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This report covers FreeBSD-related projects between October and December 2013. This is the last of four reports planned for 2013.

The last quarter of 2013 was very active for the FreeBSD community, much like the preceding quarters. Many advances were made in getting FreeBSD to run on ARM-based System-on-Chip boards like Cubieboard, Rockchip, Snapdragon, S4, Freescale i.MX6, and Vybrid VF6xx. FreeBSD is also becoming a better platform for Xen and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. There are plans for FreeBSD to become a fully supported compute host for OpenStack. The I/O stack has again received some performance boosts on multi-processor systems through work touching the CAM and GEOM subsystems, and through better adaptation of UMA caches to system memory constraints for ZFS. The FreeBSD Foundation did an excellent job in this quarter, and many of their sponsored projects like VT-d and UEFI support, iSCSI stack, Capsicum, and auditdistd are about to complete. At the same time, new projects like Automounter and Intel GPU updates have just been launched. The Newcons project has been merged into -CURRENT, which will make it possible to finally move to the latest version of X.Org in the Ports Collection. Efforts are also under way to improve testing with Jenkins and Kyua. It is an exciting time for users and developers of FreeBSD!

Thanks to all the reporters for the excellent work! This report contains 37 entries and we hope you enjoy reading it.

The deadline for submissions covering between January and March 2014 is April 7th, 2014.

FreeBSD Team Reports




Userland Programs



FreeBSD Team Reports

FreeBSD Cluster Administration Team

Contact: FreeBSD Cluster Administration Team <admins@>

The FreeBSD Cluster Administration Team consists of the people responsible for administering the machines that the project relies on for its distributed work and communications to be synchronised. In the last quarter of 2013, they continued general maintenance of the FreeBSD cluster across all sites.

In addition to general upkeep tasks, additional cluster-related items were addressed. Some of these items include:

  • Added several machines for the Kyua testing framework.
  • Replaced failed hardware hosting various web services.
  • Coordinated with the FreeBSD Security Officer and Ports Management Teams to implement signed binary packages.
  • Added the machines to the list of machines managed by the Cluster Administration Team.
  • Began discussion with contacts at Yandex regarding the addition of a mirror site for binary packages and Subversion repositories.

FreeBSD Core Team

Contact: FreeBSD Core Team <>

The FreeBSD Core Team constitutes the project's Board of Directors, responsible for deciding the project's overall goals and direction as well as managing specific areas of the FreeBSD project landscape.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the Core Team finally reached its previous goal of launching the official repositories for pkg(8)-based binary packages. The Core Team also unified the commit bit expiration policies for all Project repositories, allowing committers to idle for 18 months before their commit bits are automatically taken into safekeeping. This was then followed by an extension to suspension of cluster accounts for the committers who lost all of their commit bits. This helps to improve the security of the Project server cluster by temporarily disabling inactive accounts. In addition to the above efforts, Thomas Abthorpe resurrected the Grim Reaper service which helps to enforce the aforementioned policy.

With the work of John Baldwin, Hiroki Sato, and others, many licenses in the base system source code have been revisited and cleaned up. Furthermore, the Core Team is hoping that the situation can be improved by introducing periodic automated checks of the license agreements, and by providing developers guidelines on questions of licensing. John Baldwin and David Chisnall have been guiding the work of the FreeBSD Graphics Team on moving to the newer version of X.Org and related software in the Ports Collection, in coordination with the switch to Newcons on FreeBSD 10.x.

It was a busy quarter for the src repository as well. The Core Team was happy to welcome Jordan K. Hubbard (jkh) back, who has recently returned to the FreeBSD business, and joined iXsystems as project manager and release engineer of FreeNAS. In addition to this, there were three commit bits offered for new developers, two committers were upgraded, one commit bit was taken for safekeeping, and one src bit was reactivated.

FreeBSD Ports Management Team


Contact: FreeBSD Ports Management Team <>

The FreeBSD Ports collection is a package management system for the FreeBSD operating system, providing an easy and consistent way of installing software packages. The FreeBSD Ports Collection now contains approximately 24,500 ports, while the PR count exceeds 1,900.

The FreeBSD Ports Management Team ensures that the FreeBSD ports developer community provides a Ports Collection that is functional, stable, up-to-date, and full-featured. Its secondary responsibility is to coordinate among the committers and developers who work on it. As part of these efforts, we added three new committers, took in three commit bits for safe keeping, and reinstated one commit bit in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Ongoing effort went into testing larger changes, as many as eight a week, including sweeping changes to the tree, moderization of the infrastructure, and basic quality assurance (QA) runs. Many iterations of tests against 10.0-RELEASE were run to ensure that the maximum number of packages would be available for the release.

We now have pkg(8) packages for the releases 8.3, 8.4, 9.1, 9.2, 10.0 and -CURRENT on During this same time, further enhancements were put into pkg(8), including secure package signing.

Commencing November 1, the Ports Management Team undertook a portmgr-lurkers pilot project in which ports committers could volunteer to assist the Ports Management Team for a four-month duration. The first two candiates are Mathieu Arnold (mat) and Antoine Brodin (antoine).

Ongoing maintenance goes into, including QAT runs, ports and security updates.

Open tasks:

  1. As previously noted, many PRs continue to languish; we would like to see some committers dedicate themselves to closing as many as possible!

FreeBSD Postmaster Team

OpenPGP Keys section in the Committer's Guide URL:

Contact: FreeBSD Postmaster Team <>

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

  • Retired the freebsd-aic7xxx mailing list.
  • Created a graphics-team alias, requested by Niclas Zeising.
  • Worked with the FreeBSD Ports Management Team to set up portmgr-lurkers so port managers can move addresses between those two aliases at their discretion.
  • Created the lists associated with the new stable/10 branch: svn-src-stable-10, ctm-src-10, and ctm-src-10-fast.
  • Redirected the vbox alias to the emulation list, requested by Bernhard Fr�hlich.
  • Continued a discussion on current and possible future mail and spam filtering.
  • Disbanded lua and transferred it to Baptiste Daroussin, requested by Matthias Andree and Baptiste Daroussin.
  • Modified the list moderators/administrators for ports-secteam, requested by Dag-Erling Sm�rgrav.
  • Assisted Warren Block with an update to the "OpenPGP Keys for FreeBSD" section of the Committer's Guide.

FreeBSD Release Engineering Team

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 is finishing the 10.0-RELEASE cycle. The release cycle changed with two last-minute release candidate builds, each addressing fixes critical to include in the final release.

The FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE cycle is expected to be completed by mid-January, approximately eight weeks behind the original schedule.




Contact: Oleg Ginzburg <>

CBSD is another FreeBSD jail management solution, aimed at combining various features, such as racct(8), vnet, zfs(8), carp(4), and hastd(8), into a single tool. This provides a more comprehensive way to build application servers using pre-installed jails with a typical set of software, and requires minimal effort to configure.

Open tasks:

  1. Proper English translation of the website and the documentation.

Jenkins Continuous Integration for FreeBSD

Vendor Summit presentation URL:

Contact: Craig Rodrigues <>

At the November 2013 FreeBSD Vendor Summit, some work was presented that Craig Rodrigues has been doing with Continuous Integration and Testing at iXsystems. Craig's presentation described how iXsystems is using modern best practices for building and testing the FreeNAS code. Jenkins is a framework for doing continuous builds and integration that is used by hundreds of companies. BHyve (BSD Hypvervisor) is the new virtual machine system which will be part of FreeBSD�10. Webdriver is a Python toolkit for testing web applications. By combining these technologies, iXsystems is developing a modern and sophisticated workflow for testing and improving the quality of FreeNAS.

Ed Maste from The FreeBSD Foundation was interested in this work, and based on this interest, it is now being ported to FreeBSD. Currently, a machine in the FreeBSD cluster has been allocated for this purpose, where a bhyve(4)-based virtual machine was set up and Jenkins was installed. The remainder is still in progress.

Open tasks:

  1. Finish setting up Jenkins.
  2. Add more builds to Jenkins.
  3. Integrate testing with Jenkins.


GEOM Direct Dispatch and Fine-Grained CAM Locking

Slides from EuroBSDCon 2013, also describing this project URL:
CAM improvements in the stable/10 branch URL:
GEOM improvements in the stable/10 branch URL:

Contact: Alexander Motin <>

The CAM and GEOM multi-processor scalability improvement project has completed. The corresponding code has been committed to FreeBSD head and recently merged to the stable/10 branch; it shall appear in 10.1-RELEASE.

As part of this project, cam(4) (the ATA/SCSI subsystem) has received more fine-grained locking for better utilization of multi-core systems. In addition, the locking in geom(4) (the block storage subsystem) has also been polished, and a new direct dispatch functionality was implemented to spread the load between multiple threads and processors, and reduce the number of context switches.

Thanks to these cam(4) and geom(4) changes, the peak I/O rate has doubled on contemporary hardware, reaching up to 1,000,000�IOPS!

This project was sponsored by iXsystems, Inc.

Open tasks:

  1. Some CAM controller drivers (SIMs) could also be optimized to get more benefits from this project, utilizing the new locking models and direct command completions from multiple interrupt threads.

Intel 802.11n NIC (iwn(4)) Work


Contact: Adrian Chadd <>

There has been a large amount of work on iwn(4) over the last six months:

  • New hardware support: 2xxx, 6xxx, 1xx series hardware.
  • Many bugs were fixed, including scanning, association, EAPOL related fixes.
  • iwn(4) now natively works with 802.11n rates from the net80211 rate control code, rather than mapping non-11n rates to 11n rates.

Open tasks:

  1. There are still some scan hangs, due to how net80211 scans a single channel at a time. This needs to be resolved.
  2. The transmit, receive, scan and calibration code needs to be refactored out of if_iwn.c and into separate source files.
  3. There still seem to be some issues surrounding 2�GHz versus 5�GHz association attempts leading to firmware assertions, especially on the Intel 4965 NIC.

Intel GPU Driver Update

Contact: Konstantin Belousov <>

This project will update the Intel graphics chipset driver, i915kms, to a recent snapshot of the Linux upstream code. The update will provide at least 1.5 years of bugfixes from the Intel team, and introduce support for the newest hardware — in particular Haswell and ValleyView. The IvyBridge code will also be updated. The addition of several features which are required to update X.Org and Mesa is also planned.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Native iSCSI Stack


Contact: Edward Tomasz Napierała <>

iSCSI is a popular block storage protocol. Under this project, a new, fast, and reliable kernel-based iSCSI initiator (client) and target (server) have been implemented.

During October to December, the work focused on performance and scalability. The target and the initiator now spread the load over multiple kernel threads, and the locking is optimized to reduce contention. This makes better use of multiple processor cores.

Work to finish iSER support is ongoing. All those optimizations will be gradually merged to head in February, and are expected to merged back to stable/10 and finally arrive in 10.1-RELEASE.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

New Automounter

Contact: Edward Tomasz Napierała <>

Research and prototyping has begun on a new project to implement autofs(4) — an automounter filesystem — and its userland counterpart, automountd(8). The idea is to provide a very similar user experience to the automounters available on Linux, MacOS X, and Solaris, including using the same map format. The automounter will also integrate with directory services, such as LDAP.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.


UEFI wiki page URL:
UEFI project branch URL:

Contact: Ed Maste <>

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) provides boot- and run-time services for x86 computers, and is a replacement for the legacy BIOS. This project will adapt the FreeBSD loader and kernel boot process for compatibility with UEFI firmware, found on contemporary servers, desktops, and laptops.

In 2013, The FreeBSD Foundation sponsored Benno Rice for a short project to improve the UEFI bootloader. This resulted in a working proof-of-concept in the UEFI project branch, but it was not ready to be merged to FreeBSD head.

Ed Maste has taken that original work and, with review feedback from Konstantin Belousov, been preparing it for integration into FreeBSD head. Some changes have been merged to head already. The rest will be merged as they are refined.

Intel provided a motherboard and CPU for the project, which proved invaluable for addressing bugs that did not appear while testing with the QEMU emulator.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Resolve a 32- versus 64-bit libstand(3) build issue.
  2. Merge kernel parsing of EFI memory map metadata.
  3. Integrate the EFI framebuffer with vt(9) (also known as Newcons).
  4. Connect efiloader to the build.
  5. Document manual installation for dual-boot configurations.
  6. Integrate UEFI configuration with the FreeBSD installer.
  7. Support secure boot.

UMA/ZFS and RPC/NFS Performance Improvements

Discussion of the ZFS/UMA changes URL:

Contact: Alexander Motin <>

The performance of ZFS and NFS was suboptimal in FreeBSD, so we have recently investigated some possible improvement paths. The uma(9) memory allocator caching code was improved to adapt better to system memory constraints. Combined with other virtual memory subsystem improvements done in the previous years, it should be safe to actively use uma(9) caches now. Their use in ZFS for ZIO/ARC may be enabled via the vfs.zfs.zio.use_uma loader(8) tunable, which is now the default for amd64, where it is recommended. Use of uma(9) caches for LZ4 compression buffers is unconditionally enabled on all architectures as it is has no serious drawbacks. On systems with many CPUs, these changes doubled the performance in the benchmarks.

Several areas of the NFS server stack (RPC, FHA, DRC) got a number of fixes and performance optimizations that significantly improve performance and reduce the CPU usage in a number of tests. Together with the ZFS memory allocator changes mentioned above, it was possible to reach 200K NFS block read IOPS and 55K SPEC NFS IOPS.

The code was committed to head. The uma(9) ZFS commits have been already merged to stable/10, and the remainder will be done soon as well.

This project was sponsored by iXsystems, Inc.

Open tasks:

  1. The SPEC NFS test hits lock congestion on several global locks in the file system layer when a quite intensive READDIRPLUS NFS request is received. Fixing this problem could improve performance on large systems even further.

Updated vt(9) System Console

Project wiki page URL:

Contact: Aleksandr Rybalko <>
Contact: Ed Maste <>
Contact: Ed Schouten <>

Colloquially known as Newcons, vt(9) is a modern replacement for the existing, quite old, virtual terminal emulator called syscons(4). Initially motivated by the lack of Unicode support in syscons(4), the project was later expanded to cover the new requirement of supporting Kernel Mode Switching (KMS).

The project is now approaching completion and is ready for wider testing, as the related code was already merged to FreeBSD head. Hence, vt(9) can be tested easily by replacing the following two lines in the kernel config file:

device sc
device vga

with the following ones:

device vt
device vt_vga

Major highlights:

  • Unicode support.
  • Double-width character support for CJK characters.
  • xterm(1)-like terminal emulation.
  • Support for Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) drivers (i915kms, radeonkms).
  • Support for different fonts per terminal window.
  • Simplified drivers.

Brief status of supported architectures and hardware:

  • amd64 (VGA/i915kms/radeonkms) — works.
  • ARM framebuffer — works.
  • i386 (VGA/i915kms/radeonkms) — works.
  • IA64 — untested.
  • MIPS — untested.
  • PPC and PPC64 — works, but without X.Org yet.
  • SPARC — works on certain hardware (e.g., Ultra 5).
  • vesa(4) — in progress.
  • i386/amd64 nVidia driver — need testing.
  • Xbox framebuffer driver — need testing.

Known Issues:

  • Switching to vty0 from X.Org on Fatal events will not work.
  • Certain hardware (e.g., Lenovo X220) get a black screen when i915kms is preloaded.
  • Scrolling can be slow;
  • Screen borders are not cleared when changing fonts.
  • vt(9) locks up with the gallant12x22 font in VirtualBox.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Create sub-directories for vt(9) under /usr/share/ to store key maps and fonts.
  2. Implement remaining features supported by vidcontrol(1).
  3. Write the vt(9) manual page.
  4. Support keyboard handled directly by device kbd (without kbdmux(4)).
  5. CJK fonts (in progress).


FreeBSD Host Support for OpenStack and OpenContrail


Contact: Grzegorz Bernacki <>
Contact: Michał Dubiel <>
Contact: Rafał Jaworowski <>

OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources in a data center. OpenContrail is a network virtualization (SDN) solution comprising a network controller, a virtual router, and an analytics engine, which can be integrated with cloud orchestration systems like OpenStack or CloudStack.

The goal of this work is to enable FreeBSD as a fully supported compute host for OpenStack, using OpenContrail virtualized networking. The main areas of development are the following:

  • OpenStack compute driver (nova-compute) for the FreeBSD bhyve(4) hypervisor.
  • OpenContrail vRouter (forwarding-plane kernel module) port to FreeBSD.
  • Integration and performance optimizations.

The current state of development features a working demo of OpenStack with compute node components running on a FreeBSD host:

  • The native bhyve(4) hypervisor is driven by a nova-compute component for spawning guest instances and a nova-network component for providing simple networking between those guests.
  • The nova-network approach (based on local host bridging) is becoming an obsolete technology in OpenStack and was used here only for demonstration and proof-of-concept purposes, without exploring all the possible features.
  • The main objective is to move to OpenContrail-based networking, therefore becoming compliant with the modern OpenStack networking API ("neutron").

This project was sponsored by Juniper Networks, Inc.

Open tasks:

  1. Decide how to integrate bhyve(4) with nova-compute, either natively or via the libvirt management layer.

FreeBSD on Cubieboard{1,2}

EMAC driver code URL:

Contact: Ganbold Tsagaankhuu <>

Cubieboard is a single-board computer based on the AllWinner A10 SoC, popular on cheap tablets, phones and media PCs. The second version enhances the board mainly by replacing the AllWinner A10 SoC with an AllWinner A20 which contains 2 ARM Cortex-A7 MPCore CPUs and 2 Mali-400 GPUs (Mali-400MP2). In the last few months, work has continued on their FreeBSD port, and some work was done on the EMAC 10/100 Ethernet driver (see link). The driver is now in a good shape, however the RX side is very slow and there is need to have an external DMA driver that can be used in this case.

FreeBSD on Freescale i.MX6 processors

Announcement of Wanboard support URL:

Contact: Ian Lepore <>

The i.MX range is a family of Freescale Semiconductor proprietary microprocessors for multimedia applications based on the ARM architecture and focused on low power consumption. The i.MX6x series is based on the ARM Cortex A9 solo, dual, or quad cores. Initial support for them has been committed to head, and merged to stable/10. All members of the i.MX6 family (Solo, Dual, and Quad core) are supported, but SMP support on the multi-core SoCs has not yet been enabled.

Initial driver support includes:

  • USB (EHCI)
  • Ethernet (Gigabit)
  • SD Card
  • UART

The initial hardware bringup was done on Wandboard hardware, see the announcement on freebsd-arm in the links section for more information.

Open tasks:

  1. Write drivers for additional on-chip hardware, including I2C, SPI, AHCI, audio, and video.
  2. Add support to FreeBSD-crochet script to generate Wandboard images

FreeBSD on Freescale Vybrid VF6xx


Contact: Ruslan Bukin <>

Basic support for the Freescale Vybrid Family VF6xx heterogeneous ARM Cortex-A5/M4 System-on-Chip (SoC) was added to FreeBSD head. The Vybrid VF6xx family is an implementation of the new modern Cortex-A5-based low-power ARM SoC boards. Vybrid devices are ideal for applications including simple HMI in appliances and industrial machines, secure control of infrastructure and manufacturing equipment, energy conversion applications such as motor drives and power inverters, ruggedized wired and wireless connectivity, and control of mobile battery-operated systems such as robots and industrial vehicles.

Supported device drivers:

  • NAND Flash Controller (NFC)
  • USB Enhanced Host Controller Interface (EHCI)
  • General-Purpose Input/Output (GPIO)
  • Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART)

Also supported:

  • Generic Interrupt Controller (GIC)
  • MPCore timer
  • ffec Ethernet driver

Open tasks:

  1. Add support for a number of different VF5xx- and VF6xx-based development boards.
  2. Expand device driver support, including framebuffer and other devices.

FreeBSD on Newer ARM Boards

FreeBSD on Radxa Rock URL:
Some preliminary sources for Snapdragon board IFC6410 URL:

Contact: Ganbold Tsagaankhuu <>

Rockchip is a series of SoC (System on Chip) integrated circuits that are mainly for embedded systems applications in mobile entertainment devices such as smartphones, tablets, e-books, set-top boxes, media players, personal video, and MP3 players. Due to their evolution from the MP3/MP4 player market, most Rockchip ICs feature advanced media decoding logic but lack integrated cellular radio basebands. Initial support for the Rockchip RK3188 (Quad core Cortex A9) SoC is committed to head. Now FreeBSD runs on Radxa Rock and it supports the following peripherals:

  • Existing DWC OTG driver in host mode
  • GPIO

Some work was also done on initial support for the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC, featuring the Krait CPU, which is considered a "platform" for use in smartphones, tablets, and smartbook devices. Krait has many similarities with the ARM Cortex-A15 CPU and is also based on the ARMv7 instruction set. A minimal console driver was written, and FreeBSD's early boot messages can be now seen on the serial console. The timer driver works too, and the boot now stops at the mountroot prompt.


FreeBSD/EC2 status page URL:
Configinit URL:

Contact: Colin Percival <>

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a special type of virtual appliance that is used to create a virtual machine within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud ("EC2"). It serves as the basic unit of deployment for services delivered using EC2. Such AMIs are available for 8.3-RELEASE and later FreeBSD releases, and every ALPHA, BETA, and RC of FreeBSD�10.0. Starting from FreeBSD�10.0-BETA1, FreeBSD/EC2 images are running "fully supported" FreeBSD binaries, and starting from FreeBSD�10.0-RC1, FreeBSD/EC2 images include a "configinit" system for autoconfiguration using EC2 user-data.

Due to limitations of old (m1, m2, c1, t1) instance types, "Windows"-labelled images are required for those instance types; however all of the recent instances types — m3 (general purpose), c3 (high-CPU), and i2 (high-I/O) — support FreeBSD at the "unix" pricing rates.

The maintainer of this platform considers it to be ready for production use.

Open tasks:

  1. Hand over the task of building FreeBSD AMIs to the Release Engineering Team.
  2. Get Amazon to add "FreeBSD" to the list of platforms supported by EC2, so that it can stop showing up as "Other Linux".


FreeBSD PVH wiki page URL:

Contact: Roger Pau Monn� <>
Contact: Justin T. Gibbs <>

Xen is a native (bare-metal) hypervisor providing services that allow multiple computer operating systems to execute on the same computer hardware concurrently. Xen�4.4 will bring a virtualization mode called PVH — PV (paravirtualization) in an HVM (fully-virtual) container. This is essentially a paravirtualized guest using paravirtualized drivers for boot and I/O. Otherwise it uses hardware virtualization extensions, without the need for emulation.

After merging the changes to improve Xen PVHVM support, work has shifted on getting PVH DomU support on FreeBSD. Patches have been posted, and after a couple of rounds of review, the series looks almost ready for merging into head. Also, very initial patches for FreeBSD PVH Dom0 support has been posted. So far the posted series only focuses on getting FreeBSD booting as a Dom0 and being able to interact with the hardware.

This project was sponsored by Citrix Systems R&D, and Spectra Logic Corporation.

Open tasks:

  1. Finish reviewing and commit the PVH DomU support.
  2. Work on PVH Dom0 support.

Intel IOMMU (VT-d, DMAR) Support


Contact: Konstantin Belousov <>

An Input/Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) is a Memory Management Unit (MMU) that connects a Direct Memory Access-capable (DMA-capable) I/O bus to main memory; therefore, I/O virtualization is performed by the chipset. An example IOMMU is the graphics address remapping table (GART) used by AGP and PCI Express graphics cards. Intel has published a specification for IOMMU technology as Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O, abbreviated VT-d.

A VT-d driver was committed to head and stable/10, so busdma(9) is now able to utilize VT-d. The feature is disabled by default, but it may be enabled via the hw.dmar.enable loader(8) tunable — see the links for more information. The immediate plans include increasing the support for this kind of hardware by testing and providing workarounds for specific issues, and by adding features of the next generation of Intel IOMMU. Hopefully, the existing and new consumers of VT-d will start to use the driver soon.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Userland Programs


Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <>

The auditdistd(8) daemon is responsible for distributing audit trail files over TCP/IP networks securely and reliably. Currently, the daemon uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) for communication, but only server-side certificates are verified, based on the certificate's fingerprint. The ongoing work will make it possible to use client-side certificates and will support more complete public-key infastructure, which includes validation of the entire certificate chain, including revocation checking against Certification Revocation Lists at every level. From now on, auditdistd(8) will support TLSv1.2 and PFS modes only. In addition, it will be possible to send audit trail files to multiple receivers.

The work will be completed at the beginning of February 2014.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Base GCC Updates

Contact: Pedro Giffuni <>

The GCC compiler in the FreeBSD base system is on its way to deprecation and is only used by some Tier-2 platforms at this time. While Clang is much better in many aspects, we still cannot use all the new features that it brings in the base system until we can drop GCC completely. As a stop-gap solution, several bug fixes and features from Apple GCC and other sources have been ported to our version of GCC�4.2.1 to make it more compatible with Clang. FreeBSD's GCC has added more warnings and some enhancements like -Wmost and -Wnewline-eof. An implementation for Apple's blocks extension is now available, too, and it will be very useful to enhance FreeBSD's support for Apple's Grand Central Dispatch (GCD).

Open tasks:

  1. A merge from head to stable/9 is being considered but it disables nested functions by default, so the impact on the Ports Collection needs to be evaluated.
  2. No further development of GCC�4.2 in the base system is planned.

BSDInstall ZFSBoot

Original Root-on-ZFS instuctions on the FreeBSD Wiki URL:

Contact: Allan Jude <>
Contact: Devin Teske <>
Contact: Warren Block <>

BSDInstall has been the default installation program since FreeBSD�9.0-RELEASE. However, it could not utilize one of the best features of FreeBSD, ZFS.

The ZFSBoot project started at EuroBSDCon�2013 and reached stable status in December, just in time for FreeBSD�10.0-RELEASE. Currently, ZFSBoot implements root-on-ZFS with 4k partition alignment, optional forced 4k sectors, optional geli(8) full disk encryption, and support for boot environments.

As part of ZFSBoot, BSDInstall itself also received a number of updates, including enhanced debugging, more scriptability, a new keymap selection menu, and a number of other small changes to streamline the installation process. The new keymap menu allows the user to test the selected keymap before continuing, to ensure it is the desired keymap. Minor changes were made to the network configuration dialogues to make the identification of wireless interfaces easier.

A number of additional features are also planned. The user should be able to create additional datasets and adjust the properties on all datasets in an interactive menu. There should also be integration with BSDConfig to allow users to install packages and the various other functionality that was previously provided by sysinstall.

Open tasks:

  1. Interactive dataset editor.
  2. Dataset property editor.
  3. Consider using shell geom(4) parser.
  4. BSDConfig integration.
  5. UFS as a file system option, to allow users to create encrypted UFS installs.
  6. Optionally make the boot pool UFS or reside on USB device(s).
  7. Further streamline the installation process.

Capsicum and Casper


Contact: Pawel Jakub Dawidek <>

Capsicum is a lightweight OS capability and sandbox framework implementing a hybrid capability system model. The Casper daemon enables sandboxed application to use functionality normally unavailable in capability-mode sandboxes.

The Casper daemon, libcasper, libcapsicum(3), libnv(3) and Casper services (system.dns, system.grp, system.pwd, system.random and system.sysctl) have been committed to FreeBSD head. The tcpdump(8) utility in head now uses the system.dns service to do DNS lookups. The kdump(1) utility in head now uses the system.pwd and system.grp services to convert user and group identifiers to user and group names.

There is ongoing work to sandbox more applications. If you are interested in helping to make FreeBSD more secure and would like to learn about Capsicum and Casper, do not hesitate to contact Pawel — he can provide candidate programs that could use sandboxing.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Centralized Panic Reporting

Usage instructions URL:

Contact: Colin Percival <>

With the sysutils/panicmail port, a mechanism is now in place for automated submission of kernel panic reports to a central location. It is hoped that this will prove useful, as similar systems have for other operating systems, in identifying common panics so that developers can be alerted and they can be fixed faster.

In the first two months that this mechanism has been in place, 28 kernel panics have been reported. This is nowhere near enough to be useful, so readers are strongly encouraged to install the sysutils/panicmail port and follow the instructions to enable it.

Open tasks:

  1. Get more systems set up to automatically submit panic reports!

FreeBSD Test Suite

Project page URL:
Continuous testing infrastructure URL:
Mailing list announcement URL:
Blog post URL:

Contact: Julio Merino <>

The FreeBSD Test Suite project aims to equip FreeBSD with a comprehensive test suite that is easy to run out of the box and during the development of the system. The test suite is installed into /usr/tests/ and the kyua(1) command-line tool (devel/kyua in the Ports Collection) is used to run them.

The benefits of having a test suite that is easy to use and continuously run are obvious: regressions can be caught sooner rather than later and the Release Engineering Team can better assess the quality of the tree before deciding to cut a release. Additionally, because we choose to install the tests, we allow any end user to perform sanity checks on new installations of the system on their particular hardware configuration — a very attractive thing to do when deploying production servers.

During the last few months, we have added the necessary pieces to the build system to support building and installing test programs of various kinds. To demonstrate the functionality of these, some test programs were added and others were migrated from the old testing tree in tools/regression/ to the new layout for tests.

The current test suite should be seen as a proof of concept at this point: it is only composed of a small set of test programs and the goal is to get the infrastructure in place before mass-migrating existing test code and/or importing external tests.

As part of this work, two new releases of Kyua were published. Of special interest is the addition of a TAP-compliant backend so that existing tests from tools/regression/ can be plugged into the test suite with minimum effort.

As of December 31st, the basic continuous testing infrastructure is up and running, see the links section for the home page. For further information, please see the related announcement and blog post on the subject (also in the links section).

Open tasks:

  1. We have three machines for the test cluster. At the moment, only one of them is in use to continuously test amd64 on both head and stable/10. We need to figure out the right level of parallelization to put other machines to use — but a first easy cut may be to just test different architectures (with the help of QEMU).
  2. Related to the above, the Kyua reporting engine needs significant tuning to make the reports nice and clean. Ideally, Kyua should be able to coalesce results from different runs into a single location and generate cohesive reports out of them. Fixing this is a high priority.
  3. A tutorial on writing tests for FreeBSD has been proposed for AsiaBSDCon�2014. The outcome of the proposal is still unknown, but stay tuned!
  4. Port, port, and port more tests to the new test suite. A test suite is worthless if it does not validate stuff. Stay tuned for a request for help once we have put all basic pieces in place and have streamlined the migration process.

The LLDB Debugger


Contact: Ed Maste <>

LLDB is the debugger in the LLVM family of projects. It supports Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD, with ongoing work to support Windows.

In the last quarter of 2013, LLDB gained support for live (ptrace(2)-based) debugging of multithreaded processes on FreeBSD. Initial FreeBSD MIPS target support has also been committed, along with a number of endianness fixes in the general LLDB infrastructure.

The LLDB snapshot in the FreeBSD tree was updated to r196322. Currently disabled by default, it will be enabled for amd64 after the import of Clang�3.4. In the interim, it may be enabled by adding WITH_LLDB= to src.conf(5).

This project was sponsored by DARPA/AFRL, SRI International, and University of Cambridge.

Open tasks:

  1. Update the in-tree snapshot to build after the Clang 3.4 import.
  2. Fix amd64 watchpoints.
  3. Test and fix the i386 port.
  4. Implement FreeBSD ARM support.
  5. Add support for kernel debugging (live local and remote debugging, and core files).
  6. Fix the remaining test suite failures.
  7. Enable by default on the amd64 architecture.


FreeBSD Python Ports

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

Contact: FreeBSD Python Team <>

Python is a widely used general-purpose, high-level programming language. For many operating systems, Python is a standard component; it ships with FreeBSD as well. A lot of progress has been made around the FreeBSD Python ports in the last quarter.

The devel/py-distribute port has been replaced by the refreshed devel/py-setuptools port, which comes with a lot of features that simplify the methods of installing Python packages. The change also led us to install everything through Setuptools now, which resembles PyIP a bit and allows us to perform some major cleanup on the distutils installation behaviour.

The implicit lang/python build and run-time dependency was removed from the ports infrastructure. Every port now depends on a specific Python version or on the lang/python metaport. This prevents compatibility issues for ports that depend on Python�2.x OR Python�3.x exclusively, but use the python command, which might point to a version of incompatible user choice.

The lang/python27 port was updated to version 2.7.6, and the lang/python33 port was updated to version 3.3.3, and the lang/pypy port was updated to version 2.2.1.

We are currently working on the necessary infrastructure quirks to support different Python versions for the same port. Most of the work has been done and needs to be tested before it can be integrated.

Open tasks:

  1. Develop a high-level and lightweight Python Ports Policy.
  2. Add support for granular dependencies (for example >=1.0 or <2.0).
  3. Look at what adding pip support looks like.
  4. Convert all USE_PYDISTUTILS=easy_install entries to yes and remove the use of easy_install from the ports infrastructure.
  5. More tasks can be found on the team's wiki page (see links).


Import of MATE URL:

Contact: FreeBSD GNOME Team <>

GNOME is a desktop environment and graphical user interface that runs on top of a computer operating system. GNOME is part of the GNU Project and can be used with various Unix-like operating systems, including FreeBSD.

In this quarter, MATE�1.6 was finally imported into the Ports Collection, thanks to the efforts of Jeremy Messenger. MATE is a desktop environment forked from the now-unmaintained code base of GNOME�2, therefore it is basically a replacement for GNOME�2. Users wanting to keep GNOME�2 as their desktop are advised to switch to MATE since GNOME�2 will be replaced by GNOME�3 in the near future. This switch will be announced in advance, so people will have time to move to MATE if they have not already. The complete MATE-based desktop environment can be installed via the x11/mate port, or, for a minimal install, x11/mate-base.

Our home page is quite out of date. An update for it for GNOME�3.6 is underway. Part of this update is rewriting and updating the old GNOME porting guide as a chapter of the Porter's Handbook.

Another major task required for getting a bleeding-edge GNOME to build on FreeBSD mostly out-of-the box is moving to JHbuild with some custom rules. This is done to find and fix compile issues on other BSDs more quickly.

Open tasks:

  1. GNOME�2 ports still need to be sorted out to evaluate which GNOME�2 components will be gone or be replaced with their newer GNOME�3 versions. This task is currently halted until we can get the documentation into a shape good enough to gather the issues and document the migration, including how to avoid the migration if the upgrade is not preferred. (This does not mean we do not want to know about issues with upgrading, though).
  2. Help the X11 Team with Cairo�1.12, since the next version of GNOME�3 (3.12) will need an up-to-date version of Pango and GTK�3.


KDE/FreeBSD home page URL:
area51 URL:
Out-of-date ports URL:

Contact: KDE FreeBSD Team <>

KDE is an international free software community producing an integrated set of cross-platform applications designed to run on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Microsoft Windows, and OS X systems. The KDE/FreeBSD Team have continued to improve the experience of KDE software and Qt under FreeBSD.

During the last quarter, the team has kept most of the KDE and Qt ports up-to-date, working on the following releases:

  • KDE SC (area51): 4.11.2, 4.11.3, 4.11.4
  • Qt: 4.8.5 and 5.2 (area51)
  • PyQt: 4.10.3; SIP: 4.15.2; QScintilla2: 2.8
  • Qt Creator 2.8.0
  • KDevelop: 4.5.2
  • Calligra: 2.7.5
  • CMake: 2.8.12,

As a result, according to PortScout, our team has 464 ports (down from 473), of which 88.15% are up-to-date (down from 98.73%). iXsystems Inc. continues to provide 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.

As usual, the team is always looking for more testers and porters, so please contact us or visit our home page (see links). 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 links for a list.
  2. Worke on KDE�4.12 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.


Wine wiki page URL:
Wine on amd64 wiki page URL:
Wine homepage URL:

Contact: Gerald Pfeiffer <>
Contact: David Naylor <>

Wine is a free and open source software application that aims to allow applications designed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems, such as FreeBSD. The Wine/FreeBSD Team have continued to improve the experience of Wine under FreeBSD.

During the fourth quarter of 2013, the team has kept Wine updated by porting:

  • Stable releases: 1.6 and 1.6.1
  • Development releases: 1.7.4 through 1.7.8

The ports have included packages built for amd64 (available through the Ports Collection).

The Wine ports have been kept up-to-date with the changes in the Ports Collection, including some improvements:

  • Building with Clang by default (via USES=compiler:c11).
  • Conditional X11 support (on by default; allowing for headless instances of Wine).
  • Staging support and other ports best practices.

Support in improving the experience of Wine on FreeBSD is needed. Key areas including fixing regressions, adding copy protection scheme support, and fixing regressions when using Wine under FreeBSD/amd64.

Open tasks:

  1. Open Tasks and Known Problems (see links for the wiki page).
  2. FreeBSD/amd64 integration (see links for the i386-Wine wiki page).
  3. Porting WoW64 and Wine64.

X.Org on FreeBSD

X11 roadmap and supported hardware matrix URL:
Ports-related development repository URL:
CFT for Cairo 1.12 and 8.x survey URL:

Contact: FreeBSD X11 Team <>

The newer graphics stack (WITH_NEW_XORG) is now built by default on head and is provided as binary packages from the official FreeBSD pkg(8) repository for 11-CURRENT. The major updates are:

  • X.Org server 1.12.
  • Mesa 9.1.
  • Recent Intel and Radeon X.Org drivers, using exclusively the KMS kernel drivers available in FreeBSD�9.x (Intel) and FreeBSD�10.x (Radeon).

This change makes X.Org on FreeBSD head work out-of-the-box on workstations and laptops based on recent Intel and Radeon GPUs. FreeBSD�10.x will follow in a few weeks or months.

Some software has started to require Cairo�1.12, for example GTK+�3.10 and Pango. Unfortunately, this version of Cairo triggers a bug in the old Intel driver (2.7.1, installed when WITH_NEW_XORG is not set), which causes display artifacts. A "Call For Testers" mail was posted on the freebsd-x11 mailing-list (see the links above) to gather information about the behavior on other configurations (new Intel driver and non-Intel drivers). As of this writing, the reports received talk about improvements or, at least, no change noticed.

To better manage changes such as the WITH_NEW_XORG and the Cairo�1.12 changes mentioned above, we asked on the freebsd-x11 mailing-list if people are using FreeBSD�8.x on their desktop computers and why they do not upgrade to FreeBSD�9.x or 10.x. So far, we received very few answers to this.

The Radeon KMS driver in FreeBSD�10.x is now considered stable, especially now that integrated GPUs are properly initialized. One of the next steps will be to merge this to stable/9.

A "Graphics" wiki article (see links) was created to centralize and coordinate the work being done on both the ports and the kernel. It contains the following important information:

  • A roadmap of the team.
  • A matrix of supported hardware.
  • Instructions on upgrading to KMS.
  • Project status and results.

This starting page then points to project- and topic-specific articles where more detailed information is available.

Open tasks:

  1. Report why FreeBSD�8.x is still used on your desktop and why moving to FreeBSD�9.x or 10.x is not an option.
  2. Report about the Cairo�1.12 update on your system.
  3. See the "Graphics" wiki page for up-to-date information.


The FreeBSD Xfce Team's wiki page URL:
Core URL:
Parole URL:

Contact: FreeBSD Xfce Team <>

Xfce is a free software desktop environment for Unix and Unix-like platforms, such as FreeBSD. It aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and easy to use. The FreeBSD Xfce Team has kept most of the Xfce ports up-to-date, while fixing many issues along the way in this quarter.

Currently, the following components with the following versions are available:

  • Applications:
    • Orage (4.10.0)
    • Midori (0.5.6)
    • xfce4-terminal (0.6.3)
    • xfce4-parole (0.5.3, 0.5.4)
  • Panel plugins:
    • xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin (1.2.0, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.3.0)
    • xfce4-mailwatch-plugin (1.2.0)
    • xfce4-wmdock-plugin (0.6.0)

We helped Midori's upstream switch from Waf (Python script) to CMake. Xfce now also supports Gtk2, Gtk3, and the new WebKitGtk API, available from the 2.x branch, not present in our ports tree at the moment, though. Most of the ports now use stage directories, with only some plugins left to convert.

We also removed obsolete ports:

  • x11-themes/lila-xfwm4 (Xfwm4 theme)
  • multimedia/xfce4-media (multimedia player)
  • net-im/xfce4-messenger-plugin

Besides, we followed the development of the Xfce core components and Parole closely. See the links for documentation on how to upgrade those libraries.

Open tasks:

  1. Fix Midori's build on DragonFly, through DPorts.
  2. Fix build of the Granite framework (it is an extension to Gtk and Midori uses it) on FreeBSD�10 and head. Those are mostly LLVM failures.
  3. Add support for Berkeley DB 5 and higher to Orage.


The FreeBSD Foundation

Semi-annual newsletter URL:
FreeBSD Journal URL:

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 the 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 held our year-end fundraising campaign. We are still processing donations and will post the final numbers by mid-January. We are extremely grateful to all the individuals and organizations that supported us and the Project by making a donation in 2013. We have already started our fundraising efforts for 2014.

Some of the highlights from this past quarter include:

  • We sponsored or are sponsoring the following projects:
    • Projects completed last quarter: Capsicum, Casper daemon, and Intel I/O Memory Management Unit driver.
    • Projects in progress: Native in-kernel iSCSI stack, network stack layer 2 modernization, UEFI boot, updated vt(9) system console.
    • Projects started last quarter: Automounter, Intel graphics driver update.
  • Continued work on the FreeBSD Journal, our new online FreeBSD magazine, which debuts on January 27th (see links).
  • Sponsored, organized, and ran the Bay Area Developer Summit.
  • Sponsored and attended the first ever vBSDCon, which had an impressive attendance.
  • Sponsored and attended the OpenZFS developer summit.
  • Represented the foundation at the following conferences: All Things Open in Raleigh, NC and LISA in Washington, DC.
  • Sponsored the FreeBSD 20th Birthday Party, held in San Francisco.
  • Attended the ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires in November and gave a short presentation on the change from BIND to unbound in FreeBSD�10.0 during the ccNSO Tech Day.
  • Met with a few companies to discuss their FreeBSD use, what they would like to see supported in FreeBSD, and assist with collaboration between them and the Project.
  • Purchased an 80-core server to reside at Sentex for the Project to use for stability, scalability, and performance improvements. It is a big step forwards for the Foundation in providing this kind of hardware to the Project's developers. It will let us test our scaling to 80 simultaneous cores and 1�TB of RAM. It will also be used to do performance analysis on large workloads, such as large databases etc.
  • Acquired a second rack to use at Sentex.
  • We received a commitment from VMware, Inc. for BSD-licensed drivers. They also committed to a yearly silver level donation.
  • Signed up as a Google Compute trusted tester for the Project.
  • Funded a project to produce a white paper titled Managed Services Using FreeBSD at NYI.
  • Finally, we published our semi-annual newsletter (see links) highlighting what we did to support the FreeBSD Project and Community in 2013.

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