The FreeBSD Foundation has published their semi-anual newsletter with updates on projects receiving support and funding, their donation goal for 2010 and how FreeBSD and commercial vendors can co-operate.
The FreeBSD Foundation is able to fund these projects due to the generosity of user donations. If you haven’t donated yet this year, consider doing so here. No donation amount is too small–in fact, the more individual donations the better, as this helps the Foundation to meet the IRS’ non-profit requirements. Also, your name is added to the website when you donate, allowing you to show your support for FreeBSD.
DAHDI (Digium/Asterisk Hardware Device Interface) is the open source device interface technology used to control Digium and other legacy telephony interface cards.
“The purpose of DAHDI/FreeBSD project is to make it possible to use FreeBSD as a base system for software PBX solutions.
DAHDI (Digium/Asterisk Hardware Device Interface) is an open-source device driver framework and a set of HW drivers for E1/T1, ISDN digital and FXO/FXS analog cards (http://www.asterisk.org/dahdi/). Asterisk is one of the most popular open-source software PBX solutions.
The project includes porting DAHDI framework and HW drivers for E1/T1, FXO/FXS analog and ISDN digital cards to FreeBSD. This also includes TDMoE support, software and HW echo cancellation (Octasic, VPMADT032) and HW transcoding support (TC400B). The work is ongoing in the official DAHDI SVN repository with the close collaboration with DAHDI folks at Digium.
The project is nearing its completion: DAHDI framework and HW drivers telephony cards has been ported and tested. There are a number of success stories from early adopters who use E1/T1 and FXO/FXS cards on FreeBSD for several months.”
Congratulations, Max, for receiving the grant. It’s great to see FreeBSD branching out into another specialist area. AskoziaPBX used to be based on FreeBSD, but hardware support issues made the team decide to move to a Linux based PBX solution. Hopefully we will soon see another fully FreeBSD based PBX system (Askozia, Michael Iedema?)
This project will be undertaken by Edward Tomasz Napierala. “Unlike Solaris zones, the current implementation of FreeBSD Jails does not provide per-jail resource limits. As a result, users are often forced to replace jails with other virtualization mechanisms. The goal of this project is to create a single, unified framework for controlling resource utilisation, and to use that framework to implement per-jail resource limits. In the future, the same framework might be used to implement more sophisticated resource controls, such as Hierarchical Resource Limits, or to implement mechanisms similar to AIX WLM. It could also be used to provide precise resource usage accounting for administrative or billing purposes.”
“It’s great that the Foundation decided to fund this project. It will make jail-based virtualization a much better choice in many scenarios, for example for Virtual Private Server providers.”
II DTrace Userland Project
Rui Paulo has been awarded a grant to add DTrace userland support to FreeBSD.
DTrace is a general purpose and lightweight tracing framework that allows administrators, developers and users to investigate causes of system failure or performance bottlenecks. The FreeBSD operating system has had support for kernel-only DTrace since FreeBSD 8.0, but DTrace userland support was missing. Having userland support in DTrace allows inspection of userland software itself and its correlation with the kernel, thus allowing a much better picture of what exactly is going on behind the scenes.
This project will first concentrate on adding libproc support for symbol to address mapping, address to symbol mapping, breakpoint setup and the rtld interactions with DTrace. Next it will focus on DTrace process control, importing the pid provider and adapting it to FreeBSD and porting the userland statically defined probe provider (usdt). Finally it will bring in the plockstat provider.
“By having userland DTrace support, companies can make their products perform much better on FreeBSD due to the fact that they now have access to this amazing tool. When we mix the userland support with the kernel side DTrace support, we can also make FreeBSD a better operating system because we can investigate performance bottlenecks much easier.”
said FreeBSD developer Rui Paul
Well done to Rui and Edward. We’re looking forward to testing the results of their work at the end of the year. If you wish to see more of these sort of projects, you can donate to the FreeBSD Foundation.
The new PC-BSD installer (available as GUI and text installer), which is also able to install plain FreeBSD, has now been committed to the FreeBSD source tree. This video goes into the details of the installer.
Kris Moore: PC-SYSINSTALL – A new system installer backend for PC-BSD and FreeBSD
ZFS v15 brings in user and group quotas and help is needed to test, before it’s imported.
I would like to do a call for testing for my ZFS v15 patch.
As the user/group quotas feature is too much attractive for my needs, I couldn’t resist and have created (and debugged + tested) a ZFS v15 patch for head (applies cleanly against stable/8 as well).
It is a backport of several onnv-revisions, always consulting pjd’s p4 tree and includes four post-9396 related user/groupquota bugfixes. The bootcode (zfsimpl.h) is properly updated to support v15 as well, the python part is modified (paths, smb support, ioctls). Continues
Nvidia Releases a Much Improved Video Driver
Nvidia announced on June 22nd the final and stable version of the 256.x proprietary driver for Nvidia graphics cards. Nvidia 256.35 incorporates lots of fixes and improvements, over previous releases. Unofficial GLX support was also added for a few OpenGL extensions, as well as Thermal Settings reporting improvements, Compiz fixes, many VDPAU improvements, and many more. Without further introduction, let’s take a look at some of the most important changes brought by the Nvidia 256.35 video driver (via)
In a software project as large as NetBSD the interactions between different software components are not always immediately obvious to even the most skilled programmers. Tests help ensure that the system functions according to the desired criteria. Periodic automated runs of these tests with results visible on the web ensures both that tests are run in a regular fashion and that the results are available to all interested parties.
This short article explains the NetBSD test strategies and provides a brief overview of the enabling technologies. It also details how effortless it is to run the test suite and why doing so is in every developer’s, patch submitter’s and system administrator’s best interest. The intended audience is people with a keen interest in testing and quality assurance, and a desire to reduce personal headache. The article is written against NetBSD-current as of June 2010 and applies to what will eventually become NetBSD 6.
This project includes several enhancements to the existing FreeBSD SNMP framework, including SNMPv3-compliant user authentication, packet encryption and view-based access control. In addition, the project also includes a new module that will allow full SNMP management and monitoring of the FreeBSD wireless networking stack. When the
project is completed, FreeBSD should be the OS of choice when building open source-based embedded wireless appliances due to the advanced capabilities of its wireless network stack, and the light-weight, secure and complete management solution that bsnmpd(1) will provide out of the box. Existing FreeBSD installations that use bsnmpd(1) for
monitoring will also benefit from the added security and finer-grained access-control to SNMP data.
“SNMP is the defacto standard for network monitoring,”
said Shteryana Shopova, FreeBSD developer. She also added,
“SNMP is used everywhere – in network servers, switches, routers, firewalls, workstations, ip phones, printers, UPSs, all sorts of embedded appliances. I am happy to have the opportunity to work on several additions to bsnmpd(1) that have been requested by the FreeBSD community.”
“We are pleased to announce that Bjoern A. Zeeb has been awarded a grant to improve FreeBSD’s jail based virtualization infrastructure and to continue to work on the virtual network stack. His employer, CK Software GmbH is matching the Foundation’s funding with hours.
FreeBSD has been well known for its jail based virtualization during the last decade. With the import of the virtual network stack, FreeBSD’s operating system level virtualization has reached a new level.
This project includes cleanup of two years of import work and development and, more notably, brings the infrastructure for a network stack teardown. Cleanly shutting down a network stack in FreeBSD will be the major challenge in the virtualization area to get the new feature to production ready quality for the 9.x release lifecycle.
Further, the project includes generalization of the virtual network stack framework, factoring out common code. This will provide an infrastructure and will ease virtualization of further subsystems like SYSV/Posix IPC with minimal overhead. All further virtualized subsystems will immediately benefit from shared debugging facilities, an essential
feature for early adopters of the new technology.
“Improved jail based virtualization support, that continues to be very lightweight and as easily manageable as classic jails, will be a killer feature for the next few years,”
said Bjoern A. Zeeb, FreeBSD developer. He also added,
“It will allow people to partition their FreeBSD server, run simulations without racks of hardware, or provide thousands of virtual instances in hosting environments fairly easy and efficiently. While this follows the trend of green computing, it also adds to FreeBSD’s virtualization portfolio with Xen or other more heavyweight hypervisor support, which can be mixed with jails as needed.”
While work in this area will have to continue, the funding for this project will end mid-July 2010.”
I wish Bjoern all the best and hopefully we can try and use his work in FreeBSD 9.
If you want to see the FreeBSD Foundation support and fund more of these sort of projects, you can help them by donating to the Foundation (I’m not affiliated to the Foundation)
The FreeBSD Project received many applications from students wanting to participate in Google’s Summer of Code program. This year 18 student proposals to work with the FreeBSD Project were accepted as part of this program.
For those with projects that were not accepted this year, the FreeBSD Project is always willing to help mentor students so they can learn more about operating system development through our normal community mailing lists and development forums. The FreeBSD Foundation can also be approached for project funding.
Read the official announcement (FreeBSD GSoC) for more information. The complete list of student projects selected for funding can be found in the FreeBSD Summer of Code wiki.