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


This report covers FreeBSD-related projects between April and June 2012. This quarter was highlighted by having a new Core Team elected, which took office on July 11th to start its work with a relatively high number of new members. Note that this is the second of the four reports planned for 2012.

Thanks to all the reporters for the excellent work! This report contains 17 entries and we hope you enjoy reading it.

Please note that the deadline for submissions covering the period between July and December 2012 is February 17th, 2013.


Userland Programs

FreeBSD Team Reports


Network Infrastructure






Userland Programs

FreeBSD Services Control (fsc)

Contact: Tom Rhodes <>

FSC has been moved into the ports system (see sysutils/fsc) and continues to improve outside of the ports tree. Some interesting work is being done in the area of services control, system boot, and a simplification of the process. Stay tuned for more information in status reports that follow.

Open tasks:

  1. Test, test, test. Feedback is really important to this project.

Replacing the Regular Expression Code

TRE home page URL:

Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>

It has been decided to implement the optimizations and extensions as a more isolated layer and not directly in TRE itself. Since the last report there has been some progress in this direction and the code has been significantly refactored. It does not work yet in this new form but it is close to a working state. Apart from this, the multiple pattern matching needs some debugging and some minor features are missing.

Open tasks:

  1. Finish multiple pattern heuristic regex matching.
  2. Implement GNU-specific regex extensions.
  3. Test performance, standard-compliance and correct behavior.

FreeBSD Team Reports

FreeBSD Documentation Project


Contact: <>

We continue to make progress in committing the work produced as part of Google Code-In 2011; an overview of the status is at Doc committers and GCIN mentors are encouraged to go through the list and help shepherd outstanding tasks into the tree.

We are planning a full day of Documentation Summit on the day preceding the August 2012 DevSummit in Cambridge, UK. This follows a successful DocSummit day held at BSDCan in May 2012. Further details are available at:

A doc sprint took place over IRC (#bsddocs on EFnet) in early July, setting out plans for reviving the marketing team and a strong desire for a new, more organized website.

A lot of progress and momentum has built up with creating and updating documentation and website content over the last few months. Also read the doceng report for the recent infrastructure improvements.

Anyone wishing to help with this effort is welcome to join us and say hello either on the freebsd-doc mailing list, or #bsddocs on EFnet IRC.

Open tasks:

  1. Review the website content and remove outdated parts or update when applicable.
  2. Go through the doc idea list on the wiki and start working them out.

The FreeBSD Core Team

Announcement URL:

Contact: Core Team <>

The FreeBSD Project is pleased to announce the completion of the 2012 Core Team election. The FreeBSD Core Team acts as the project's "Board of Directors" and is responsible for approving new src committers, resolving disputes between developers, appointing sub-committees for specific purposes (security officer, release engineering, port managers, webmaster, et cetera), and making any other administrative or policy decisions as needed. The Core Team has been elected by FreeBSD developers every 2 years since 2000.

Peter Wemm rejoins the Core Team after a two-year hiatus, with new members Thomas Abthorpe, Gavin Atkinson, David Chisnall, Attilio Rao and Martin Wilke joining incumbents John Baldwin, Konstantin Belousov and Hiroki Sato.

The complete newly elected core team is:

  • Thomas Abthorpe <>
  • Gavin Atkinson <>
  • John Baldwin <>
  • Konstantin Belousov <>
  • David Chisnall <>
  • Attilio Rao <>
  • Hiroki Sato <>
  • Peter Wemm <>
  • Martin Wilke <>

The new Core Team would like to thank outgoing members Wilko Bulte, Brooks Davis, Warner Losh, Pav Lucistnik, Colin Percival and Robert Watson for their service over the past two (and in some cases, many more) years.

The Core Team would also especially like to thank Dag-Erling Sm�rgrav for running the election.

The FreeBSD Ports Management Team


Contact: Thomas Abthorpe <>
Contact: Port Management Team <>

The ports tree slowly approaches 24,000 ports. The PR count still is close to 1200.

In Q2 we added 7 new committers and took in one commit bit for safe keeping.

The Ports Management team have been running -exp runs on an ongoing basis, verifying how base system updates may affect the ports tree, as well as providing QA runs for major ports updates. Of note, -exp runs were done for:

  • automake update
  • cmake update
  • xorg update
  • png update
  • Fix make reinstall
  • Implement USE_QT4 in
  • KDE4 update
  • XFCE4 update
  • bison update
  • perl5.14 as default
  • ruby1.9 as default
  • ruby1.8 update
  • bsdsort regression test

A lot of focus during this period was put into getting the ports tree into a ready state for FreeBSD�9.1.

A significant step forward was the implementation of OptionsNG.

A record number of Port Managers attended BSDCan 2012, with five being present to partake in the week of events, culminating in a portmgr PR closing session that dealt with 18 PRs in one day. You can see a group photo at . While you are there, please click on the "Like" icon.

Beat Gaetzi has been doing ongoing tests with the ports tree to ensure a smooth transition from CVS to Subversion. The tree was successfully migrated the weekend of June 14, 2012.

Open tasks:

  1. Looking for help getting ports to build with clang.
  2. Looking for help fixing ports broken on CURRENT. (List needs updating, too.)
  3. Looking for help with Tier-2 architectures.
  4. ports broken by src changes.
  5. ports failing on pointyhat.
  6. ports failing on pointyhat-west.
  7. ports that are marked as BROKEN.
  8. When did that port break?
  9. Most ports PRs are assigned, we now need to focus on testing, committing and closing.


FreeBSD/at91 Improvements

FreeBSD on ATMEL AT91 Wiki URL:

Contact: Warner Losh <>

FreeBSD's Atmel support has languished for some time. A number of improvements were urgently needed as demand for newer SoCs has materialized. New SoC support is not hard, but it does wind up copying a lot of code. I have started down the path to make it easier to do. I had planned on making it table driven. But then I discovered with dts files that Atmel was producing.

So, I plan on moving to using Atmel's .dsti files, or variations on them. They have .dsti files for all the AT91SAM9 parts. This should allow us to support new SoCs and boards faster.

However, there are some challenges with this approach. Pin multiplexing seems undefined in Atmel's dts file. Only a few of the devices are well-defined at the present time. And the encoding seems to be immature.

So we have a target-rich port that is quite ripe for refactoring.

Open tasks:

  1. Update the base system libfdt to a version that supports include.
  2. Write a .dtsi for Atmel AT91RM9200.
  3. Write .dti files for all supported boards.
  4. Help sort out the pin multiplexing issue.
  5. Refactor existing board files to make new ones easier in the interim.
  6. Knock yourself out and implement board support for new CPUs.

Network Infrastructure

Multipath TCP (MPTCP) for FreeBSD

TCP Extensions for Multipath Operation with Multiple Addresses (draft) URL:
"MultiPath TCP — Linux Kernel implementation" home page URL:

Contact: Nigel Williams <>
Contact: Lawrence Stewart <>
Contact: Grenville Armitage <>

Work is underway to create an IETF draft-compatible Multipath TCP implementation for the FreeBSD kernel.

A key goal of the project is to create a research platform to investigate a range of multipath related transport issues including congestion control, retransmission strategy and packet scheduling policy. We also aim to provide full interoperability with the Linux kernel implementation being developed at Universit� catholique de Louvain.

We expect to release code and results at the project's home page as it progresses.

SMP-Friendly pf(4)

Project SVN branch URL:
Alpha announcement email thread URL:

Contact: Gleb Smirnoff <>

The project is aimed at moving the pf(4) packet filter out of single mutex, as well as in general improving of its FreeBSD port.

The project is near its finish, the code is planned to go into head after more testing and benchmarking. If you are interested in details, please see the corresponding email thread on freebsd-pf (see links).

Open tasks:

  1. Rewrite the pf(4) ioctl() interface so that it does not utilize in-kernel structures. That would make ABI more stable and ease future development.


The FreeBSD Japanese Documentation Project

Japanese FreeBSD Web Page URL:
The FreeBSD Japanese Documentation Project Web Page URL:

Contact: Hiroki Sato <>
Contact: Ryusuke Suzuki <>

Our translation work has slightly moved on to handbook from the www/ja (CVS) or htdocs (SVN) subtree, since almost translated web page contents were updated to the latest English counterparts.

During this period, we translated the 8.3-RELEASE announcement and published it in a timely manner. Newsflash and some other updates in the English version were also translated as soon as possible.

For FreeBSD Handbook, translation work of the "cutting-edge" and "printing" sections have been completed. Some updates in the "linuxemu" and "serialcomms" section were done. At this moment, "bsdinstall", "cutting-edge", "desktop", "install", "introduction", "kernelconfig", "mirrors", "multimedia", "pgpkeys", "ports", "printing", and "x11" chapters are synchronized with the English versions.

Open tasks:

  1. Further translation work of outdated documents in ja_JP.eucJP subtree.


FreeBSD/arm on ARM Fast Models Simulator for Cortex-A15 MPCore Processor

Cortex-A15 product page URL:
Fast Models product page URL:

Contact: Zbigniew Bodek <>
Contact: Rafal Jaworowski <>
Contact: Tomasz Nowicki <>

ARM Fast Models is platform which helps software developers debug systems in parallel with SoC design, speeding up and improving system development. This work is bringing up FreeBSD on ARM Fast Models system based on ARM Cortex-A15 and peripheral components. It works in single user mode, using a compiled-in kernel RAM disk minimal root file system.

Current FreeBSD support includes:

  • L1, L2 cache, Branch Predictor
  • Dual-core (SMP) support setup in WB cache mode
  • Cortex-A15 integrated Generic Timer
  • Drivers for ARM peripheral components:
    • PL011 UART controller
    • PL390 GIC - Generic Interrupt Controller
    • SP804 Dual Timer

Next steps:

  • Quad-core (SMP) support
  • Multi-user mode


BSD-licensed Sort Utility (GNU sort(1) Replacement)

FreeBSD port of BSD sort(1) URL:
IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 sort(1) specification URL:

Contact: Oleg Moskalenko <>
Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>

BSD sort(1) has been made the default sort utility in 10-CURRENT. It is compatible with the latest GNU sort(1), version 8.15, except that the multi-threaded mode is not enabled by default.

Open tasks:

  1. When the track record of the BSD sort(1) allows, remove GNU sort(1) from -CURRENT.
  2. Improve reliability of the multi-threaded sort and investigate the possibility of making it the default compilation mode.
  3. Investigate possibility of factoring out the sort functionality into a standalone library so that other utilities can also make use of it.

FreeBSD Haskell Ports

FreeBSD Haskell wiki page URL:
FreeBSD Haskell ports repository URL:

Contact: G�bor P�LI <>
Contact: Ashish SHUKLA <>

We are proud to announce that the FreeBSD Haskell Team has updated the Haskell Platform to 2012.2.0.0, GHC to 7.4.1 as well as updated existing ports to their latest stable versions. We also added a number of new Haskell ports, and their count in FreeBSD Ports tree is now 336.

Open tasks:

  1. Test GHC to work with clang/LLVM.
  2. Add an option to the lang/ghc port to be able to build it with already installed GHC instead of requiring a separate GHC bootstrap tarball.
  3. Commit pending Haskell ports to the FreeBSD Ports tree.
  4. Add more ports to the Ports Collection.


KDE/FreeBSD home page URL:
area51 URL:

Contact: KDE FreeBSD <>

The team has made many releases and upstreamed many fixes and patches. The latest round of releases include:

  • KDE SC: 4.8.3, 4.8.4 (in ports) and 4.8.95 (in area51)
  • Qt: 4.8.1, 4.8.2
  • PyQt: 4.9.1; SIP: 4.13.2; QScintilla 2.6.1
  • KDevelop: 2.3.1; KDevPlatform: 1.3.1
  • Calligra: 2.4.2, 2.4.3
  • Amarok: 2.5.90 (in area51)
  • CMake: 2.8.8
  • Digikam (and KIPI-plugins): 2.6.0

As a result — according to PortScout — kde@ has 393 ports, of which 91% are up-to-date.

The team is always looking for more testers and porters so please contact us and visit our home page.

Open tasks:

  1. Test KDE SC 4.8.95.
  2. Test KDE PIM 4.8.95.
  3. Update out-of-date ports, see PortScout for a list.


Git Repository URL:

Contact: David Naylor <>

Since the last update there has been 2 feature releases and 4 bug-fix releases. A highlight of the changes made:

  • Support has been added for:
    • -j: controlling concurrency per stage
    • pkgng: next generation package manager
    • installing packages via repository
    • dynamic defaults (loaded from /etc/make.conf)
    • new options framework (aka OptionsNG)
  • Some of the fixes include:
    • correct assertions
    • correct build logic
    • retry when kevent receives EINTR
    • correctly detecting installed ports
    • many fixes in the build logic

A benchmark was run timing portbuilder against a standard ports build of KDE (x11/kde4) in a clean chroot(8) environment. Portbuilder achieved a build time of 2:21:16 compared to ports build time of 4:47:21 for an decreased build time of 51% from using portbuilder.



Contact: Bernhard Froehlich <>

There was good progress in the last half a year and a lot of support from different parties to make redports a stable and fast service.

A long known security concern within tinderbox was raised at the BSD-Day in Vienna which was addressed by beat. That improves security and isolation of the concurrent running jobs a lot and gives me peace of mind.

We also recently got two beefy machines from the FreeBSD Foundation which increases computing power a lot. So no more backlogs and your jobs finish much quicker.

But as usual now that we have enough power I was able to make another promise come true and integrated Ports QAT functionality into redports. Ports QAT was an automated services that did a buildtest after each commit to the official FreeBSD ports tree. If a build fails it sends out mails and logfiles to the committer. That finds bad commits quickly and allows the committer to fix it before the first user notices. The former service stopped about 2 years ago and we had no proper replacement for that task at hand. Now that this is fully integrated into redports it also gives us all the nice benefits of a common platform.

Open tasks:

  1. Automatic build incoming patches from Ports PRs in redports and send results to GNATS database.
  2. People want an GCC testing environment on redports where all ports are build with lang/gcc47. To make that happen we need to patch the ports framework to handle that and correctly bootstrap with base GCC. This also gives us the possibility to build all our binary packages with a modern gcc and is easy to use for regular users. Contributors?

Xorg on FreeBSD


Contact: Martin Wilke <>
Contact: Koop Mast <>
Contact: Niclas Zeising <>
Contact: Eitan Adler <>

During the beginning of this period, an update to the xorg distribution for FreeBSD was made, dubbed xorg 7.5.2. This update included a new flag, WITH_NEW_XORG, to get a more recent xorg distribution for those with modern hardware. To get KMS support for recent Intel graphics chipsets WITH_KMS must also be set. This requires a recent FreeBSD 10-CURRENT or FreeBSD 9-STABLE.

Open tasks:

  1. Switch to use FreeGLUT instead of libGLUT, since the latter is old and has there is no upstream support or releases any more. Work on this is mostly done.
  2. Update the xorg distribution to what is in the development repository. The xorg project recently did a new release, and the development repository contains this release. It needs more testing before it can be merged, and a CFT was sent out in the beginning of June. Work on this is ongoing.
  3. Decide how to handle the new and old xorg distributions. In recent xorg, a lot of legacy driver support has been dropped, therefore we need to maintain two xorg distributions to not loose a lot of hardware drivers. Currently, this is done by setting the flag WITH_NEW_XORG in /etc/make.conf, but a more practical solution is needed. This is especially important since the flag is not very user friendly, and since there currently will be no official packages for the new distribution.


BSD-Day 2012

BSD-Day 2012 web site URL:
Video recordings of the talks at YouTube URL:
Event photo album URL:

Contact: G�bor P�li <>

For this year, we moved the time of the event earlier by six months, so it was held on May 5, 2012 and it was co-located with the Austrian Linuxweeks (Linuxwochen �sterreich) in Vienna. We had many sponsors, like the freshly joined FreeBSD Foundation, iXsystems, FreeBSDMall, BSD Magazine, Projekt, that enabled us to continue our previously launched series of multi-project BSD developer summits all around Central Europe.

To kick off, there was a "stammtisch" (local beer meetup) organized in the downtown of Vienna, at Kolar on the Friday evening before the event — as usual. Then it was followed by the event on Saturday that brought many interesting topics from the world of FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD: running NetBSD as an embedded system for managing VOIP applications, introduction to the Capsicum security framework, relayd(8), the load balancer and proxy solution for OpenBSD, status update of the developments around the FreeBSD ports tree, using DVCSs in clouds, firewalling with pfSense, and mfsBSD. Please consult the links in the report for the details.

News Home | Status Home