FreeBSD Foundation accepting funding proposals

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

Details regarding the proposal process are contained in the Proposals Call for Submission PDF (PDF)

If interested, important dates to mark are:

  • March 12: Call for proposals begins
  • April 30: Deadline for proposal submission
  • May 30th: Notification of acceptance/denial

New FBSD Foundation projects: Grow Mounted Filesystems, and NAND Flash Support

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced it is funding two new projects:

  • Grow Mounted Filesystems
  • NAND Flash Support

Grow Mounted Filesystems

This project will focus on growing filesystems whilst mounted and add GEOM and filesystem changes that are necessary to increase the size of both UFS and ZFS filesystems while a filesystem is mounted read-write.

Check the announcement for more details: Grow Mounted Filesystems

NAND Flash Support

It was announced that Semihalf, an embedded solutions company, has been awarded a grant to bring their comprehensive NAND Flash file system and storage stack to FreeBSD. This technology enables FreeBSD to natively manage NAND Flash devices, satisfying a crucial requirement for many applications needing access to fast, reliable, non-volatile storage.

Check the announcement for more details: NAND Flash Support

FreeBSD Foundation one of 12 Initial Affiliates for OSI

Earlier this year, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) switched from a Board-only organization focused largely on licensing to a member-led organization of affiliates. The OSI Board invited the FreeBSD Foundation to its initial set of Affiliates and Justin Gibbs and Dru Lavigne from the FreeBSD Foundation have agreed to act as delegates.

Simon Phipps from the OSI announced the 12 initial affiliates at FOSDEM. In addition to the FreeBSD Foundation, the initial affiliates include: KDE, the Apache Software Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, the Plone Foundation, Creative Commons, the Linux Foundation, Joomla, the Sahana Software Foundation, Drupal, the Eclipse Foundation, and the Wikiotics Foundation. (via)

FreeBSD 9.0 Press Release and Review

The FreeBSD Foundation has released a FreeBSD 9.0 press release: Release of FreeBSD 9.0 Delivers More Power to Serve.

Today, the FreeBSD Foundation announced the recent release of FreeBSD 9.0. FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE raises the bar for open source operating systems in terms of file system reliability, IPv6-readiness, networking capabilities, compiler and toolchain technologies, and security. Many of its new features directly benefit system administrators, application developers, and companies that use or base their products on FreeBSD.

“FreeBSD 9.0 represents the culmination of over two years of ground-breaking work in operating system performance, reliability, and security,”

said Ken Smith, Release Engineer for the FreeBSD Project.

“We are proud to dedicate this release to the memory of Dennis M. Ritchie, one of the founding fathers of the UNIX® operating system, whose vision and work laid the foundations for FreeBSD.”

Filesystem changes in this release provide great benefits to both UFS and ZFS users. When installing with UFS, softupdates journaling (UFS+SUJ) is automatically enabled. UFS+SUJ uses an intent log which safely eliminates the need for a long filesystem check and recovery process, even after an unclean shutdown.

ZFS has been updated to version 28 which supports data deduplication, triple parity RAIDZ3, snapshot holds, log device removal, zfs diff, zpool split, zpool import -F, and read-only zpool import.

FreeBSD 9.0 also introduces the Highly Available STorage (HAST) framework which provides transparent storage of the same data across several systems connected by a TCP/IP network. In combination with other high availability features of FreeBSD like the CARP fail-over protocol, HAST makes it possible to build a highly available storage cluster that is resistant to hardware failures.

Continuing its heritage of innovating in the area of security research, FreeBSD 9.0 introduces Capsicum. Capsicum is a lightweight framework which extends a POSIX UNIX kernel to support new security capabilities and adds a userland sandbox API. Originally developed as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Google and sponsored by a grant from Google, FreeBSD was the prototype platform and Chromium was the prototype application. FreeBSD 9.0 provides kernel support as an experimental feature for researchers and early adopters. Application support will follow in a later FreeBSD release and there are plans to provide some initial Capsicum-protected applications in FreeBSD 9.1.

“Google is excited to see the award-winning Capsicum work incorporated in FreeBSD 9.0, bringing native capability security to mainstream UNIX for the first time,”

said Ulfar Erlingsson, Manager, Security Research at Google.

FreeBSD has been been an early adopter and active participant in the IPv6 community since FreeBSD 4.0 was released in 2000 with the KAME reference implementation of IPv4/IPv6 networking support. In addition, the FreeBSD Project has been serving releases from IPv6-enabled servers for more than 8 years and FreeBSD’s website, mailing lists, and developer infrastructure have been IPv6-enabled since 2007. FreeBSD 9.0 introduces IPv6-only snapshots which completely remove IPv4 from the operating system.

2012 has been called the ‘year of IPv6′ and “the FreeBSD project is well positioned to be one of the leaders in IPv6-Only validation work,” stated Bjoern Zeeb, member of the FreeBSD Release Engineering Team and recipient of the 2010 Itojun Service Award for his significant improvements in open source implementations of IPv6.

“The growing usage of FreeBSD’s IPv6 networking stack by appliance builders, integration of a more flexible interface configuration, and the implementation of new standards such as Secure Neighbor Discovery, DNS Options for Router Advertisements, and CPE Requirements, makes FreeBSD 9.0 the perfect open source operating system to build your IPv6 deployments and products on.”

Other new features include:

  • userland DTrace has been added to supplement kernel-level DTrace
  • the FreeBSD world and kernel can now be compiled using the BSD-licensed LLVM toolchain
  • resource limit actions can be applied to processes, users, login classes, and jails
  • the addition of a pluggable congestion framework and five new TCP congestion control algorithms
  • HPN-SSH is enabled by default and increases transfer speeds on long, high bandwidth network links
  • NFSv4 support added
  • flattened device trees (FDT) allows for hardware resource enumeration and simplifies configuration on embedded platforms

A complete list of the features in this release is available on the web at http://www.freebsd.org/releases/9.0R/relnotes.html. FreeBSD 9.0 can be downloaded for free from the FreeBSD website or purchased from FreeBSDMall.com.

 

FreeBSD Events Updates (Scale, AsiaBSDCon, BSDCan)

A new year, a new series of FreeBSD Conferences. Mark them in your diaries if you’re planning to go.

SCALE 2012

iXsystem, FreeNAS, PC-BSD and the FreeBSD Foundation will be represented at SCALE Linux Expo 2012. The Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) is an annual Linux, Open-Source, and Free Software conference held in Los Angeles. This event will be held in Los Angeles from 20-22 Jan.

AsiaBSDCon 2012

AsiaBSDCon 2012 is a conference for users and developers on BSD based systems. The next conference will be held in Tokyo from 22-25 March. You can apply for a FreeBSD Foundation travel grant.

BSDCan 2012

BSDCan 2012 will be held 11-12 May, 2012 in Ottawa at the University of
Ottawa. It will be preceded by two days of tutorials on 9-10 May. There’s a call for papers.

New FreeBSD Foundation funded projects (IPv6, auditdistd)

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced it will be funding two new projects:

1. Performance analysis of FreeBSD’s IPv6 stack by Bjoern Zeeb

The project will carry out a detailed performance analysis starting with benchmarking IPv6 to IPv4 to get up-to-date numbers to better understand where we are. It will then continue to identify the origins of differences in performance, and where possible, directly address them or identify areas of future work. Having initial benchmark numbers will allow changes to be evaluated by re-running the measurements and quantifying the improvements.

2. Implementing auditdistd daemon by Pawel Jakub Dawidek

The goal of the auditdistd project is to securely and reliably distribute audit records over the TCP/IP network from a local auditdistd daemon to a remote auditdistd daemon. In case of source system compromise, the attacker’s activity can be analysed using data collected by the remote system, as only the remote system’s audit logs can still be trusted.

More details can be found on the FreeBSD Foundation’s blog: auditdistd project and IPv6 project.

FreeBSD Foundation 2011 fund-raising a success

The FreeBSD Foundation announced on its Facebook page that it has raised $426,292, surpassing the $400,000 goal. This is even without the cheques they have received. Great result.

As you will know, the Foundation uses these donations to promote and protect FreeBSD, as well as funding FreeBSD related projects.

Two newly projects for 2012 announced on 31 December are:

  • auditdistd project (Pawel Jakub Dawidek)
  • IPv6 Performance Analysis project (Bjoern Zeeb)

I’m sure we’ll see more announcements this year about new projects.