FreeNAS videos, FreeBSD on Amazon EC2 and Intel GPU FreeBSD driver update

Three noteworthy links today to FreeBSD related news:

I. FreeBSD on Amazon’s EC2

Colin Percifal mentioned on his blog that he managed to successfully run FreeBSD on Amazon’s EC2 via defenestration, tricking EC2 to think Windows is running.

How can we trick EC2? Take advantage of the fact that Elastic Block Store disks can be detached from EC2 instances and reattached to different instances, and replace the boot disk of a “Windows” instance with a disk containing FreeBSD. In other words, defenestrate the EC2 instance. (Note to pedants: While “defenestrate” usually means “to throw out of a window”, etymologically it could equally mean “to throw windows out” — and the Oxford English Dictionary does show a recorded use in this sense dating from 1927.)

II. Intel GPU FreeBSD Kernel Driver project update

The FreeBSD Foundation announced on 16 Feb that it had awarded Konstantin Belousov a grant to implement support of GEM, KMS, and DRI for Intel Drivers.

The project is to implement GEM, port KMS, and write new DRI drivers for Intel Graphics, including the latest Sandy Bridge generation of integrated graphic units. The work should allow the latest Intel open-source driver to run on FreeBSD, expanding the range of hardware where FreeBSD is suitable for the desktop.

Kostik has now uploaded (part of) his code for review, comments and feedback: Intel GPU Kernel Driver:

I created the first code drop for the ongoing GEM/KMS project. Please note that this is not an end-user release, and even _not_ a call for testing. The project is not finished yet, and I expect quite more efforts from me even after the scheduled project end, and from ports/x11 people, before the driver and usermode infrastructure will be ready for the general public consumption.

That said, the patch is only of use for you now if you want to review, debug or otherwise help the project. The driver is known to be unstable, some parts are missing, some (esp. VM changes) are under the discussion and propably will be changed.

III. FreeNAS 8 videos

iXsystems has done a great job rewriting FreeNAS and making a great enterprise ready NAS system, but it is also providing good documentation and videos showing stp-by-step how different FreeNAS features can be set up and used.

Install FreeNAS 8 in VMWare
Learn how to work through a basic installation of FreeNAS 8, with the added bonus of VMWare specific options.

System Configuration Overview
A brief look at how to configure the basic systems settings under FreeNAS 8, and a quick look at some of the more popular and helpful options to enable

Volumes Overview
After configuring your system, setting up your volumes is an important next step towards sharing files and using FreeNAS in any environment

Shares Overview
Learn to set up shares on your FreeNAS installation in order to enable access for users on different systems and protocols.

Network Configuration Overview
A brief overview of FreeNAS 8′s Network Configuration options, and a look at what each of the options means.

Active Directory Overview
A very quick look at how to get started with active directory under FreeNAS 8, and an overview of the options

You can watch the videos over at http://www.freenas.org/community/resources/videos

libcxxrt C++ runtime available under BSD License

The FreeBSD Foundation and the NetBSD Foundation announced that they have acquired a non-exclusive copyright license to the libcxxrt C++ runtime software from PathScale, a leader in high performance Fortran, C and C++ compiler products for AMD64, Intel64 and MIPS.

Check out the press release for the details: libcxxrt C++ runtime available under BSD License

Upcoming FreeBSD Events: BSDCan, GSoC 2011

As most of you will be aware, BSDCan is one of the major annual BSD conferences, and Google sponsors development of the 5 big BSD’s each year in the Summer of Code. More info with regards to these events below.

BSDCan 2011

BSD Talk has a 15 minutes interview with Dan Langille, the organiser of BSDCan 2011, wherein they chat about the upcoming BSDCan conference: BSDTalk 203 – BSDCan and PGCon with Dan Langille

The FreeBSD Foundation will be providing a limited number of travel grants to individuals requesting assistance. Please fill out and submit the (PDF) Travel Grant Request Application by April 15, 2011 to apply for this grant.

This program is open to FreeBSD developers of all sorts (kernel hackers, documentation authors, bugbusters, system administrators, etc). In some cases we are also able to fund non-developers, such as active community members and FreeBSD advocates. Read further

Google Summer of Code 2011

Google Announces Summer of Code Accepted Projects
Google has announced the accepted projects list for its 2011 Google Summer of Code (GSOC) Program. Accepted Projects can be viewed on this page. FreeBSD is among them. If you want to take part, check out the FreeBSD GSoC ideas page.

Grazer Linuxtag 2011

FH Joanneum Graz, Graz, Austria  -

The Grazer Linuxtag is a one day event (09 April 2011, FH Joanneum Graz, Graz, Austria) on Linux and free software in general. Besides a FreeBSD booth and the possibility to take the BSDA certification exam there will also be a BSD Bootcamp with live workshops covering different FreeBSD topics. More information can be found here.

 

FreeBSD Foundation requesting project proposals (2011)

The FreeBSD Foundation has requested proposals for potential funding. If you have any ideas how you can FreeBSD can be improved in 2011, why not submit you idea. In case you have no ideas but don’t mind getting paid for FreeBSD Development, have a look at the FreeBSD list of projects and ideas for volunteers.

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce we are soliciting the submission of proposals (submission document) 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.

FreeBSD Foundation End-of-Year Newsletter (2010)

The FreeBSD Foundation has published its annual End-of-Year Newsletter which contains examples of how they have supported and funded the FreeBSD Project and community in 2010.

Table of contents:

Full newsletter: FreeBSD Foundation end-of year newsletter (2010)

It’s not too late to make a donation to the Foundation for 2010. The Foundation thanks everyone for their support so far and any donations made.

BSD Fund has announced it is contributing $3,600 (twitter @bsdfund)

New FreeBSD Foundation Project: Feed-Forward Clock Synchronization

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Julien Ridoux and Darryl Veitch at the University of Melbourne have been awarded a grant to implement support of feed-forward clock synchronization algorithms.

“The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is widely used for synchronization over the network and the ntpd daemon is the current reference synchronization algorithm. The system clock in FreeBSD is currently designed with ntpd in mind, leading to strong feedback coupling between the kernel and the synchronization daemon.

The RADclock is an example of an alternative class of synchronization algorithms based on feed-forward principles. This project will provide the core support for feed-forward algorithms, so that alternatives to ntpd can be developed and tested. The central motivation for this is the strong potential of such approaches for highly robust and accurate synchronization.

Beyond this, virtualization is one of the next major challenges faced by time keeping systems. The current feedback synchronization model is complex and introduces its own dynamics, an approach that is not suited to the requirements of virtualization. Feed-forward based synchronization offers a cleaner and simpler approach, which is capable of providing accurate time keeping over live migration of virtual machines.” (source: FreeBSD Foundation Blog)

If you want to see FreeBSD prosper further in 2011, why not make a donation to the FreeBSD Foundation to help them fund more projects? Currently there are roughly 280 less donors than last year and the Foundation is still $136.000 away from the set $350.000 goal. Any donation, however small will make a difference. (I am not affiliated with the Foundation)

5 new TCP Congestion Control Algorithms Project (FreeBSD Foundation)

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced it is funding the 5 new TCP Congestion Control Algorithms Project:

“The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that Swinburne University’s Technology’s Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures has been awarded a grant to implement five new TCP congestion control algorithms in FreeBSD.

Correctly functioning congestion control (CC) is crucial to the efficient operation of the Internet and IP networks in general. CC dynamically balances a flow’s throughput against the inferred impact on the network, lowering throughput to protect the network as required.

The FreeBSD operating system’s TCP stack currently utilizes the defacto standard NewReno loss-based CC algorithm, which has known problems coping with many aspects of modern data networks like lossy or large bandwidth/delay paths. There is significant and ongoing work both in the research community and industry to address CC related problems, with a particular focus on TCP because of its ubiquitous deployment and use.

Swinburne University of Technology’s ongoing work with FreeBSD’s TCP stack and congestion control implementation has progressively matured. This project aims to refine their prototypes and integrate them into FreeBSD.

The project will conclude in January 2011.” (source: freebsdfoundation.blogspot.com)

The five protocols are:

If you’d like to see the Foundation fund more of these sort of projects, why not considering making a (small) donation?

This month I will be donating any affiliate commission I receive from Bordeaux Software (run Windows software on FreeBSD / PC-BSD) to the Foundation. If you’d love to use FreeBSD and/or PC-BSD but need to use Windows software as well, incl Microsoft Office, why not buy a copy of Bordeau ($10)?

Colin Percival will be donating his profits from tarsnap.com this month.

FreeBSD Foundation EOY fund-raise drive

The FreeBSD Foundation has kicked off its annual end-of-year fund-raise drive, and is calling happy (Free)BSD users make a small donation to help the FreeBSD Project fund new initiatives, sponsor FreeBSD Conferences, grant travel grants etc.

The Foundation has received some large (corporate) donations already, but the number of last year’s individual donations hasn’t been matched yet. More than half of the £350k goal has been given. If you want and can help, you can donate here (I am not affiliated with the FreeBSD Foundation).

FreeBSD Foundation president Justin Gibbs writes:

As the year is winding down I’m writing this note to remind you of the motivation behind the FreeBSD Foundation’s work, its benefits to you, and to ask for your financial assistance in making our work possible.

Ten years ago, I created the FreeBSD Foundation to repay a debt I owe to the FreeBSD project. While working on FreeBSD I learned the fundamentals of sound software design, how to successfully manage a large code base, and experienced the challenges of release engineering. Beyond the benefits of this education, FreeBSD has provided a robust platform that has allowed me to build several successful commercial products while being well paid to work on an operating system I love.

Today, through my volunteer work with the FreeBSD Foundation, I’m still paying down this debt.

This year, despite the slow pace of the economic recovery, the FreeBSD Foundation has an impressive list of accomplishments:

Provided $100,000 in grants for projects that improve FreeBSD in the areas of:

  • DTrace support
  • High availability storage
  • Enhanced SNMP reporting
  • Virtualization and resource partitioning
  • Embedded device support
  • Networking stack improvements

Allocated $50,000 for equipment to enhance FreeBSD project infrastructure.

Sponsored 8 FreeBSD related conferences.

Funded 16 travel grants giving increased community and developer access to conferences.

Provided legal support to the FreeBSD project.

How do our activities benefit you? If you are a company using FreeBSD, our work to strengthen the FreeBSD community ensures the continued viability of FreeBSD and a large pool of developers to tap into. If you are an end user, our work brings you new features and access to conferences. And if you are a FreeBSD developer, the FreeBSD Foundation is providing the resources needed to make your next innovation possible.

The FreeBSD project thrives through the hard work of our community, but it also requires financial backing. This year we set a fund-raising goal of $350,000. We are pleased to report that we are half way there, but we need your help to reach our goal. Every donation, no matter its size, helps to make our work possible. As a non-profit with very low overhead, your donation is the best way to invest in FreeBSD. Please make that investment today.

Source: FreeBSD Foundation blog