FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report
The highlights of this quarters report certainly include the availability of native Java binaries thanks to the FreeBSD Foundation , as well as progress has been made with Xen support and Sun's Ultrasparc T1. Futhermore we are looking forward to FreeBSD 6.1 and TrustedBSD audit support has been imported into FreeBSD 7-CURRENT. All in all, a very exiting start to 2006.
In just under a month the developers will be gathering at BSDCan 2006 for, FreeBSD Dev Summit, a two day meeting of FreeBSD developers. Once again the BSDCan schedule is filled with many interesting talks.
We hope you enjoy reading and look forward to hear from you for the next round. Consult the list of projects and ideas for ways to get involved. The submission date for the second quarter reports will be July, 7th 2006.
Thanks to everybody who submitted a report and to Brad Davis, who joined the Status Report team, for proof reading.
- Low-overhead performance monitoring for FreeBSD
- Sound subsystem improvements
- Status Report ATA project
- TMPFS (Filesystem) for FreeBSD
- libpkg - Package management library
- Ports Collection
- Update of the linux infrastructure in the Ports Collection
Vendor / 3rd Party Software
Contact: John-Mark Gurney <jmg@FreeBSD.org>
This is just an update to note that TS-7200 is building and running with a recent -current.
I have been working on getting FreeBSD/arm running on the TS-7200. So far the board boots, and has somewhat working ethernet (some unexplained packet loss). I can netboot from a FreeBSD/i386 machine, and I can also mount msdosfs's on CF.
- Figuring out why some small packets transmit with error (if someone can get Technologic Systems to pay attention to me and this issue, that'd be great!)
- EP93xx identification information to properly attach various onboard devices
Contact: Andrew Thompson <thompsa@FreeBSD.org>
Work has been started to implement the Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol which supersedes STP. RSTP has a much faster link failover time of around one second compared to 30-60 seconds for STP, this is very important on modern networks. Some progress has been made but a RSTP capable switch will be needed soon to proceed, see http://www.freebsd.org/donations/wantlist.html .
- Donation of a RSTP switch
Contact: Dan Langille <email@example.com>
The schedule for BSDCan 2006 demonstrates just how strong and popular BSDCan has become in a very short time. Three concurrent streams of talks make sure that there is something for everyone. We provide high quality talks at very affordable prices .
BSDCan is the biggest BSD event of 2006. Ask others who attended in past years how much they enjoyed their time in Ottawa. Ask them who they met, who they talked to, the contacts they made, the information they learned.
Remember to bring your wife/husband/spouse/etc because we will have things for them to do while you are attending the conference. Ottawa is a fantastic tourist destination.
See you at BSDCan 2006!
- Works in Progress - if you want to talk about your project for 5 minutes, this is your chance. Get in touch with us ASAP to reserve your spot.
- We're looking for volunteers to help out just before and during the conference. Contact Dan at the above address.
Contact: Andrew Turner <soc-andrew@FreeBSD.org>
The BSDInstaller integration work has progressed since the previous report. The backend has been changed to the new Lua version. This is to ensure the version we use will be maintained. The release Makefile now uses the Lua package rather the local copy in Perforce. Ports are also being created for the required modules to remove the need to bring Lua into the base.
- Create a port for all the Lua modules required
Split out of PF_KEY code between the kernel and user space has been completed and committed to CVS.
The diff between Kame IPv4 based IPSec and FAST_IPSEC IPv4 did not show any glaring issues.
Moving on to making IPv6 work in FAST_IPSEC including being able to run the kernel with the following variations:
- FAST_IPSEC in v4 only
- KAME IPv6 and IPSec
- KAME IPv6 and FAST_IPSEC
- Any patches for FAST_IPSEC, KAME IPsec of either variant (v4 or v6) should be forwarded to bz@ and gnn@.
- Build a better TAHI. TAHI, the test framework, will not be maintained and is not the easiest system to use and understand. A better test harness is possible and is necessary for other networking projects as well. Contact gnn@ if you have time to work on this as he has some code and ideas to start from.
The FreeBSD list of projects and ideas for volunteers is doing well. Several items were picked up by volunteers and have found their way into the tree. Others are under review or in progress.
We are looking forward to hear about new ideas, people willing to be technical contacts for generic topics (e.g. USB) or specific entries (already existing or newly created), suggestions for existing entries or completion reports for (parts of) an entry.
- Add more ideas.
- Find more technical contacts.
- Find people willing to review/test implementations of (somewhat) finished items.
Contact: Chuck Lever <cel@FreeBSD.org>
Support for NFS in FreeBSD received a boost this quarter as a kernel developer from Network Appliance has volunteered to help with the clients. Chuck Lever is now a src committer, mentored by Mike Silbersack. Mohan Srinivasan and Jim Rees have ended their apprenticeships and are now full committers. Mohan continues his effort to make the NFSv2/3 client SMP safe. He expects to make the changes available for review soon.
FreeBSD gained presence at the annual NFS interoperability event known as Connectathon. Rick Macklem's FreeBSD NFSv4 server is pretty stable now and available via anonymous ftp. NFSv4.1 features are not a part of it yet and are not likely to happen until at least the end of 2006. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
We had hoped to finish a prototype of Xen DomU and possible Dom0 in time for FreeBSD 6.1. The primary work was focused on bringing Xen into the FreeBSD 'newbus' framework. Unfortunately, an architectural problem in FreeBSD has stopped us. Xen relies on message passing between to child and parent domains to communicate device configuration, and this message passing requires that tsleep and wakeup work early in boot. That doesn't seem to be the case, and it's unclear what it would take to make it work. Without the newbus work, it's hard to complete the Dom0 code, and impossible to support Xen 3.0 features like domain suspension.
- Make tsleep and wakeup work during early boot
- Continue DomU newbus work
- Continue Dom0 work
In March 2006, Marcus Alves Grando, George Neville-Neil, and Philip Paeps joined the FreeBSD Security Team. The current Security Team membership is published on the web site.
In the time since the last status report, eight security advisories have been issued concerning problems in the base system of FreeBSD; of these, three problems were in "contributed" code, while five were in code maintained within FreeBSD. The Vulnerabilities and Exposures Markup Language (VuXML) document has continued to be updated by the Security Team and the Ports Committers documenting new vulnerabilities in the FreeBSD Ports Collection; since the last status report, 50 new entries have been added, bringing the total up to 686.
The following FreeBSD releases are supported by the FreeBSD Security Team: FreeBSD 4.10, FreeBSD 4.11, FreeBSD 5.3, FreeBSD 5.4, and FreeBSD 6.0. Upon their release, FreeBSD 5.5 and FreeBSD 6.1 will also be supported. The respective End of Life dates of supported releases are listed on the web site; of particular note, FreeBSD 4.10 and FreeBSD 5.4 will cease to be supported at the end of May 2006.
The project is alive and plans to release an ISO image of FreeSBIE 2.0 based on FreeBSD 6.1-RELEASE few day after the same has been release. FreeSBIE 2.0 will be available for i386 and amd64 archs. Tests images can be download via BitTorrent from torrent.freesbie.org .
- Test "test ISO images" for both amd64 and i386
- Suggest packages to be added to the ISO image.
- Suggestions needed for Xfce and fluxbox look.
- Suggestions needed for applications' configuration files.
Contact: Colin Percival <cperciva@FreeBSD.org>
Since 2003, I have introduced the (now quite widely used) FreeBSD Update and Portsnap tools, but rarely had time to make improvements or add requested features. Consequently, on March 30th, I sent email to the the freebsd-hackers, freebsd-security, and freebsd-announce lists announcing that I was seeking funding to allow me to spend the summer working full-time on these and my role as FreeBSD Security Officer. Assuming that some cheques arrive as expected, I have reached my donation target and will start work at the beginning of May.
- The work which I'm aiming to do is listed at the URL above.
Contact: Anish Mistry <email@example.com>
A preliminary version of HP's hplip software for their printers and multi-function devices has been ported. This allows viewing of the status informantion from the printer. Such as ink levels, error messages, and queue information. If you have an Officejet you can also fax and scan. Photocard and Copies functionality is untested.
- General Testing
- Photocard Testing
- Various ugen fixes
- Fix Officejet Panel Display
- Run hpiod and hpssd as unprivileged users
- Banish the Linuxisms in the Makefile
- Fix "Make Copies"
- Automatically Setup Scanner
Contact: Deb Goodkin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The FreeBSD Foundation released official certified JDK and JRE
1.5 binaries for the official FreeBSD 5.4 and FreeBSD 6.0 releases
on the i386 platform.
We were able to accomplish this by hiring a contractor to run the Sun certification tests and fixing the problems found. This could not have been completed without the support from the BSD Java Team.
We provided financial support for Java development and funded the certification process. We spent a significant amount of time and money on legal issues from contract and NDA creation for our contractor to license agreements from Sun and creating our own for the binaries. We worked with OEMs who would like to use the binaries, but needed to understand what they need to do legally to be able to redistribute the binaries. This is an area we are still working on at our end. We are waiting for a letter from Sun to put on our website to OEMs. We are also in the process of updating our OEM license agreement. This should be available by mid-April.
We have received a positive response from the FreeBSD community regarding the release of the binaries. We received a few requests to support the FreeBSD 6.1/amd64 platform. We have decided to move forward and support this too. We currently are working with a contractor to provide Java support on 5.5/i386, 6.1/i386, and 6.1/amd64. Once 5.5 and 6.1 are released, we'll update the FreeBSD Foundation website with the Java status. Regular updates to the website will continue.
Contact: Andrew Turner <email@example.com>
Libpkg is a package management library using libarchive to extract the package files. It is able to download, install and get a list of installed packages. Work has also been started on implementing the package tools from the base system. Most of pkg_info has been implemented and pkg_add has been started.
- Support for more command line options in pkg_info and pkg_add
- Creating a package
- Test pkg_add works as expected for all implemented command line options
Contact: Joseph Koshy <jkoshy@FreeBSD.org>
This projects implements a kernel module (hwpmc(4)), an application programming interface (pmc(3)) and a few simple applications (pmcstat(8) and pmccontrol(8)) for measuring system performance using event monitoring hardware in modern CPUs.
New features since the last status report:
- Support for profiling dynamically loaded kernel and user objects has been added.
- pmcstat(8) now supports command-line syntax for logging to a network socket.
Contact: Jordan Sissel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The current mouse system is a mess with moused, psm, ums, and mse supporting, individually, multiple kinds of mice. This project aims to move all driver support into moused modules in userland. In addition, many features lacking in the existing mouse infrastructure are being added. It is my hope that this new system will make both using mice and writing drivers easier down the road.
- Testing. Contact if interested.
All dhclient changes in HEAD have been merged to 6-STABLE for 6.1-RELEASE. New patches currently in testing include startup script support for fully asynchronous starting of dhclient which eliminates the wait for link during startup and support for sending the system hostname to the server when non is specified.
Contact: Max Laier <mlaier@FreeBSD.org>
Work towards importing the upcoming OpenBSD 3.9 version of pf is starting slowly. There are a couple of infrastructural changes (e.g. interface groups) that need to be imported beforehand. This work is in the final stage of progress.
A couple of bugfixes have happend since the last report and will be available in FreeBSD 6.1/5.5. pf users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to RELENG_6 as the version present in RELENG_5 is collecting dust.
Contact: Scott Ullrich <email@example.com>
pfSense continues to grow and fix bugs. Since the last report we have grown to 14 developers working part and full time on bringing pfSense to 1.0. Beta 3 is scheduled for release on 4/15/2006.
- Fix remaining bugs listed in CVSTrac
- Fine tune existing code
Contact: Mark Linimon <linimon@FreeBSD.org>
During this time, the number of ports PRs rose dramatically from its impressive low number seen late last quarter. This was due to the holidays, the freeze for the 5.5/6.1 release cycle, and the aggressive work several submitters have been doing to correct long-standing problems with stale distfiles, stale WWW sites, port that only work on i386, and so forth. Over 200 new ports have also been added. The statistics do not truly reflect the state of the Ports Collection, which continues to improve despite the increased number of ports.
We now have 3 people who are qualified to run the 5-exp regression tests. Due to this, we were able to run several cycles, resulting in a series of commits that retired more than 3 dozen portmgr PRs. There were a few snags during one commit due to some unintended consequences, but the breakage was fixed in less than one day. Notable changes include the addition of physical category net-p2p and virtual categories hamradio and rubygems. Once 5.5 and 6.1 are released, portmgr hopes to be able to run regression tests more often.
We have added 5 new committers since the last report.
- We need help getting back to our modern low of 500 PRs.
- We have over 4,000 unmaintained ports (see, for instance,
the list on portsmon). We are always looking for dedicated volunteers to adopt at least a few ports.
Contact: Robert Watson <rwatson@FreeBSD.org>
The FreeBSD netperf project has recently focused on revising the socket and protocol control block reference counts to define and enforce reference and memory management invariants, allowing the removal of unnecessary checks, error handling, and locking. Use of global pcbinfo locks has now been eliminated from the socket send and receive paths into all network protocols, including netipx, netnatm, netatalk, netinet, netinet6, netgraph, and others. Checks have generally been replaced with assertions; so_pcb is now guaranteed to be non-NULL. This should improve performance by reducing lock contention and unnecessary checks, as well as facilitate future work to eliminate long holding of pcbinfo locks in the TCP input path through proper reference counting for pcbs. These changes have been committed to FreeBSD 7-CURRENT, and will be merged in a few months once they have stabilized.
A lot of fixes (bugs, LORs, panics) and improvements (performance, compatibility, a new driver, 24/32bit samples support, ...) have been merged to RELENG_6. FreeBSD 6.1 is the first release which ships with the much improved sound system. Additionally there's work underway:
- To make the sound system API endianess clean. This should make it easier (for a developer) to make the sound drivers usable on all architectures.
- To rework character device allocation. This way someone can choose a specific channel, e.g. /dev/dsp0.r0 or /dev/dsp0.p0 to access the first recording or play channel respectively). With the "current" sound system (as in FreeBSD 6.1) this is not possible (accessing /dev/dsp0.0 and /dev/dsp0.1 may give you the first or the second channel, the number is just an enumeration, not a channel-chooser).
- To add multi-channel support/processing.
- To add Intel HDA support. There's already some code to look at (see URL referenced above), but is far from usable for an enduser (we need some programmers, but no testers ATM, since there are no user testable parts yet). Interested volunteers should contact the multimedia mailinglist.
- Style(9) cleanup, survive against WARNS=2 (at least).
- Have a look at the sound related entries on the ideas list.
- Rewrite some parts (e.g. a new mixer subsystem with OSS compatibility).
- sndctl(1): tool to control non-mixer parts of the sound system (e.g. spdif switching, virtual-3D effects) by an user (instead of the sysctl approach in -current); pcmplay(1), pcmrec(1), pcmutil(1).
- Plugable FEEDER infrastructure. For ease of debugging various feeder stuff and/or as userland library and test suite.
- Closer compatibility with OSS, especially for the upcoming OSS v4.
Contact: Søren Schmidt <sos@FreeBSD.org>
The last months has mostly been about stabilizing ATA for 6.1-RELEASE, and adding support for new chipsets. On that front JMicron has raised the bar for vendors as they have provided not only hardware but documentation on both their hardware and their software RAID implementation, making it a breeze to add support for their, by the way excellent, products. Other vendors can join in here. :) Otherwise I'm always in the need for any amount of time or means to get it if nothing else.
ATA has grown a USB backend so that fx. flash keys and external HD/CD/DVD drives can be used directly without atapicam/CAM etc. This is very handy on small (embedded) systems where resources are limited and kernel space at a premium. burncd(8) is in the process of being updated so it will support this along with SATA ATAPI devices, and if time permits adding DVD support.
The next months will be used to (hopefully) work on getting ATA to work properly on systems with > 4G of memory and utilize the 64bit addressing of controllers that support it. RAID5 support for ataraid is on the list together with hardening of the RAID subsystem to help keep data alive and well.
Contact: Daniel Eischen <deischen@FreeBSD.org>
Symbol versioning libraries allows us to maintain binary compatibility without bumping library version numbers. Recently, symbol versioning for libc, libpthread, libthread_db, and libm was committed to -current. It is disabled by default, and can be enabled by adding "SYMVER_ENABLED=true" to/etc/make.conf. A final version bump for libc and other affected libraries (perhaps all) should be done before enabling this by default.
- Determining the impact on ports - portmgr (Kris) is running a portbuild to identify any problems. I am working to resolve the few problems that were found.
- Making our linker link to libc and libpthread (when using (-pthread)) when building shared libraries. This is needed so that symbol version dependencies are recorded in the shared library. I think kan@ is working on this.???
- Identify and symbol version any other libraries that should be symbol versioned. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.
Contact: Rohit Jalan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Three betas have been released so far. The code is operational and seems to be stable but it is not MPSAFE yet.
The second and third betas used different mechanisms for data I/O. (sfbuf vs. kernel_map+vacache) and at present I am in the process on selecting one mechanism over the other. Your opinion is solicited.
In the past three months, the TrustedBSD CAPP audit implementation has been merged to the FreeBSD 7-CURRENT development tree in CVS, and the groundwork has been laid for a merge to 6.X. OpenBSM, a BSD-licensed implementation of Sun's Basic Security Module (BSM) API and file format, as well as extensions to support intrusion detect applications. New features included support for audit pipes, a pseudo-device that provides a live audit record trail interface for intrusion detection applications, and an audit filter daemon that allows plug-in modules to monitor live events.
- Complete audit coverage of non-native system call ABIs, some more recent base system calls.
- Integrate OpenBSM 1.0 alpha 6, which includes auditfilterd and the audit filter API.
OpenBSM is a BSD-licensed implementation of Sun's Basic Security Module (BSM) API and file format, based on Apple's Darwin implementation. OpenBSM 1.0 alpha 5 is now available, and includes significant bugfixes, documentation, and feature enhancements over previous releases, including 64-bit token support, endian-independent operation, improved memory management, and bug fixes resulting from the static analysis tools provided by Coverity and FlexeLint. Recent versions are now built and configured using autoconf and automake, and have been built and tested with FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Linux.
- Complete OpenBSM file format validation test suite.
- Finalize audit filter API.
- Complete file format documentation; record documentation for new record types associated with Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and Linux specific events not present in documented Solaris record format.
FreeBSD has been ported the T1, Sun's newest processor. FreeBSD currently runs multi-user SMP. JMG is actively working on improving device support.
The port has taken several weeks longer than initially anticipated as the majority of the current sparc64 port could not be re-used.
Work is underway to use the new linux_base-fc3 as the new default linux base. Since there's some infrastructure work to do before it can be made the new default, this will not happen before the release of FreeBSD 5.5 and 6.1. At the same time a new X.org based linux port will replace the outdated XFree86 based linux X11 port.
The use of fc3 instead of fc4 or fc5 is to make sure we have a smooth transition with as less as possible breakage. We already use several fc3 RPM's with the current default of linux_base-8, so there should be not much problems to solve.
- Mark all old linux_base ports as DEPRECATED (after making fc3 the default linux_base port).
- Have a look at a linux-dri version which works with the update to X.org.
- When everything is switched to fc3 and everything works at least as good as before, have a look at porting fc4 or fc5.
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