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Another year has passed (and another has gotten well underway, while we worked to assemble this report). Over the past two years that I have been part of the monthly@ team that assembles these reports, it has been enlightening to watch the individual entries pass through my emacs and/or vim. These reports give me a picture of what is going on with FreeBSD that I could not get just from reading commit mail; I hope that is also true for our readers.

This quarter brings the usual mix of continuations of many stalwart projects and entires of new participants, as well as the return of some items after a few quarters' hiatus. Enjoy and be enlightened!

—Benjamin Kaduk

The deadline for submissions covering the period from January to March 2017 is April 7, 2017.

FreeBSD Team Reports




Userland Programs


FreeBSD Team Reports

FreeBSD Release Engineering Team

FreeBSD�11.0-RELEASE Announcement URL:
FreeBSD�11.0-RELEASE Release Notes URL:
FreeBSD Development Snapshots URL:

Contact: FreeBSD�Release Engineering Team <>

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is responsible for setting and publishing release schedules for official project releases of FreeBSD, announcing code freezes, and maintaining the respective branches, among other things.

The FreeBSD�Release Engineering Team in concert with the FreeBSD Security Team finalized FreeBSD�11.0-RELEASE. FreeBSD�11.0-RELEASE was announced on October 10, 2016, roughly four weeks after the original schedule.

The FreeBSD�Release Engineering Team would like to specifically thank Colin Percival and all members of the FreeBSD�Security Team for their extra diligence in ensuring that user-facing upgrade paths were properly addressed and documented.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Ports Collection

About FreeBSD Ports URL:
Contributing to Ports URL:
FreeBSD Ports Monitoring URL:
Ports Management Team URL:
FreeBSD portmgr on Twitter (@FreeBSD_portmgr) URL:
FreeBSD Ports Management Team on Facebook URL:
FreeBSD Ports Management Team on Google+ URL:

Contact: Ren� Ladan <>
Contact: FreeBSD Ports Management Team <>

The Ports Tree has reached the marker of 27,000 ports, with the PR count risen slightly to around 2,250. Of these PRs, 572 are unassigned. The last quarter saw 6871 commits by 176 committers. The number of open and the number of unassigned PRs both increased lightly since last quarter.

Two commit bits were taken in for safe keeping in the last quarter: jmg after 19 months of inactivity, and edwin at his own request. We welcomed three new committers: Nikolai Lifanov (lifanov), Jason Bacon, and Mikhail Pchelin (misha).

On the management side, adamw and feld were elected as new portmgr members, and rene was promoted to full member. feld is already involved in ports-secteam.

On the infrastructure side, two new USES (lxqt and varnish) were introduced. Some default versions were also updated: varnish 4 (new), GCC 4.8 to 4.9, Perl 5.20 to 5.24, and Python 3.4 to 3.5. Two major ports reached their end-of-life at December 31st and were removed: Perl 5.18 and Linux Fedora 10 (the default is Linux CentOS 6). Because FreeBSD 9.3, 10.1, and 10.2 also reached end-of-life, support for those versions was removed from the Ports Tree.

Some major ports were updated to their latest versions: pkg to 1.9.4, Firefox to 50.1.0, Firefox-esr to 45.6.0, Chromium to 54.0.2840.100, and Ruby to 2.1.10 / 2.2.6 / 2.3.3. www/node was updated to version 7; version 6 was split off as www/node6 for long-term support.

Behind the scenes, antoine ran 39 exp-runs to verify package updates, framework changes, and changes to the base system. bdrewery installed new package builders and added builds for FreeBSD 11 for mips, mips64, and armv6. He also improved the balancing, monitoring, automation of the package builders.

Open tasks:

  1. If you have some spare time, please take up a PR for testing and committing.

The FreeBSD Core Team

Contact: FreeBSD Core Team <>

The major concern for Core during the last quarter of 2016 has been about maintaining the effectiveness of secteam. The team is primarily in need of better project management, both to improve communication generally and to allow the other team members to concentrate on the technical aspects of handling vulnerabilities.

To that end, there has been agreement in principle for either the FreeBSD Foundation or one of the companies that are major FreeBSD users to employ someone specifically in this role.

Core confirmed that the new support model would go into effect with 11.0-RELEASE despite the postponement of the switch to a packaged base release mechanism. For details of the new support model, please follow the links from the security page of the FreeBSD website.

Core requested the removal of the misc/jive port, on the grounds that it had no function other than to turn text into an offensively racist parody. This proved controversial, with many seeing this as a first step in bowdlerizing the entire ports tree. That is certainly not Core's intention. Core's aim here is to help secure the future of the FreeBSD project by making it welcoming to all contributors, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or other improper bases for discrimintation. While misc/jive may once have been seen as harmless fun, today the implicit approval implied by having it in the ports tree sends a message at odds with the project's aims.

The Marketing team and the associated mailing list were wound up, due to lack of activity. Messages to will be forwarded to the FreeBSD Foundation's marketing team instead.

Core member Allan Jude, who was already the clusteradm liason, became a full member of clusteradm.

An emergency correction to the 11.0 release notes was authorised, as it was giving the misleading impression that 802.11n wireless support had only just been added, and this misapprehension was being repeated in the press. In reality, FreeBSD has had 802.11n support for many years, and the announcement should have said that support had been added to many additional device drivers.

Discussions about a proposal to improve Unicode support are on-going. FreeBSD is already standards conformant, but the propsal is to switch to a __STDC_ISO_10646_ implementation, similar to what Linux glibc currently uses. Opinions are divided on the technical merits of the new approach.

There were the usual quota of queries about licensing and other legal matters:

  • Plans to create a GPLv3 overlay for the base system were shelved in the light of faster than expected progress at enabling building the world using an external toolchain.
  • The trademarks page on the website was updated to show the current owners of a number of trademarks in their approved form.
  • In the absence of a tool to extract and summarize all of the relevant information, the obligation in the BSD license that "Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution." is fulfilled by providing a tarball of the system sources with their embedded copyright statements.
  • The European Court of Justice's "Right to be Forgotten" only applies to search engines, and the FreeBSD project is not one of those, so it need not take any action.
  • Core is following closely discussions within the LLVM project regarding a change of license which, if implemented, might require an audit of the entire ports tree to discover all packages that contain binaries linked against libc++ and ensure that they are licensed compatibly with LLVM. However, indications are that the LLVM project will not adopt such changes.
  • The "Open Source Exception" in the firmware license means that committing a "binary blob" driver for the Nvidia Jetson TK1 XHCI device is acceptable.

During this quarter four new commit bits were awarded. Please welcome Dexuan Cui, David Bright, Konrad Witaszczyk, and Piotr Stefaniak. We were sorry to see Edwin Lansing hang up his commit bits and step down from portmgr.

The FreeBSD Foundation

FreeBSD Foundation Website 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. Funding comes from individual and corporate donations and is used to fund and manage software development projects, conferences and developer summits, and provide travel grants to FreeBSD contributors. The Foundation purchases and supports hardware to improve and maintain FreeBSD infrastructure; publishes marketing material to promote, educate, and advocate for the FreeBSD Project; facilitates collaboration between commercial vendors and FreeBSD developers; and finally, represents the FreeBSD Project in executing contracts, license agreements, and other legal arrangements that require a recognized legal entity.

Here are some highlights of what we did to help FreeBSD last quarter:

Fundraising Efforts

Our work is 100% funded by your donations. We raised $1,527,540 in 2016 from 1471 donors! Thank you to everyone who made a donation to help us continue our efforts in 2017 to support the FreeBSD Project and community worldwide! You can make a donation here to our 2017 fundraising campaign:

OS Improvements

The Foundation improves the FreeBSD operating system by employing our technical staff to maintain and improve critical kernel subsystems, add features and functionality, and fix problems. This also includes funding separate project grants like the arm64 port, blacklistd access control daemon, and integration of VIMAGE support, to make sure that FreeBSD remains a viable solution for research, education, computing, products and more.

Large projects supported last year include:

  • arm64 port
  • VIMAGE Integration
  • Toolchain work
  • blacklistd access control daemon

The Foundation team worked on a technology roadmap for 2017–2018 during our board meeting in November.

Staff and board members continued hosting bi-weekly conference calls to facilitate efforts for individuals to collaborate on different technologies.

You can find out more about the support we provided by reading individual updates from Ed Maste, Konstatin Belousov, and Edward Napierala in this report.

Release Engineering

The Foundation provides a full-time staff member to lead the release engineering efforts. This has provided timely and reliable releases over the last few years.

Last quarter, our full-time staff member worked with the FreeBSD Release Engineering and Security Teams to finalize 11.0-RELEASE. He also added support for the powerpcspe architecture to the 12-CURRENT snapshot builds, and continued work on packaging the base system with pkg(8). He also continued producing 10-STABLE, 11-STABLE, and 12-CURRENT development snapshot builds throughout the quarter.

You can find out more about the support we provided to the Release Engineering Team by reading their status update in this report.

Supporting FreeBSD Infrastructure

The Foundation provides hardware and support to improve the FreeBSD infrastructure. This year, we purchased the following hardware to improve the build, continuous integration, and platform processes:

  • A server to reduce the build time from over an hour to 20 minutes for the continuous integration process. You can find out more information here:
  • Two ThunderX servers for native package builds for the FreeBSD/arm64 architecture.
  • Two servers to improve release engineering builds.
  • Four servers to improve package builds.
  • Four servers as build slaves to increase the number of builds in the continuous integration process.

FreeBSD Advocacy and Education

A large part of our efforts are dedicated to advocating for the Project. This includes promoting work being done by others with FreeBSD; producing advocacy literature to teach people about FreeBSD and help make the path to starting using FreeBSD or contributing to the Project easier; and attending and getting other FreeBSD contributors to volunteer to run FreeBSD events, staff FreeBSD tables, and give FreeBSD presentations.

Here is a list highlighting some of the advocacy and education work we did last year:

  • Attended and/or sponsored 24 events around the world
  • Provided 15 Travel Grants to developers
  • Created new and updated marketing literature including:
    • Updated FreeBSD 10 Brochure
    • New TeachBSD postcard to spread the word about the program
    • Google Summer of Code flyer
    • FreeBSD 11 Brochure
    • Updated Recruiting Flyer
    • Updated Get Involved Flyer
    • FreeBSD as a Platform for Research Flyer
  • Created a series of FreeBSD How-to Guides:
    • Installing FreeBSD with VirtualBox (Mac/Windows)
    • Installing a Desktop Environment on FreeBSD
    • Installing FreeBSD for Raspberry Pi
    • Installing PC-BSD as a Primary Operating System
    • FreeBSD Setup Tips
  • Acquired New Testimonials:
    • Accelerations Systems
    • NeoSmart Technologies
    • Chelsio Communications
    • Crescent River Port Pilots' Association
    • IXC
    • Stormshield
  • Updated the FreeBSD Project and Foundation Branding:
    • New FreeBSD Foundation website and logo
    • Updated Brand Assets page to include more information about the FreeBSD Project and FreeBSD Foundation logos.

We published our September/October and November/December Journal issues at

We also published monthly newsletters to highlight work being done to support FreeBSD, tell you about upcoming events, and provide other information to keep you in the loop of what we are doing to support the FreeBSD Project and community:

Conferences and Events

The FreeBSD Foundation sponsors many conferences, events, and summits around the globe. These events can be BSD-related, open source, or technology events geared towards underrepresented groups.

We support the FreeBSD-focused events to help provide a venue for sharing knowledge, to work together on projects, and to facilitate collaboration between developers and commercial users. This all helps provide a healthy ecosystem. We support the non-FreeBSD events to promote and raise awareness of FreeBSD, to increase the use of FreeBSD in different applications, and to recruit more contributors to the Project.

We also sponsored or attended the following events last quarter:

  • Ohio LinuxFest, October, Columbus, Ohio
  • Grace Hopper 2016, October, Houston, TX
  • COSC 2016, October, Beijing, China
  • Bay Area FreeBSD Vendor and Devoloper's Summit and MeetBSD 2016, November, Berkely, CA
  • USENIX LISA '16, December, Boston, MA
  • OSC 2016, December, Beijing, China

Get the whole list of conferences we supported in 2016 at:

Legal/FreeBSD IP

The Foundation owns the FreeBSD trademarks, and it is our responsibility to protect them. We continued to review requests and grant permission to use the trademarks. We also provided legal support for the core team to investigate the status of certain patents.

FreeBSD Community Engagement

Anne Dickison, our Marketing Director, has been overseeing the efforts to rewrite the Project's Code of Conduct to help make this a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community. The updated Code of Conduct and Report Guidelines are going through the final review process, and will be handed off to the Core Team for approval in Q1 2017.

Go to to find out how we support FreeBSD and how we can help you!


Ceph on FreeBSD

Ceph Main Site URL:
Main Repository URL:
My FreeBSD Fork URL:

Contact: Willem Jan Withagen <>

Ceph is a distributed object store and file system designed to provide excellent performance, reliability and scalability:

  • Object Storage

    Ceph provides seamless access to objects using native language bindings or radosgw, a REST interface that is compatible with applications written for S3 and Swift.

  • Block Storage

    Ceph's RADOS Block Device (RBD) provides access to block device images that are striped and replicated across the entire storage cluster.

  • File System

    Ceph provides a POSIX-compliant network file system that aims for high performance, large data storage, and maximum compatibility with legacy applications.

I started looking into Ceph because the HAST solution with CARP and ggate did not really do what I was looking for. But I aim to run a Ceph storage cluster of storage nodes that are running ZFS. User stations would be running bhyve on RBD disks that are stored in Ceph.

The FreeBSD build of Ceph includes most of the tools Ceph provides. Note that the RBD-dependent items will not work, since FreeBSD does not have RBD (yet).

The most notable progress since the last report:

  • RBD is actually buildable and can be used to manage RADOS BLOCK DEVICEs.
  • All tests run to completion for the current selection of tools, though the neded (minor) patches have yet to be pulled into HEAD.
  • Cmake is now the only way of building Ceph.
  • The threading/polling code has been reworked for the simple socket code. It now uses a self-pipe, instead of using an odd shutdown()-signaling Linux feature.
  • The EventKqueue code was modified to work around the "feature" that starting threads destroys the kqueue handles. The code was just finshed, so it is not yet submitted to the main repository.
  • We investigated differences between FreeBSD and Linux for SO_REUSEADDR and SO_REUSEPORT. Fortunately, the code is only used during testing, so disabling these features only delays progress in the tests.
  • A jenkins instances is regularly testing both ceph/ceph/master and wjwithagen/ceph/wip.FreeBSD, so there is regular verification of buildability and the tests:

Build Prerequisites

Compiling and building Ceph is tested on 12-CURRENT with its clang 3.9.0, but 11-RELEASE will probably also work, given experience with clang 3.7.0 from 11-CURRENT. Interestingly, when 12-CURRENT had clang 3.8.0, that did not work as well as either 3.7.0 or 3.9.0. The clang 3.4 present in 10-STABLE does not have the required capabilities to compile everything.

The following setup will get things running for FreeBSD:

  1. Install bash and link it in /bin
  2. It is no longer necessary to add a definition of ENODATA to /usr/include/errno.h
  3. Clone the github repo ( and checkout the "wip.FreeBSD" branch
  4. Run ./ to start the build.

The old build method using automake is no longer used; see the README.FreeBSD for more details.

Parts not (yet) included:

  • KRBD: Kernel Rados Block Devices is implemented in the Linux kernel, but not in the FreeBSD kernel. Perhaps ggated could be used as a template since it does some of the same things as KRBD, just between 2 disks. It also has a userspace counterpart, which could ease development.
  • BlueStore: FreeBSD and Linux have different AIO APIs, and that incompatibility needs to be resolved somehow. Additionally, there is discussion in FreeBSD about aio_cancel not working for all devicetypes.
  • CephFS: Cython tries to access an internal field in struct dirent, which does not compile.
  • Tests that verify the correct working of the above are also excluded from the testset.

Open tasks:

  1. Run integration tests to see if the FreeBSD daemons will work with a Linux Ceph platform.
  2. Compile and test the user space RBD (Rados Block Device). This currently works, but testing has been limitted.
  3. Investigate and see if an in-kernel RBD device could be developed akin to FreeBSD's ggate.
  4. Investigate the keystore, which could be embedded in the kernel on Linux, and currently prevents building CephFS and some other components. The first question whether it is really required, or if only KRBD require it.
  5. Scheduler information is not used at the moment, because the schedulers work rather differently between FreeBSD and Linux. But at a certain point in time, this would need some attention in src/common/
  6. Integrate the FreeBSD /etc/rc.d initscripts in the Ceph stack. This helps with testing, but also enables running Ceph on production machines.
  7. Build a testcluster and start running some of the teuthology integration tests on it.
  8. Design a virtual disk implementation that can be used with bhyve and attached to an RBD image.


OpenBSM: Open Source Basic Security Module (BSM) Audit Implementation URL:
OpenBSM on GitHub URL:
FreeBSD Audit Handbook Chapter URL:
OpenBSM 1.2 alpha 5 announcement URL:

Contact: Christian Brueffer <>
Contact: Robert Watson <>
Contact: TrustedBSD Audit Mailing Mist <>

OpenBSM is a BSD-licensed implementation of Sun's Basic Security Module (BSM) API and file format. It is the user-space side of the CAPP Audit implementations in FreeBSD and Mac OS X. Additionally, the audit trail processing tools are expected to work on Linux.

This quarter saw increased development activity, fueled by the DARPA CADETS project, resulting in the release of OpenBSM 1.2 alpha 5. Among this release's changes are the ability to specify the kernel's maximum audit queue length, sandboxing support for auditreduce(1) and praudit(1) on FreeBSD and other systems that support Capsicum, as well as the addition of event identifiers for more FreeBSD system calls. The complete list of changes is documented in the NEWS file on GitHub. The new release will be merged into FreeBSD HEAD and the supported STABLE branches shortly.

This project was sponsored by DARPA/AFRL (in part).

Open tasks:

  1. Test the new release on different versions of FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Linux. In particular, testing on the latest versions of Mac OS X would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Fix problems that have been reported via GitHub and the FreeBSD bug tracker.
  3. Implement the features mentioned in the TODO list on GitHub.

Sysctl Exporter for Prometheus

The Prometheus Project URL:
Node Exporter URL:
Sysctl Exporter URL:

Contact: Ed Schouten <>

Prometheus is an Open Source monitoring system that was originally built at SoundCloud in 2012. Since 2016, this project is part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, together with other projects like Kubernetes.

Prometheus scrapes its targets by periodically sending HTTP GET requests. Targets then respond by sending key-value pairs of metrics and their sample value. Prometheus has a query language, PromQL, that can be used to aggregate sample values and specify alerting conditions. Tools like Grafana can be used to create fancy dashboards using such queries.

The Prometheus project provides a utility called node_exporter that gathers basic system metrics and serves them over HTTP. This utility tends to be rather complex, as it has to extract metrics from many different sources. On Linux, files in /proc have no uniform format, meaning that for every kernel framework a custom collector needs to be written.

On FreeBSD the sitiuation is better, as the data exported through sysctl is already structured in such a way that it can easily be translated to Prometheus' metrics format. The goal of this project is thus to provide a generic exporter for the entire sysctl tree. Not only does this prevent unnecessary bloat and indirection, it may also make the life of a kernel developer a lot easier. One can easily use Prometheus to graph the occurrence of an event over time by (temporarily) adding a counter to the kernel.

An initial version of the sysctl exporter has been integrated into the FreeBSD base system in December. It can be run through inetd by uncommenting the example provided in inetd.conf. Unfortunately, this exporter cannot be merged back to FreeBSD 10.x/11.x, as it depends on KBI-breaking changes to sysctl(9).

Open tasks:

  1. Are you using Prometheus or are you interested in using it? Be sure to give both Prometheus and this sysctl exporter a try!
  2. It would be nice if we created a set of useful alerting rules and placed those in /usr/share/examples. For example, how can one use this exporter to monitor the state of GEOM-based RAID arrays? Is such information even exported through sysctl?
  3. Prometheus uses a rather clever format for exporting histograms. Histograms are useful for expressing the amount of time taken to complete certain events (for example, disk operations). Would it be possible to add histograms as native data types to sysctl? If so, is there any chance they can be implemented without picking up any kernel locks?

The Graphics Stack on FreeBSD

Graphics Stack Roadmap and Supported Hardware Matrix URL:
GitHub Repository URL:
Ports Development Repository URL:
Fork of libudevd-devd Shim URL:
Graphics Team Blog URL:

Contact: FreeBSD Graphics Team <>
Contact: Matthew Macy <>

Good progress on graphics support was made during the weeks around Christmas and the new year with the import of Linux 4.9's DRM for i915 and amdgpu into the drm-next branch of the github repository. The amdgpu KMS driver is already somewhat usable, with a few major known issues remaining. It now supports GPUs as far back as Southern Islands and up to Polaris. The 4.9 update also appears to have fixed a regression in i915 that was introduced by the 4.8 merge late this past summer. The drm-next branch now supports the Intel integrated graphics unit up to Kaby Lake CPUs. To facilitate out-of-the-box support on CURRENT, most of the branch-local VM changes were reverted and the graphics fault routines converted to use pg_populate. This new interface is the source of a couple of regressions causing panics on i915 and severe artifacts with amdgpu on integrated GPUs. Mark Johnston (markj@) has volunteered to analyze these issues. Please show your support and encouragement to Mark for helping to move this project towards the finish line.

The xserver-mesa-next-udev branch was created for the ports development repository, and holds Mesa 13.0 and fixes for newer AMD GPUs. It uses a fork of the libudev-devd shim, also bringing Mesa closer to the Linux upstream. I plan to keep updating drm and amdgpu (for use on my desktop and potentially longer term for GPGPU computations) as well as work with Mark to address the existing bugs in i915 (assuming that two new porters are approved). However, the Linux i915 developers seem to aggressively explore the space of possible implementations and use of Linux internal APIs, making it prohibitively time consuming to track upstream. I am helping someone to learn the ropes of how to replay a subset of changes from a Linux release into FreeBSD in the hope that he will take over the mantle of drm-next i915 maintainer. Assuming the issues listed above are addressed, a port of the linuxkpi, DRM, and KMS drivers for use on standard amd64 CURRENT installations is planned. Together with upgrades to the relevant graphics ports, this will provide experimental support for new AMD and Intel GPUs.


FreeBSD on Hyper-V and Azure

FreeBSD Virtual Machines on Microsoft Hyper-V URL:
Supported Linux and FreeBSD Virtual Machines for Hyper-V on Windows URL:

Contact: Sepherosa Ziehau <>
Contact: Hongjiang Zhang <>
Contact: Dexuan Cui <>
Contact: Kylie Liang <>

This project provides native virtualized interfaces for FreeBSD systems running on Hyper-V virtualization, improving on the performance of traditional emulated evices.

Per-ring polling, multi-packet RNDIS messages, and system RSS integration have been implemented, further optimizing the throughput and latency of the Hyper-V network driver.

Live virtual machine backup is implemented (for now, only for UFS), after the VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service), which it depends on, was implemented.

PCIe pass-through is implemented, and the patches to implement NIC SR-IOV are being reviewed on Phabricator.

vDSO support for speeding up gettimeofday(2) is now implemented.

The FreeBSD 11.0 image on Azure ( is now available, in addition to the existing 10.3 image.

We fixed an issue where SCSI disks would sometimes fail to attach, resolving bug 215171 ([Hyper-V] Fail to attach SCSI disk from LUN 8 on Win2008R2/Win2012/Win2012R2).

This project was sponsored by Microsoft.

I2C, GPIO, and SPI Support for MinnowBoard

Blog Post URL:
MinnowBoard Website URL:

Contact: Oleksandr Tymoshenko <>

The MinnowBoard is an Atom-based x86 board (Intel E38xx Series SoC) in a maker-friendly form-factor: it provides convenient access to pins that can be used to connect peripherals using one of the standard buses: GPIO, SPI, or I2C. These buses are more common in the ARM/MIPS world than in x86, so while FreeBSD was able to boot just fine, it lacked support for these buses on the MinnowBoard.

As of r310645, HEAD support all three buses via the ig4(4), bytgpio(4), and intelspi drivers. The ig4(4) and bytgpio(4) changes were backported to 11-STABLE; intelspi will be MFCed in couple of weeks.


FreeBSD on ARM Boards

FreeBSD on Allwinner (Sunxi) Systems URL:
FreeBSD Commit Adding Support for IR Interfaces URL:

Contact: Ganbold Tsagaankhuu <>

The changes necessary to support the Allwinner Consumer IR interface in FreeBSD have been committed. The receive (RX) side is supported now and the driver is using the evdev framework. It was tested on the Cubieboard2 (A20 SoC) using lirc with dfrobot's simple IR remote controller.


FreeBSD arm64 Wiki Page URL:

Contact: Andrew Turner <>
Contact: Oleksandr Tymoshenko <>

Support for accessing floating-point registers from the kernel has been added. This uses the same KPI as i386 and amd64. This will allow for handling places where the floating-point state may be modified, for example when calling into UEFI.

Support for the optional ARMv8 AES instructions was added to the kernel. This makes use of the ability to store and restore the floating point state. Tests have shown a significant improvement in AES performance on ThunderX hardware.

The Cortex Strings memcpy and memmove functions have been imported into the kernel. These are optimised implementations of these common functions.

FreeBSD now boots on the SoftIron Overdrive 3000 using ACPI. The needed changes for this have been submitted to phabricator for review. This includes booting with SMP enabled, and all currently supported devices.

Support for the Raspberry Pi 3 has been committed. Most devices work, with the exception of WiFi and Bluetooth, as these are attached via an as-yet unsupported SDIO bus.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation, and ABT Systems Ltd.


Contact: Colin Percival <>

This report covers work since the last FreeBSD/EC2 status report (2015Q1).

FreeBSD/EC2 is now part of the regular FreeBSD release build, with snapshots and releases being automatically uploaded and copied to all available regions. Due to legal restrictions, this does not currently include the GovCloud or China (Beijing) regions; anyone wishing to use FreeBSD in those regions is encouraged to contact the author.

The AWS Marketplace reports that approximately 800 users are running roughly 2000 FreeBSD EC2 instances. This does not count the likely significantly larger number of EC2 instances launched directly through the EC2 API and Console, but at least places a lower bound on usage.

FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE shipped with support for the "enhanced networking" capabilities of EC2 C3, C4, R3, I2, D2, and M4 (excluding m4.16xlarge) instances. This provides significantly higher network performance than the virtual networking available on older EC2 instances and with older versions of FreeBSD.

FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE and later also use indirect segment disk I/Os, which yield approximately 20% higher throughput with equal or lower latency, and support the 128-vCPU x1.32xlarge instance type.

FreeBSD now supports the Amazon Simple Systems Manager service ("run command").

Open tasks:

  1. Complete a pending reorganization of the accounts used for FreeBSD/EC2 releases.
  2. Support "second generation enhanced networking" via the new Elastic Network Adapter found in P2, R4, X1, and m4.16xlarge instances.
  3. Provide tools for improved functionality via the Simple Systems Manager service: listing installed packages, checking for updates, adding/removing users, [your favourite sysadmin task goes here].
  4. Add support for EC2's IPv6 networking to the default FreeBSD/EC2 configuration.
  5. Continue ongoing interoperability testing between FreeBSD's NFS client and the Amazon Elastic File System (NFS-as-a-service).

Userland Programs


Official Libarchive Homepage URL:
Libarchive on GitHub URL:

Contact: Tim Kientzle <>
Contact: Martin Matuska <>

Libarchive is a BSD-licensed archive and compression library originally developed as part of FreeBSD. It supports a wide variety of input and output formats and also includes three command-line tools: bsdcat, bsdcpio and bsdtar. The FreeBSD tar and cpio utilities are taken directly from Libarchive, and many other important utilities like ar, unzip, and the pkg package manager make use of libarchive's functions.

Libarchive development in 2016 has been focusing on bug fixes and code cleanup, including fixing several critical security issues. Automated testing with Travis CI and Jenkins has been introduced and libarchive has been added to the Google OSS-Fuzz project. Fuzzing helped detect several hidden problems like buffer overflows and memory leaks.

Over the last few months, NFSv4 ACL support for the pax and restricted pax (the default for bsdtar) formats has been completed and merged to FreeBSD-CURRENT. NFSv4 ACL entries can now be stored to and restored from tar archives.

Open tasks:

  1. More extensive CI testing with FreeBSD on different platforms and releases. Currently only 11.0-RELEASE-amd64 gets tested via an automated Jenkins job.
  2. As every commit to libarchive may influence the build process of FreeBSD ports, the ability to trigger a (semi-)automated exp-run for the ports tree would be great.

Reproducible Builds in FreeBSD

Base System Reproducible Builds Wiki Page URL:
Ports Reproducible Builds Wiki Page URL:
Reproducible Builds Website URL:

Contact: Baptiste Daroussin <>
Contact: Ed Maste <>

Reproducible builds are a set of software development practices which create a verifiable path from human readable source code to the binary code used by computers. A build is reproducible if given the same source code, build environment and build instructions, any party can recreate bit-for-bit identical copies of all specified artifacts.

Baptiste Daroussin and Ed Maste attended the second Reproducible Builds Summit last December, in Berin. We discussed issues of common interest to operating system providers, including other BSDs and Linux distributions.

Following the summit, changes were committed to the FreeBSD base system to address outstanding sources of non-reproducibility. It is now possible to build the FreeBSD base system (kernel and userland) completely reproducibly, although it currently requires a few non-default settings.

Approximately 80% of the ports tree builds reproducibly, with a few work-in-progress patches. Now that the base system can be built reproducibly, focus will move on to the ports tree.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation, and The Linux Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Integrate FreeBSD ports builds into the continuous integration infrastructure.
  2. Integrate reproducible build patches into the ports tree.
  3. Investigate sources of non-reproducibility in individual ports.

Updates to GDB

Contact: John Baldwin <>
Contact: Luca Pizzamiglio <>

The devel/gdb port has been updated to GDB 7.12.

7.12 includes additional fixes related to tracing vfork()s. Some of these fixes depend on changes to ptrace() in the kernel to report a new ptrace stop when the parent of a vfork() resumes.

Support for FreeBSD/mips userland binaries has been committed upstream. These patches, along with support for debugging FreeBSD/mips kernels, should be added to the port soon.

Open tasks:

  1. Figure out why the powerpc kgdb targets are not able to unwind the stack past the initial frame.
  2. Add support for more platforms (arm, aarch64) to upstream gdb for both userland and kgdb.
  3. Add support for debugging powerpc vector registers.
  4. Add support for $_siginfo.
  5. Implement 'info proc' commands.
  6. Implement 'info os' commands.
  7. Debug gdb hangs related to the 'kill' command.

Using LLVM's LLD Linker as FreeBSD's System Linker

FreeBSD LLD Wiki Page URL:
FreeBSD/LLD Tracking PR (LLVM Bugzilla) URL:

Contact: Rafael Esp�ndola <>
Contact: Ed Maste <>

LLD is the linker in the LLVM family of projects. It is a high-performance linker that supports the ELF, COFF and Mach-O object formats. It aims to be compatible with the common linkers used for each file format. For ELF this is the GNU Binary File Descriptor (BFD) ld and GNU gold. However, LLD's authors are not constrained by strict compatibility where it would hamper performance or desired functionality.

LLD developers made significant progress over the last quarter. With changes committed to both LLD and FreeBSD we reached a major milestone: it is now possible to link the entire FreeBSD/amd64 base system (kernel and userland) with LLD.

Now that the base system links with LLD, we have started investigating linking applications in the ports tree with LLD. Through this process we are identifying limitations or bugs in both LLD and a number of FreeBSD ports. With a few work-in-progress patches we can link approximately 95% of the ports collection with LLD on amd64.

This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.

Open tasks:

  1. Fix libtool to detect LLD and pass the same command line arguments as for GNU ld and gold.
  2. Investigate the remaining amd64 port build failures.
  3. Investigate and improve LLD on arm64, i386, arm, and other non-amd64 architectures.
  4. Extensive testing.


GCC (GNU Compiler Collection)

GCC Home Page URL:

Contact: Gerald Pfeifer <>
Contact: Andreas Tobler <>
Contact: Antoine Brodin <>

Long awaited, the update to GCC 4.9 as the default version of GCC in the Ports Collection (lang/gcc port, USE_GCC=yes in Makefiles) has arrived, an update from GCC 4.8. This brings quite a number of improvements; see for details.

lang/gcc49 has moved to the GCC 4.9.4 release which marks the closure of the GCC 4.9 branch and release series.

(Yes, this means we should rather get the next version upgrade for lang/gcc in place soon. That update per se is straightforward, but any help in addressing the fallout of broken ports would be great — please let us know if you want to help!)

lang/gcc6 has been updated first to GCC 6.2 and then GCC 6.3, bringing a fair number of fixes, and should now be suitable for production use.

Open tasks:

  1. Update lang/gcc (and hence USE_GCC=yes) to GCC 5.
  2. Support for AArch64.

LXQt on FreeBSD

LXQt Project URL:
FreeBSD LXQt Project URL:
LXQt Development Repository URL:

Contact: Olivier Duchateau <>
Contact: Jesper Schmitz Mouridsen <>

LXQt is the Qt port of and the upcoming version of LXDE, the Lightweight Desktop Environment. It is the product of a merge between the LXDE-Qt and Razor-qt projects.

The porting effort remains very much a work in progress: LXQt requires some components of Plasma 5, the new major KDE workspace.

We imported some core components (it was necessary to update to x11/qterminal 0.7.0):

  • devel/lxqt-build-tools
  • devel/liblxqt
  • devel/qtxdg
  • x11/libfm-qt

Standalone applications:

  • graphics/lximage-qt
  • x11-fm/pcmanfm-qt

We also have updates for:

Open tasks:

  1. Improve support in sysutils/lxqt-admin (especially date and time settings).


Mono Homepage URL:
.NET Core Homepage URL:
Mono Project Page URL:

Contact: Mono on FreeBSD team <>

During the last quarter, many ports within the mono project have been updated:

  • Mono:
  • MonoDevelop:,
  • FSharp:

USES=mono has been extended to allow for easier use of Nuget packages. This extension has been used adopted by FSharp, MonoDevelop and OpenRA.

Work has started on porting Microsoft's open-sourced .NET Core. Thanks to the work of another team, the native components of coreclr and corefx already support FreeBSD, however, there is further work required in bootstrapping the build process and compiling the managed code.

Open tasks:

  1. Port .NET Core.
  2. Test patches for Mono.


Wine Homepage URL:
Project Page URL:

Contact: Gerald Pfeifer <>
Contact: David Naylor <>

The stable version of Wine (aka emulators/wine) has seen three maintenance releases in the last half year, and Xinerama support (in case you have more than one screen) and GNUTLS (helpful for Evernote or World of Warcraft, for example) are now active by default.

The development version (aka emulators/wine-devel) has seen steady progress and reached the RC phase of Wine 2.0. We are looking forward to a new major release soon that combines the progress of a year of active development with the stability of a release.

Open tasks:

  1. Port WoW64

Xfce on FreeBSD

FreeBSD Xfce Project URL:
FreeBSD Xfce Repository 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.

During this quarter, the team has kept these applications up-to-date:

  • audio/xfce4-mpc-plugin 0.5.0 (committed in devel repository)
  • deskutils/xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4
  • graphics/ristretto 0.8.1
  • sysutils/xfce4-diskperf-plugin 2.6.0
  • sysutils/xfce4-battery-plugin 1.1.0 (committed in devel repository)
  • sysutils/xfce4-fsguard-plugin 1.1.0 (committed in devel repository)
  • sysutils/xfce4-netload-plugin 1.3.0 (committed in devel repository)
  • sysutils/xfce4-systemload-plugin 1.2.0 (committed in devel repository)
  • sysutils/xfce4-wavelan-plugin 0.6.0 (committed in devel repository)
  • x11/xfce4-clipman-plugin 1.4.1
  • x11/xfce4-conf 4.12.1
  • x11/xfce4-dashboard 0.6.1
  • x11/xfce4-terminal 0.8.2
  • x11/xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 1.6.2
  • x11-clocks/xfce4-datetime-plugin 0.7.0 (committed in devel repository)
  • x11-wm/xfce4-panel 4.12.1
  • www/xfce4-smartbookmark-plugin 0.5.0 (committed in devel repository)

We also follow the unstable releases (available in our experimental repository) of:

  • sysutils/xfce4-settings 4.13.0 (it requires Gtk+ > 3.20)
  • x11/libexo 0.11.2
  • x11/xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.0.3

Open tasks:

  1. Apply the changes discussed in D8416 (simplify the MASTER_SITES macro in port Makefiles).
  2. Commit the stable panel plugins.

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