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This Status Report covers FreeBSD related projects between January and March 2008. During this time FreeBSD 7.0 was released. BSDCan is upon us with the Developer Summit starting the 14th and the Conference starting the 16th.

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

Google Summer of Code


FreeBSD Team Reports



Google Summer of Code

finstall - Graphical installer for FreeBSD


Contact: Ivan Voras <>

"finstall" is a graphical installer project for FreeBSD, sponsored by Google during the 2007 Summer of Code. Its goal is to create a modern installer, usable by both novice users and experts. Because it is divided into front end and back end, it can potentially be used for advanced purposes as system configuration, remote and custom installs, etc. The project has resulted in a simple installer ISO image for i386 that can be used for new installations on empty hard drives. Development has continued post-SoC but somewhat slowly; recently implemented features include ZFS support and BSDStats support. To attract more potential developers (especially those without an account on FreeBSD's official development systems), the project has moved to SourceForge. Future development plans include support for headless / remote installs, partitioning, etc. Talks about finstall will be given at BSDCan 2008.

Open tasks:

  1. Remote / headless install support.
  2. Better partitioning support in the front end.
  3. GPT boot support.
  4. Fine grained package selection support.

Summer of Code


Contact: Murray Stokely <>
Contact: Robert Watson <>

The student application period for the Summer of Code is over and the mentors and administrators are carefully reviewing the applications, clarifying the project parameters, and deciding which students to recommend for funding from Google.

This year we received over 100 student applications from students in 26 different countries. We also have over 60 potential mentors that we are currently matching up with students. We will soon announce the winning students on the summer of code website and the process of bringing these students into our development community will begin.

Each student will again be given Perforce and wiki access and all developers are encouraged to contact any students working in related areas, as we don't want the students to have access to our community only through their formal assigned mentor.

Open tasks:

  1. Help introduce our new summer of code students to FreeBSD development. Some students are very experienced at developing on FreeBSD and others are new to our environment and could use more assistance.
  2. Update the ideas database with new project ideas that you'd like to see for next year's Summer of Code.


ProPolice support for FreeBSD


Contact: J�r�mie Le Hen <>

This patch modifies the build infrastructure in order to use GCC's stack-smashing protection (SSP, aka ProPolice) when building world, kernel and ports. Don't forget to see the website and especially the FAQ for a list of ports that fail to build with ProPolice. The patch extends the meaning of src.conf(5) WITHOUT_SSP so as to prevent both building libssp and using ProPolice when compiling. An interesting thing to note is that libssp is GNU licensed (it is provided with GCC 4.2.1) but since libc includes the mandatory symbols, programs won't be linked against GNU libssp. A new knob USE_SSP has been also added for the ports infrastructure, you can set it to "yes" in make.conf(5) and use USE_SSP= on command-line to disable ProPolice for some ports. The patch has been reviewed and should hopefully be committed soon. The port part hasn't been reviewed yet, though.

Rewriting the TTY layer

Perforce branch URL:

Contact: Ed Schouten <>

About 10 weeks ago I started rewriting the TTY layer. The existing TTY code is about 20-25 years old and has been extended over and over, without really improving its design.

The new TTY layer will allow us to remove usage of the Giant from drivers. It also includes an improved buffering mechanism, which has more constant-time operations and prevents copying data multiple times when moving data to userspace.

Right now the code should work quite well for most users. The code in Perforce includes a new pseudo-TTY driver, which is finally capable of destroying TTY's and their associated buffers when needed. The syscons, uart and ucom drivers have also been ported to the new TTY layer.

The code is quite complete, but it still misses driver interaction for carrier/connection detection and sending breaks. Many drivers still need to be ported.

Open tasks:

  1. People who are willing to test. Contact me if you cannot perform Perforce checkouts.
  2. Not all drivers have been ported. Patches or hardware are welcome.
  3. Some changes could already be backported.


Current USB files URL:
Current USB API README file URL:
Install instructions URL:

Contact: Hans Petter Sirevaag Selasky <>

During the last three months there has mostly been bugfix and documentation commits. The code is currently in a stable and full featured state. The FreeBSD P4 USB project now has a fully symmetric USB stack at API level and has been tested to work with AT91RM9200 ARM based boards and USS820 based devices. There are currently two USB device side drivers implemented, namely CDC Ethernet and Mass Storage (SCSI+BBB) so that you can now make your custom USB Flash Disk using FreeBSD. Don't confuse USB device side drivers with USB host side drivers.

Currently the USB P4 project is under review.

Ideas and comments with regard to the new USB API are welcome on the FreeBSD USB Mailing List .

FreeBSD Team Reports

FreeBSD Bugbusting Team

BugBusting Resources URL:
February 2008 Bugathon URL:
new PRs in the last 7 days URL:
PRs recommended for committer evaluation URL:
feedback PRs with no change in 2 months URL:

Contact: Ceri Davies <bugmeister_at_freebsd_dot_org>
Contact: Remko Lodder <bugmeister_at_freebsd_dot_org>
Contact: Mark Linimon <bugmeister_at_freebsd_dot_org>

As one of the results of our January and February bugathons, we have granted Volker Werth (vwe@) direct access to GNATS. During the past few months he has been instrumental in working on several hundred PRs (mainly src-related), and either closing them or helping users work through issues they are having. There have been several commits to the src tree that directly resulted from this. Welcome Volker!

As well, several new people are assisting us in classifying incoming PRs, working with users, and reviewing patches. Among the most active are Bruce Cran, Dylan Cochran, and Harrison Grundy. We appreciate everyone's efforts.

As a direct result of the above, we have been able to hold the overall PR count down to around 5300 (the peak was around 5500). despite the facts that PR submissions have jumped recently, and the ports PR backlog is a little higher than recent trends (due to the long freeze/slush cycle). What is most encouraging, however, is not the absolute number, as much as that we are handling incoming PRs much more quickly and completely. While we are still not where we need to be, this trend is very encouraging.

As well, The Bugbusting Team has learned some lessons about how we can best involve new people in bugbusting, e.g., how to best leverage people who have varying levels of experience and areas of interest. Our old response of "just look through the bug reports and let us know if you see anything that needs doing" tends to discourage all but the most highly-motivated. Some of these ideas are being studied to figure how to change our process flow.

There are still a number of good technical suggestions from the two Bugathons that need to be written up and discussed. The first few have resulted in the following: there are a few new web pages that include: new PRs in the last 7 days; the web representation of the "recommended by bugbusting team" list; and "PRs in feedback with no change for 2 months". (See above). Many more need to be added.

Much of the work of the second Bugathon was in identifying and closing PRs for which fixes had already been committed. Others were identified and relabled as 'patched' to move them along.

Open tasks:

  1. Think of some way for committers to only view PRs that have been in some way 'vetted' or 'confirmed.'
  2. Generate more publicity for what we've already got in place, and for what we intend to do next.
  3. Define new categories, classifications, and states for PRs, that will better match our workflow.

The FreeBSD Foundation

The FreeBSD Foundation Website URL:
FreeBSD Foundation Mailing List URL:

Contact: Deb Goodkin <>

The foundation provided legal counsel for the project to understand the impact of GPLv3 on the project and to create a policy on software licenses. We approved a budget of $250,000 for 2008. We were a sponsor for AsiaBSDCon and provided travel grants to three people to attend the conference. We are a sponsor for BSDCan and the BSDCan Developer Summit. We have approved travel grants for 10 people to attend BSDCan. We are supporting projects that will provide Java 1.6 binaries for FreeBSD 6.3 and 7.0. Join our mailing list to receive monthly updates. See you at BSDCan!

The Ports Collection

The FreeBSD Ports Collection URL:
Contributing to the FreeBSD Ports Collection URL:
FreeBSD ports unfetchable distfile survey (Bill Fenner's report) URL:
FreeBSD ports monitoring system URL:
The FreeBSD Ports Management Team URL:
marcuscom Tinderbox URL:

Contact: Mark Linimon <>

portmgr is pleased to announce that Florent Thoumie (flz) has joined us. We immediately put him to work on cleaning up the pkg_* tools.

After the extended freeze and then slush for 7.0R, we have finally been able to start catching up on the backlog that built up during that time.

The ports count is now over 18,200. The PR count has only dropped to around 1000. We are still turning around PRs fairly quickly, but are not making progress on the backlog.

We have only been able to do 2 -exp runs recently. Although a number of PRs have been closed, we are still at 57 portmgr PRs.

During this period, GNOME has been updated to 2.22.0. Also, a new port for linux emulation (emulators/linux_base-f8) has been introduced for general testing.

XFree86 has been removed. (It had been deprecated for quite some time; modern development seems to be happening in X.Org.) This simplifies the infrastructure. A few other stale ports have been reaped.

The following large changes are in the pipeline:

  • Upgrade of KDE to 4.0 (being tested)
  • Upgrade of automake to 1.10.1
  • Upgrade of gettext to 0.17
  • Upgrade of libtool to 1.5.26 (not 2.x at this time)
  • Upgrade of m4 to 1.14.11
  • Introduction of Perl 5.10

We are currently building packages for amd64-5, amd64-6, amd64-7, amd64-8, i386-5, i386-6, i386-7, i386-8, sparc64-6, and sparc64-7. Note, however, that RELENG_5 will reach end of its supported life May 31, 2008, and package builds for those 2 buildenvs will stop as of that date.

We have been able to use some new machines to speed up the package builds (in particular, amd64) -- in fact, to the point that we are now outrunning the capacity of some of the mirrors to stay current. A solution for the problem is being investigated.

We have added 4 new committers since the last report.

Open tasks:

  1. 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.
  2. Although we have added many maintainers, we still have over 4,000 unmaintained ports (see, for instance, the list on portsmon). We are always looking for dedicated volunteers to adopt at least a few unmaintained ports. As well, the packages on amd64 and sparc64 lag behind i386, and we need more testers for those.


Multi-IPv4/v6/no-IP jails

Webpage for regularly updates and patches URL:
Perforce tree URL:

Contact: Bjoern A. Zeeb <>

The multi-IPv4/v6 jails project was resumed in early January after previous work had been abandoned in 2006.

As an alternate solution to full network stack virtualization, this work shall provide a lightweight solution for multi-IP virtualization. The changes are even more important because of the emerging demand for IPv6.

The current status includes updated user space utilities. Kernel side has grown support for multiple IP addresses for both address families in jails, as well as no IP addresses at all. 32bit and jail version 1 backward compatibility support were implemented.

The development was moved to perforce and patches for early adopters are available.

Open tasks:

  1. The TODO list can be found in the TODO file in perforce.
  2. Regression tests and review.

UnionFS Improvements


Contact: Daichi GOTO <>
Contact: Masanori OZAWA <>

Our implementation of UnionFS has been merged into HEAD, 7-stable and 6-stable already. Now we are working on UnionFS stability improvement. We have developed the following 5 patches. If you are interested, please try them and report your results.

Open tasks:

  1. Robert Watson has pointed out that unionfs-p20-5.diff has some problems around how it treats sockets. We are researching those.


Ideas Web Application

Idea Database URL:
Design Document URL:

Contact: Murray Stokely <>

A prototype web application has been written for the website which allows authenticated users to add new development ideas or comment and vote on ideas added by others. This application is a proposed replacement for the static webpage that is currently maintained with project ideas for summer of code students and others looking to get involved with FreeBSD.

Some of the features currently available include:

  • Allows anyone to propose a new idea.
  • Allows anyone to comment and vote on previously proposed ideas.
  • Provides an RSS feed of the newest ideas.
  • Provides an RSS feed of the comments/votes for any specific idea.
  • Allows one to sort and search the ideas list by category, proposer, votes, summary title, or full text, and subscribe to RSS feed of search results.
  • Anonymous ideas/comments are hidden by default until cleared by a moderator.
  • Moderator bits to be set for certain users so that they can moderate the above (can subscribe to an rss file for unmoderated ideas and comments needing their attention).
  • Import functionality to import the current ideas.xml file.
  • Graphs and statistics about the ideas in the database are provided.

The code is checked into perforce under //depot/user/murray/www/apps/django/ideas/... and I would eventually like to see this hosted on hardware, linked from the main website, and checked into www/apps/django/ideas.

Open tasks:

  1. A thorough security review of the code is needed. If you have experience with reviewing web applications for sql injection, cross-site scripting, and other vulnerabilities please contact me. The application uses the Django framework.
  2. Better import/export tools to get the data from our current ideas.xml web app into the database and back out again.
  3. More usability review and suggestions needed to make this a compelling replacement to the current static XML system.

The Hungarian Documentation Project

Hungarian website URL:
Hungarian articles URL:

Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>
Contact: G�bor P�li <>

We are pleased to welcome G�bor P�li as a doc committer. He has successfully completed the translation of the FreeBSD�Handbook. The final review of his work is pending now and we will import it soon to the repository. We consider the translation of the release notes the next important milestone of this translation project.

Open tasks:

  1. Review the translated Handbook.
  2. Translate release notes for -CURRENT and 7.X.

The Spanish Documentation Project

FreeBSD Spanish Website URL:
Spanish Translations URL:

Contact: Jos� Vicente Carrasco Vay� <>
Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>

We are progressing better these days again. We have made some updates to the website and to the Handbook, including the complete translation of the jails chapter. We have also added a new translation of an article and an another one is under review.

Open tasks:

  1. Complete updating of the website.
  2. Update the Handbook and translate new chapters.

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