FreeBSD Foundation Announces Capsicum Framework Project

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Pawel Jakub Dawidek has been awarded a development grant to further improve the Capsicum framework. The grant is jointly funded by Google’s Open Source Programs Office.

The project includes the integration of previous work, implementation of new programmer-friendly capability system calls, improvements to the Casper Capsicum service daemon, and sandboxing various security-sensitive applications.

“My previous Capsicum work focused on improving the framework itself to make it a better fit for real world applications. This new project will make use of the improved Capsicum to secure sensitive programs and libraries found in FreeBSD. The project will also produce many examples for others to follow, allowing them to take advantage of Capsicum to improve the security of their programs,”

said Pawel.

Ben Laurie, of Google’s security team, added that

“traditional operating system security is based on Access Control Lists (ACLs). Decades of experience has made it quite clear this is the wrong model – but how can we move to a better way without having to rebuild everything? Capsicum shows that it is possible to migrate gradually from the broken ACL world to a more robust capability based world. We are pleased to be involved in the next step of its evolution.”

The project is expected to be completed by June 2013.

Source: FreeBSD Announce Mailinglist

FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting submission of project proposals (2013)

freebsd_foundation 100.x100The FreeBSD Foundation annually (200920102011, 2012) asks the FreeBSD (developers) community for any project proposals that they’d like to work on, and, this is the interesting part, get funding for from the Foundation.

The Foundation has invited the Community again this year:

The FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting the submission of project
proposals for funded development grants. Proposals may be related to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system, and will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit, and cost-effectiveness.

Key dates for this proposal solicitation:

  • Call for proposals: 27th March 2013
  • Deadline for submissions: 26th April 2013
  • Notifcation of accepted proposals: 17th May 2013

Proposals must include the following:

* A detailed description of what is being proposed, how it will
benefit the FreeBSD Project, and why the work is needed.
* A timeline and costing for the project.
* One or more people that will act as technical reviewers for the work.

Proposals are open to all developers, including non-FreeBSD
committers, but developers without access to commit to the source tree must provide details about how the completion guidelines will be achieved. (source)

All details on the proposal submission process can be found on the Project Proposal Procedures page.

There are many projects and loose ends to pick up, so if you’re interested, have al look at the FreeBSDD ideas page or hang out on the FreeBSD Forums.

FreeBSD Foundation announces new technical staff member

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Konstantin Belousov has been hired as its first full-time member of technical staff, a key milestone of the Foundation’s investment in staff for 2013.

Konstantin has been a FreeBSD committer since 2006, and he recently implemented support for current-generation Intel graphics controllers under contract to the FreeBSD Foundation.  This new position will allow him to spend his full working time on supporting and improving FreeBSD.

Konstantin’s first project brings support for unmapped I/O to FreeBSD. The unmapped I/O project improves performance by avoiding mapping buffers in the buffer cache, significantly reducing overhead on multi-processor systems.  The project builds on foundational work to unify machine-dependent parts of the busdma interface, recently contributed by Jeff Robertson at EMC’s Isilon Storage Division. EMC became a FreeBSD foundation donor in 2012.

Netflix, another new Foundation donor for 2012, is already making use of this project.

“Netflix partnered closely with Konstantin to provide design input and testing resources for the unmapped I/O project.  The work helped us realize an immediate 25% increase in system performance on production workloads.  It underscores the immense value of collaborating and investing in the open source community and FreeBSD in particular,”

said Scott Long, Senior Software Engineer at Netflix.

Konstantin has also been working with the release engineering team since 2008 and his new role with the Foundation will allow him to focus more time on the tools and process used to make FreeBSD releases. (via)

New FreeBSD Foundation Funded Project: FreeBSD/ARM Architecture Superpages Support

FreeBSD foundation logoFollowing the successful 2012 Year-End Fundraising Campaign the FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Semihalf, an embedded solutions company, has been awarded a grant to develop transparent superpages support for the FreeBSD/ARM architecture. Semihalf is co-sponsoring the project with the Foundation.

The ARM architecture is already common in the mobile and embedded markets, and is becoming more prevalent in the server market. Among the more interesting industry trends emerging recently is the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, which is an “ARM server” concept. Many top tier companies have started developing systems or are announcing products with this architecture.

One of the features needed for FreeBSD to be successful in this area is transparent super pages.  This provides improved performance and scalability by allowing TLB translations to dynamically cover large physical memory regions.

As you will remember, Semihalf has been involved in FreeBSD Foundation funded projects before. They worked on the flattened device tree (2009) and NAND flash support (2012).

The project is expected to complete in mid July 2013.

Happy 2013 and miscelaneous news

Happy 2013 to all regular readers and the occasional visitor. It’s been a while since this site was updated, but this was due to work and holidays.

Hopefully we’ll see FreeBSD 10 released this year and the use of FreeBSD increased.

Followers of the FreeBSD Central Google+ page will have had regular updates over the last few weeks. Please subscribe to that page and stay even more up-to-date with all that’s happening the FreeBSD Community.

In case you missed it, there have been some releases and the FreeBSD Foundation successfully completed its fund raising drive.

  • FreeBSD releases 9.1 and blows through fundraising target [The H]
  • FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE Announcement [FreeBSD]
  • The PC-BSD Team announces the availablilty of PC-BSD 9.1 [PC-BSD Blog]
  • EuroBSDCon 2012 presentations available online [Youtube]
  •  FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE now available on all VPS and Dedicated Server packages [RootBSD]

FreeBSD news wrap up (10 December)

This is a selection of short but news worthy selection of links:

  • Faces of FreeBSD – Alberto Mijares. The FreeBSD Foundation has started a series featuring FreeBSD developers. Alberto Mijares is the first.
  • FreeBSD 9.1 ports freeze is over.

 

FreeBSD 9 Flyer (by the FreeBSD Foundation)

The FreeBSD Foundation has uploaded a 3 fold flyer featuring the points where FreeBSD excels

  • FreeBSD 9 – Powerful and Highly Available Storage
  • FreeBSD 9 – Ready for Networking Challenges
  • FreeBSD 9 – Security Innovation Continues
  • FreeBSD 9 – Packed with Features for Every Need

You can download the flyer here. Fee free to share online and spread offline.

FreeBSD Foundation’s Year-End Fundraising Campaign!

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced their end of year fundraising campaign.

So far, the Foundation has raised $256,532 of their $500,000 goal for 2012. Raised funds are used to sponsor projects which add features to the operating system, fund developers to attend DevSummits and conferences, and keep the FreeBSD hardware and web infrastructure going.

If you appreciate the work FreeBSD developers and the FreeBSD Foundation are doing, why not consider making a donation?

FreeBSD Foundation End of Year fundraising campaign. (via)