Skip site navigation (1) Skip section navigation (2)


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


FreeBSD Team Reports

Network Infrastructure





Vendor / 3rd Party Software


Userland utilities

Google Summer of Code

BSD-licensed iconv

Sources in the Perforce repository URL:

Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>

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.

Open tasks:

  1. Enhance conversion tables to make use of enhanced transliteration.
  2. A performance optimization might be done later.


3G USB support

Contact: Andrew Thompson <>

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.

Clang replacing GCC in the base system


Contact: Ed Schouten <>
Contact: Roman Divacky <>
Contact: Brooks Davis <>
Contact: Pawel Worach <>

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 to help.

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 (longer term).

Open tasks:

  1. Help with ARM/MIPS/sparc64.
  2. More testing of clang on 3rd party apps (ports).
  3. Discussion on integrating LLVM/clang into FreeBSD.

FreeBSD TDM Framework

Contact: Rafal Czubak <>
Contact: Michal Hajduk <>

Important changes regarding FreeBSD TDM Framework since the last status report:

  • Fully functional TDM controller driver for Marvell Kirkwood and Discovery SoCs.
  • Working voiceband channel character device driver.
  • Working Si3215, Si3050 codec drivers on corresponding FXS, FXO ports.
  • 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 with Zaptel/DAHDI.

Open tasks:

  1. Improve various issues regarding working drivers and demo application.
  2. Test Si3050 codec driver operation with PSTN.
  3. Fully integrate voiceband infrastructure with Zaptel/DAHDI telephony hardware drivers.

HAST — Highly Available Storage

Announcement URL:

Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <>

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 functionality.

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.

Thank you!

Intel XScale hwpmc(9) support

Contact: Rui Paulo <>

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.

POSIX utmpx for FreeBSD

Announcement URL:
POSIX specification URL:
NetBSD's implementation URL:
OpenSolaris' implementation URL:

Contact: Ed Schouten <>

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.

Open tasks:

  1. Get a list of broken ports.
  2. Fix them to comply to standards.
  3. Send patches upstream.

SUJ — Journaled SoftUpdates


Contact: Jeff Roberson <>

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 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.

The webcamd deamon


Contact: Hans Petter Selasky <>

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.

Open tasks:

  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.

FreeBSD Team Reports

FreeBSD Bugbusting Team

BugBusting URL:
Experimental report pages URL:
PRs recommended for committer evaluation by the bugbusting team URL:
Subscription list for the above report) URL:

Contact: Gavin Atkinson <>
Contact: Mark Linimon <>
Contact: Remko Lodder <>
Contact: Volker Werth <>

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 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'.)

Open tasks:

  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 <>

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.

The FreeBSD Foundation Status Report

The FreeBSD Foundation URL:
Follow us on Twitter URL:

Contact: Deb Goodkin <>

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, etc.

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

Network Infrastructure

bwn(4) — Broadcom Wireless driver

bwn(4) sources in P4 URL:

Contact: Weongyo Jeong <>

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.

Open tasks:

  1. MESH/IBSS/HOSTAP mode is not supported.
  2. LP/N PHYs are not supported.

IP Payload Compression Protocol support

Contact: Bjoern A. Zeeb <>

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.

Open tasks:

  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.

Ralink wireless RT2700U/2800U/3000U run(4) USB driver

Announcement on the FreeBSD Forums URL:

Contact: Akinori Furukoshi <>

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 (172906).

Open tasks:

  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.

Syncing pf(4) with OpenBSD 4.5

Viewing the changes. URL:
The actual repo to build from. URL:

Contact: Ermal Luçi <>

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.

Open tasks:

  1. pflow(4)/pflog(4)/pfsync(4) need to be made VIMAGE aware.
  2. More regression testing is needed.

Wireless mesh networking


Contact: Rui Paulo <>

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 improvement).


CAM-based ATA implementation

Contact: Alexander Motin <>
Contact: Scott Long <>

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 implementation.

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 usual.

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.

Open tasks:

  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 (specifications desired).
  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 infrastructure.

Group Limit Increase

Contact: Brooks Davis <>

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 + 1 entries.

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.

NFSv4 ACL support


Contact: Edward Tomasz Napierala <>

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 FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE.

Open tasks:

  1. Support for NFSv4 ACLs in tar(1).
  2. MFC.

V4L support in Linux emulator


Contact: J.R. Oldroyd <>

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 FreeBSD-7.2/i386.

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.


The FreeBSD German Documentation Project

German Documentation Project Homepage URL:

Contact: Johann Kois <>
Contact: Benedict Reuschling <>
Contact: Martin Wilke <>

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:

  • arch-handbook/jail/
  • developers-handbook/I10n/
  • developers-handbook/policies/
  • developers-handbook/sockets/ (translation from scratch)
  • handbook/firewalls/ (translation from scratch)
  • handbook/security/
  • porters-handbook/

Open tasks:

  1. Read the translations and report bugs to
  2. Translate articles or missing sections listed above.

The FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project

Hungarian Web Page for FreeBSD URL:
Hungarian Documentation for FreeBSD URL:
The FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project's Wiki Page URL:
Perforce Depot for the FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project URL:

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

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 email addresses noted above.

Open tasks:

  1. Translate release notes.
  2. Add more article translations.

The FreeBSD Spanish Documentation Project

Introduction to the Spanish Documentation Project URL:
Translators' Mailing List URL:

Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>

There is one article translation pending review. Apart from this, neither translations nor maintenance 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.

Open tasks:

  1. Update Handbook translation.
  2. Update webpage translation.
  3. Add more article translations.


Flattened Device Tree for embedded FreeBSD

Project wiki pages URL:
Project P4 branch URL:

Contact: Rafal Jaworowski <>

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 resources.

Current state highlights:

  • Environment, supported tools
    • Integrated device tree compiler (dtc) and libfdt into FreeBSD userspace, kernel and loader build
  • loader(8)
    • 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 conventions
  • ARM kernel (Marvell Orion, Kirkwood and Discovery SOC)
    • Work in progress on integrating FDT infrastructure with ARM platform code

Work on this project has been sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Complete missing pieces for PowerPC (PCI bridge driver conversion to FDT).
  2. Complete ARM support.
  3. Merge to SVN.


Contact: Marcel Moolenaar <>

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 upload.

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.

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. 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 <>
Contact: Warner Losh <>

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 (little endian).

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 (
  • 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 experimental.
  • 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://" 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.

Open tasks:

  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 <>

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.


Chromium web browser

test builds and port progress URL:
first build information URL:

Contact: Ben Laurie <>

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.

Open tasks:

  1. Fix sporadic rendering freezes.
  2. Fix JavaScript interpreter, v8, on i386 architecture.

Ports Collection

The FreeBSD Ports Collection URL:
Contributing to the FreeBSD Ports Collection URL:
FreeBSD ports monitoring system URL:
The FreeBSD Ports Management Team URL:
marcuscom Tinderbox URL:

Contact: Mark Linimon <>

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.

Open tasks:

  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.

VirtualBox on FreeBSD


Contact: Beat Gaetzi <>
Contact: Bernhard Froehlich <>
Contact: Juergen Lock <>
Contact: Martin Wilke <>

VirtualBox 3.1.2 has been committed to the ports tree.

Several changes to the port have been performed with this update including:

  • Port has been renamed to virtualbox-ose to reflect that we are now using the OSE version.
  • A separate port for the kernel modules has been created — virtualbox-ose-kmod.
  • A separate 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

Vendor / 3rd Party Software

DAHDI (Zaptel) support for FreeBSD

Official Announcement URL:
SVN repository URL:

Contact: Max Khon <>

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
  • dahdi_dynamic
  • dahdi_dynamic_loc

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
  • wcb4xxp
    • Digium B410: PCI quad-port BRI
    • Junghanns.NET HFC-2S/4S/8S duo/quad/octoBRI
    • OpenVox B200P/B400P/B800P
    • BeroNet BN2S0/BN4S0/BN8S0

Open tasks:

  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.

NVIDIA amd64 driver

Release Announcement URL:

Contact: John Baldwin <>

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 release announcement.


AsiaBSDCon 2010 — The BSD Conference


Contact: AsiaBSDCon Information <>

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.

BSDCan 2010 — The BSD Conference


Contact: BSDCan Information <>

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


Contact: meetBSD Information <>

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 University.

See the conference main web site for more details.

The FreeBSD Forums


Contact: FreeBSD Forums Admins <>
Contact: FreeBSD Forums Moderators <>

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 FreeBSD community.

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.

Userland utilities

BSD-licensed text processing tools

Perforce repository URL:

Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>

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 review.

Open tasks:

  1. Commit BSD bc/dc.
  2. Implement remaining features for sort and optimize performance.

News Home | Status Home