicit external testing for and commit reassembly queue autotuning patch.

    Experimental NFS subsystem (NFSv4)

    Contact: Rick Macklem <rmacklem@uoguelph.ca>

    Although the bare bones of the NFS Version 4 support was released in FreeBSD 8.0, the integration has been progressing slowly and support should be functional for FreeBSD 8.1 for RFC3530 (NFS Version 4.0).

    Post FreeBSD 8.1, I believe the focus will be on code cleanup and, under a projects area of svn, some experimental work on aggressive whole file caching to client disk.

    Open tasks:

    1. Handling of delegations on the server w.r.t. local processes running on the server.
    2. Integration of recent changes to the regular NFS client, such as Dtrace support.

    ipfw and dummynet enhancements

    URL: http://info.iet.unipi.it/~luigi/dummynet/
    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8vBmybeKlE
    URL: http://info.iet.unipi.it/~luigi/qfq/

    Contact: Luigi Rizzo <luigi@FreeBSD.org>

    We have recently completed a massive revision of ipfw and dummynet, and the result has been committed to HEAD and stable/8. The main features introduced with this work are:

    • ipfw now has much faster skipto instructions, including table-based ones. The complexity for rule lookups is now O(1) or O(log N) as opposed to the O(N) that we had before. People using "skipto tablearg" or "pipe tablearg" with large numbers of rules or pipes should see a significant performance improvement;
    • Expensive operations in response to userland reconfigurations now do not interfere with kernel filtering for more than the time required to swap a pointer;
    • You can now use ports and the "tos" field as lookup argument for tables. This might allow some simplifications in rulesets which in turn result in faster execution time;
    • ipfw can now send packets matching rules with a 'log' attribute to the "ipfw0" pseudo interface, where you can run tcpdump to implement additional filtering, logging etc.;
    • dummynet now supports many different scheduler types, to adapt to different needs people may have in terms of performance and service guarantees. Existing schedulers now include FIFO, WF2Q+, Deficit Round Robin, Priority, and QFQ. More schedulers can be implemented as loadable kernel modules.;
    • The kernel side has a backward-compatible interface so you can use a RELENG_7 or RELENG_8 version of /sbin/ipfw to configure the firewall and dummynet.

    Open tasks:

    1. There is ongoing work on optimizing the deletion of idle entries in dummynet. This should be completed shortly.
    2. A longer term goal is to parallelize operation in presence of ipfw dynamic rules, which currently require exclusive lock on a hash table containing dynamic rules.

    net80211 rate control framework

    URL: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~rpaulo/ratectl.diff

    Contact: Rui Paulo <rpaulo@FreeBSD.org>

    The net80211 (wireless) stack will support a modular rate control framework soon. The idea is to reduce some code in the drivers and add more rate control algorithms in the tree. All drivers that do rate control in software will automatically benefit from this project. On this stage, we are working on changing all the necessary drivers to cope with the new framework and making sure it all works as expected. Later this year we will bring the necessary changes to change the rate control algorithm with ifconfig(1).

    If you are doing rate control algorithm or research on rate control algorithms for wireless networks, FreeBSD is now an ideal candidate for testing your project!


    TCP/UDP connection groups

    Contact: Robert Watson <rwatson@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: FreeBSD network mailing list <freebsd-net@FreeBSD.org>

    This on-going project is to reduce tcbinfo/udbinfo lock and cache line contention; this global lock protects access to connection lists, and while it is a read-write lock, it is acquired for every in-bound packet (briefly) to look up the connection. This project adds a new connection group table, which assigns connections to groups, each of which has CPU affinity and aligns with RSS-selected queues in high-end 1gbps and most 10gbps implementations. The following tasks have been completed:

    • Teach libkvm to handle dynamic per-cpu storage (DPCPU) to improve crashdump analysis of per-CPU data.
    • Teach netstat to monitor netisr DPCPU queues for live kernels and crashdumps.
    • Create a new inpcbgroup abstraction, used for UDP and TCP.
    • Distribute UDP and TCP connections (inpcbs) over groups based on 4-tuple bindings.
    • Replicate membership across all groups for wildcard socket bindings.
    • Write new TCP/UDP connection and binding regression tests.

    The following tasks remain:

    • Migrate from naive work assignment algorithm to RSS assignment.
    • Modify device driver KPI to allow consistent initialization and configuration between stack and hardware.
    • Complete migration to dynamic, per-CPU network statistics in TCP, UDP, and IP.
    • Add socket options to query effective CPU affinity of connections from userspace.
    • On supporting hardware, allow affinity for a specific connection to be explicitly migrated using a socket option.
    • Detailed performance evaluation and optimization.

    This work is being performed in the FreeBSD Perforce repository, and is sponsored by Juniper Networks. Connection groups and related features are slated for inclusion in FreeBSD 9.0 (with possible backports to 8-STABLE of some features).


    CAM-based ATA implementation

    Contact: Alexander Motin <mav@FreeBSD.org>

    Work on CAM-based ATA implementation continues. Since last report handling of heavy errors and timeouts was improved, Hot-plug now works for both Host and Port Multiplier ports. Series of changes were made to CAM to fix some old issues and honor some new ATA demands.

    New drivers ahci(4) and siis(4) got some fixes and are quite stable now. "options ATA_CAM" kernel option shows good results in supporting other controllers using existing ata(4) drivers, so it is possible to start deprecating old ata(4) APIs now.

    Started work on new Marvell SATA driver for both PCI-X/PCIe cards and ARM System-on-Chip SATA controllers. It is expected to support NCQ, Port Multipliers with FIS-based switching and other new features.

    Most of the code is present in 8-STABLE.

    Open tasks:

    1. Port ataraid(4) functionality to GEOM module.
    2. Write SAS-specific transport and drivers for SAS HBAs (specs wanted). SAS controllers can support SATA devices and multipliers, so it should fit nicely into new infrastructure.

    Dynamic Ticks in FreeBSD

    URL: http://github.com/oza/FreeBSD-8.0-dyntick
    URL: http://tsuyoshiozawa.blogspot.com/2010/03/started-to-implement-dynticks-in.html

    Contact: Tsuyoshi Ozawa <ozawa@t-oza.net>

    I wrote experimental code (please see my project page) and threw patch ( http://gist.github.com/350230 ) to freebsd-hackers. A lot of FreeBSD hackers gave me precious advice, so I am going to reflect it as a next step.

    Open tasks:

    1. Run hard/stat/prof-clocks irregularly (in progress).
    2. Some timers which are added after the kernel's scheduling next timer interrupt may be ignored (BUG).
    3. Make callout queue have the tick when the next timer event rise up.

    geom_sched

    URL: http://info.iet.unipi.it/~luigi/geom_sched/

    Contact: Luigi Rizzo <luigi@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Fabio Checconi <fabio@FreeBSD.org>

    geom_sched is a GEOM module that supports pluggable schedulers for disk I/O requests. The main algorithm supported at the moment is an anticipatory Round Robin scheduler, which is especially effective in presence of workloads with highly random disk accesses. Other schedulers are available on the geom_sched page.

    Developed in early 2009 and refined as a GSOC2009 project, geom_sched has been recently introduced in HEAD and is going to be soon merged to stable/8. A version for stable/7 also exists, with some restrictions.

    To use the module, say on disk ad4, all you need to do is:

    kldload geom_sched
    geom sched insert ad4
    

    A number of sysctl variables under kern.geom.sched allow you to tune the parameters of the algorithm, or bypass the scheduler entirely so you can tell the difference of behaviour with and without the scheduler.


    IPv6 without legacy IP kernel

    URL: http://p4web.FreeBSD.org/@md=d&cd=//&c=MNx@//depot/user/bz/noinet/src/sys/?ac=83

    Contact: Bjoern A. Zeeb <bz@FreeBSD.org>

    During 2009 work was done that allowed us to build a FreeBSD kernel without INET and without INET6 (again). This work was the foundation for a prototype to get a kernel to compile and boot with only INET6 but no INET compiled in earlier this year.

    The current focus is to identify general architectural problems and dependencies we do have between these two address families as well as with the upper layer protocols. This will at some point allow us to discuss the issues and seek solutions, preparing for a future where we can remove either INET or INET6 from the system.

    Once we will have a stable, in-tree way to compile out either address family, optimizations wrt. size, as well as user space will need to be worked on. In addition to this, the work is believed to help should we further head in the direction of network stack modularization.


    Multichannel playback in HDA sound driver (snd_hda)

    Contact: Alexander Motin <mav@FreeBSD.org>

    snd_hda(4) audio driver got real multichannel playback support. It now supports 4.0 (quadro), 5.1 and 7.1 analog speaker setups. Digital multichannel AC3/DTS passthrough was already implemented earlier. Digital multichannel LPCM output via HDMI could also be possible now, but is not tested.

    To use multichannel playback you should have fresh 8-STABLE kernel, instruct sound(4) vchans subsystem (if you are using it) about your speaker setup using dev.pcm.X.play.vchanformat sysctls and use your audio/video player application to play multichannel audio content without down-mixing it to stereo.

    Open tasks:

    1. HDMI/DisplayPort often require some audio support from X11 video drivers. This area still should be investigated and tested, especially relayed to multichannel LPCM playback.

    Rewrite of FreeBSD read/write path using vnode page

    URL: http://svn.freebsd.org/viewvc/base/user/kib/vm6/
    URL: http://wiki.FreeBSD.org/VM6

    Contact: Konstantin Belousov <kib@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Peter Holm <pho@FreeBSD.org>

    Based on the idea of Jeff Roberson, we reimplemented the path for read(2)/write(2) syscalls using page cache (in wide sense) to eliminate the issues with recursive vnode and buffer lock acquisitions. The usual reads and writes are no longer calls into VOP_READ/VOP_WRITE; the operation is done by copying user buffers to or from the pages of the vnode. This fixes known deadlocks when reads or writes are done over file-mmaped buffers.

    The patch changes the performance characteristics of I/O, and we observed both better and worse behaviour. If filesystem implements VOP_GETPAGES and VOP_PUTPAGES without referencing buffer cache, buffers are completely eliminated from the i/o path (not true for UFS or NFS).

    Open tasks:

    1. We need wider testing and reviews.

    SUJ: Journaled Softupdates

    URL: http://jeffr_tech.livejournal.com/

    Contact: Jeff Roberson <jeff@FreeBSD.org>

    The soft-updates journaling project is nearing completion and will be available in head by the time this status report is released. Backports to other releases are maintained in SVN. SUJ is fully backwards compatible with non-journaled softupdates. Existing systems will not be affected. Journaling may be enabled and disabled by tunefs on unmounted filesystems. Journaling provides near-instant filesystem recovery after crash at the expense of some runtime performance and extra disk I/O.


    ZFS

    URL: http://perforce.FreeBSD.org/depotTreeBrowser.cgi?FSPC=//depot/user/pjd/zfs
    URL: http://hub.opensolaris.org/bin/view/Community+Group+zfs/WebHome

    Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <pjd@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Martin Matuska <mm@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Xin LI <delphij@FreeBSD.org>

    The ZFS file system has been updated to version 14 on both -HEAD and 8-STABLE. Ongoing work is undergoing to bring bug fixes and performance improvements from upstream svn -HEAD to approximately ZFS v15 in the near future, and a full upgrade of ZFS to version 24 including the de-duplication functionality, etc. The de-duplication functionality is currently partly supported, which is demonstrated below:

    # uname -sr
    FreeBSD 9.0-CURRENT
    # zpool create tank ad{4,6,8,10}
    # zpool get version tank
    NAME  PROPERTY  VALUE    SOURCE
    tank  version   24       default
    # zfs set dedup=on tank
    # dd if=/dev/random of=/tank/rand0 bs=1m count=1024
    # zpool get allocated,dedupratio tank
    NAME  PROPERTY    VALUE  SOURCE
    tank  allocated   1.00G  -
    tank  dedupratio  1.00x  -
    # dd if=/tank/rand0 of=/tank/rand1 bs=1m
    # dd if=/tank/rand0 of=/tank/rand2 bs=1m
    # dd if=/tank/rand0 of=/tank/rand3 bs=1m
    # zpool get allocated,dedupratio tank
    NAME  PROPERTY    VALUE  SOURCE
    tank  allocated   1.01G  -
    tank  dedupratio  4.00x  -
    

    Open tasks:

    1. Bring ZFS v15 changes to svn -HEAD and MFC.
    2. Further polish the code in perforce and test for functionality, etc.

    The FreeBSD German Documentation Project

    URL: http://doc.bsdgroup.de

    Contact: Johann Kois <jkois@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Benedict Reuschling <bcr@FreeBSD.org>

    Our last status report listed a number of documents that needed help. Thanks to the external contributions of Frank Boerner we were able to update a substantial amount of documents. This has resulted in a great reduction of our backlog. Subsequently, Benedict has agreed to take Frank under mentorship for the German doc project. We are looking forward to his future contributions and thank him for his past efforts.

    Johann was busy keeping the German website in sync with updates to FreeBSD.org. However, there are still parts of the website that remain untranslated. We are looking for more support in maintaining the German website.

    FreeBSD users with German language skills are always welcome to join our efforts in translating the documentation and/or fixing bugs.

    Open tasks:

    1. Translate more parts of the documentation and the German website.
    2. Keep the current documentation up to date.
    3. Report bugs to de-bsd-translators@de.FreeBSD.org.

    The FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project

    URL: http://www.FreeBSD.org/hu/
    URL: http://www.FreeBSD.org/doc/hu/
    URL: http://wiki.FreeBSD.org/HungarianDocumentationProject
    URL: http://p4web.FreeBSD.org/@md=d&cd=//depot/projects/docproj_hu/&c=aXw@//depot/projects/docproj_hu/?ac=83

    Contact: Gábor Kövesdán <gabor@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Gábor Páli <pgj@FreeBSD.org>

    We restlessly keep the existing documentation and web page translations up to date. However, this will not last forever, and help is always welcome, so if you feel yourself Hungarian with some interests in translation, please contact our Documentation Project via the email addresses noted above.

    Open tasks:

    1. Translate release notes.
    2. Translate articles.
    3. Translate web pages.
    4. Read translations, send feedback.

    FreeBSD port for libunwind

    URL: http://www.nongnu.org/libunwind/

    Contact: Konstantin Belousov <kib@FreeBSD.org>

    The alpha version of libunwind library port for FreeBSD x86 and x86_64 is completed and imported into the official libunwind git repository. Libunwind is the library to perform dynamic unwinding of stacks, using dwarf call frame information. The library features remote unwinding using ptrace(2), very fast setjmp(3) implementation and more interesting features.


    LDAP support in base system

    Contact: Xin ZHAO <quakelee@geekcn.org>
    Contact: Xin LI <delphij@FreeBSD.org>

    FreeBSD is currently lacking support of LDAP based authentication and user identity.

    We have integrated a stripped down OpenLDAP library (renamed to avoid conflict with ports OpenLDAP libraries), as well as some changes to OpenSSH as well as plugins for PAM, NSS and can support.

    We have used several existing works and updated them to use new OpenLDAP API, fixed several bugs and integrated them together. All these works are under BSD or similar license and our new work would be under 2-clause BSD license. Currently, we support storing user identity, password and SSH public keys in LDAP tree.

    Open tasks:

    1. Further code review.
    2. Make the changes less intrusive.
    3. Fix issues found in production deployment.

    FreeBSD/arm port for TI DaVinci

    URL: http://focus.ti.com/dsp/docs/dspplatformscontenttp.tsp?sectionId=2&familyId=1300&tabId=1854
    URL: http://p4web.FreeBSD.org/@md=d&cd=//depot/user/jceel/davinci/

    Contact: Jakub Klama <jceel@semihalf.com>

    DaVinci (TMS320DM644x) is an ARM9-based system-on-chip family from Texas Instruments with built-in DSP core and powerful multimedia/video features. This work is bringing support for FreeBSD on these systems - it works in multiuser mode, using root filesystem mounted either via NFS or from SD/MMC card. The code is available in P4 at //depot/user/jceel/davinci/.

    Current DaVinci support includes:

    • Booting from U-Boot bootloader
    • Serial console
    • Interrupt controller
    • Integrated timers
    • Power and sleep controller
    • 10/100 Ethernet controller
    • SD/MMC controller

    Open tasks:

    1. Remaining built-in peripherals drivers (USB, ATA, NAND flash, I2C, DMA engine, sound, video input/output).
    2. Framework for communicating with DSP core.

    FreeBSD/ia64

    Contact: Mark Linimon <linimon@FreeBSD.org>

    The stability of the machines under package build has been improved by a number of recent commits. Some rework is underway to run with WITNESS. However, we are still limited in the number of simultaneous packages that can be built.

    Based on this, we have completed the first full ia64-8 package build. 17187 were built (as compared to 19885 on a recent i386-8.) Mark Linimon has gone through the results to denote which packages do not build. A few fixes have already been committed based on this.

    We currently have 3 available machines that are stable enough for package builds.

    Support for the SGI Altix 350 has made its start. Porting is done on 2 SGI Altix 350 machines connected with NUMAFlex, giving a total of 4 CPUs and 24GB of DDR. The kernel boots with code on the projects/altix branch but since ACPI does not enumerate PCI busses, no hardware devices are found. SMP has been disabled because waking up the APs result in a machine check.

    Open tasks:

    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. Figure out why the fourth machine is not stable.
    4. Configure a fifth machine that has been made available to us.
    5. Figure out the problems with the latest gcc port.
    6. We need documentation about the SGI SAL implementation to speed up porting to the SGI Altix 350.
    7. The loader and kernel need to change to allow the kernel to be loaded at a runtime-determined physical address as well as add support for NUMA.

    FreeBSD/mips on D-Link DIR-320

    URL: http://wiki.ddteam.net/wiki.cgi?page=DIR-320+FreeBSD

    Contact: Alexandr Rybalko <ray@dlink.ua>

    FreeBSD/mips has been ported to D-Link DIR-320, wireless router based on BCM5354 SoC. Project aims to providing several working images tailored for different purposes (profiles). So far racoon based router-ipsec image is available.

    Open tasks:

    1. bfeswitch configuration utility.
    2. Add router profile.
    3. Add wifi-router profile.
    4. Add openvpn-router profile.

    FreeBSD/powerpc

    Contact: Nathan Whitehorn <nwhitehorn@FreeBSD.org>

    An Apple XServe G5 has been donated by Peter Grehan for package building. Based on the last two months' worth of testing, a large number of commits have been made to increase stability.

    We have completed the first full powerpc-8 package build. Only 10918 were built (as compared to 19885 on a recent i386-8), primarily due to a few high-impact packages failing (such as lang/python25). Mark Linimon has gone through the results to denote which packages do not build. A few fixes have already been committed based on this; we have patches that are being tested in the next run.

    Mark Linimon is working on getting us more XServes.

    Open tasks:

    1. Start the hard work of fixing individual packages.

    FreeBSD/powerpc64 port

    Contact: Nathan Whitehorn <nwhitehorn@FreeBSD.org>

    A full 64-bit PowerPC port of FreeBSD is now complete, and should shortly be merged to HEAD, likely first appearing in FreeBSD 9.0. This port supports SLB-based 64-bit server CPUs, such as the IBM POWER4-7, PowerPC 970 (G5), and Cell Broadband Engine. Current machine support is limited to Apple single and dual processor G5 systems, with future support planned for IBM Power Systems servers and the Sony PlayStation 3.


    FreeBSD/sparc64

    Contact: Marius Strobl <marius@FreeBSD.org>

    • Yet another bug causing unaligned accesses in NFS server operation has been found and fixed in FreeBSD 7 and 8. Unlike as announced in the last Status Report, no Erratum Notices regarding these problems have been issued as it quickly became obvious that dealing with so many of them is impractical, especially since the fixes unveiled secondary bugs.
    • Alexander Motin has fixed several bugs in netgraph(4) nodes in 9.0-CURRENT which also caused unaligned accesses, so these should work now on sparc64.
    • Peter Jeremy has contributed several fixes for the sparc64 FPU emulation code, which now passes a test suite built around TestFloat. These fixes were incorporated into FreeBSD 6, 7 and 8 but unfortunately did not quite make it into 7.3-RELEASE but will be present in 8.1-RELEASE and 7.4-RELEASE.
    • Support for UltraSPARC-IV and -IV+ CPUs has been added and will be present in 8.1-RELEASE and 7.4-RELEASE. Thus Sun Fire V890 is now supported and stable, though due to the lack of properly working test hardware, not with configurations consisting of a mix of US-IV and -IV+ CPUs. However, performance is not yet where it should be, i.e. a buildworld on a 4x1.5GHz US-IV+ Sun Fire V890 takes nearly 3 hours while on a Sun Fire V440 with (theoretically) less powerful 4x1.5GHz US-IIIi CPUs it takes just over 1 hour. So far it is unclear what is causing this, it might have to with what appears to be a silicon bug of US-IV+ CPUs encountered and worked around while adding support for these.
    • Work on getting Sun Fire V1280 supported has been continued. A third firmware bug has been worked around and a driver for the BootBus controller, which provides console and time-of-day services in these machines, has been written. It is now possible to netboot Sun Fire V1280 into multi-user mode. Unfortunately, they do not run stable as processes may hang when transitioning to another CPU, likely due to what the OpenSolaris code refers to as Cheetah+ erratum 25, but which unfortunately is not part of the publicly available US-III+/++ errata document. Efforts on understanding this problem are still ongoing.
    • Mark Linimon is trying to find volunteers interested in helping to fix packages on sparc64.

    Portmaster

    URL: http://dougbarton.us/portmaster-proposal.html

    Contact: Doug Barton <dougb@FreeBSD.org>

    Portmaster version 2.22 is now in the ports tree and has full support for the following new features:

    • Using the INDEX file to show that an installed port needs updating.
    • Support for installation of packages in 'try packages first,' --packages-only, --packages-if-newer, and --packages-build modes.
    • A new --delete-build-only option to delete ports/packages that are not needed at run time.
    • Updating of the terminal title bar to show what is being worked on, and how much more is left to do.
    • Support for custom definitions of the packages repository and INDEX files.
    • The ability to operate without any local ports tree at all with the --index-only and --packages-only options.
    • A new dialog to confirm the list of ports to be installed.

    I am very excited about these new features, and owe a debt of gratitude to the companies and especially the individuals who stepped forward to support this work. I literally could not have done it without them.

    Open tasks:

    1. There are still some interesting and oft-requested features listed on the proposal web site that I would really like to implement, including (but not limited to) downloading of all packages before beginning the installation, and writing out a script that can be re-run either on that machine, or on a set of identical machines.

    Ports Collection

    URL: http://www.FreeBSD.org/ports/
    URL: http://www.FreeBSD.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributing-ports/
    URL: http://portsmon.FreeBSD.org/index.html
    URL: http://www.FreeBSD.org/portmgr/index.html
    URL: http://tinderbox.marcuscom.com/

    Contact: Thomas Abthorpe <portmgr-secretary@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Port Management Team <portmgr@FreeBSD.org>

    Most of quarter one was spent dealing with the 7.3-RELEASE process. With apparent success enforcing Feature Safe ports commits during the 8.0-RELEASE, it was continued for the recent src/ freeze.

    The ports count now exceeds 21,500 ports, and counting. The open PR count currently is over 1000. With the release of FreeBSD 7.3, it is hoped this count will drop drastically.

    Since the last report, we added four new committers, and had an old committer rejoin us.

    With the donation of an Apple Xserve, powerpc builds have resumed. Renewed interest in ia64 has brought about new ports builds. A new sparc64 machine hosted by skreuser will help us with this build.

    The Ports Management team have been running -exp runs on an ongoing basis, verifying how src code updates may affect the ports tree, as well as providing QA runs for major ports updates. Of note -exp runs were done for; gabor's BSD licensed bc/dc in src/, mva's OpenAL and SDL upgrades; brooks' removal of NGROUPS; ed's removal of libcompat and regexp.h; dinoex's jpeg update; a test run for m4 update; jilles' update for sh(1); johans' update for bison; and roam's curl update.

    Open tasks:

    1. Looking for help fixing ports broken on CURRENT.
    2. Looking for help with Tier-2 architectures.
    3. Most ports PRs are assigned, we now need to focus on testing, committing and closing.
    4. Major commits expected soon include the latest Xorg, KDE4, and Gnome updates.

    QAT

    Contact: Ion-Mihai Tetcu <itetcu@FreeBSD.org>
    Contact: Josh Paetzel <jpaetzel@FreeBSD.org>

    QAT has been running on a single server for about two years now and has proven very effective at catching problems with ports commits. Many of the problems it cannot catch are architecture or branch related. By moving QAT to a VMware box capable of running arbitrary versions of FreeBSD on both amd64 and i386 this limitation will be removed.

    Open tasks:

    1. Bring VMware server online and provision VMs.
    2. Refactor QAT code to handle concurrent builds.
    3. Migrate the existing QAT to the new setup.

    BSDCan 2010 — The BSD Conference

    URL: http://www.BSDCan.org/2010/
    URL: http://www.BSDCan.org/2010/schedule/

    Contact: BSDCan Information <info@BSDCan.org>

    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.


    meetBSD 2010 -- The BSD Conference

    URL: http://www.meetbsd.org

    Contact: meetBSD Information <info@meetbsd.org>

    meetBSD is an annual event gathering users and developers of the BSD operating systems family, mostly FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. Afer the special California edition, meetBSD Wintercamp in Livigno, this year we are back to Krakow, Poland.

    meetBSD 2010 will be held on 2-3 July at Jagiellonian University.

    See the conference main web site for more details.


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