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This report covers FreeBSD-related projects between July and September 2013. This is the third of four reports planned for 2013.

We have had another very active three months in the FreeBSD world, including two Developer Summits (BSDCam and EuroBSDcon) that will be covered in separate status reports. FreeBSD continues to push hard on security, with improvements to both the performance and reliability of the random number generation, and more compartmentalisation in programs in the base system. For developers, there is work on a new modern debugger. There is also a significant amount of of modernization in the support for Objective-C and Ada via ports, making FreeBSD a first-rate platform for developing in either language, in addition to the existing C++11 and C11 support already present in the base system. Server users will be pleased to see improvements in the iSCSI stack and scalability allowing over a million I/O operations per second on commodity hardware, while desktop users will see improvements in X support for new GPUs and for possible X replacements.

Thanks to all the reporters for the excellent work! This report contains 30 entries and we hope you enjoy reading it.

The deadline for submissions covering between October and December 2013 is January 14th, 2014.

FreeBSD Team Reports




Userland Programs



Google Summer of Code


FreeBSD Team Reports

FreeBSD Core Team

Contact: FreeBSD Core Team <>

In the third quarter of 2013, the Core Team focused on officially launching, the Project's official pkg(8) repository, in cooperation with the Ports Management Team, the Security Team, and the Cluster Administration Team. At the same time, there are plans to gradually deprecate the use of the old pkg_add(1), allowing pkg(8) to be the default binary package management solution for FreeBSD, arriving with 10.0-RELEASE. Thomas Abthorpe has been appointed to the role of liaison between the Core Team and the Ports Management Team, in order to make the collaboration more effective.

David Chisnall has joined the group that publishes the Quarterly Status reports and compiled a special status report on the results of the BSDCan�2013 Developer Summit. David also took the lead role on the organization of an off-season developer summit in Cambridge, UK, which was finally held at the end of August. For the items discussed in Cambridge, preparation of a detailed report is still in progress.

There were src commit bits issued for 5 new developers and most of the src commits being idle more than 12 months have been taken into safekeeping as result of a major cleanup to the repository access file in July, performed by Gavin Atkinson.

FreeBSD Ports Management Team


Contact: FreeBSD Ports Management Team <>

The ports tree contains approximately 24,400 ports, while the PR count exceeds 1,900. In the third quarter, we added four new committers and took in six commit bits for safekeeping.

A significant amount of effort has gone into tweaking and manipulating the infrastructure to modernize and update it, in preperation for pkg(8) replacing the old pkg_add(1) infrastructure, as well as preparing for FreeBSD�10.0 with Clang as default compiler, libc++ as the default C++ standard library, and iconv(1) integrated into libc.

Automated procedures for quality assurance have been implemented, notably pkg-fallout. All porters are encouraged to subscribe to the associated mailing list (see links), and do their part to fix ports for pkg(8) and Clang readiness.

Many iterations of tests were run to ensure that as many packages as possible would be available for the 9.2 release.

Open tasks:

  1. Most ports PRs are assigned, we now need to focus on testing, committing, and closing.

FreeBSD Postmaster Team


Contact: FreeBSD Postmaster Team <>

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

  • Created the freebsd-fortran list, requested by Anton Shterenlikht.
  • Created the freebsd-pkg-fallout list, requested by Baptiste Daroussin.
  • Created the freebsd-users-jp list, requested by Hiroki Sato
  • Retired the freebsd-mozilla list, requested by Florian Smeets.
  • Worked with the FreeBSD Cluster Administrators to enable TLS support on incoming and outgoing mail servers.
  • Started discussions and exploration of current and possible future mail and spam filtering.
  • Started the process for retiring the aic7xxx mailing list. Completion of this is scheduled for 12 October 2013.

FreeBSD Release Engineering Team

FreeBSD�9.2-RELEASE schedule URL:
FreeBSD�10.0-RELEASE schedule URL:
FreeBSD�Virtual Machine Images URL:
FreeBSD�Development Snapshots URL:

Contact: FreeBSD Release Engineering Team <>

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has completed the 9.2-RELEASE process. The release cycle changed with a last-minute addition of 9.2-RC4. The 9.2-RELEASE was announced September 30, four weeks behind the original schedule.

The FreeBSD�10.0-RELEASE cycle has started, and testing is strongly encouraged. For testing purposes, both installation images and virtual machine images exist on the FreeBSD�Project FTP servers.

Open tasks:

  1. Test 10.0-CURRENT and report problems.


Static Code Analysis

Coverity Scan URL:
Clang Static Analyzer Scan for FreeBSD URL:
Clang Static Analyzer Home Page URL:

Contact: Ulrich Spoerlein <>

With our own (old and unstable) instance of Coverity Prevent gone, we have now fully transitioned to the Scan project run by Coverity (see links), which Open Source projects can use to learn about possible defects in their source code.

We also continue to run our code base through the Static Analyzer that is shipped with Clang/LLVM. It cannot track the state of the code over time, but has the benefit that everyone can use it without any special setup. See the home page at the links section for more information on the Clang Static Analyzer project in general, and head over to the FreeBSD Clang Static Analyzer Scan page (see links) to see those possible defects (no signup required).

We are looking for a co-admin for both of these projects to increase the bus-factor and the chance of survival for these services. Fame and fortune await!

Open tasks:

  1. Maybe turn on email reports for new defects to the internal list of FreeBSD developers.
  2. Find co-admin.
  3. Fix the defects reported by Coverity and Clang.


AES-NI Improvements for GELI


Contact: John-Mark Gurney <>

An enhancement to the AES-NI implementation for OpenCrypto, the kernel's cryptography framework, has been committed that significantly improves AES-XTS and AES-CBC decryption performance. This gives geli(8) around a three times performance boost on gnop(8) using AES-XTS compared to the old code.

These improvements are available to users of the OpenCrypto framework and crypto(4).

Atomic "close-on-exec"


Contact: Jilles Tjoelker <>

If threads or signal handlers call fork() and exec(), file descriptors may be passed undesirably to child processes, which may lead to hangs (if a pipe is not closed), exceeding the file descriptor limit, and security problems (if the child process has lower privilege). One solution is various new APIs that set the "close-on-exec" flag atomically with allocating a file descriptor. Some existing software will use the new features if present or will even refuse to compile without them.

With mkostemp(), dup3(), and a change to modes of fopen() and freopen(), everything proposed in Austin Group issue #411 has now been implemented. For all POSIX-specified functions that allocate file descriptors, it is possible to request that the new descriptor be set close-on-exec atomically.

Additionally, many file descriptors used internally by libc and libutil now have the close-on-exec bit set.

Continuation of the Newcons Project

Newcons project branch URL:

Contact: Aleksandr Rybalko <>

The Newcons project is aimed to replace the old syscons(4)-based virtual terminals. The main objectives are: support Unicode characters, and move away from the dependency on fixed VGA and VESA graphics modes and built-in BIOS services.

This project was originally started by Ed Schouten, and it already featured the following features (among many others) in 2013:

  • Unicode fonts with Latin, Cyrillic and some more simple character sets.
  • Unicode output support.
  • Graphics mode support.
  • Text mode support.
  • sysmouse(4) support, without copy/paste.

And these have been extended by the following items recently:

  • History, that is, the ability to scroll through the terminal history. The old, separate history buffer has been removed.
  • The history is implemented by a circular buffer which has no risk of overflow, and scrolling appears "unlimited".
  • VT_PROCESS mode, a way to hold the terminal and prevent terminal switching. For example, X.Org uses this feature to prevent the user from switching to a non-X terminal.
  • drm2/fb_helper, the KMS driver. This binds Newcons to framebuffers created the DRM-enabled video drivers in the kernel (such as i915kms and radeonkms).
  • Dynamic attachment of VT drivers, vt_allocate() to allow attaching console video drivers at a later point where framebuffer owner can manage the initialization. This is for KMS and devices without early graphics support.

Supported startup modes for KMS:

  • Start without VT graphics drivers, then load KMS.
  • Start with VGA, then load KMS.
  • Preload KMS, then the KMS driver will be attached to the output.
  • Preload KMS, start with VGA, then KMS driver will replace the VGA output.

This project is being sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation. Many thanks to Ed Schouten, who started the Newcons project and did most of the work.

Open tasks:

  1. Implement a Generic Framebuffer interface, a simple interface to offer direct access to the framebuffer from the userland (via /dev/fb*) and automatic management of virtual terminals by Newcons.
  2. Mouse support, copy/paste using sysmouse(4).
  3. Improve locking.
  4. Bug fixes.
  5. Integrate into FreeBSD head.
  6. Integrate into FreeBSD�10.0.
  7. Implement mapping non-ASCII characters to Unicode on keyboard input.
  8. Adapt existing screen savers.
  9. Last but not least, testing is welcome!

GEOM Direct Dispatch and Fine-Grained CAM Locking

Project SVN branch URL:
Project patches URL:

Contact: Alexander Motin <>

Last year's high-performance storage vendor summit reported a performance bottleneck in the FreeBSD block storage subsystem, limiting peak performance to around 300-500K IOPS. While that is still more than enough for average systems, detailed investigation has shown a number of places that require radical improvement. The unmapped I/O support implemented early this year has already improved I/O performance by about 30% and moved more focus toward GEOM and CAM subsystems scalability. Fixing these issues was the goal of this project.

The existing GEOM design assumed most I/O handling was to be done by only two kernel threads (g_up() and g_down()). That simplified locking in some cases, but limited potential SMP scalability and created additional scheduler overhead. This project introduces the concept of direct I/O dispatch into GEOM for cases where it is known to be safe and efficient. That implies marking some GEOM consumers and providers with one or two new flags, declaring situations when a direct function call can be used instead of normal request queuing. That permits avoiding any context switches inside GEOM for the most widely used topologies, simultaneously processing multiple I/Os from multiple calling threads.

Having GEOM pass through multiple concurrent calls down to the underlying layers exposed major lock congestion in CAM. In the existing CAM design, all devices connected to the same ATA/SCSI controller share a single lock, which can be quite busy due to multiple controller hardware accesses and/or code logic. Experiments have shown that applying only the above GEOM direct dispatch changes burns up to 60% of system CPU time or even more in attempts to obtain these locks by multiple callers, killing any benefits of GEOM direct dispatch.

To overcome this scaling limitation, a new fine-grained CAM locking design was implemented. It implies splitting the big per-SIM locks into several smaller ones: per-LUN locks, per-bus locks, queue locks, etc. After these changes, the remaining per-SIM lock protects only the controller driver internals, reducing lock congestion down to an acceptable level and keeping compatibility with existing drivers.

Together, the GEOM and CAM changes double the peak I/O rate, reaching up to 1,000,000 IOPS on contemporary hardware.

The changes were tested by a number of people and will be committed into FreeBSD head and merged to stable/10 after the end of the FreeBSD 10.0 release cycle.

The project is sponsored by iXsystems, Inc.

Open tasks:

  1. More reviews, more stability and performance tests.

Native iSCSI Stack


Contact: Edward Tomasz Napierała <>

Due to the quickly approaching time of 10.0-RELEASE, the priorities for the native iSCSI stack shifted somewhat, from performance optimizations to making sure the new stack is reliable, feature-complete, and is able to interoperate correctly with various implementations. Plenty of time was invested into testing and debugging, mostly on the initiator side, to make sure it works correctly with other targets, such as Solaris COMSTAR, and behaves properly in edge conditions like connection problems. Nevertheless, some fundamental optimizations, such as Immediate Data support, were implemented. The documentation has improved, and there will be a new section added to the FreeBSD Handbook describing the use of the new stack.

The new stack was committed to head and will ship as part of 10.0-RELEASE. There is ongoing work on fixing issues reported by early adopters.

This project is being sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Fix newly reported issues.
  2. Improve performance.

Reworking random(4)

Contact: Mark Murray <>
Contact: Arthur Mesh <>
Contact: Dag-Erling Sm�rgrav <>

Random numbers require a lot more thought and preparation than would naively appear to be the case. For simulations, number sequences that are repeatable but sufficiently disordered are often needed to achieve required experimental duplication ability, and many programmers are familiar with these. For cryptography, it is essential that an attacker not be able to predict or guess the output sequence, thus giving a source of security-critical secret material for uses such as passwords or "key material".

FreeBSD's random number generator, available as the pseudo-file /dev/random produces unpredictable numbers intended for cryptographic use, and is thus a Cryptograpically-Secured Pseudo-Random Number Generator, or CSPRNG. The security is given by careful design of the output generator (based on a block cipher) and input entropy accumulation queues. The latter uses hashes to accumulate stochastic information harvested from various places in the kernel to provide highly unpredictable input to the generator. The algorithm for doing this, Yarrow, by Schneier et al, may be found by web search.

FreeBSD's CSPRNG also allowed for certain stochastic sources, deemed to be "high-quality", to directly supply the random(4) device without going through Yarrow. With recent revelations over possible government surveillance and involvement in the selection of these "high-quality" sources, it is felt that they can no longer be trusted, and must therefore also be processed though Yarrow.

The matter was discussed at various levels of formality at the Cambridge Developer Summit in August, and at EuroBSDcon 2013 in September.

This work is now done, and the random(4) CSPRNG is now brought to a more paranoid, modern standard of distrust with regard to its entropy sources. Infrastructure work was also done to facilitate certain entropy-source choices for the convenience of the system administrators.

Future work is now going ahead with the implementation of the Fortuna algorithm by Ferguson and Schneier as an upgrade or alternative to Yarrow. Initially a choice will be presented, and decisions on the future of the CSPRNG processing algorithms in use will be made in the future as needs arise.

Open tasks:

  1. Implement FIPS 800-90b support.
  2. A full, in-depth review of entropy.

SDIO Driver

SDIO Project Page URL:
Source Code URL:

Contact: Ilya Bakulin <>

SDIO is an interface designed as an extension of 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, and barcode scanners. The driver is implemented as an extension to the existing MMC bus, adding a lot of new SDIO-specific bus methods. A prototype of the driver for the Marvell SDIO WLAN/BT (Avastar 88W8787) module is also being developed, using the existing Linux driver as the reference.

SDIO card detection and initialization already work, most needed bus methods are implemented and tested. There is an ongoing work to design a good locking model for the stack. The WiFi driver is able to load firmware onto the card and initialize it.

Open tasks:

  1. SDIO stack: Design a locking model, define how the interrupts should be processed (on SDIO controller level, MMC stack level and by child drivers).
  2. Marvell SDIO WiFi: connect to the FreeBSD network stack, write the code to implement required functions (such as sending and receiving data, network scanning, and so on).
  3. Implement detach path. It cannot be tested on the DreamPlug used for development, because the DreamPlug does not have an external SDIO-capable slot.

VirtIO Network Multiqueue


Contact: Bryan Venteicher <>

The VirtIO network driver, vtnet(4), is used by FreeBSD systems running on hypervisors including bhyve(4) and Linux's KVM. It recently gained support for multiple queues, along with a significant cleanup and support for a few additional features.

VMware VMXNET3 Driver


Contact: Bryan Venteicher <>

A port of the OpenBSD vmx(4) ethernet driver for VMware virtual machines has been committed. The driver can be used in place of the VMware Tools vmxnet3 driver, which currently does not support 10.0-RELEASE (or anything past 9.0-RELEASE).

Open tasks:

  1. Performance improvements, multiqueue support.
  2. Merge to stable/9.


FreeBSD on Cubieboard2


Contact: Ganbold Tsagaankhuu <>

Initial support of Allwinner A20 SoC is committed to head. The A20 SoC on Cubieboard2 is pin-to-pin compatible with the A10 in Cubieboard1 and FreeBSD supports the following peripherals:

  • GPIO

Open tasks:

  1. Get the EMAC Ethernet driver working. Need more help from network driver experts.
  2. Add more drivers.


FreeBSD/EC2 Status Page URL:
AWS Marketplace Listing URL:

Contact: Colin Percival <>

FreeBSD images are available for use in EC2 for 8.3-RELEASE, 8.4-RELEASE, 9.0-RELEASE, 9.1-RELEASE, and 9.2-RELEASE. In 9.2-RELEASE, FreeBSD runs in EC2 using an unpatched source tree, but it needs the XENHVM kernel configuration.

Starting from FreeBSD 10.0-ALPHA3, the GENERIC kernel configuration now contains all the XENHVM bits needed to allow FreeBSD to run in EC2 natively. Consequently, FreeBSD�10.0 will be the first release for which FreeBSD/EC2 is purely "bits off the ISO". This also means that starting with 10.0 it will be possible to use freebsd-update(8) for all base system updates — in earlier releases it was necessary to recompile the XENHVM kernel manually.

Due to FreeBSD's use of HVM virtualization, running on "old" EC2 instance types (m1, m2, c1, t1) requires that FreeBSD pretends to be Windows, which unfortunately results in paying the higher "windows" EC2 instance prices. On "new" EC2 instances (cc1, cc2, cg1, cr1, hi1, hs1, and m3) FreeBSD can run as a "unix" image at the lower rate.

Open tasks:

  1. Test FreeBSD 10.0-ALPHAs/BETAs/RCs as they become available. Plenty of new Xen code has been committed recently and there are probably bugs to find before the release.
  2. Keep nagging Amazon to provide more instance types which FreeBSD can run on without paying a "Windows tax".
  3. Provide some mechanism for instance configuration via EC2 user-data. This might involve using cloud-init, or it might be a new system.



Contact: Andreas Tobler <>
Contact: Nathan Whitehorn <>

Starting with FreeBSD 10.0-ALPHA4, the projects/pseries branch has been merged into FreeBSD head. This allows FreeBSD/powerpc64 to run in an IBM POWER logical partition and on certain classes of older IBM-type PowerPC hardware.

Open tasks:

  1. Test, possibly on real hardware. Most testing and development was conducted with the emulated LPAR target in QEMU. Please send any testing reports to the freebsd-ppc mailing list.


Contact: Marius Strobl <>

There are several things going on with the FreeBSD/sparc64 port.

After having fixed all remaining problems and starting with 9.2-RELEASE, releases for this architecture are cross-built on the FreeBSD Project cluster. As one might already have noticed, this means that from now on, sparc64 install sets and images including those for ALPHA, BETA, and RC builds, are available alongside those for the other platforms supported by FreeBSD. Since August 2013, automatically cross-built monthly FreeBSD/sparc64 snapshots are distributed via the official project mirrors. Hopefully, this can soon be extended further with freebsd-update(8) support for sparc64.

The X.Org ports have been fixed to work on sparc64 when built with the WITH_NEW_XORG knob. However, it still needs to be evaluated whether the recently committed update to Mesa 9.1.6 has introduced any breakage.

Superpages for ARMv7


Contact: Zbigniew Bodek <>
Contact: Grzegorz Bernacki <>
Contact: Rafał 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". Top-tier companies like Dell and HP have already started to develop such systems.

Key to the 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, allowing 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:

  • The pmap(9) module has been adjusted to fully utilize superpages.
  • Found and fixed minor bugs in superpage management.
  • Implemented the pmap_advise() routine.
  • Performed extensive testing and benchmarking:
    • Giga Updates Per Second (GUPS) benchmark: 34% lower memory access latency and 34% higher updates ratio.
    • LMbench: 38% lower memory latency.
    • Self-hosted buildworld: 20% shorter, using GCC.
  • Final integration into FreeBSD head.

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

Open tasks:

  1. Adjust pmap to resolve the demotion issue caused by the continuous active queue scanning in VM.
  2. Support for 64KB page size.
  3. Move pv_flags to page table entry descriptors.

Userland Programs


Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <>

Capsicum is the FreeBSD sandboxing subsystem, which presents programmers with a capability module allowing fine-grained delegation of rights to less-privileged processes. Casper is a friendly daemon that provides services to sandboxed processes, allowing policy-based access to privileged services such as DNS resolution.

The work on Capsicum and related projects (such as Casper, libnv, etc.) is progressing nicely. An overhaul of the cap_rights_t was committed to FreeBSD head and will be included in 10.0. This allows us to have more capability rights on file descriptors than the previous limit of 64 rights, which was almost reached. This change is not backward compatible, so it was very important to get it into 10.0.

libnv, used for communication between Casper services and consumers, but which will hopefully be used more widely, is finalized and comes with a nice set of regression tests.

The number of applications sandboxed using the Capsicum framework is increasing. We have around 10 of them already in base and more that are not yet committed.

This project is being sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Finish documentation of Casper and its services.
  2. Implement regression tests for Casper services.
  3. Finish documentation for libnv.
  4. Start making libc more sandbox-friendly, that is, modifying functions such as strerror(3), strsignal(3), localtime(3), login_get*(), getservent(3), getprotent(3), and getrpcent(3) which currently open files on first use, which might be too late if we are already in a capability-mode sandbox.
  5. Rethink the system.filesystem Casper service to allow for easy compartmentalization of various command-line tools that operate on multiple files.

LLDB Debugger Port


Contact: Ed Maste <>

LLDB is the debugger project in the LLVM family. It supports the Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD platforms.

A number of improvements have been made to the port since the previous status update. Unit test failures have been triaged and have defects entered in LLDB's bug tracker. In combination with the lldb buildbot this allows for the quick identification of new failures introduced by other ongoing development. Core file support has also been added.

An LLDB snapshot has been imported into the FreeBSD base system and is available as of SVN revision 255722. It is not yet built by default but may be enabled by adding WITH_LLDB= to src.conf(5).

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

Open tasks:

  1. Support live debugging of multithreaded processes.
  2. Fix amd64 watchpoints.
  3. Add support for remote debugging (gdbserver, debugserver).
  4. Add support for kernel debugging.
  5. Verify i386 and arm architectures.
  6. Implement MIPS target support.
  7. Verify cross-debugging.
  8. Investigate and fix test suite failures.


FreeBSD Ada Ports


Contact: John Marino <>

A few years ago, Ada-based ports almost completely disappeared from the Ports Collection. This was not surprising, as FSF�GNAT, the only open-source Ada compiler, ceased to build correctly on any BSD flavor. Previously-built bootstrap compilers would not run on modern FreeBSD, and certainly not on amd64. The first step, see the link for details, was to patch GCC in order to fix GNAT not only on FreeBSD, but DragonFly, NetBSD, and OpenBSD as well. New bootstraps for both i386 and amd64 platforms were produced during this effort. Ada compilers on FreeBSD now pass 100% of the ACATS and GCC testsuites.

With the introduction of the first new Ada compiler port, the GCC�4.6-based lang/gnat-aux, the GNAT Programming Studio (a multilanguage integrated development environment), XML/Ada, and GtkAda were among the first Ada ports resurrected.

With the latest compiler, lang/gcc-aux based on GCC 4.7, a cohesive Ada framework was created with the new USES= framework. Currently around 20 ports are part of this framework including Florist, ASIS, GPRbuild, QtAda, AdaControl, AdaBrowse, PolyOrb, and AWS (Ada Web Server).

The GNAT AUX compiler is also still in use to serve as a basis for the GNATDroid ports which are FreeBSD-to-Android Ada+C cross-compilers. However, these will soon be integrated into the Ada Framework.

At this point, it looks like FreeBSD (shared with DragonFly via DPorts) has taken the crown from Debian as the recognized best Ada development platform. The FreeBSD versions of the software are more recent and the Ports Collection has ports not available on Debian, such as LibSparkCrypto, the Matreshka library, and the Ahven unit tester.

Future work potentially includes converting GCC AUX to GCC�4.8 to acquire better Ada�2012 support, importing Spark�2014 into ports when it arrives and to continue to add new Ada ports to the framework.

FreeBSD Python Ports

The FreeBSD Python Team Page URL:
IRC channel URL: irc://

Contact: FreeBSD Python Team <>

We are currently working on cleaning up the lang/python* ports to improve their compatibility with the original upstream build behaviour and to reduce the need for FreeBSD-specific build patches. A first step was made in September by reducing the flags injected into the different Python interpreter versions.

The first tasks have been completed to support the installation of packages for different Python ports. A new metaport structure has replaced the original Python port behaviour, and will be enhanced over the next months to enable improved installation support of packages for different Python versions at the same time.

The Python ports framework was enhanced with automated packaging list creation and replacement macros, which improve the compatibility with multiple Python versions and reduce the packaging list sizes.

PyPy was heavily enhanced over the last couple of months. Major updates to the port solved integration issues and a new pypy-devel port for snapshots and previews was added. Since the PyPy�3 release, there is a new pypy3-devel port available to provide not only compatibility for Python�2.x specific scripts, but also for those using the 3.x language specification.

IronPython found its way into the FreeBSD ports tree, providing an implementation of the Python language based on .NET and Mono.

Open tasks:

  1. Develop a high-level and lightweight Python Ports Policy.
  2. Chase the unification of Distribute (devel/py-distribute) and Setuptools (devel/py-setuptools*).
  3. Add support for granular dependencies (for example >=1.0 or < 2.0).
  4. Look at what adding pip (Python Package Index) support looks like.
  5. More tasks can be found on the Team's wiki page (see links).



Contact: FreeBSD GNOME Team <>

Glib�2.36 and Gtk�3.8 were imported into the ports tree. The GNOME Team is currently working on improving the quality of GNOME�3.6. The version of multimedia/cheese shipped with GNOME�3 is now able to use devd(8) to find the camera through multimedia/webcamd. Several build improvements have been made to the www/webkit-gtk3 port, however it still is rather fragile.

MATE, a desktop environment forked from the now-unmaintained codebase of GNOME�2, is about ready to go in.

GNOME�2 will be removed at some point in the near future. How or when this will happen is not yet clear.

Open tasks:

  1. Test the update. Contact the maintainers if it is suspected that a port does not work with the newer version of devel/glib20.
  2. Update the FreeBSD GNOME website with recent changes in the ports tree, add new items in preparation for GNOME�3 and Mate, etc.
  3. Continue working on GNOME�3.6, stability and missing features.
  4. Import MATE into the ports tree.

GNUstep on FreeBSD

Contact: David Chisnall <>

GNUstep is the open source implementation of the Objective-C APIs based on the OpenStep specification that Apple brands as Cocoa. The similarities between the FreeBSD and OS�X libc make FreeBSD an attractive target platform for porting OS�X applications, with the addition of GNUstep.

The GNUstep ports in FreeBSD have now been updated to the latest releases and now build with the GNUstep Objective-C runtime and Clang 3.3, with the non-fragile ABI by default. This means that all of the modern features of Objective-C are supported, including Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) and recent syntax improvements.

The devel/gnustep meta-port will install all of the core GNUstep libraries, ready for development. The x11/gnustep-app meta-port will install all of the GNUstep-based applications and libraries currently in the ports tree. Many of these are old and not well-tested with later GNUstep release, so consider them experimental at present. We are currently working on updating them, including moving from some abandoned upstream locations to the GNUstep Applications Project (GAP), which has taken over maintenance of a number of older GNUstep programs.

X.Org on FreeBSD

X11 Team roadmap (WIP) URL:
Ports-related status URL:
Ports-related development repository URL:
AMD GPU status URL:
DRM generic code update branch on GitHub URL:

Contact: FreeBSDX11 Team <>

Mesa 9.1 (libGL and dri) was updated in ports. This includes experimental ports for libEGL and libgles2: they are dependencies of the experimental ports for Wayland and Weston.

The radeonkms driver was committed to FreeBSD head in the end of August and will be part of 10.0-RELEASE. It received several fixes since the initial commit and now seems quite stable. However, one missing major feature is support for suspend/resume: the GPU almost always locks up during resume on the test computer.

Thanks to the update of Mesa and the update of x11-drivers/xf86-video-ati to 7.2.0 in the ports tree, every pieces are in place to allow users to use recent AMD video cards (up to HD7000, maybe some HD8000).

The driver will now only receive bug fixes and focus will move on the update of the DRM generic code and the i915 driver.

The generic DRM code, shared by the i915kms and radeonkms video drivers is quite old now. Work has started to update and sync it with that of Linux�3.8. This code is available on GitHub.

The expected benefits are:

  • Fixes in the framebuffer code, which would help the future deployment of Newcons.
  • Preliminary support for minor devices (that is, control versus render nodes).
  • Support for setmaster and dropmaster, which allows to run multiple X sessions.

Fran�ois Tigeot from DragonFly is also working on updates to their DRM code, and the X11 team is planning to share the effort.

An experimental devd(8) backend was added to the x11-servers/xorg-server port. This allows X.Org to use devd(8) to detect and configure input devices (for example, keyboards and mices) dynamically.

Our current wiki articles are used to describe projects and report status. However, they lack some consistency and links between them. We started to think about reorganizing them to:

  • Improve the coordination between the ports and the kernel efforts.
  • Make the information more accessible.

Nothing is visible yet on the wiki.

Open tasks:

  1. Keep tracking Mesa 9.2 or later and xorg-server 1.14. Both are currently blocked, but it is good to keep track of what upstream is doing.
  2. Test and report successes and failures for AMD GPUs.
  3. Wayland builds now. Work is being done on Weston to see if there are any run-time issues. Weston is the reference compositor for Wayland.
  4. Improve the devd(8) backend for x11-servers/xorg-server, so the HAL option can be removed completely.


FreeBSD Documentation Project Primer Edit


Contact: Warren Block <>

The FreeBSD Documentation Project Primer had not changed at the same rate as the documents themselves. Some sections were outdated and others were verbose and confusing, while information on new changes to the documentation were not described at all. In July, Warren gave the entire FDP Primer a fairly intense edit for simplicity and clarity. Chapters and sections were moved into a more logical order, and information was updated to be a better guide to the current state. Markup examples were added and revised. Style guidelines were also extended and updated. The Primer is now far more consistent and usable. As always, there is still room for improvement, and additions or corrections are encouraged.

Open tasks:

  1. An introductory chapter on writing manual pages with mdoc(7) would be an excellent addition.

The entities Documentation Branch


Contact: Ren� Ladan <>

The entities project branch has been successfully merged into the main documentation branch per revision 42226 of the doc repository (see link). The purpose of this branch was to remove the duplicated definitions of authors in both authors.ent and developers.ent. The latter file has been removed after migrating its contents to the former file. While most changes are not visible to end users, the Committer's Guide was changed to accomodate for changes related to adding a new committer. Translators were also informed of the update. The largest hurdle mentioned in the last report, processing the <email> element, was solved with the help of G�bor K�vesd�n.

Google Summer of Code

Download Manager Service for the Ports Collection

Project wiki page URL:
More information on DMS URL:

Contact: Ambarisha Bhatlapenumarthi <>
Contact: Xin Li <>

This is a Google Summer of Code 2013 project that aims to replace the fetch(1)-based method for getting distribution files, such as source tarballs, for the third-party applications (ports) with an intelligent Download Manager Service (see links for more information).

All the modules highlighted in the project wiki have been completed (see links). Specifically:

  • A service that receives and serves download requests. It samples download speeds from different mirrors and uses this information to pick the best mirror on the next request. It can migrate jobs between mirrors if it realizes that a complete download from a different mirror would be faster than proceeding with the mirror it is currently using.
  • A status dump feature has also been added to the client (dmget) which dumps the information about active downloads, speeds from mirrors, etc.

Open tasks:

  1. The implementation (especially job migration and dumping status) has not been tested thoroughly. Test the code, write more unit and regression tests.


The FreeBSD Foundation


Contact: Deb Goodkin <>

The FreeBSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the FreeBSD Project and community worldwide. Most of our funding is used to support FreeBSD development projects, conferences and developer summits, purchase equipment to grow and improve the FreeBSD infrastructure, and provide legal support for the Project.

We listened to our donors who asked us to have more fundraising efforts throughout the year. This quarter we had the second of three fundraising campaigns planned for 2013. We started the quarter having raised $365,291. By the end of the quarter, we raised $410,000 for the year. These early donations have made a significant impact on our fundraising efforts this year.

Some of the highlights from this past quarter include:

  • Projects completed last quarter:
    • ARM Superpages
    • Documentation project infrastructure enhancements
  • Projects in progress:
    • Native iSCSI kernel stack
    • Newcons console driver
  • Projects that started last quarter:
    • Capsicum Integration
    • Network Stack Layer 2 Modernization
  • Platinum Sponsor for EuroBSDCon, had six Foundation representatives attend the conference and the Developer Summit, sponsored 7 developers to attend the conference, and sponsored the Developer Summit.
  • Sponsored the Cambridge Developer Summit, and sponsored 2 developers to attend this event.
  • Attended Indianapolis LinuxFest July 27, FOSSCON in Philadelphia August 10, Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus September 14, and LinuxCon in New Orleans September 16-17, to promote FreeBSD.
  • Met with the FreeBSD Core Team to discuss their goals and to discuss areas that we can help.
  • Met with the Documentation Team to talk about helping them update their website as well as what other areas we can help them with.
  • Recognized Dag-Erling Sm�rgrav at EuroBSDCon for his contributions to FreeBSD.
  • Became a sponsor of vBSDCon, a new conference in Washington, DC.
  • Hired Glen Barber as a full-time employee to do system administration work and to help with release engineering.
  • Hired Cinthy Tanko as a part-time administrative assistant to help with day-to-day Foundation activities.
  • Purchased hardware to be placed in our NYI colo to support the building and distribution of new style packages in advance of FreeBSD�10.
  • Provided teleconferencing services to the Core Team to support their monthly conferences.

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