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This report covers FreeBSD-related projects between April and June 2013. This is the second of four reports planned for 2013.

The last three months have been very active for the FreeBSD developer community, including events such as BSDCan and the FreeBSD Developer Summit collocated with it (covered in a separate report, see the BSDCan Developer Summit Special) and BSD-Day 2013. It has also seen improvements from the top to the bottom of the FreeBSD system. Desktop users will be pleased to note work on improving the state of AMD GPUs and making the console interaction with kernel mode setting — required for recent xorg drivers — cleaner and from continued work to make binary packages easier to use. Developers will note continued improvements to our toolchain, with a new debugger being prepared for integration. Server users will benefit from various improvements to virtualization support and scalability in the kernel. Of course, the FreeBSD system is nothing without applications to run atop it, and this quarter has seen some tireless work by members of the ports team to ensure that users have a wide choice of desktop and development environments, with highlights from the GNOME, KDE, Xfce, and Haskell teams in this report.

Thanks to all the reporters for the excellent work! This report contains 33 entries and we hope you enjoy reading it.

The deadline for submissions covering between July and September 2013 is October 7th, 2013.

FreeBSD Team Reports




Userland Programs




Google Summer of Code


FreeBSD Team Reports

FreeBSD Core Team

Contact: FreeBSD Core Team <>

In the second quarter of 2013, the Core Team approved a new Security Officer, Dag-Erling Sm�rgrav and his deputy, Xin Li. The Core Team acknowledges Simon Nielsen, the outgoing Security Officer, for his work in the role. Peter Wemm took the lead on the reorganization and administration of the FreeBSD cluster, and with the Core Team's approval, Glen Barber and Ryan Steinmetz were welcomed to the cluster administration team.

Based on the recommendation and experiences of Martin Wilke, the Core Team also supported establishing a liaison role between port managers and release engineers in order to improve their communication, especially for preparing releases. The Core Team welcomes Bryan Drewery to this role.

Following up on the request from Eitan Adler, the Core Team agreed to remove CVS from the base system, which was soon followed by importing a lightweight version of Subversion tools, implemented by Peter Wemm.

There were src commit bits issued for 3 new developers and 1 existing committer received extension in this quarter.

FreeBSD Postmaster Team


Contact: FreeBSD Postmaster Team <>

In the second quarter of 2013, the FreeBSD Postmaster Team has implemented the following items that may be interest of the general public:

  • With help from clusteradm, found that unbound (the resolver used on mx1 and mx2) is configured to perform DNSSEC validation which implies that if a signed zone fails validation, unbound refuses to use the information. This had caused one person to be unable to exchange email with until the zone signatures were refreshed.
  • Created the freebsd-dtrace mailing list, requested by George Neville-Neil.
  • Resurrected the freebsd-testing mailing list, requested by Garrett Cooper.
  • Created the freebsd-tex mailing list, requested by Hiroki Sato.
  • In response to another comment that our message rejection message was unclear in the case that greylisting was the reason, re-worded that message.
  • Augmented the allowable MIME types for secteam with the following to permit sending encrypted messages:
    • application/pgp-encrypted
    • application/pkcs7-encrypted
    • application/x-pkcs7-encrypted
    • multipart/encrypted
  • Began replacing freebsd-mozilla with freebsd-gecko.

FreeBSD Release Engineering Team


Contact: FreeBSD Release Engineering Team <>

The FreeBSD�8.4-RELEASE cycle completed on June 7, 2013, approximately two months behind the original schedule. Please be sure to read the Errata Notices for any post-release issues discovered after 8.4-RELEASE.

The FreeBSD�9.2-RELEASE process will begin July 6, 2013. Unless any critical issues arise, FreeBSD�9.2-RELEASE is expected to be available late August or early September.

Users tracking the FreeBSD�9.X branch are encouraged to test the -BETA and -RC builds whenever possible, and provide feedback and report issues to the freebsd-stable mailing list.

FreeBSD Security Team


Contact: FreeBSD Security Team <>

On April 15th Dag-Erling Sm�rgrav and Xin Li took over as security officers for the FreeBSD Project, and the team welcomed Qing Li back to the team in June. This report briefly summarizes the work of the Security Team from April until the end of June.

The Security Team has released the following advisories:

  • FreeBSD-SA-13:05.nfsserver: Insufficient input validation in the NFS server (nfsd(8)), reported by Adam Nowacki.
  • FreeBSD-SA-13:06.mmap: Privilege escalation via mmap(), reported by Konstantin Belousov.

The Security Team has contributed to the following errata notices:

  • FreeBSD-EN-13:02.vtnet: Frames are not properly forwarded to vtnet(4) when two or more MAC addresses are configured on QEMU 1.4.0 and later in 8.4-RELEASE, reported by Julian Stecklina.
  • FreeBSD-EN-13:01.fxp: Initialization of fxp(4) network interfaces results in an infinite loop with dhclient(8) in 8.4-RELEASE, reported by Michael L. Squires.

Per the request of Baptiste Daroussin, the Security Team has also reviewed the source code of Poudriere, the port build and test system which is planned to be used for producing pkg(8) ("new-style") packages on the FreeBSD cluster.



PC-BSD Home Page URL:

Contact: Kris Moore <>

Progress on moving PC-BSD & TrueOS to a "rolling release" is happening quickly. We have implemented our own package repository, fully based on pkg(8), which is updated twice monthly, and are now hosting dedicated freebsd-update(8) systems. In addition to the 9.1-RELEASE ISO images, we have begun to create a 9-STABLE branch as well, using freebsd-update(8) to push out the latest world and kernel binaries on a monthly basis.

We are currently working on an implementation of ZFS Boot Environments for desktops and servers. These users to install updates or experimental versions in separate ZFS clones and select the one to run at boot time, providing an easy way of testing upgrades before deployment.

Virtual Private Systems


Contact: Klaus Ohrhallinger <>

VPS for FreeBSD is an OS-level based virtualization implementation that supports advanced features like live migration. It has been recently imported into the Project's Subversion repository as a project branch. The code is currently of alpha quality.

Open tasks:

  1. Test with many different guest setups/applications. All feedback is highly appreciated.


AMD GPU Kernel Mode-setting Support

Project status on the wiki URL:

Contact: Jean-S�bastien P�dron <>
Contact: Konstantin Belousov <>

Due to non-FreeBSD-related activities from April to end of June, the project progressed slowly:

  • Some important problems in TTM were fixed and several others are being worked out. Applications affected by these bugs are non-linear video editing software (which do not use Xv to preview the video) or "screen" of VirtualBox, for instance.
  • Regarding the locking issue with OpenGL, no work has been done yet. glxgears works but some modern desktop environments or WebGL demos hang. Once TTM bugs described above are fixed, this is the next target.
  • Patches to Mesa to make it build out-of-the-box were submitted upstream. As of writing, some were committed but not all of them. Additionally, as result of a joint work with Jonathan Gray (of OpenBSD), Mesa should work on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and hopefully on other BSD flavors without additional patches.

Several users tested the driver. Andriy Gapon, Jonathan Gray, and Mark Kettenis (of OpenBSD) submitted patches. kyzh kindly donated several discrete cards from different series. A big thanks to all those contributors!

The driver is still not stable enough for a wider call for testers.

Open tasks:

  1. Write instructions for the wiki to explain how to test the driver.

Improved TCP SYN Cookies

Description URL:
Patch URL:

Contact: Andre Oppermann <>

We have had a SYN cookie implementation for quite some time now but it has some limitations with current realities for window scaling and SACK encoding the in the few available bits.

This patch updates and improves SYN cookies mainly by:

  1. Encoding of MSS, WSCALE (window scaling) and SACK into the ISN (initial sequence number) without the use of timestamp bits.
  2. Switching to the very fast and cryptographically strong SipHash-2-4 hash MAC algorithm to protect the SYN cookie against forgery.

The common parameters used on TCP sessions have changed quite a bit since SYN cookies were invented some 17 years ago. Today we have a lot more bandwidth which makes use of window scaling almost mandatory. Also SACK has become standard as it makes recovering from packet loss much more efficient.

The original SYN cookies method only stored an indexed MSS value in the cookie. This obviously is not sufficient any more and breaks in the presence of WSCALE. WSCALE information is only exchanged during SYN and SYN-ACK. If we cannot keep track of it then we severely underestimate the available send or receive window, compounded with the fact that with large window scaling the window size information on the TCP segment header would be even lower numerically.

A number of years back, SYN cookies were extended to store the additional state in the TCP timestamp fields, if available on a connection. It has been adopted by Linux as well. While timestamps are common among the BSD, Linux and other Unix systems, Windows never enabled them by default, thus they are not present for the vast majority of clients seen on the Internet.

The new improvement in this patch moves all necessary information into the ISN again, removing the need for timestamps. Both the MSS and send WSCALE are stored in 3 bit indexed form together with a single bit for SACK. While we cannot represent all possible MSS and WSCALE values in only 3 bits each (both are 16-bit fields in the TCP header), it turns out that is not actually necessary.

These improvements allow one to run with SYN cookies only on Internet-facing servers. However while SYN cookies are calculated and sent all the time, they are only used when the syn cache overflows due to attacks or overload. In that case though, you can rest assured that no significant degradation in TCP connection setup happens any more and that even Windows clients can make use of window scaling and SACK.

Open tasks:

  1. Additional testing on busy servers.

Multi-threaded Pagedaemon


Contact: Konstantin Belousov <>

This project aims to improve scalability of the virtual memory subsystem. Based on a prototype change from Jeff Roberson, per-domain page queues and per-domain pagedaemon working threads have been implemented to enable this. At the moment, the domains coincide with the NUMA proximity domains, but this is not neccessary and could be improved with further separation to allow more parallelism in the pagedaemon.

The patch is relatively simple, with the most delicate parts being the page laundry and OOM logic, which requires coordination between all pagedaemon threads to prevent false triggering.

Testing on diverse workloads and on real multi-socket machines is required.

This project is sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Debug on multi-domain NUMA machine.
  2. Test, get review and commit.

Native iSCSI Stack


Contact: Edward Tomasz Napierała <>

The native kernel iSCSI target and initiator project progressed well over the April to June period. The primary focus was to introduce support for iSER (iSCSI over RDMA) in both the initiator and the target. Prerequisite for this was merging some common parts together and implementing a workaround for the lack of iSER support in userspace. Apart from that, there were a myriad of smaller improvements. Such as creating more user-friendly administration utilities, for example iscsictl(8) which displays SCSI device nodes for each iSCSI session. This frees the user from getting the same information through camcontrol(8). There are also improvements in logging and manual pages.

Once the iSER support becomes stable, the work will focus on performance optimizations. The plan is to commit both the new initiator and target in August to allow shipping them in 10.0. The project will continue with implementing support for software iWARP stack (useful mostly for testing and development), SCSI passthrough and various other improvements.

This project is being sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Performance optimization.
  2. Merge to FreeBSD head.

Newcons Reboot

Contact: Aleksandr Rybalko <>

The purpose of the Newcons project is to provide a new interface for console and video output to graphic devices. This will allow simple drivers access the console and terminal mode early, and framebuffer access for xorg. Drivers will not need embedded font bitmaps, color maps, or mouse cursor bitmaps, as the whole infrastructure will be provided by the vt(4) Newcons driver.

As the project includes Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) integration, one of the goals is support for modern Xorg releases, allowing the kernel to switch back to virtual terminal mode after graphics mode or resolution used with xorg changes.

There are a lot of changes involved in the project. Main tasks include:

  • Core functionality (almost done).
  • Mouse support.
  • KMS (kernel mode setting) support.
  • USB keyboard support.
  • Splash screen support (partially working).
  • Driver support.
  • vidcontrol(1) support.

The first deliverables of the project, including moused(8), ukbd(4), and KMS support are expected to arrive around the middle or end of August 2013. The whole project is expected to complete in November 2013.

This project is being sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Many thanks to Ed Schouten who started Newcons project and did most of the work.

Open tasks:

  1. Provide different flavors of hardware for testing the implementation. Do not hesitate to volunteer when a call for testing is announced.

Realtek RTL8188CU/RTL8192CU USB Wireless Driver

Contact: Rui Paulo <>
Contact: Kevin Lo <>

The urtwn(4) driver was imported from OpenBSD. This is a driver for very small Realtek USB WiFi cards which are pretty inexpensive and can do 802.11n at the maximum theoretical speed of 150 Mbps. They make a good addition to embedded systems such as the Raspberry Pi and the BeagleBone. The driver requires firmware that is available in the FreeBSD Ports Collection (net/urtwn-firmware-kmod). Note that 802.11n is not yet supported.

SDIO Driver

SDIO project page on the FreeBSD wiki URL:
Source code URL:

Contact: Ilya Bakulin <>

SDIO is an interface designed as an extension for the existing SD card standard, to allow connecting different peripherals to the host with the standard SD controller. Peripherals currently sold at the general market include WLAN/BT modules, cameras, fingerprint readers, barcode scanners. The driver is implemented as an extension to the existing MMC bus, adding a lot of new SDIO-specific bus methods. Getting information about the card works, including querying all the supported I/O functions. Simple byte transfers and multi-byte reads work.

A prototype of the driver for Marvell SDIO WLAN/BT module is also being developed, using the existing Linux driver as a reference.

Open tasks:

  1. Extend MMC bus interface with more SDIO-specific bus methods to allow child drivers to perform multi-byte in/out transfers.
  2. Write firmware loading code for the prototype of the WLAN driver. Further work on the WLAN driver should probably be done as a separate project.
  3. Implement detach path. It has not been tested yet because the DreamPlug hardware available does not have an external SDIO-capable slot.

V4L2 Update in the Linuxulator


Contact: Alexander Leidinger <>

The V4L2 support in the linuxulator was updated in FreeBSD head. This lets Skype v4 display video.

Open tasks:

  1. Find out why audio in Skype v4 stops working after some calls.

Wireless Networking Improvements


Contact: Adrian Chadd <>

Recently the FreeBSD wireless networking stack has received updates in the following areas:

  • Improved transmit locking in net80211(4) to eliminate a whole class of subtle race conditions leading to out-of-order packets being handed to the driver.
  • Spectral scan (FFT) information is now available for the AR9280, AR9285, AR9287 series NICs.
  • Added support for AR93xx, AR94xx, AR95xx NICs — hostap, adhoc and station modes have been tested, including 3x3 stream support for the those NICs where appropriate.
  • Implemented ps-poll handling in hostap mode. This was required for correct behaviour with stations that implement aggressive power save.
  • Added AR933x SoC support — including all on-board peripherals — the Carambola-2 board is now fully supported and will run FreeBSD from NOR flash.

Xen Support Improvements

Git repository URL:;a=summary

Contact: Justin T. Gibbs <>
Contact: Will Andrews <>
Contact: Andre Oppermann <>
Contact: Roger Pau Monn� <>

FreeBSD Xen HVM can be further improved by using more PV interfaces inside a HVM guest. So far the following items have been completed:

  • Update Xen interface files. (Merged into head)
  • Add support for the vector callback injection mechanism. This replaces the PCI interrupt and provides a per-cpu callback, which was not possible when using the PCI interrupt.
  • Rework event channel implementation and use the same code paths for both PV and PVHVM.
  • Implement PV one-shot event timers and timecounters.
  • Implement PV IPIs.
  • Live migration support for PV timers and PV IPIs.

With this changes, FreeBSD will have a complete PVHVM port, this will also set the ground for a future PVH port (when PVH support is merged into Xen).

PVHVM allows a virtual machine that boots as a native guest to be able to take full advantage of paravirtualized drivers, giving a performance improvement in most I/O related tasks. PVH allows a guest to take advantage of hardware assistance for memory management, but uses fully paravirtualized events and boot procedure, which brings two significant advantages beyond performance. The first is that domain 0 does not have to run a QEMU instance for emulated boot for PVH guests, which is a common reason for hosting providers to charge more for Windows and other HVM guests. The second is that PVH domains can be used as domain 0, without requiring different pmap (memory management) code from the conventional kernel. This will allow us to ship a single kernel binary supporting bare metal hardware, running as a Xen unprivileged guest, and eventually as Xen domain 0.

Further improvements on blkfront and netfront have also been commited:

  • Fix netfront crash when detaching an interface.
  • Enable netfront to specify a maximum TSO length limiting the segment chain to what the Xen host side can handle after defragmentation.
  • Add barriers and flush support to blkfront.

Netfront changes have been merged to stable branches, blkfront changes are only in head.

Open tasks:

  1. Merge remaining changes into head.

ZFS TRIM and Enhanced BIO_DELETE Support

Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <>
Contact: Steven Hartland <>

As of the end of June, FreeBSD's ZFS implementation now includes TRIM support in head, stable/9, and stable/8 branches. This allows ZFS to help maintain high performance on flash-based devices such as SSD's even under high-load conditions.

When creating new pools and adding new devices to existing pools it first performs a full-device level TRIM to help ensure optimum starting performance. This behaviour can be overridden by setting the vfs.zfs.vdev.trim_on_init sysctl variable to 0 if for example the disks are new or have already been secure erased, which can also now be done using camcontrol(8) security actions.

In order to support TRIM, the kernel requires the underlying device driver supports BIO_DELETE. This is currently mapped through to hardware methods such as ATA TRIM and SCSI UNMAP, which are commonly supported by SSDs via CAM.

In order to increase the supported hardware base, CAM's SCSI layer was also enhanced to allow ATA TRIM via SATL ATA Passthrough to be used in addition to the existing UNMAP and WS methods. This allows SATA disks attached to SCSI controllers with CAM based drivers such as mps(4) and mpt(4) to provide delete support.

Stats for ZFS TRIM can be monitored by looking at the sysctl variables under kstat.zfs.misc.zio_trim in addition to live GEOM delete stats via the gstat -d command.

This project was sponsored by Multiplay and implemented by Pawel Jakub Dawidek.


Intel IOMMU (VT-d, DMAR) Support


Contact: Konstantin Belousov <>

Intel VT-d is a set of extensions that were originally designed to allow virtualizing devices. It allows safe access to physical devices from virtual machines and can also be used for better isolation and performance increases. A VT-d driver was developed that implements the busdma(9) interface using the DMA Remap units (DMARs) found in current Intel chipsets. The driver provides reliability and security improvements for the system by facilitating restricted access to main memory from busmastering devices.

It also eliminates bounce buffering (copying) by allocating remapped regions that satisfy a device's access limitations.

With additional work to define a suitable interface the VT-d driver will also provide PCI pass-through functionality for hypervisors.

This project is sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Implement workarounds for chipset errata.
  2. Commit to HEAD after additional testing.
  3. Rebalance MSI/MSI-X using interrupt remapping unit, also required for x2APIC use on big machines.
  4. Integrate with the Intel GPU MMU and handle Ironlake and SandyBridge errata for the GFXVTd unit.
  5. Provide an interface for VMM (hypervisors).
  6. Consider implementing a driver for AMD's IOMMU.

Superpages for ARMv7


Contact: Zbigniew Bodek <>
Contact: Grzegorz Bernacki <>
Contact: Rafal Jaworowski <>

The ARM architecture is becoming more and more prevalent, with increasing usage beyond the mobile and embedded space. Among the more interesting industry trends emerging in the recent months, there has been the concept of "ARM server". Some top-tier companies, e.g. Dell and HP, have already started to develop such systems.

Key to success of FreeBSD in these new areas is dealing with the sophisticated features of the platform, for example adding support for superpages.

The objective of this project is to enable FreeBSD/arm to utilize superpages which would allow efficient use of TLB translations (by enlarging TLB coverage), leading to improved performance in many applications and scalability. This is intended to work on ARMv7-based processors, however compatibility with ARMv6 will be preserved.

The following steps have been made since the last status report:

  • Implement pmap_copy() to support fork() system calls.
  • Support for multiple page sizes.
  • Implement superpage creation, promotion, demotion, and eviction mechanisms.
  • Implement PV entry management for superpages.
  • Partially integrate code to the head branch.

Next steps:

  • Test and benchmark.
  • Complete integration into FreeBSD head.

This project is jointly sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation and Semihalf.

Open tasks:

  1. Start utilizing superpages on ARMv6/v7.
  2. Find bugs and debug.

Userland Programs

bsdconfig(8) and sysrc(8)


Contact: Devin Teske <>

New utilities have been introduced in FreeBSD base system: bsdconfig(8) and sysrc(8). bsdconfig(8) is a replacement for the post-install abilities of deprecated sysinstall(8), while sysrc(8) is a robust utility for managing rc.conf(5) from the command line without a text editor.

bsnmpd(1) Support in hastd(8)


Contact: Mikolaj Golub <>

A hastd(8) module for bsnmpd(1) has been committed to FreeBSD head and merged to the stable/8 and stable/9 branches recently. This module makes it possible to monitor and manage hastd(8) via the SNMP protocol.



Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <>
Contact: Capsicum Mailing List <>

Capsicum, a lightweight OS capability and sandboxing framework, is being actively worked on. In the last few months the following tasks have been completed:

  • Committed Capsicum overhaul to FreeBSD head (r247602). This allows to use capability rights in more places, simplifies kernel code and implements ability to limit ioctl(2) and fcntl(2) system calls.
  • hastd(8) is now using Capsicum for sandboxing, as whitelisting ioctls is possible (r248297).
  • auditdistd(8) is now using Capsicum for sandboxing, as it is now possible to setup append-only restriction on file descriptor (available in Perforce).
  • Implemented connectat(2) and bindat(2) system calls for UNIX domain sockets that are allowed in capability mode (r247667).
  • Implemented chflagsat(2) system call (r248599).
  • Revised the Casper daemon for application capabilities.
  • Implemented libcapsicum for application capabilities.
  • Implemented various Casper services to be able to use more functionality within a sandbox: system.dns, system.pwd, system.grp, system.random, system.filesystem, system.socket, system.sysctl.
  • Implemented Capsicum sandboxing for kdump(1) (from r251073 to r251167). The version in Perforce also supports sandboxing for the -r flag, using Casper services.
  • Implemented Capsicum sandboxing for dhclient(8) (from r252612 to r252697).
  • Implemented Capsicum sandboxing for tcpdump(8) (available in Perforce).
  • Implemented Capsicum sandboxing for libmagic(3) (available in Perforce).
  • Implemented the libnv library for name/value pairs handling in the hope of wider adaptation across FreeBSD.

For Capsicum-based sandboxing in the FreeBSD base system, the commits referenced above and the provided code aim to serve as examples. We would like to see more FreeBSD tools to be sandboxed — every tool that can parse data from untrusted sources, for example. This requires deep understanding of how the tool in question works, not necessarily only Capsicum.

This work is being sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Get involved, make the Internet finally(!) a secure place. Contact us at the cl-capsicum-discuss mailing list, where we can provide guidelines on how to do sandboxing properly. The fame is there, waiting.

LLDB Debugger Port


Contact: Ed Maste <>

LLDB is the the debugger project in the LLVM family. It supports the Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD platforms, but the latter has recently suffered under a lack of maintenance.

After cleaning bit rot in LLDB's FreeBSD support, it again builds and can be used for basic debugging of single-threaded applications. The test suite also runs to completion, although it experiences a large number of failures.

Ed Maste has been granted an LLDB commit bit, and is now committing ongoing bug fixes and development directly to the upstream repository. There is a significant amount of work still to be done, with one goal being the incorporation of lldb into the base system.

This project is sponsored by DARPA/AFRL in collaboration with SRI International and the University of Cambridge.

Open tasks:

  1. Add support for multithreaded processes.
  2. Fix watchpoints.
  3. Add support for remote debuging (gdbserver / debugserver).
  4. Add support for core files.
  5. Add support for kernel debugging.
  6. Verify i386 and ARM architectures.
  7. Implement MIPS target support.
  8. Verify cross-debugging.
  9. Investigate and fix test suite failures.
  10. Prepare lldb for incorporation into the base system.


FreeBSD Haskell Ports

FreeBSD Haskell wiki page URL:
FreeBSD Haskell ports repository URL:
Experimental pkg(8) package repositories 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 2013.2.0.0, GHC to 7.6.3, as well as updated existing ports to their latest stable versions. In this update, we provided experimental support for LLVM-based code generation (disabled by default) to Haskell ports. We also added a number of new ports, which brings their count in the FreeBSD Ports Collection to 402, and now Haskell ports play nicer with portmaster(8)-based upgrades.

In cooperation with Konstantin Belousov and Dimitry Andric, we have managed to unbreak the build of GHC on 32-bit 10.x systems, so we have packages for 10.x again. However, it turned out that this bug (in thread signal delivery) can also affect the building process for other platforms as well, which explains some of the strange build breakages our users experienced in the past.

We have also learned that there is ongoing work in the GHC upstream which will allow us to provide support for building with Clang natively once GHC�7.8 becomes part of the Haskell Platform.

Open tasks:

  1. Test experimental Clang/LLVM code generation support to enable it by default.
  2. Commit pending Haskell ports to the ports tree.
  3. Port more (popular) Cabal packages.



Contact: FreeBSD GNOME Team <>

The GNOME�3.6 work is moving along slowly but steadily. Almost all the GNOME�3 desktop ports were updated to their corresponding 3.6 versions.

A big challenge was taken by getting the webkit-gtk3 port updated to 2.0.3. Currently programs using webkit-gtk3 crash on launch. It is hard to find the causes as the debug build of webkit-gtk either runs out of memory or disk space on the developement system used.

Open tasks:

  1. Update the FreeBSD GNOME website with recent changes in the ports tree, add new items in preparation for GNOME�3 and Mate, etc.
  2. Merge Glib 2.36, GTK+ 3.8 and related ports back to the Ports Collection.
  3. Continue work on GNOME�3.6, fix bugs and write code for missing features.
  4. Complete the port of MATE.


KDE/FreeBSD home page URL:
area51 URL:

Contact: KDE FreeBSD <>

The KDE/FreeBSD Team has continued to improve the experience of KDE software and Qt under FreeBSD. During this quarter, the team has kept most of the KDE and Qt ports up-to-date, working on the following releases:

  • KDE SC: 4.10.2, 4.10.3, 4.10.4
  • Qt: 5.0.2 (area51)
  • PyQt: 4.10.2; QScintilla 2.7.2; SIP: 4.14.7
  • KDevelop: 4.5.1
  • Calligra: 2.6.2
  • CMake:
  • Digikam (and KIPI-plugins): 3.1.0, 3.2.0
  • KDE Telepathy: 0.6.0, 0.6.1

As a result — according to PortScoutkde@ has 473 ports (up from 431), of which 98.73% are up-to-date (up from 93.5%). iXsystems Inc. continues to provided a machine for the team to build packages and to test updates. iXsystems Inc. has been providing the KDE/FreeBSD Team with support for quite a long time and we are very grateful for that. This quarter, we would also like to thank Steve Wills (swills@) for providing access to another machine so that we can do our work even faster.

While a great deal of the team's efforts are focused towards packaging released code, we also take a proactive stand in making sure future versions of the software we port is also going to work well on FreeBSD. This involves being in close contact with upstream, raising awareness of FreeBSD as an active project and also sending actual patches that most of the time benefit many other operating systems besides FreeBSD itself. In this regard, we have been dedicating a lot of time making sure both clang and libc++ are fully supported in KDE and Qt. Not only has this resulted in many patches being sent to these projects, but the exposure to these large code bases have been beneficial to the Clang-on-FreeBSD project as well. Dimitry Andric (dim@) has been of great help as a point of contact for all the issues we have faced.

As usual, the team is always looking for more testers and porters so please contact us and visit our home page. It would be especially useful to have more helping hands on tasks such as getting rid of the dependency on the defunct HAL project and providing integration with KDE's Bluedevil Bluetooth interface.

Open tasks:

  1. Update out-of-date ports, see PortScout for a list.
  2. Work on KDE 4.11 and Qt 5.
  3. Make sure the whole KDE stack (including Qt) builds and works correctly with clang and libc++.
  4. Remove the dependency on HAL.



Contact: FreeBSD Xfce Team <>

The FreeBSD Xfce Team has updated its ports to the latest stable releases, especially:

  • Core (mostly bugfixes and translation updates):
    • deskutils/xfce4-tumbler (0.1.29)
    • x11-wm/xfce4-panel (4.10.1)
    • sysutils/xfce4-settings (4.10.1)
    • x11-wm/xfce4-session (4.10.1)
    • sysutils/garcon (0.2.1)
    • x11/libxfce4util (4.10.1)
    • x11-wm/xfce4-wm (4.10.1)
  • Applications:
    • multimedia/xfce4-parole (0.5.1)
    • www/midori (0.5.2)
    • deskutils/xfce4-notifyd (0.2.4)
    • misc/xfce4-appfinder (4.10.1)
    • x11/xfce4-terminal (0.6.2)
    • x11-fm/thunar (1.6.3)
  • Panel plugins:
    • deskutils/xfce4-xkb-plugin (0.5.6)
    • textproc/xfce4-dict-plugin (0.7.0)
    • x11-clocks/xfce4-timer-plugin (1.5.0)
    • x11/xfce4-embed-plugin (new)
  • Thunar plugins:
    • audio/thunar-media-tags-plugin (0.2.1)
    • archivers/thunar-archive-plugin (0.3.1)
  • x11/xfce4-embed-plugin can integrate any application window into the Xfce panel.
  • A new plugin is also available which monitors and displays earthquakes, it is called xfce4-equake-plugin.

Open tasks:

  1. Fix CPU issue with textproc/xfce4-dict-plugin (bug #10103).
  2. Investigate why midori-gtk3 crashes too often. (The port is finished, but some libraries are not present by default in ports tree).
  3. Fix x11-themes/gtk-xfce-engine with Gtk+ >=3.6.

xorg on FreeBSD


Contact: <>
Contact: Niclas Zeising <>
Contact: Koop Mast <>

During the beginning of this quarter, work focused on making the xorg update as robust and stable as possible in preparation for the merge to ports. As a part of this, ports exp-runs were performed to find and resolve regressions and other issues. Once this was completed, xorg was updated to version 7.7 on May 25, after more than a year of hard work.

After the update, work immediately shifted to focus on updating and patching xorg client libraries, since numerous security issues had been identified in those. Unfortunately, this took a little longer than anticipated, but all fixes were comitted eventually.

There has also been work on making the new xorg distribution the default for FreeBSD�9.1 and later. A patch was sent out and tested with good results, but this is currently postponed because switching virtual terminals is not working with the KMS driver.

Currently, work is focusing on keeping xorg drivers and libraries up to date. Instead of making big updates every year or less, minor updates to some libraries, applications and drivers happen fairly regularly. Focus is also starting to shift towards newer versions of MESA and xorg-server, but this is still very experimental.

Open tasks:

  1. Continue the porting effort of recent versions of MESA. This is ongoing work, but integrating this into the development repo is hard work. Once this is completed, and KMS support for ATI is more mature, more testing can be done.
  2. Port Wayland. The future of graphical environments in open source operating system seems to be Wayland. This needs to be ported to FreeBSD so that a wider audience can test it, and so that it eventually can be integrated into the ports tree, perhaps as a replacement for the current xorg.
  3. Look into replacements for HAL. HAL is used for hot-plugging of devices, but it has been long abandoned by Linux. A replacement, perhaps built on top of devd(8), would be nice to have. This work should be coordinated with the FreeBSD GNOME and KDE teams.


Upgrading the Documentation Set to DocBook 5.0

Contact: G�bor K�vesd�n <>

The Documentation Project has been using old versions of markup standards until recently when we switched to a real XML toolchain and DocBook 4.5. However, we still depend on obsolete technologies — DSSSL and Jade. DocBook 5.0 provides cleaner markup and some nice new features.

The objective of this project is to upgrade the documentation set to DocBook 5.0 and to find a way to properly render our sources without using DSSSL, since the DSSSL stylesheets are discontinued and cannot render DocBook 5.0. The documentation sources have already been successfully transformed to DocBook 5.0 and updates to the rendering process are under development. The common opinion among FreeBSD developers is that Java is a heavy dependency that should be avoided. This has suggested the transformation of DocBook sources to TeX and use TeX as a rendering backend. There are two ways to do this; the sources can be transformed either directly or through the XSL FO output generated by the stylesheets provided for the DocBook Project. The latter approach has been chosen as a preferred way since it better fits the existing documentation infrastructure and provides easier customization.

This project is generously funded by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Finish the implementation of the rendering process.
  2. Integrate the rendering solution into the infrastructure.
  3. Merge back changes to head.


BSD-Day 2013

BSD-Day 2013 web site URL:
YouTube playlist of talks URL:
Event photo album URL:

Contact: G�bor P�li <>

The BSD-Day is a now recurring excuse for BSD developers and users to meet up in person, share some beers and talk about what they are working on these days. There was a detour this year to visit the beautiful city of Naples of Italy, the home of pizza. Fortunately, the event has again gained support from numerous and generous sponsors, such as The FreeBSD Foundation, the EMC Corporation, iXsystems, FreeBSDMall, BSD Magazine, and many others which enabled us to cover the costs of travel and accommodation for the speakers. We are really grateful for this.

Similarly to the previous years, the whole event started with a dinner in the downtown (somewhere around the Irish Pub) on Friday which suddenly turned into a do-it-yourself pizza-fest. Then it was followed by the Saturday event at the Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging. There we had a lot of attendees for the associated BSDA exam in the morning — 8 persons. The event itself had many interesting topics as well, for example moving MCLinker into the BSD world, organization and culture of the FreeBSD Project, the new callout(9) framework, building and testing ports with Poudriere and Tinderbox, FreeBSD in the embedded space, or building reliable VPN networks with OpenBSD. See the links in the report for more.

Google Summer of Code

New Capsicum Features


Contact: Mariusz Zaborski <>
Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <>

Capsicum is a lightweight OS capability and sandboxing framework implemented in FreeBSD. This is still a new technology, so there is a lot of space for improvements. Thanks to the Google Summer of Code program and Pawel Jakub Dawidek for volunteering as mentor, Mariusz will have the chance to work on this project in the summer.

The work on sandboxing the rwho(1) and rwhod(8) utilities was completed recently. There is also a plan to implement two new modules for Casper. Casper is a daemon to provide services for applications using Capsicum's capability mode. Some experimentation with implementing two new capability rights is in progress, so is porting one more program to use the existing features of the Capsicum framework.

Open tasks:

  1. system.unix — a Casper module provides connect and listen on Unix domain socket.
  2. system.udp — a Casper module enabling connect, listen, send, and receive of UDP packets.
  3. Implementing sandboxing for fetch(1).
  4. Introduce new capability rights: CAP_SEND_RIGHTS and CAP_RECV_RIGHTS.

Qt and GTK+ Frontends for pkg(8)


Contact: Justin Muniz <>
Contact: Eitan Adler <>

This project is part of Google Summer of Code. Work has only just begun, and the code is in its infancy. The Subversion repository holds experimental code that is actively being developed. Development should be concluded before the end of September, and the project will enter the maintenance phase of its life cycle.

Open tasks:

  1. Work with Matt Windsor to create a pkg(8) backend for PackageKit.
  2. Extend PackageKit's Qt frontend to offer more functionality through pkg(8).
  3. Extend PackageKit's GKT+ frontend to offer more functionality through pkg(8).


The FreeBSD Foundation


Contact: Deb Goodkin <>

We started the quarter with our "Raise a Million — Spend a Million" Spring Fundraiser. This was the first of three major fundraisers scheduled for the year. We were pleased to have raised $365,291 by the end of the campaign — May 31. Last year, by the same time, we had raised only $56,196. We have started this year off with a much better fundraising strategy. We want to send a big thank you to everyone out there that has made a donation in 2013. Your early donations have made a significant impact on our fundraising endeavors so far this year.

Some things we accomplished this last quarter are:

  • Attended BSDCan in Ottawa, Texas LinuxFest in Austin, SouthEast LinuxFest in Charlotte, and ICANN 46 meeting in Beijing.
  • We were a Gold Sponsor for BSDCan 2013 and sponsored 7 developers to attend the conference.
  • We signed up to be a Platinum Sponsor for EuroBSDCon 2013.
  • We sponsored 1 developer to attend OpenHelp.
  • Recognized Mark Linimon, Simon L. B. Nielsen, Bjoern A. Zeeb, and Ken Smith, at BSDCan, for their significant contributions to FreeBSD. We also recognized Dan Langille for his tireless effort of putting on BSDCan for 10 years.
  • We sponsored the developer and vendor summits at BSDCan, with 100 and 30 attendees respectively.
  • We sponsored BSD-Day 2013 that was held in Naples, Italy on April 6.
  • We held our annual board meeting in Ottawa.
  • We sponsored the following projects: Capsicum, ARM Superpages, iSCSI, Page Queue Locking, Input/Output Memory Management Unit, Documentation project infrastructure, and writing white papers.
  • We hired Edward Tomasz Napierała as the second member of our technical staff to work on FreeBSD projects full-time.
  • We hired Ed Maste as Director of Project Development.
  • With our continued support of building out the FreeBSD infrastructure, we purchased high-end servers for the Sentex Lab to be used with the latest 40 Gbps Ethernet cards from Chelsio to do performance testing and analysis, smaller servers for firewalls for NYI and ISC, and cables to connect our Juniper switches together into a bigger Juniper switch we purchased for NYI.

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